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Women, uninterrupted

Women, uninterrupted
In a wittily written account Apurva Purohit CEO of Radio City in her book Lady, you’re not a man! talks about surviving in the male-dominated work space, while balancing personal life and simultaneously sprucing up one’s professional image.

However, when you pick up the slim title, the original impression that dawns upon you is that this might be a self-help book of sort. But as you get drawn deeper into its inner recesses, it gives perfectly relatable examples  that of the ‘every woman.’ You mostly agree with Purohit’s analysis, but, at the same time, her critique of the ‘working-woman’ syndrome leaves you just a trifle puzzled.

Tracing the multifaceted working woman, who manages her family and work, Purohit brings into the fray one of the key issues right in the beginning. Acceptance of the status quo. She deconstructs a woman who becomes overtly aggressive to survive the male-dominated workplace. Towards the end of each chapter, Purohit provides power wisdom in the form of ‘corporate mantra of the day,’ the most important of them being this: Be confident in your femininity.

For a woman juggling work and family, the inherent issue of being unable to take care of the kids is addressed beautifully. Purohit analyses how one must move beyond the inevitable guilt which creeps in, when one feels her child is being ignored, neglected. Brimming with, empathy, author decodes the ‘Suffering Sita syndrome’, which ails every single working woman. ‘Everyone’s mother-in-law is evil and husband is lazy’ – a fact we women accept almost blindly. Purohit hits the nail on the head by stating these  problems which affect almost every woman. Another interesting aspect put into perspective focuses on the ‘stay-at-home-dad’, a character that existed as an alien concept in India, and it’s only now that it is gradually being accepted in our traditionally conservative society. Coming-of-age is seen through a completely different prism, as the ‘Auntyji syndrome’ is analysed thoroughly – especially after the women hit the ripe age of 28. I completely agree with Purohit on that, facing the crisis as I too hit the same age. Tracing a woman’s journey from discovering her teenage to the ‘partying twenties’ to middle-management level thirties and finally, as poignantly described by Purohit, a woman hits her ‘glorious forties’ – the author charts the odyssey effortlessly.

When I see that most women are plagued by their looks and weight, we scrounge for that precious emotion of acceptability, which as Purohit aptly summarises, does not  lie in  ‘size zero.’ One of the key tenets which the author dwells on is the art of multi-tasking which women are ‘naturally’ akin to.

The second section of the book deals with ‘adapting’ to the real you. Possessing a positive outlook is the starting point of imbibing the ‘right’ attitude, feels Purohit. Here she traces the secret of success in facing problems with a positive mindset. Second component of possessing a successful career, which I feel is applicable for both sexes, ‘hardwork.’

One very crucial aspect she discusses in the chapter ‘learning to prioritize’ is something women really need to do. Mantra for that as she states lies in separating ‘the essential tasks from inessential ones.’ Being a ‘superwoman’ of sort can definitely land us in hell. Asking for help, doesn’t mean losing control, a great thought beautifully explained by the author. In the chapter titled ‘Husband trained here’, there is a humorous take on men, especially with the TLTs (‘
tauliya lao
’ type). There is a need to have an an understanding spouse to make a woman survive the pressures of work and family.

As a woman there needs to be the balance between taking control of situations and also giving up control as times, all this comes as a part of being adaptive, depending on situations. Interestingly what can be seen as a great suggestion is making an effort ‘to build a professional network’ by increasing rate of interaction and also attending more industry events. Reinstating the Suffering Sita syndrome, the author asserts the need for women to be emerge as the heroine of their story and let go of the victim-hood they feel they are subjected to.

Finally the book concludes with the third section – Achievement - which focuses on realising the importance of being lucky and appreciate our good fortunes. One very pertinent point that she raises is that of being a mentor to the ‘Gen next’ men, making them respect women and treat them as equals. It is more important to earn a reputation than build an impressive CV. For a woman, these things most important and we all need to celebrate our own measures of success.
Tania Ameer

Tania Ameer

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