A few weeks back, I watched this movie named ‘Shakuntala Devi’. With this, I remember in my school Kendriya Vidyalaya, we had four cultural houses and one among them was ‘Shakuntala Devi House’. That’s it. That’s all I knew about her.
The movie recited about her journey where she came to be known as the ‘Human-Computer’ and a world-wide famous mathematician. She was also a writer and was popularly known for her extraordinary calibre in mental calculations. This movie definitely highlights her career but more importantly leaves a great impression as to how a woman should really go behind what she wants for herself.
Certainly, I’m not writing this article to give reviews about the movie. You can either watch it or read the review here.
Rather, it brings questions in mind that revolve around a woman like:
Can a woman live the way she wants before and after marriage and kids?
Is a woman’s life all about performing the social roles of a daughter, sister, mother, and spouse since the time she takes birth?
And, should a woman have her desires, wants, and ambitions?
As we see in today’s households, both men and women are getting out to study and work. There’s a higher consciousness floating about having a greater purpose and ambition in life coupled with financial stability. It is driving us to reach heights and gain as much abundance as possible.
With this, a new family dynamic takes place where one or both the parents are possibly out for work and kids to face an unexplainable feeling of being loved from a distance. In the movie, Shakuntala continues to go behind her ambitions and dreams despite being a mother. She stays away from her child for days, even months. Now the question is,
Who is responsible for it? And, is it only a mother’s responsibility to take care of the kids?
This snippet takes us back to our childhood wherein we have seen our mothers be giving, nurturing, providing, and sacrificing. They are expected to be somebody who should be in a giving energy for her family. Yes, there is nothing wrong with this. Everyone expects her to be a good mother, but society presupposes that:
These are things that generally women do, but why is a ‘should’ attached to a mother’s role? The society has made us see our mothers, as just mothers and not as women and most importantly, as a human being.
It is natural for us to view the world the way others make us see it. I’m sure when a woman becomes a mother, it’s a delightful feeling. She loves her kids and family so much that they mean the world to her. True. But what if she can’t be there for her kids or family due to her personal reasons? Definitely, she loves her family, but what if she chooses her desires and ambitions and makes them a priority?
Women do indeed give a lot of themselves, but now the time has come, where a woman should flow that same amount of energy into herself. It is time that they realise what she wants and what makes her happy. Let her make decisions on her own. Let her create perspectives according to her own experiences instead of burdening her with the age-old restrictions put by the society on her. Even if she fails, let her learn. Just let her loose. Life is a journey where humans can’t work like machines.
We operate on emotions that generate thought and are further translated into many actions. We want to do things that we like and they can change any time according to our desires. Then why women who become mothers are just expected to serve the people around her? She might also feel one day that she wants to do something, or go somewhere. Sacrifices and adjustments look good to a certain extent but having self-sabotaging behaviours and putting yourself on the back burner is not good for personal growth.
This is about mothers when we talk about women per se, it seems like she is born to live according to others’ wishes. Her life’s meaning is to go by what others say, what others want from her, and what she should be doing. She lives in a shrunken state and is told that these are the confines and limits for you, don’t overstep them.
Her inner conscience never really takes birth to see herself in the mirror and ask: Who am I? What is my identity? And, what is the purpose of my life?
It is a subjective topic to describe every daughter, mother, wife, and other roles out there. Everybody’s situations and experiences are different, but the spirit is the same.
In the movie, Shakuntala Devi’s daughter realizes her mother’s situation, when she herself becomes a mother. She starts her own business and in the midst, she has this epiphany that after being a mother, its a completely different ballgame.
So to all the women, live your life the way you want. Whichever role you play, you know you have a distinguishing, unique, and original individuality. You have the power to ignite the innermost fire and manifest outward achievements. Create balance as well as boundaries. Nothing seems good when it’s too extreme. You know what really matters to you and what your priorities are.
Don’t let society set them for you. Own your dreams wants, desires, and ambitions. Don’t do things that are expected from you just because you are a woman. Do it because it is important for you and only you. Keep adding value and keep vouching yourself, so that you have your own back. Also, get inspiration from women like Shakuntala Devi who is boisterous, boundless and bold.