Empowerment of Women

My school organises a cross-country race every year.  The students run about 8 km.  As a teacher, my duty invariably is in the village through which a part of the route runs.   

Here is a photo I took while I was waiting for my students to come running …

Actually I was getting a little bored of standing on the village road doing nothing, seeing no living creature except a few stray dogs and an occasional vehicle that passed by.  The huge expanse of land on one side had nothing to offer since it belonged to a religious cult which did nothing with that land except keep it arid – potential parking space for the hundreds of vehicles that will come to attend its Satsang.  This cult already has kilometres (not acres) of land already marked as parking lot for the Satsang it holds three times a year.  I have always wondered why they don’t use so much land and the immense wealth that pours in by way of donations of people who come to attend that tri-annaul sermon for better purposes than parking lots that remain arid for ever.  To be fair, however, the cult makes sure that the main road that passes by their area always remain in good condition.  That’s one (perhaps the only) service they render to humanity.

The people of the village try to cultivate some vegetables in their land.  I watched a woman weeding among the spinaches and a man cropping some of those leafy vegetables.  It was then that a rare vehicle came along: a bullock cart.  That was not a strange spectacle for me.  But this time the bull was being whipped by a woman. 

This happened on Saturday, two days back from today.  I would have forgotten the whole thing had it not been for what happened today.   

Today, an examination was going on in the city of Delhi.  There were four male candidates and umpteen female ones in the room.  The male candidates wrote their exam silently.  All through the exam female voices ricocheted through the room asking for help from the neighbouring candidates.  The hapless invigilator (another woman) tried her best to make it look like an exam room of post-graduate students, but to no avail.  “Women in India are really empowered,” I said to myself.  [Don’t ask me where I was or how I came to know about this.  I am a good Indian and don’t want to get into trouble.]

At many a moment during that examination I felt like that bull in the picture! 

For a change, here’s another picture I took during the same cross-country duty last year.


About matheikal

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7 Responses to Empowerment of Women

  1. It is one of the few cross-countries in the literal sense. As a runner, no student could possibly take into account the surroundings in the manner which you have, sir. Sweat dripping from every sq-mm of the body, the only focus is to take your feet back to the school through the circuit. Also, has the route changed? Because earlier it was 7.5 km.

  2. matheikal says:

    Sid, the route hasn’t changed. I was only writing the approximate length.

    You are absolutely right: a runner cannot afford to take in these sights while trying to win the race or even complete it somehow.

  3. LOL Sir, women are really empowered these days. Cross country race was such a tiring thing when I was a kid but for you it seems sure fun.

  4. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    You said, “the cult makes sure that the main road that passes by their area always remain in good condition. That’s one (perhaps the only) service they render to humanity.” I will take you to task on this. The well-maintained main road is for the cars of the cult members, and NOT for society!

    It was in Jaipur I noticed it for the first time. The camel drivers, as the bullock cart driveress in the photograph, sit left of the middle whereas in cars and buses the driver is right of center. Is this how the political “Left” and “Right” came to be? Just curious.

    “three times a year” and ” tri-monthly sermon (once in three months?)” – the year is not 9 months long (at least for non-academics)! Perhaps you meant tri-annual, if there is such a word.

    I attest to your exam room observation; the same on the metro!


    • matheikal says:

      Once again, Raghuram, thanks for being here with so many observations. My fuel is people like you. I’m only sorry there are very few like you on the earth.

      Regarding the well-maintained road and the society and the cars, I must say that the society here does benefit simply because the many morning-walkers find it good to have a properly maintained road + and the cult has also planted trees on the sides.

      Yeah, tri-monthly was a blunder. Let me replace it with tri-annual. Thanks to you for coinging the word.

      In the exam room, I was cornered by a lady many a time for help. I had to fold my hands in the end and say sorry for not rendering such a help.

      • So ironic for a teacher ‘being asked for help’. Sir, had I been in your place I would have readily helped the pretty lady. LOL. By the way, Raghuram sir’s left-right thesis is damn interesting.

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