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I’m Not A Failure Just ‘Coz I’m A Stay-at-home Woman Who Likes To Read Good Books!

Posted: January 20, 2020

For stay-at-home women, there is judgement when it comes to everything. But break these shackles! Read what you want, watch what you choose. It’s your life, after all. 

Life always has challenges. And some times I laugh, when there is no challenge in life because at such times, life itself becomes a challenge.

My challenge is not that big. It is just that I am a well-educated, married, stay-at-home woman with a passion for good literature, thought-provoking art and off-beat movies. Reading thought-provoking or watching those movies is not an easy and comfortable affair. One needs to invest a lot of time and attention. And it could also make you restless, some times for as long as a day or two.

It is soul food to me

But, this leisure activity has always been food for my soul and mind. This is what makes me feel alive and also leaves me with regrets. Reading a good book is like an addiction- until you finish reading it, you can not sit peacefully. There were so many times when I couldn’t focus on important matters while reading an interesting book. And there were times when I have been made to feel that there is no point in reading fiction or someone’s imagination. I have been told that, after all, it is a total waste of time that will not give me any money at the end of the day.

Quite often, I have tried to justify for my own sake that reading good books is not a waste of time and argued with others in anticipation of winning my arguments. However, I recently watched Vishal Bhardwaj’s trilogy on Shakespeare’s plays’ adaptation- Omkara (Othello), Maqbool (Macbeth) and Haider (Hamlet). These movies left me in awe of the director and his interpretation of the classic plays in a modern context. It made me realise that literature can never be old or obsolete. Literature has always been a shadow of the past and a window of the future. How could something like this be a mere waste of time?

We live in a society that is always judging us. I am also the part of this society and do the same with others. After all, I am also human and could fall to my temptations despite being knowledgeable. So, my point is that we have brackets for everything.

Your existence DOES matter!

When you are working and can afford to read a book, not just monetarily but investment the time too, you become a role model. But if you are jobless or non-working and pursue a good hobby, it is seen as a waste of time. Instead of giving leisure to you, it fills you with guilt and regret and makes you realise that it might be the only reason for you being a failure. It could make you feel bad because you don’t earn money, contribute to the economy and thus, your existence doesn’t matter.

When I was a child, I was told to focus on the academic books as they will help me have a better future. I was told not to waste time on books or movies. When I started working, I hardly had the time or energy to read a book. But now that I am not working and I want to spend my time creatively, I am told to pursue something that adds value to my education and my future. Pursue a passion which will earn me money.

My hobby makes me better person

But I am convinced now that my hobby is my choice, it makes me a person of depth and fills my life with colour. And I don’t need anybody’s approval for this. If your gossip could be office politics or family politics, why should I not see the world from the eyes of Shakespeare or Rabindranath Tagore?

Literature has not originated simply from the seed of someone’s imagination. It has been the mirror of our contemporary society and thrives only because of some readers like me who challenge the society to pursue this ambition.

Though this is the irony of our society that a good reader and a good listener or good audience is not highly celebrated yet. Maybe one day we would be able to see a category for the ‘Best Audience Award’ in a most sought after gala functions with glamorous stage.

Till then in the hopes of the positive paradigm shift in peoples thinking, I keep quenching my thirst for good books and movies with no regrets.

Picture credits: Pexels

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