Gente que Cuenta

Under the radar,
by Mohua Lahiri 

Rabindranath Tagore Atril press
Rabindranath Tagore,
Woman Face, c. 1930

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         A woman told me her husband had become irritable and attributed it to his impending retirement.

But what caught my eye was the woman’s total focus on the husband and her complete lack of understanding what his retirement could do to her.

A lot of women spend the weekday mornings in a flurry of activities. The children have to be woken, bathed, clothed, fed, given their lunch boxes and be sent to school. On a parallel track, the husband is given his morning teas, sometimes his office clothes have to be laid out, breakfast served, and his lunch box also prepared. All this comes to an end somewhere between 8 am to 9 am. The woman then sits down for her cup of tea and quickly finishes the remaining household chores. The time from now till her children or husband return is hers. Her “me time.

Where do you go to, my Lovely, when you are alone in your home?

Madame Bovary took on a lover. Probably that is not the recourse of most women. Their activities can range from pursuing hobbies, to meeting friends, with the kitty party option for the wealthier, to shopping, to going to the beauty parlor, to reading and some attending courses. Today, with online courses being available, some join them trying to fill a gap in their lives.

Why does she do what she does? How does this shape her and her whole outlook on life? Under the radar, this is probably the most unresearched area of a woman’s life, outside the many roles that define her.

What most women certainly do not anticipate is that when their husband retires, this carefully nurtured space of hers may vanish forever. Just as we often have workshops for people on the verge of retirement, perhaps it is necessary to have one with their spouses to understand the changes that are now going to impact their lives. And to recalibrate their relationship post-retirement.

Mohua Lahiri Atril press
Mohua Lahiri is a consultant with over 40 years of experience in working with people in various capacities: as a HR professional heading the function in Apollo Tyres, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Anand Bazaar Patrika (ABP) Pvt. Ltd.; in the education field as a lecturer in English Literature in colleges like Lady Shriram College and Miranda House; and as a consultant with Vega Schools, Medica Synergy, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and others.
She has a Fellowship in Management (doctoral degree) from MDI, Gurgaon; LL.B. and M. Phil. (English Literature), both from Delhi University. She is a certified trainer in MBTI, FIRO B and Strong Interest Inventory.
She can be contacted at:
Mobile: 9818385930

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