A Happy Womens Day to you all! When my dear friend Swarnali asked me to participate in the blog hop “She: A Tribute to Her” on the occasion of International Womens Day, I knew I had to take part, as this is the best platform to highlight the importance of bringing out the TIGRESS in every woman. But, before we talk about it, let’s take a time machine ride to understand the origins of women in Indian culture.
Women in Puranas:
As per Devi Bhagavatham, the entire cosmos has been created by Devi (the woman – who can survive endless time cycles and is the creator of the cosmos). She is the creator, nurturer, and destroyer of lives in the universe. She carved out three male forms: Trimurthi or Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar, to take care of the responsibilities of the Universe. Brahma acts as the creator, Vishnu as the nurturer, and Maheswar as the destroyer. She also created the feminine forms Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvathi to balance these three male forms. Devi maa is seen to be riding a TIGRESS to signify the hidden TIGRESS in women.
So during the initial days of Universe creation, the matriarchal society was practiced, at least in India. This was well documented in various Puranas and Upanishads. That is another reason why India is worshipped as a mother, calling her Bharat mata in our history. Because the mother is the one who creates and nurtures life. No other country in the world is worshipped as mata. At that time, women were well-educated and given equal importance in society.
Related Read: A letter from the Man inside the Woman to her.
But then India had to suffer multiple invasions from different directions, and somewhere during those darker ages, women were regulated to the backseats. All the privileges they had enjoyed till then were lost to them.
But we do have scores of examples of women warriors who fought against the norms and became path-breakers in different fields at different points in time. There are a lot of role models who thought ahead of their time and stood tall in history. Their stories have become the foundation for modern-day women, and they are progressing in every direction. I have documented a few stories of those wonderful women leaders under the Azadi ka Amrit Mahostav story marathon, who are real TIGRESSes in their own circles.
She: A Tribute to Her:
I am today because of the women around me – who gave birth to me, raised me, nurtured me, and pampered me to date. There are so many valuable lessons that I can learn from their lives. If I start writing about them all, it will become a series. ? So, for the sake of brevity, I will talk about my mom alone here.
My mom – She was a well-educated lady with a double post-graduation. She was the topper in her class in the Political Science stream at the then Presidency college of Chennai. She was preparing for her IAS prelims when she got married into another highly educated family of writers and freedom fighters. But the women in her marital family believed in staying back to care for the family and support their husbands.
Unlike other bra-burning feminists of her time, my mom used her education to better her family and pave the foundation for the younger generations. She guided the next generation with her wise words and stories. She converted all of us into readers, seekers, and leaders. She taught us to question every story and find out its relevance in today’s world. She didn’t stop with our family alone but guided the children of our neighbors and even of maids.
Her knowledge of Indian History, traditions, and culture is so deep, and she could recollect anything within seconds. She will never forget even a single word she read and would tell from which author had told that story in which book. My dad had to create a huge library to satisfy her intellectual hunger in our home.
She – The epitome of Love
Her love and affection weren’t restricted to just our family; she became the favorite aunt to all the post-graduate students who studied under my dad at the university. Whoever became homesick or fell ill came to our house and recovered under her love and care. During my school days, I remember having at least two or three students from my dad’s college having lunch or dinner at my house.
After entering my teenage years, when the so-called feminist views started shaping my thinking, I asked my mom why she stayed back at home even after being highly qualified. She told me that the main goal of education is to enlighten oneself. Just because one is highly educated doesn’t mean they have to work and earn money. We can pass on our knowledge and learnings to the underprivileged and spread our love for studies around us.
In fact, she told me once about her dad’s comments about education. It seems my granddad firmly believed that by educating a boy, we would only provide a livelihood for that family. But by educating a girl, we are lighting a lamp that would clear the darkness in society by spreading her knowledge. The light of her knowledge would reach the darkest corners where the government or the schools couldn’t reach, apart from her own family. What a beautiful thought, isn’t it?
After seeing so many women who are fighting bigger or smaller battles in their own sphere in their own capacity, I realized that every woman is a TIGRESS. But still, they don’t unleash that TIGRESS in them completely thinking about society and families. But if we can unleash that TIGRESS in us (women) by following these tips, it’s easier for us to achieve our true potential and rise above all expectations.
Unleash the TIGRESS in You
Practicing the following emotional health tips would bring out the TIGRESS in you, unleashing your true potential. These tips will help you in forging ahead in your life and career.
