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I am an Indian woman, one of those who had the privilege of being brought up in a matriarchal family. I was single handedly raised by my Maa. Basically my growing up has been around some strong women. When you grow up with a matriarch, you pick up some lessons, some consciously others not. Here are a few lessons it taught me.
1) Do your own things: We were four siblings; three daughters and a son, my brother being the youngest. Whenever I needed something which I could run an errand for, I was trained to ride my bicycle and get it for myself. In gist, I was always trained to get my own things. So, when I grew up, I learnt to build my own paradise. I never waited for someone else to create one for me.
2) Talk it out: I was brought up in a small sleepy town. However, troubles did not keep afar. But whenever there would be one; it was talked out. There would be long talks, sometimes tempers did fly; but under no circumstance was violence used as a resort. Thus I learnt to talk out whenever I confronted any trouble, one of the best lessons, I ever learnt and later in life it paid me huge dividends.
Maa, Naani and Me
3) It is Okay for a man to cry: When men cried, for whatever reason, no hue and cry was raised. I learnt that men can be weak and flawed and it is okay. The softer emotions were taught to be respected. So, over the years, I remained great buddies with guys because they could spill their softer emotions in front of me.
4) Treat men as equals: The best lesson of survival, I learnt was to stand up for myself. No matter what, I learnt is to treat the other person as equal; especially men. And that changed the equations. It has worked wonders in my life. Nothing beats the grace of a woman who talks with her head high with respect and it begets respect.
These are the life nourishing lessons the matriarchs of my life left with me. I am proud that I come from matriarchy!
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer.
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