Real Conversations | Something Wonderful

Exploring Patriarchy – Chapter 30

She wants to know when they’re happy but not when they’re sad,
when they’re laughing out loud, but not when they’re mad.
He expresses his feelings but when THEY do it’s not fine,
unless they think alike. That’s OK – both need to be on the same side.

They say they feel lonely but stay away from the real,
from eyes that look out the same window but see a different world.
They don’t understand that there are times when it’s not about what’s right or wrong because we all walk different paths, dig different ditches, and have to scale different walls.

Will things change? Will they realize they can put the lonely away if they just get off their cellphones. And have real conversations face to face.

MM had negotiated the right to rest, and she felt free. Her happiness became a tangible thing and was very visible to those who knew her well. Visible to friends who were at different stages on the road that she had travelled – a road all of the women she knew were starting to walk down because they were not willing to accept a daily struggle to just BE, in the way their mothers had.

Friends, some of them still struggling. Some still victims and stuck with ideas on daily living that had outlived their usefulness. Not yet able to acquire the skill needed to negotiate daily ease and the right to rest.

There had been a time when the struggle with chores and gender roles took over every meeting or conversation that MM and her friends had. And finally, it got too much for MM so she began to cling to her hobbies for dear life. Letting friendships and WhatsApp-only communications cool or grow distant but holding on to friendships she treasured. Friends so dear that she was willing to listen. Willing to learn HOW to listen actually because the art of listening rarely is an innate skill with the human race.

And then, something wonderful happened!

MM thinks that learning how to listen and still stay a step back was the reason for this. She thinks it helped her friends hear themselves speak and then, they got fed up. And their conversation started to change as they realized life is too short to waste.

They, like MM, began to cling to happiness and open up to the idea that they too could negotiate the right to rest. And teach their families and their Indian men who lacked the skill to even look after themselves, to be self-reliant enough to reciprocate care. Friendship moved from supporting one another through struggle, to having a laugh together. And MM felt a lighthearted happy that she hadn’t felt in years.

These women were a brave new generation of Indian women who would be a light to those around them. Women who made time for each other, learned from each other, and who moved forward together.

Women who advocated realness and had a faith in goodness that is uncommon today. Realness uncommon, in the shrill world of social media where discussion means agreeing and where people make it clear that those who don’t agree with them are wrong.

A shrill world that has lost faith in goodness and needs to pretend.

Needs to settle for less.

And needs to shout down others in an effort to convince themselves that they are right.

MM and her friends were the one’s who would change that small part of the world that touched their lives.

Sometimes by speaking out, but more often in silence. Because the light in them would shine strong. Because happiness beams out at unexpected moments and it’s hard to hide.

Because people would begin to look and actually see it.

And it would bring change.

MM’s feels that each and every one of us can change a small portion of the world we interact with. Just by finding our happy. And by learning how to BE.

I invite you to read all chapters of Exploring Patriarchy and walk with Microwave Madam as she explores the impact of patriarchy on her life and on society. And looks for solutions.

Published by Anitaelise

Anitaelise teaches piano lessons at Anitaelise Piano Studio and writes poetry and essays at The Relaxed Housekeeper. The blogs - and are written and owned by her and published in accordance with the copyright notice at the footer of each blog.

6 thoughts on “Real Conversations | Something Wonderful

    1. Thanks so much ❤️

      We’re all on this journey together and can’t do it alone. One might sometimes think it’s hard to find real, but it isn’t actually. One just has to be the change one wishes for and it attracts like minded people in time. If one is willing to wait.

      I’ve seen that the more formal social events for women to make friends out here where I live can degenerate into a display of clothes, jewelry, eating fancy food, or showing ones excellent cooking – all areas in which I fall short in and lack interest in.

      Or worse, into an opportunity to silde in politics and push their political biases, which I find very distasteful. I am quite capable of watching the news, hearing all viewpoints, and forming
      my own view without prodding. And I think others are capable of this too.

      Politics is being pushed into all WhatsApp groups here a lot. I can see, in the miniscule part of India I reach in my relationships, that this is creating fractures and very deep divides and I object to politics in WhatsApp groups irrespective of whether it pushes my viewpoint or an opposite one. But people don’t get that very often.

      This post has been waiting for the right approach for a long time.


  1. Very true! The essence of real conversations (face to face) exists no more! For most of them life is all about influencing others on social media. Sometimes the content is useful and positive but many a times it leaves a person in darkness. Afterall we are what we see and hear. Constant reminders and negative posts does make a huge impact on our subconscious mind. The most difficult part is that we don’t even realise when we slip into darkness and there is no easy way to come back.


    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Hanisha!

      Getting face to face conversations back to being the norm means moderating our busy and having clear boundaries between work and off work time. So people know when they can call without texting for an appointment.

      And unsticking from the phone 🙂


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