It was a warm sunny afternoon. I was standing on the balcony overlooking the busy road. The colorful blooming flowers that went all the way down the staircase kept me company with their cheer and fragrance. An aroma of food from the kitchen wafted in the air. It transported me to my childhood. I was over at my grandma’s for a family lunch.
As I continued to bask in the warm sun on an early winter afternoon, my grandma came out wiping her hands in her apron. Grandma is eighty. She loves to cook. At the moment she runs her own restaurant by the street end. She is pleasantly plump and has salt and pepper hair that she ties up in a bun. She has been the strongest woman in the family and a successful entrepreneur. We still tease her saying that even her sons could not supersede her business success.
While on the balcony we started to talk. Conversationally she asked me, ‘You have grown up, but have you grown up with the essence of a woman? I see you are independent; I see you are smart but are you also a woman?’
Grandma has a way of confusing people and I am her favorite victim.
‘What is having the essence of a woman?’ I asked her.
We are many things in this world. I am an entrepreneur. You are a writer. But we are all women. You and me. What makes us unique is the essence of being woman. But do you celebrate your womanhood?
- Being Warm:
I should not generalize but mostly a house that has a woman’s essence in it is more warm and inviting. A woman in the house is what makes the house a home. So no matter, how busy or how tired you are, always remember to keep your home feeling warm and womanly.
I could not help but flashback to my apartment and imagine the mess that I had left in the morning because I was, well, to be frank, procrastinating!
- Signature Statement:
Cooking has now moved into the realm of men. My sons cook better than me. But each do come home expecting to relish the flavor of the food cooked by me. I always find time to serve my children and spend time talking to them. Ever since their childhood, I have followed this ritual and it has fulfilled me like nothing else. It has strengthened my bonds with them and so with you grandchildren. It is important as a mother to do so. Yes, I am an entrepreneur and a busy one at that. But I am a mother too and a successful one at that.
I don’t know about you, but as a family woman, keep that one unique thing alive in your relations that your family would like coming back to you to.
- Celebrate your womanhood:
You are a woman. So celebrate being one. Pamper yourself. Do nail art. Buy that novel. Watch that movie. Wear that dress you always had in mind! Trip over wearing heels but do try them! Be your profession but also be a woman. It just keeps you feeling so sane!
After a while my extended family started pouring in. The doorbell rang and grand ma excused herself. I followed her inside with my glass of half-finished juice. My first intention was to drop the glass in the sink, but on second thoughts I washed it and put it on the rack. I observed for the first time that every corner of grandma’s home was decorated, either with a flower vase or anything happy! We liked hanging out in grandma’s house and today I realized why. Because it was so warm and inviting. This is grandma’s essence. Her essence of being a woman.
That day after a great luncheon as I made my way back to my apartment I saw a balcony full of flowers and a woman watering it. I saw a woman parking her car and applying lipstick looking at the rear view mirror before she stepped out in a business suit for office. I saw a woman on a bike stop next to me for the red light. I saw that she had red nail paints done on her finger nails and wore the sleekest and most feminine sandals. Yet she rode on this bike amidst the traffic and the rush. As I reached my apartment I saw my neighbor come out to the veranda with her two kids holding onto their bowls very cautiously. She waved at me saying that she had to rush back from office because they had reached home early and she had promised them their pasta. It was the highlight of the day for her children.
As I waved back at her I seemed to realize for the first time the importance of keeping alive the essence of being a woman. It is what makes the world such a warm and beautiful place to live in.