As i watch Erin Brockovich maybe the 100th time, i suddenly stop to think, can a working woman in India really be like this one. Can she be on her toes with 3 kids to raise on her own. I mean, i am not challenging the modern working class of Indian women, but what i am talking about is our set up, our social set up.
The movie shows Erin dropping off and picking up kids from the neighbours, an informal nanny and people around who support her in raising her kids. Can a single mother in our social set up do all this, if some of you do, then pardon my exposure cause i havent come across such a neighbourhood and such gutsy women. Again, i know women in our country are juggling home, pregnancy, babies, inlaws, marriage and to add it all the MAIDS.
Maids have become the backbone of every household these days, our dependence on them is raised to the extent of we cant think of a home without that luxury in mind. I have heard of people these days paying insane amounts to nannys and maids. Some stay the whole day, some work partime and some are inhouse maids. Come what may, she is given the first preference in any household.
Mrs X : 'There is a Puja in my house in the morning, please come'.
Mrs Y : 'Oh, is it? But my maid comes only in the morning, so i will come only after she leaves, shall i come by lunch?
Mrs x: But the Puja is in the morning.
Mrs y : No problem, I ll send my maid to collect the prasadam by afternoon.
She is the One..
Erin doesnt have a maid or an official nanny she can pay to look after her three angels. She just has a neighbour, who will look out on them when she is away at the law firm or working elsewhere, then she has a boyfriend who stays at home. We cant have neighbours looking after our kids when they themselves have nannys and ayas to do their job. SO its more like we are on our own, we dont have an interdependable system or the system of 'one for all, all for one'.
Now you are wondering what is "ONE FOR ALL, ALL FOR ONE". Its called unity. Unity brings in workability. I shouldn't have to give up my job if i want to work only to look after the children, thats another thing if you really want to be around to be there for them 24/7. But it should be a choice, if someone cant afford a nanny, cant we be united and say, i ll look after them for 4 hours, or we can be a helping hand sometimes. But our society has become devoid of this mutual understanding. Here independence also means that i wouldnt have to take the help of my neighbour, that i would never have to ask for anything from anyone around.
If Erin didn't have the dull neighbor who would watch her three angels or the hippie like boyfriend who would care for the kids when she was away, could she have afforded a nanny, when she didn't have enough to eat or even feed the family 3 square meals?
So people, can we all become a more united lot out here, and say that we will try to follow a, 'one for all and all for one,' approach from now?
But also be wise and check the neighbors credentials before you drop off those precious lil ones, before you go to work, or on a special date, or for your yoga class. Because i really think that motherhood should not be a hindrance or one should not treat motherhood as a hindrance to her normal activities in life.
Have we become fond of isolation? Have we become less welcoming and more to our own? Will our kids have to be taught to say even a 'Hello' to guests? (because they are so use to no one coming home) Will we have to find places to visit like malls and theaters? Wont we ever ever again, just barge into a friends or relatives house unannounced? Will we always fear that our neighbor might be a child abuser? will we never ever have the luxury of interdependence?
WIll we never realise that indeed, ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL' still works. Unity is still the greatest asset in the world.