There’s An Important Message In Sridevi’s English Vinglish For Women Entrepreneurs

Women tend to minimise their own achievements due to patriarchal conditioning, especially small business / home business owners. Let's begin to value ourselves.

Some movies are like onions. No, not because they make your cry. Well, that too! But because they have layers and layers of hidden treasures within them which do not always get uncovered at one go.

I was watching English Vinglish with my daughter the other day. This movie sashayed into the list of the best movies of Sridevi with elan. It goes without saying that I had loved the movie when it was released but I never got around to watching it again.

A repeat watch of the movie several years and a few grey hairs later made me realise that English Vinglish is packed with so many more brilliant moments than what I had deciphered back then. Without trying too hard, it throws various life lessons our way, if only we are willing to catch the pearls of wisdom.

Shashi, the entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur today, one of the scenes that hit me differently was the one in which Shashi (the protagonist) is acknowledged as an entrepreneur by her tutor during her English language class.

I run an NGO which helps women with limited resources to upskill themselves and I realised that so many women, like Shashi, downplay their achievements and accomplishments. Sometimes, because of conditioning and sometimes, because of the attitude of society towards them in general.

In the movie, Shashi sells laddoos which is a legit business involving back-breaking work, but it is only when her tutor recognizes her as a businesswoman that it dawns on her that there is more to what she has been doing so passionately. That she is more. That she can do more.

Women often downplay their hard work

‘I am just following my passion, nothing much.’

‘I am just selling some items from home, no big deal.’

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‘I am just running a small platform online, nothing great.’

‘Hey! It is a tiny team of 2 members. Not a company.’

I hear these kinds of statements from time to time, and it makes me sad. Scratch that. It makes me extremely sad. These women have humungous talent, clear vision, awe-inspiring dedication and yet, despite having all that it takes to be taken seriously, they are dismissed by many – at times even their own friends and family members – as ‘wannabes’ or ‘timepass hobby-pursuers’.

Till when are we as a society going to be unaware and biased, and we women let ourselves be taken for granted?

Entrepreneurship no longer means men in business suits

The entrepreneurship scenario is fast-changing, and the joke is on who has not kept up with it and made the home-grown/small business owners feel any less than what they are. I am sure even a few men taking to entrepreneurship face this, but the attitude towards women is worse which makes some of them hesitant to own like they own it.

Shashi fortunately met people who respected and valued her and made her discover her own worth. But to the women entrepreneurs who are reading this post – I do not know when the naysayers around you will change or whether they even would, but know this, please.

If you are selling a product or service, you are an entrepreneur. Period. Doesn’t matter what the team size is. Doesn’t matter what the scale is. Doesn’t matter if you have just started.

You are not ‘just’ anything. You are ‘more’, and you are worth more. Learn, grow, slay and be the boss that you are!

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About the Author

Anupama Dalmia

Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...

115 Posts | 744,210 Views

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