Women's Writes: Grace Amidst Peril
By Honey Bhaskaran | Issue 01 | SEPT 2020
DIASPORA & WRITING:
Expatriate life has certainly influenced my writing in a subtle way. The concept of freedom was clear to me only after I started life outside my nation. Away from pseudo moralities, in the gulf, I realized that it is possible for a man and to develop an open relationship to discuss all subjects underneath the sky, sitting together, with nothing being taboo. The possibilities and the depth and width of freedom it afforded added more perspectives to my attitudes towards relationships. It was a new start to portray my thoughts onto a wider platform of life. Probably because all the emirates are within a day’s travel, living here has helped me to attend multiple public functions and mingle with people of different nationalities. Travel is convenient, so listening to discourses, meeting people from multiple backgrounds have all been made very easy adding to the richness of life. My writing though is not filled with expatriate life is filled with insights received from my interactions with people, and experiences while travelling outside and the lessons learnt from other’s lives. So ironically although expatriate life has been a fertile ground enabling my writing, the writing in itself does not reflect it much.
The world had never expected this pandemic so the darkness fell all at once. This deadly environment drowned our wealth, health and emotions as a whole. During this Covid pandemic, as someone who works in the health sector and in the forefront of the battle against the deadly virus, I have been able to witness firsthand the sheer helplessness of people when faced with an enemy they cannot fight. Power, position, money all means nothing under these circumstances. People have realized the things that are most important in life and that is a heartening sign for the future. Being a part of the Covid force, while intimidating at first, it made me understand my social, personal and professional responsibilities and made me throw myself fully into fighting the enemy.
In fact I worked harder at this even more than l did during the crusade to help the flood victims back home and I believe that I was able to make a difference. During this time I was able to witness people who were well settled, even powerful begging for admission into the hospital as the wards overflowed and triage had to be imposed. All the false illusions of wealth, strength and all were stripped away and finally all were just men..weak helpless men ! When things are going well we commit so many acts of arrogance and even cruelty, secure in our perceived elite status. I sincerely hope that this experience would force people to introspect and become better human beings – humbler & kinder.
Woman writers - A Species under threat:
I needed both my writing and my life....therefore had to fight to attain the freedom to write. Most women who write are like this. Even the men who preach women empowerment would have women at home who are tied down. Women are often helpless, they do not have the right to go out alone even to libraries to find the solitude they need without eye brows being raised. And if a woman writer achieves anything there are rumors of favors from the powerful supporting her. A woman’s achievements are always tied to her body. When a woman raises her voice against any social issue whether political or about patriarchy, her character is questioned. She becomes the culprit of social attack. Slut shaming is the weapon for them to suppress their voice. But women have become empowered enough to overcome such problems in spite of going through the maximum level of social media attacks. A progressive society is possible only when gender discrimination falls and equality takes lead.