Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Vision for the New-Age Woman

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time but did not find the time. So here it goes…
 
Tamil poet Bharathiyar (WHO? If you don’t know then Google him)…In 1908 he wrote a poem titled Pudhumai Penn. The translation is A Vision for the New-Age Woman. It’s a long poem but I wanted to mention a few lines.
 
Nimirndha nan nadainaerkondapaarvaiyum
Nilathilyaarkkumanjaathanerigalum
Thimirndhagnanacherukkumiruppadhaal
Semmaimaadharthirambuvadhuillaiyaam. (
 
(Her head held high, and looking everyone in the eye,
Unafraid of anyone because of innate integrity,
Possessing assuredness born of courage of conviction,
The Modern Woman never feels inferior to any)
 
I actually met this modern woman during my last visit to Chennai. Her name is Evangeline (Eva). She came from Indore.and we met in a hospital where her mother was undergoing treatment for cancer and her father was undergoing dialysis in the same hospital. Eva is an only child who is taking care of both of her parents at the same time.
 
I asked Eva are you a student or do you work?
 
She said she has her own business. I asked her what kind of business. She said she does custom fitting for motorcycles. Excuse me? I think I heard you incorrectly. Exactly what do you do? She said (paraphrased):
 
I have a shop in Indore. It is called TIME:CYCLES Garage Café. I believe in building extraordinary custom vehicles with an immense amount of attention to details.
 
I take an ordinary bike and customize it according to the wishes of the customer.
 
Like building retro bikes that look old but have all of the newest features.
 
Most people, especially students, like to go for high speed customizations.
 
I also customize exhaust pipes so the bikes sound incredible. Great sound is like music for bikers.
 
I thought, a lady in the custom fitting motorcycle business seems extremely non-traditional. This is a first for me. I’ll add her to my existing list of non-traditional female friends…that include commercial and fighter pilots, train engine drivers, and truck drivers.
 
In addition to have a startup business in Indore, she came all the way to Chennai for her mom’s cancer treatment and dad’s dialysis treatment. She had all the things that Tamil Poet Bharathiyar described in his poem. Eva’s head was held high and looked me in the eyes when she spoke to me. Definitely gave the impression that she is not inferior to anyone.
 
Oh by the way, remember that I asked her if she was a student or working?
 
Well there is a reason why I asked.
 
She is only 27.

22 comments:

  1. Amazing young woman endowed with such admirable qualities like her fearlessness, independent spirit,courage to start her own business and her high sense of responsibility in bringing her parents to Chennai for best treatment.
    I am sure she must be having technical background and some advantage of family business.In a world where even menfolk wither against small hurdles in life and start whining about cruel fate,Eva is very much a pudhumai penn and a role model for all.
    Thanks for the excellent post.

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    1. Thanks for your nice comments Mr.KP. I don't know about Eva's educational/technical background. But I do know she is not coming from a business family.

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  2. I feel Sad reading this Blog SG. Who is Pudumai Penn? A woman who runs a household, isnt she Pudumai Penn? A woman who is a Doctor, Nurse, SAHM etc etc are they not Pudumai Penn? Who decides which job is traditional or non traditional, Man? Society? If a man was in this profession coming to take care of his parents it would be Regular, but just cause a woman does it its looked upon with awe...Does this mean if a Man cooked and stayed at home and changed his childs diaper he would be called Pudumai Aan? sadly we are all stuck in what the society says whats traditional & whats not. Every Woman is Pudumai Penn from the beginning of time and every profession is something that should be open to all... Dont you Think?

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    1. Thanks for your comments Dee. I believe you misinterpreted what the poet said about Pudhumai Penn and the point of my blog. Pudhumai Penn is about women breaking through barriers that were once thought unbreakable. Its about being disruptive to old world views and old world expectations. When you are the first to do that (or one of the first few) then you are indeed a Pudhumai Penn.

      I actually feel sad after reading your response. You asked - A woman who runs a household, isn't she Pudhumai Penn? Sorry to say this but the answer is NO. I have MUCH respect for that woman and I acknowledge her role is extremely difficult but she is not breaking through new barriers.

      You also asked - if a man cooked and stayed at home and changed his child's diapers he would be called Pudumai Aan? Actually, I would say YES. We're talking about breaking through barriers and having that man run the house while his wife goes and is the sole breadwinner. I would surely call him Pudhumai Aan (New-Age Man) and be very impressed.

      I'll post a blog about it when a poet discusses such a man.

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    2. Where in the poem is he talking about Breaking Barriers? or is this your interpretation of the Poem. Because my interpretation is quite different

      Also as much as i feel proud of Eva
      1. Did she set up this business from scratch?
      2. Does she physically fix custom bikes, or just is sitting in a office managing people who do the actual work?

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    3. Thanks for your comments Dee. Is Dee for Doubting Thomas? HeHeHe. Yes, she started the business from scratch. I did not visit her shop in Indore. She physically fix custom bikes and not just sitting in an airconditioned office. She just has one person helping her.

      May be my interpretation of the Tamil poem is different. Since you have more Tamil knowledge than any one else I know, can you tell me what is your interpretation,

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  3. Nicely done Eva! You are on your way.
    However SG, that poet was talking about me.
    The REAL New-Age woman.

    Regards,
    MacKenzie Tuttle
    formerly
    MacKenzie Bezos

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    1. Thanks for your comments MacKenzie. Thank God you finally got a divorce from Bezos the Bozo. Now you are the 5th richest woman in the world. Good for you.

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  4. I feel what's admirable about her is the fact that she has taken up full responsibility on herself, and converted her ambitions into action without getting discouraged. Quite a task for a 27-year old woman, and to a lesser extent - even a man! I wish she is super-successful and sets an example for others to follow.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. I hope Eva reads your compliments.

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  5. Eva is really great...she runs a business which needs physical work, dirtying hands etc. which women hesitate to do. This is great...More than that she is leaving her business there with someone and come to Chennai for her parents' treatment which is very far away. She seems to be a great lady. True Pudumeip penn of Bharathiyar. Great post!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. Welcome back. Long time no comment. Yes, she is the Pudumai Penn Bharthiyar wrote.

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  6. Wow!! Eva's life story is inspiring on so many levels. She is definitely a new-age woman. We need more like her and may her tribe increase!!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. Yes, she is definitely a new-age woman.

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  7. Hi SG,

    Believe it or not, I had dinner w/ Bharathiyar's great-great-grandson Saturday. Amazing to hear about a young woman in the cycle customization business. Nice to see traditional barriers taken down. Keep up the good work!

    Regards,
    Arun

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    1. Thanks for your comments Arun. Very happy you had a dinner and great conversation with Bharathiyar's great-great-grandson.

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  8. She is no doubt a 'pudumai penn' because it is still rare or nill that a woman does the work herself of a workshop and that too with the zeal of a vehicle designer.Though is she only 27, she has sensed the pulse of bikers and is reaping gain out of that.It requires courage and confidence. Nice post.

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  9. Another example of how times are changing, and changing fast.
    No longer people are required to have a predetermined lifestyle merely on the basis of gender, caste, religion, region etc.
    In addition to the work she is doing, breaking gender stereotype, she is also admirably balancing home and business commitments.
    Soon, similar Evas will not be a surprise to anyone!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Pradeep. As you rightly said, soon, similar Evas will not be a surprise to anyone.

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  10. Extraordinary woman ! Inspiration to many - Eva

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  11. oh wow, that's so inspiring. Need to read up about more such women.

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