Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Single Woman

In my teens I used to think being a single woman was a statement-of strength and independence and of style. The single creative woman and her pack of cigarettes. The single rich and famous woman..the one we get to see in Bombay Times. The social butterfly with the come into my parlor approach towards suave men . These are the single women. I used to believe of the single woman passionate about some art form, too intellectual to take the conventional route .

I used to think then that I is a stand-alone thing. It has to be that way to feel your full strength. One needs to be superior in some respect to want to be alone. ..I used to think. That image in my head of a single woman, that of a woman wearing silver and stones. The woman an activist, that woman the owner of some plush boutique.

I was a teenager some years back. And I patronized the single woman ..the one in my head.

She has been with my family for more than a decade. She doesn't know how one reads time from a clock. Her family doesn't like her much. She is pretty daft, we all say and know. Her siblings don't like her visiting them. Her husband used to beat her up just after they got married. He was already married to another woman. The couple needed a full-time maid and they thought she was a cheaper option.

Other day as I read through another Bombay Times story of some rich single woman who got ditched by her rich fiance... I remembered her. The single woman I have known all these years. She is an uneducated yet employed and empowered woman.

Absolutely alone. She will never be the cover page for any women's magazine. Some of us never outgrow our teens.

She is our housemaid.