Day 60

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This landmark 60th day of my tribute to you, Mumma, has to be about some anecdotes that probably nobody knows about, even in the close family. Day 60.jpg
Often I am reminded of the times when I was newly married and as a young professional experiencing new things in my life. My most vivid memory is of the time when I had my first performance evaluation at work, and then the first time I attended a management training on gender sensitization (courtesy of CARE). You were the first and only one I talked to about these. I remember I was so impressed with the process that went into my first performance evaluation. The concept of providing feedback about what has gone right or wrong with an aim to improve in the future simply came across to me as a very fair and genuine process. I remember I suggested that you do an evaluation of all family members so that we all talk openly about what is good and bad and our expectations from each other with an aim to improve our relationships. At first you were shocked at this suggestion and found it difficult to imagine – all family members talking openly about anything and everything! The other thing I shared with you was what I learnt about gender sensitization in a 5 day management meeting. This was more than 25 years ago and this is one topic that is still not talked about sufficiently in India. I was so surprised and confused at the same time when I realized that societal norms have systematically and consciously been designed for women to grow up with the idea that sacrifice, submission and giving is a virtue only for them. What we consider संस्कार (values) is actually just a way to get women to fall in line with certain expectations. I recall you were also shocked to learn about these theories and found them quite absurd at that time. Having said that, I can say with utmost conviction that over the years these new concepts impressed you too. I could see behavioral changes in you and I would always find a supporter in you whenever I needed one.
I presume that the openness and direct communication in our relationship was the result of our frank conversations about these topics despite the fact that some people would not understand these issues even in today’s day and age.
I cannot say enough how much I miss talking to you and thinking aloud with you every single day.

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