Circle of Friends: An Immersive Conversation On The Issues Facing Women | Verve Magazine - Part 2
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April 20, 2017

Circle of Friends: An Immersive Conversation On The Issues Facing Women

Text by Prabha Chandran

Aparna Sen, Lillete Dubey and Shabana Azmi, along with successful women from diverse fields, look into the issues concerning the contemporary woman


“One can correct a wrong choice if one is empowered,” says Aparna, “but even that choice may be a mistake…you must choose what makes you less unhappy. I have chosen a life of actual hardship as a filmmaker. The kind of films I insist on making are made on very small budgets and I ask myself why I’m doing this. There’s unhappiness in every single field of work, there are moments of frustration but I would accept the pain.” She reveals that her elder daughter chose to be a homemaker. “She considers that her contribution. She said to me: ‘You probably don’t think I’m an achiever’. I said, ‘if you have achieved what you set out to, then you are an achiever even if not so in the eyes of the world’. On the other hand, as a working mother, I have lived with guilt as far as my daughters are concerned.”

Prabha mentions a recent survey showing a marked increase in the number of young people choosing to remain single. Is it because marriages are failing and parenthood is so demanding? Nivedita Singh: “In the film, we see empowered women but there are many who don’t have the choice and remain single.” Shabana adds: “The biggest transformation is that as women are enjoying the pleasure of living for themselves primarily and becoming empowered enough to make their own choices, marriage cannot be the end- all of your experience. Actually, what is it that women are upset about? As a working woman, I want to get the pleasure of from my work plus I want to be a very good housewife. I also want to be a very good mother. You have to prioritise tasks and in doing that, women experience guilt when it comes to children. That guilt then turns into hostility towards the partner. Why is everything dependent on me? I have to take time away from work for parenting. So people shy away from marriage. Now there are many choices – you can freeze eggs if your biological clock is ticking. These choices are not as rare as you think. Divorcees have always had to raise children on their own, now singles, like Karan Johar, are choosing to do so.”

Next: On relationships…

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