Related Read: Why it’s OK to be NOT OK?
Take Time for yourself:
Every person has to take time out for themselves to unwind. Just because we are women doesn’t mean we must always do the chores in the house and provide for everyone in the family. Enlist the help of family members and take time out for yourself whenever you are tired or sick. Even otherwise, it’s good to allocate some time for yourself on a daily basis to unwind with your favorite music, books, or shows.
Keep Inventing and Rediscovering yourself:
Age is no barrier to learning and improving oneself. Research proved that people who are continuously learning always have better mental health. So allocate some time on a daily basis to find out about your true inner aspirations or passions so that you can learn them. Start practicing those hobbies that you left a long time back. Once you start inventing or improving yourself, you can notice visible changes in your happiness levels within a short span of time.
Practice Gratitude and Kindness:
The next step is to practice gratitude and spread kindness around you. The research reported that people who tend to forgive and forget have higher satisfaction and better mental health. So adopting gratitude into your daily rituals is going to balance your emotions to a great extent. Being thankful for the different situations or the curve balls life throws at you instead of getting stuck in self-pity thoughts will definitely bring the spark back into your life.
Release Mental Barriers:
The society around you always acts with some or other pre-conceived notions, which may be true or not. But as an individual, it’s your duty to rise above the barriers and set the path for the younger generation, who would like to look up to you as a role model. So, start practicing a positive mindset, rise above yourself, and surround yourself with people having goals in life. That way, you can push each other to achieve your goals. Research proved that people who work towards a goal have better mental health when compared to others.
Before you start practicing self-love, you need to understand yourself and start taking control of your life. Empowerment doesn’t just mean having a career for yourself or earning. In fact, it’s good to have a career, as it will improve your confidence levels. But for some, it might not be possible, so they have to start taking their life into their control and not remain as dependent on somebody else. That is the true meaning of empowerment.
Accept yourself first and start loving yourself. Being mindful of your thoughts and converting them into positive ones will allow you to appreciate yourself more. Journaling will allow you to come out of negative thoughts and influences, as writing will let you pour all your thoughts without any inhibitions. Once those negative feelings have been vented out, it’s easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel in any difficult situation.
Be Socially Active:
Have your own girl gang with whom you can share your feelings without any inhibitions. With the advent of social media, the world has become a social village; hence it’s easier to find a group that shares your interests online. Research proved that having a BFF gang improves one’s emotional health. Those of you who have the privilege of having the BFF gang in the same city/locality can meet once in a while to unwind.
I hope you liked the tips to bring out the TIGRESS in you and will start practicing them soon. In case if you have any comments or suggestions, do shoot them to me, and I look forward to your views on this.
I firmly believe that every day is a Women’s day, and without women, the day wouldn’t start only. Hence I am a little disappointed to see the commercialization of this occasion of Women’s day. I am not undermining the real reason for this occasion’s creation nor the struggles and sufferings of women worldwide. I want to highlight that this hype around celebrating Women’s Day means that either the organizations or the families are just forgetting this diversity and inclusion of women in their daily lives but recognizing it only on this special day. I always dream of an equal society where both men and women become equal partners just like the two wheels of a two-wheeler bike or scooter. Hope it will happen sooner in the future. And for that to happen, the women have to unleash the tigress in them.
QOTD: While you are relaxing with your children, ask them what Women’s Day means to them and how they recognize the importance of women daily in their lives.
PS: This blog post is part of the Women’s Day Blog Hop, themed on She: A Tribute to Her, hosted by Swarnali Nath
PS: This post is also powered by #CauseaChatter under the category of “Mental Health” by Blogchatter.
Honestly speaking, I can’t get enough of it no matter how many times I read this post. Suhasini, your post is sooooo brilliantly written and soooo thoughtfully crafted!!!! Really, how beautifully you have penned down and poured your emotions to each and every word. Your post changed my perspective of not having a professional career.. I would cherish the words by your grandfather.. Please convey my regards to them. ????And thank you so much for joining the blog hop to celebrate women’s day!! Much gratitude ??
