Monday, September 16, 2013

The many faces of woman

 “It takes a man a lifetime to find out about one particular woman; but if he puts in say, 10 years, industrious and curious, he can acquire the general rudiments of the sex” said O Henry.
My cousin Neeraj took this seriously and took up the study of the types of women, for his thesis.  For years he worked hard at it and he has just been awarded a doctorate for his voluminous work.  He has categorised women under various heads and here are excerpts from Chapter XII of his prestigious publication.
Madame Nari: she is the archetypal Hindu woman.  To her, life is centered on her husband, home and children.  She can’t think of any activity other than cooking keeping house and sacrificing her comforts.  She is a dedicated homemaker and participates in all family functions with hosts of relatives thrown in.  She is a perfect cook, an immaculate housekeeper and a relaxed hostess.  Very tolerant, she does not nag her husband when he gets back late from work nor does she insinuate that he is hobnobbing with his secretary.

NB: this type is almost extinct and the few remaining ones are branded ‘old fashioned’.

Madame Professional: Dresses in starched cotton or boutique – designed kurta and churidar, she is the new, ‘upwardly mobile urban woman.  Brisk and efficient she has a no-nonsense air about her, which keeps the male at a respectful distance.  Armed with qualifications from IIMs or TISS, she is confident, poised and rearing to go up….up…up.

Madam Successful: She has reached UP.  On the way, she has lost the qualities that were at one time associated with feminity – charm, gentleness and humanity.  To prove that she has got ‘there’ out of sheer hard work and merit, she is aggressive.  Helping her sub ordinates is a weakness she abhors and there’s no way you can appeal to her better self, as there is none.


Madame Memsahib: She is the languorous lady, munching salted cashews, reading the latest paperback and picking up her cordless telephone for a chat with a friend.  Her husband is too busy making money and she has all the time in the world to spend it.  She can be seen at all the art galleries, sales of Hyderabadi pearls, bone China, embroidered quilts and leather furniture.  For amusement, she has the latest DVDs from abroad and occasionally, she might nip across to Dubai to see what’s the latest in the shopping arcades there.

Madame middleclass: She is balanced, hardworking, long suffering woman.  She stoically braves the various queues to provide a happy home for her husband and children.  She combines a steady job with a smoothly run home and her greatest joy is in providing her children with amenities to do well in life.  She believes in the values and norms of society.  No one notices her for she is one of the many of her kind who believe in keeping a low profile.

Madame highbrow: She reads only Time and Newsweek and doesn’t know the name of any Indian publication.  No one can understand her but every one is in awe of her.

Madame Charming:  She could be anyone of the above but all that one notices of her is her smile, her warmth and her sincerity. She is loved -both by men and women.

NB: She is the eighth wonder of the world and is a figment of imagination.