International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th March worldwide. While Italians celebrate it by giving women yellow mimosas, some countries celebrate it with gifts and cards. Did you know it is a public holiday in China for women only?
In 2018, the UN is observing it as Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.
The Time is Now to do so many things –
- To acknowledge the contribution of women to the betterment of this world.
- To say No to abuse of any kind
- To say Yes to adventures of all sorts
- To lead from the front.
Growing up in India, in a society where a woman’s place was a few steps behind a man, I had always rebelled. The women in my life were both caring and strong without actually taking credit for it. But they let me rebel without fussing too much.
My mother wanted me to conform to norms because she was a woman of her time. Ironically she was proud of me every time I broke a rule, or pushed the boundaries. She wanted me to have the opportunities she never had. But then she also led by example. For someone who was from a conservative Hindu family, she did a lot of social work outside the home, she wrote and acted on stage, even if it was her local neighbourhood community theatre, she did one-woman monologues dressing up in homemade costumes. She pushed the boundaries in her own way and she shouldn’t be surprised when I followed suit.
Even today as I write books and go into schools and perform in festivals, she lives her own dreams through me and cheers me on. She reads every book I write and she reads it to my nephews and her pride keeps my energy going.
So on this International Women’s Day 2018, I want to say thank you to all women who lead by example, who encourage others with a smile, who push boundaries and who hold the gate open for others to come through.
I want to say thanks to Mum, who has gave me rebellious genes and infinite dreams.