Talking about woman empowerment and speaking out loud about the so-called taboo words are probably some of the most in things now.
So, when a popular Indian author says he wants to narrate a woman's tale in her voice, you eagerly await for the arrival of the book. But while scrolling down his Facebook fan page for more info on the book, I came across a video that forced me to type down my thoughts on it.
In the FB video, Chetan Bhagat begins by saying that he had to do a fair bit of research on the opposite gender for his upcoming book - One Indian Girl. And what does he do to figure out more about a woman's world? He goes for a salon wax!
“For the first time in my life, I was getting (body) waxing done. And it was really painful.”
“It really, really hurts. And to think that girls do this regularly – they go through this painful process every month! Girls, lot of respect,” he said in a Facebook video.
He went on to say that this 'painful process' helped him write a waxing scene for his upcoming book.
That statement caught the attention of many netizens who questioned the logic and reminded the author that a woman goes through many biological process, almost all of which are indeed painful experiences.
“...It (waxing) is a choice rather than compulsion... motherhood and the pain and suffering in its different states girls have to go through should be recognized... not such a silly and nonsense act of waxing,” quipped one FB user.
Another user, however, took a jibe at the author's famed IIT credentials and said: “Congratulations for coming out of half real world of IIT-ians.”
It's heartening to know that a popular male author wants to narrate a woman's tale. But the author's statement that he went for the body waxing to figure out a woman better is highly distressing to say the least.
And you just cannot say that you respect a woman because she takes 'the pains' for getting a body wax done every month. Like the netizen pointed out it is a choice that she has to make and not the zillion number of problems she has to deal with on a daily basis on account of being a woman.
The pain and discomfort during the menstrual periods or childbirth are some of her battles and she fights on quite oblivious to the man world.
Beauty treatments like body waxing is more of a habit cultivated by the woman of the cities and towns, and not a blanket rule that applies to the 600 million women of this country. And millions of women in our rural villages would probably have never gone through this process. So is the author in effect saying that he doesn't respect them?
Not every woman opts for hair wax, but every woman does live through the aforementioned troubles every day.
If the author wanted to understand the opposite gender's perils, he probably should closely observe the women around him or take up the umpteen number of tasks undertaken by the lady of the house.
Some years ago, I had read a newspaper article that talked about husbands who stayed home, while the women went for regular office work. One of the couples featured in the article was Chetan Bhagat and his wife. It was good to read about such couples and I mentally applauded the author for quitting his high-income job and settling down for pursuing his writing passion.
So, I am assuming that he is aware of some of the troubles of working at/from home. Therefore, such a statement coming from a person, who is widely regarded as an author of the new generation in India, makes it all the more appalling.
'Respecting woman for waxing' part could have been an off-hand sentence thrown into the video. But that is really not what India wants from her acclaimed writers, especially the one that is about to tell us the story about 'One Indian Girl'.
(The book hits the stores on October 1. Watch out this space for the book review.)