Thank you Swarnali for resonating with my post. Yes, those words are really golden and need to be followed by everyone. Thanks for this opportunity
This blogpost is packed with positivity and good vibes Suhasini. “main goal of education is to enlighten oneself.” I simply loved these words. I see a lot of similarity between your mom and my mom. She was a lecturer before married. When she was about to start her Ph.d, she got married. But she never stopped learning new skills and making use of her knowledge in her teaching job. She started her second inning into teaching after I turned 5years. And gave her 100% to her career.
Every woman has tigress within her. She needs to recognize that and age her up.
That’s really a coincidence, Alpana. Glad to hear about your mom. Thank you for resonating with my post
Loved our take on feminine power! Wishing more power to those who bring so much happiness
Thank you for dropping by and enjoying my take about IWD
It is amazing to know that such broad minded people existed 2 generations before us. These changes started happening in my mother’s generation in my family. But your grandfather seems to be such an amazing person. It is also true what your mother said about correlation between education and the need to go out for work. Such a positive post.
Thank you Ranjini for enjoying my post
I loved how your mother’s has defined feminism and imbibed the real essence of the movement. I too have been pained to see feminism being inconstrued as misandry due to some pseudo feminists or female chauvinists. Equally happy to know that there are still scores of women who know the essence of it.
Wonderfully expressed, Suhasini.
Women from different fields & family too.
We are so grateful to these brilliant souls. May we have more like them.
Love the TIGRESS! Time to unleash & experience the TIGRESS-power!
I loved reading the history, your tribute to your mother and how you weaved in the word TIGRESS – every bit of it is essential for women. Along with the history, women lost their sense of boundaries and had learned to exist for others. Your mother’s story conveys that one can scarifies a career and still hold their essence to shape the society. Profession alone does not define a women’s power; every woman can be a TIGRESS. Nicely penned.
Thanks Sakshi for dropping by. Yes, profession alone doesn’t define a woman.
Such a powerpack post Suhasini and you have shared many great advices for women to unleash the tigress in us. I also beleive in power of learning new things. this is the fuel that keeps your brain cells young and active. yes, practicing gratitude is important for our good mental and emotional health. reading about your mom is quite inspirational to me. I feel all moms are great and they do best for their kids.
Thank you Surbhi. Yes, learning should never stop and that keeps us young forever. All moms are great and there is a lot we can learn from them.
You started the blog simply, Suhasini and then it rose into a crescendo. Your grandfather’s words ring true even now. Educate a woman and you educate the whole family is what I have heard. Working is not empowerment. A woman empowers herself by being complete. I follow all the tips you have shared, but I still feel there is something missing. I wonder when i will know what it is.
Thank you Harjeet, your words mean a lot
Suhasini your grandfather’s words are absolutely true. Educated women can bring about a mammoth change. your mother certainly was an inspiration
Thank you Harshita for dropping by
What a well-structured and powerfully written post this is.
I’m in awe of your mother and grandfather. Your mom’s words, ” The main goal of education is to enlighten oneself. Just because one is highly educated doesn’t mean they have to work and earn money. We can pass on our knowledge and learnings to the underprivileged and spread our love for studies around us.”, made me look at feminism in a new light. I wish more people would understand this.
And your 7 tips are like secrets to a happy, fulfilling life. Thanks for sharing this wisdom with us.
Thank you Manali.
I loved every bit of your post, Suhasini! Right from the Indian mythology that you started with, moving on to your personal history, and ending with super-helpful tips to unleash our tigers. I think this was very thoughtfully structured and I really enjoyed the read. It is so true that education is not a mere means for earning a living, and your mother has demonstrated that beautifully. I have much respect for your family. Thank you for sharing your story! 🙂
Thank you Dashy.
Your posts are always a delight to read. Loved how you spoke about your mother and how important it is to educate a girl child. Your concept of tigress is awesome. That’s my biggest take away from this post. Wonderfully and thoughtfully crafted post
Thank you Deepika for your kind words
A thoroughly motivating post buddy all of us need to be reminded of the tigress sleeping inside us, So happy to read your mom’s thoughts, they really struck the right chords.
Thank you Roma
I absolutely agree with every word of yours! I too believe that woman is the backbone of the family, and nobody can nurture the family as she can. Sadly, the real essence of womanhood is lost these days. Thank you for this beautiful post!
Thanks a lot my dear
This is so perfectly articulated. From your mother’s story to unleashing the Tigeress in you so powerful and prompt to bring some rightful joy to all the women reading.
