Travelling in one of those super fast trains one is likely to find young people busy with their various electronic gadgets be it a mobile, i-pad, laptop or an e-reader. Some, being put up on charger, others being used and be charged later. No one and no one seems in need of human company except via the gadget in hand. That’s okay completely. Fine by me. I myself wouldn’t indulge in any conversation with someone I didn’t know.
It’s only that in a recent train ride I chanced to see a wrinkly, thin old lady typing away on her laptop, oblivious to the youngsters around her who were very obviously distracted by her focused diligence. Her charming face was parlour cleaned but had retained the slight laughter lines around her eyes. She knew she was being noticed but did she care? She sat in the window seat and kept her laptop averted from all. I was curious like others to know what she was jabbing up on the screen but only her co-passenger would’ve been privy to that if he’d managed a peek or two.
The lady remained at it for the most part of her 3 hour journey taking time to check the internet in between. She was probably in her 50s going on 20s. What must she be writing? A blog maybe? She may be a senior reporter somewhere or she may be the owner of some company. Her greying hair that she’d not cared to dye lent a degree of seriousness that you wouldn’t take lightly yourself.
Women are turning professional more and more these days so this kind of scene shouldn’t still come as a surprise but it does define the alacrity with which they take up these roles with much dedication and devotion. Rather than take the fairer sex as an added baggage at offices for leaving their careers midway to make a family, one needs to understand the workforce that they can be in future. Without underestimating the biological clock and the need for a woman to make time for creating family employers need to be liberal about it. A happy employee will readily go that extra mile for the company when the time comes. And those of us who have become full time home makers are a resource that has been much derided for being ‘unprofessional’ and somehow an ignorant and an un-evolved lot. But as nature has ordained since time immemorial that the most conducive time to procreate remains between 20-30 which due to career concerns is being protracted to 40s. That fact remains a prime factor in helping decide the course of many women’s lives every year. Most women are torn between their personal and professional demands and land up paying a huge price on taking either of the choice. If they continue to climb the professional ladder, they miss out on one of the greatest experiences no man can have. But if they choose family, they lose out on the heights their talents would provide. But as many will vouch, having a family has benefits in ways that words cannot fathom.
A career woman who leaves her job for such reasons isn’t a pointless investment by her parents or the company that employed her. 50s are the new 40s as the latest trend goes. Why subjugate a person on the basis of their age as being less productive or less professional? Isn’t it time to judge one on the basis of their output and dedication. In fact this may hold true for men too who retire at a certain age while still healthy and able to deliver good results in their field. Women at 50 and above need to be given more chances at playing a part in the outside world as this is the time when they’ve fulfilled most of their familial duties and have time to devote to other things. An open mind may yield an open resource of an enthusiastic breed keen on proving their mettle. Who knows?
And she is a gem of a resource-in-waiting.