Circle of Friends: An Immersive Conversation On The Issues Facing Women | Verve Magazine - Part 4
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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

Resilience

Noted journalist and media person Nalini Singh wonders how women, particularly those in public life, recover from painful personal blows and professional disappointments. For Lillete, the way to building internal strength is realising that you are alone and the architect of your own happiness from a very early age. “When I was very young my mother used to say: ‘You’re born alone and you will die alone. She drilled it into our heads that we’ve got to be able to live alone and deal with things alone. When I lost my husband two years ago it came in great stead. If your children help you or you find a partner, these are variables and bonuses. I’ve had 3-4 testing times and the only way I could have sprung back was work. It was pure therapy. Three months after I lost my husband I went to work and found my way back into life.”…

For Shabana it is the mantra: “This too shall pass. I have internalized it. When it seems it’s the end of the world and you want to die, tell yourself this. Women don’t talk about it a lot but they feel very depressed when they start losing their youth, their looks, their figure…there is so much pressure from society and I have particularly seen particularly attractive women getting being tormented by it. I think if you can learn to embrace your age beautifully and accept that this it is inevitable then you will come through with grace. There are ups and downs but life is bigger than anything else.

Aparna confesses she has “been through a series of crises, but you have to take matters into in your own hands. Sometimes, having no choice is a wonderful thing. Whatever your challenges, you better take matters in hand and get it done. I had to bring up my daughters single-handedly. I had no money at the time and I needed to buy a house because we had nothing. My elder daughter started doing Santoshi maa prayers because she was very worried we had no money. I was breaking down. I had sold my jewellery, car, insurance …all to buy the house. I worked very hard because I didn’t have a choice and in the middle of that I wrote 36 Chowringhee Lane. This is the way you take matters into your hands.”

Nivedita Singh, the psychologist, reminds us “the ability to bounce back is a function of one’s self-worth and confidence. We take good care of our physical selves but our psychological injuries are getting totally neglected. When a person says they are depressed, people say ‘It’s all in your head.’ On a daily basis we are emotionally abused but we practice no emotional hygiene.”

Next: On success…

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