In an article like this, what would you address a female who is between the age of say 16 to 21 ? Should I call them women, girls or ladies. Lady makes it sound as if I were addressing some British Aristocratic woman. So, I guess we can eliminate that. The conundrum however, between ‘girl’ and ‘woman’ still remains. So, I will address the young pretty lasses, ‘girls’, when in the context, they remind you of the twelve-year-old girl you used to sit behind on the school bus and tease on the way back from school, and a woman when they remind you of the protagonist (wrong choice of word perhaps) of a slow, moving love song. So, now that we have made the definitions, let me proceed to the assertion. The assertion is that in today’s society, women are at the crossroads of two very different ideologies. On the one hand, there is our ancient ideology, where the woman meets a male stranger only in the presence of family, with a veil covering her deep, dark eyes and her face tilted downward, not in shame, but in humility. On the other hand is the modern culture, which has brought with it, a new generation of clothes and an attitude of “independence” and “free-thinking” amongst growing teenagers. To be “cool”, is to be an ambassador of this culture. This onset has heralded a whole new generation of people “asking girls out”, trying to ape the west, forgetting that maybe what Rudyard Kipling said was in fact true, “For east is east and west is west, and never the twine shall meet.”
Populations in nature always follow a normal distribution, and so it would be in this case too. The number of people who belong to the extremes I described would be few in number compared to those who do not belong to extremes. So, we shall forget about the extremes and talk about the ones in the middle, the ones that will define the future of our country. What has been the social ramification of this whole east meets west ? While there have been many, so many that people can even (and probably have already) write big fat books which college professors will tell disgruntled students to read. Let us take as an example the case of the whole “girlfriend” wave that has hit our generation. I am not saying that there have been hormonal changes affecting your views about girls in the last decade or two, I am merely hinting at the fact that maybe, the outcome of such likings and the course it takes, has changed. The quintessential question to ask, is whether the mean, median and mode Indian Woman is ready to plunge into the cycle of crush-date-girlfriend-dump-crush, or is she still waiting for the “Mr. Perfect” to show up in her house one day with his parents, who propose to her parents, and ask them for their child’s horoscope ?
It is quite apparent that I have no idea about the answer to the question. I merely ask it because it is a question lingering in the air, like many others, waiting to be asked, waiting to be revealed. If there are no questions and problems, would we even bother looking for answers? While most men certainly hope that the Indian society has modernised, I remain sceptical about the “good” in the model. Perhaps our ancients did, in the course of those many years, evolve a method of selection far superior to the rest. But then again, this modern culture could perhaps be the new course of the “evolution”. While we will have to evaluate the pros and cons some other day, we have to remember that change is not always bad. The transition is that from before dawn to dawn, and it requires an apple to hit your head to see things in a different way.