Tag Archives: Personality

12: Thursday Thinking

12 Jan

For starters, I’m unable to check any of the notifications that pop up on my dashboard – I’ve no idea why. Ever since I’ve disabled the likes option, I get to see a list of likes, but am unable to check who these lovely likers are. That said, I’m trying not to let this itchy “secrecy” frustrate me. :P

Secondly, I haven’t watched Obama’s swan song even though it obviously went viral even before I got out of bed yesterday (BBC pinged me to say his speech was commencing just when I was walking towards the exit door from my land of dreams). It goes without saying that I do, indeed, want to dive into that tearjerker, and will eventually get myself to do so, but maybe when I’m more ready for it. However, even before all that, this guy has given me some serious, and I mean very serious, expectation issues from men, and husband to be specific. There does lie this eternal hope to maybe one day get this same, if not similar gratitude from my man in front of all and sundry. Hahaha! Well, we’re all allowed to dream, aren’t we? But seriously, that couple has given me, and most of the world I’m sure, some solid relationship goals. SOLID.

But here’s the nuance that I have to look into and consider wholeheartedly before I can even begin to harbour such dreams and expectations – and that is this one very crucial line he mentioned in his thanksgiving to his wife and family – “you took on a role you didn’t ask for, and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour.” Here’s that crux, that commitment, that compromise if you will, that’s sort of really made all the difference, no? And it makes the latent feminist in me keep quiet, and be still.

It was sometime back when my aunt very matter-of-factly and breezily called me a feminist. I don’t like that term, and neither do I like to associate my self with extremities in thought or action. It took me a little by surprise, and I won’t deny feeling a little proud of myself. Something that was sent my way as less of a compliment and as more of a fact to give me insight, did make my heart swell, to be honest. But that’s the thing I have with this thinking or terminology – I find it incomparably rigid, suffocating, and very binding; no matter how that jibe did indeed make me feel.

When I look at Michelle Obama, whom I do consider such a role model on many a front, there isn’t an ounce on her person or thought which speaks against standing up for oneself, or doing the things they believe in. However, she seems to have in her, the grace, strength, courage, and resilience to accept her circumstances and pave her path with all that she has. And that’s a remarkable quality I only wish I could have. It doesn’t involve screaming from rooftops about name changes post marriage, childbirth or bearing, or even something as overwhelming as stepping aside (a little or a lot) to find a new way forward. Generations of women have done exactly this, and I find it debilitating and often rude to label their silence or their choices as weak and spineless.

Of course there’s a difference between most, if not all Indian men, and Barrack Obama. And there’s a huge difference in all that we see, and all that really happens. But then again, I really wonder if a global mic to say thank you, is what drives or validates the beautiful strength, that is Michelle Obama’s personality and character. These are path-altering considerations for me to reflect on and pave my own journey with. Perhaps this is what, I think, real role models do, and I’m so thankful to have examples like these all around me.