Thank you Siva
Beautifully written message – ” the main goal of education is to enlighten ones mind”. This holds true not just for women but also men. Some of the most nobel professions on earth are not the best paymasters. For example, the lawyers who works for justice don’t earn much at all, teachers dont earn well, even doctors in government hospitals earn way less for the tremendous work-hours than we imagine. But often the best of minds still chose those paths instead of the more financially lucrative ones.
Guess I digressed from your topic, but that’s the power of an insightful article. It truly activates our brain cells.
Just one slight disagreement – labelling women who have careers after marriage or maternity as “bra-burning feminists” is wrong. It’s the same as demeaning someone for not having a career.
Thank you, Sinjana, for your beautiful thoughts on my post. One clarification, though — I was not referring to the career women as feminists in my post. I was talking about the 80s and 90’s when the pseudo-feminists started raising their voices. And I was talking about them. I respect the people who managed their jobs as well as homes during that time when nannies or live-in maids were not that rampant, and in fact, my aunt used to carry my cousin (who was younger than me by a couple of years) with her to school till the time he joined the school
Your mom is such an inspiration and the perfect role model for SAHMs like me who are judged for giving up a career for our home and family. We all need to unleash that Tigress within us, for our own empowerment more than anyone else.
Thank you Varsha for your kind words
This write up suhasini is power packed and full of positivity ! Hats off to your Mom for being the backbone of the family and she truly reflects how an educated woman can raise an educated generation with her determination and grit. I loved reading it .
Thank you Chinmayee.
This is such a wonderfully unique take. Loved the way you’ve used TIGRESS here. Your mom is absolutely brilliant
Thank you Roshan
Empowerment doesn’t just mean having a career for yourself or earning. . But for some, it might not be possible, so they have to start taking their life into their control and not remain as dependent on somebody else.
The words were so relatable. A beautiful post about the strong women around us. Roaring all the way.
Thank you Sreeparna
Brilliant Suhasini. After reading this, I want to meet your mother to come face to face with such inspiring women. Today, most women think that education means earning a living. But your mother was a truly educated woman who believed in empowering everyone around her. Salute to her. Please pass on best wishes to her.
Thank you Janaki for your kind words
Such powerful thoughts your mom had being so educative and gave up everything for family. It is so wise to sahre your knowledge with all. I totally agree that it’s not important to work if you are highly qualified but to use to education to enlighten someone else’s life.
Thank you Geethica
Such a beautiful tribute, Suhasini. I loved your mom’s words that the main goal of education is to enlighten oneself and others. A lot many stay at home moms get flak for not having a professional career. It is their choice and they are not any less.
So true Ritu. Thanks for loving the post
What a crisp and beautifully written blog. It’s so motivating and powerful. Each sentence is such a source of empowering strong message. Thank you for such a wonderful blog.
Thank you Sameeksha for dropping by and liking my post
I loved reading your post. Powerful and full of positivity. Many people think that a well educated person should have a successful career. Loved your grandfather views about women education. Brilliant and well written post.
Thank you Abha
Undoubtedly, this is my favorite post so far. I love the way you have weaved the two contrasting thoughts in one post. We don’t need to be an extremist to show our stronger side, instead use it to benefit the future generation or those around us. Lovely, keep writing such articles.
Thank you Dipika
I loved the powerful title Unleash the Tigress! Yes we all have a tigress within us, just some of us has forgot to waking those power up. Your mom is certainly the best example of the say that “an educated woman educated the entire society”.
So true Archana. Thanks for dropping by
Wow!! What did I really read just now! Such an impressive thought of unleashing a tigress within!! And all your points that you laid out are so true and enlightening!! Congratulations on writing such a great blog and celebrating womanhood in all its magnanimity! Well done Suhasini!
Thank you Daisy for the warm words
What a great motivating post Suhasini! I absolutely agree with you that if we women realise our potential and unleash it, we are unstoppable and the world will definitely become a better place. Kudos to your grandfather who has instilled great wisdom to your mother and I am in so much awe of her. Even today as a SAHM, I keep hearing lot of my relatives say that by staying at home, I am wasting my education and I feel depressed a lot of times. But reading this post about your amma, I must say I can see things from a different angle. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if one is at home, she can’t spread her knowledge and make a difference in the society. So glad to read this post!
Thank you Amritha for your kind words. In fact, that’s the very reason, why I don’t let other’s words get into my mind, even after leaving my job and I do what I like most.
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