AS the Navratras set in, people look forward to the season of festivals, weddings, fasting, feasting, prayers and more. When we revere the gods, we say Radha-Krishna, Gauri-Shankar, Sita-Rama… the names of the goddesses are placed before those of the gods. How subtly we are guided to respect women! We even worship Gauri and Shankar in their combined form, as the androgynous Ardhanarishvar. This obviously means that as a couple, both the man and the woman are inseparable and equally valuable.
The girl child is being given importance like never before. Great opportunities are available for girls and they are going places. I recently attended a zonal youth and heritage festival. It was a pleasant surprise to see teams of girls from colleges of Chandigarh playing traditional Punjabi musical instruments such as dhol, sarangi, tumbi, chimta, ektara, khanjri, been, alghoza and talli. As the girls vied with each other in their pursuit of excellence, they wove musical magic. Besides the show of talent, what touched my heart was the divine happiness emanating from the smiling faces of all participants. It’s not really important which team won; what is important is that they all enjoyed themselves.
A few days back, Menuka Poudel, a visually impaired girl, stepped onto the stage of Indian Idol. She personified Goddess Saraswati as she left the judges spellbound and teary-eyed by her soulful rendition of ‘O palanhaare, nirgun aur nyare…’ She was given the ‘golden mic’ for her performance that was beautiful beyond words.
Recently, the women’s reservation Bill was passed by Parliament. Our girls have made their mark in the world of sports, just like the boys. Women are not just flying; they are soaring to unimagined heights.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba said, ‘The first title given to a woman is Grihalakshmi (the goddess of Home). Wherever women are honoured, there is prosperity and happiness. Women should never be slighted or treated with disrespect. A home in which the housewife sheds tears will be bereft of all prosperity.’
The best home, family, society, community is one where men and women walk hand in hand; they match their steps with each other. They think together. They value each other. They may not look into each other’s eyes but they look together in the same direction to achieve that harmony and balance in life.
God made everything in pairs for a reason. Day and night, summer and winter, they are equally important … men and women too!
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