Grandma's Tales

October 27, 2006

Women’s bodies, eh?

Filed under: Language — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 10:03 pm

A dear friend writes in to say that my blog on splitting “everybody” reminded her of something she wrote 20 years ago. In her hand-written letter (some people still use a pen outside school!), she says, “Your lesson on the uses of the word “body” tempted me to dig up an old headline in TOI which I had made fun of.” She says TOI was gracious enough to publish her letter to them.

The TOI story was about a seminar on “Voluntary women’s organisations and contemporary challenges.” Addressing the seminar, the then MoS for women and child  development “called upon all women’s voluntary organisations to re-orient their functioning to play a more effective role in instilling self-reliance among women”. TOI had headlined it  “Women’s bodies told to change functioning“.

My friend just couldn’t resist a dig at this. She wrote to them: “One does not know what exactly the MoS had in mind. However, one hopes  the committee which designs new bodies for women does not contain any men. One also hopes modern sculptors are excluded…for these artists have a predeliction for a huge hole in the stomach. Are they for a drastic reduction in the intake of food? Or to propogate family planning?

It is not a bad idea to prescribe fire-proof exteriors for young brides and electrified bottoms for air-hostesses. Also, protoplasmic bodies for commuters to squeeze in and out of city buses.

Perhaps the scientists and technocrats on this designing committee would favour appropriate technologies for rural women with a permanent pot on the head and marsupial pouch on the hip.

The urban housewife will be designed with a half-a-dozen arms and a propeller and a computer to handle husband, children, MIL, boss, doorbells and telephones, all simultaneously.

Soon, we are likely to evolve standard sub-systems, designed as modules, so that a large number of combinations can be assembled rapidly, according to our women-power requirements.

While we are at all this, why not have a go at ordering men’s bodies to change functioning too? For instance, they could bear one of the two children permitted per family. Who knows, we Indians might end up designing the ultimate Ardhanari,  combining the Male Chauvinist Pig and the Female Chauvinist Sow.”

Have things changed much today?



  1. Another hilarious one that I noticed recently was about a driving school. “XYZ Driving School – Ladies by Ladies”.

    Comment by Rajesh Kumar — October 28, 2006 @ 6:00 am | Reply

  2. this is mutation man!!!dont worry ma’m probablly some one is already working somewhere on ur ardhanari… ma’m jus dropped in for a clarification…wat are cliches??? r they not being used now a days??? if so why am i being taught that crap at school???? may be ur exempted from answering my last question..but please do answer the other two….

    Comment by pramoditha.k — October 28, 2006 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  3. Hi,
    why would air hostesses need electrified bottoms?

    Comment by Varun Chablani — October 28, 2006 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  4. Hi Rajesh,
    Thanks for the info. I know a lady who runs a very successful driving school. Why should men have all the fun?

    Hi Pramoditha,
    Sure, can’t rule out the possibility. If you believe in evolution, we were once bi-sexual creatures.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Watch out for my next lesson. I’ll try and answer all your questions!

    Hi Varun,
    That sentence is meant to fire your imagination! 🙂

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — October 28, 2006 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

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