Saturday, November 12, 2016

Of women and their money

There are 2 words that have sent shivers down many a spines in the last week -demonetization and Trump. This post is about the former; of course my opinion on demonetization is of little or no consequence. Okay, no consequence. What I did see was about how deeply women felt about the money. Not husband's earning. Money that they've save up.

I've been a stay at home wife for a bit (5 months) and I am open about how I felt. I've been without a bank account too (because I couldn't get one). I've been without my "own" money. The thing is, I've always had my own money. Starting at the age of 7(?) My mother started giving me 5 Rs every month and I had a small purse that I saved money in. I also had a small piggy bank that held cash I often asked from my grandparents. With 4 adults at home, I found quite a few coins in the couch, on the fridge and in pockets. I had a finders keepers rule - my parents actually appreciated it. I remember, one year I ended saving a little over 500 Rs! I gave my mum the coins or she took it added some cash and put it away. When I came of age, she had a spot of cash to put into my SB!

The only reason I didn't feel completely lost in a foreign country was because I had someone who I could bank on. Plus, I had close to 100 something dollars on me at any given point of time. That's not a lot. But if I was ever in trouble, I knew I had some money on me.

Do you know that a lot of women do not have a someone to bank on? Do you know the number of women who have no access to their own cash? Maids who would rather keep the cash with the home they work for than the home they live in? Women who would lie about prices of things just so they can save up what is left? I am not talking lying about a dress from Zara, I am talking about lying about the price of a cabbage.

I am not going to paint men or the government as a villain here. But I understand the desperation that some of these women face. Your average woman is like a duck, calm but busily waddling to stay afloat. That saved up money is why they are at peace. When they shut their eyes at night, they know that in their worst hour, they have something they can summon. Almost like a wizard.

Don't laugh when you read a story about a woman who had a heart attack, dont say "small price to pay", dont make it look like collateral damage. What this kind of conversation leads to is a less empathetic society. One that views all units as the same without ever taking the time to understand. Build your conversations to identify with the person than simply shrugging it off as yet another case. Remember this is a newspaper headline to you, but there is a family out there who is currently going through something very real and irreversible.


Love it or hate it, please go ahead and say it!