Women today demand the right to be treated as equals. It is less a fight of feminism and more one of the right to dream and the right to achieve. We have come a long way since this fight began, but do those strings continue to hold us back? Or is it more like the war has been won in some kingdoms, while it continues to be an unending battle in the rest?
It is more an idea – a mental image of a woman – that I would like to see change. We should start with the basics, the right and wrong things to say. “A woman’s place is in the kitchen” – is the last thing you should be telling your daughter and hence the last thing you must have anyone tell her as well. A man who wants to be a stay at home dad is no less a man than the world around him. These are concepts that we as Indians, and sometimes us as Kodavas, find had to accept and live by. We tend to run by the small things in life that might be bigger than they appear.
A family is built on love and trust and friendship; less so on who cooks the food and who makes the money.
Kodavathis today aspire just like their counterparts world over. They aspire to be independent and they aspire to dream. Funny how “aspire to dream” even exists. Do we even seek permission to dream? Yes, we believe that Kodavathis are gifted cooks, spelling out the best wines and deserts and their pandi curry is to die for. But must it be every Kodavathi? And is this an unnecessary pressure that we would like to keep our women under?
What if leadership is my best quality and lead people is what I do best. What if I aspire to run a country and the kitchen is not my cup of tea. Must I feel guilty then and must I feel pressured that I don’t fit the bill? Or can I run after my dreams and run the country and be rest assured that my Kodava counterparts will be right there backing me up?
When asked on the idea of an ‘Ideal Man’ – I would not even classify this as the ‘Ideal Kodava Man’. I speak here for all the many lovely Kodavathis I know.
There are some of us who believe in the ‘when it happens, it happens’ theory. That a marriage is not on the charts or on the to-do list. It is something they would like to do if they meet the right person and if the time feels right. Then there are some of us for who marriage will never be on the charts. They feel complete alone and do not feel the need for a partner – something we should respect as well.
Then we come to those who seek a prospective Kodava man. I see Kodavathis today as liberalised and broad minded. The last thing they would like is to be is, demeaned, by being weighed against property. They have immense confidence in themselves and look for a partner who would support their aspirations. Yes, they look for a partner, someone self made and confidence in one’s self as well; someone with the same wavelength and understanding and someone to begin a life with.
But the prince is not the end all and the prince is not everything. Kodavathis are more than just that. They take their beauty and brilliance to new heights today and what they look for, from you Kodava men, is the support and the understanding.