Thursday, March 3, 2016

I have a face.

I am at a workshop these days, with some old friends and some people I've just met but find fascinating.

Today morning one of them walked up to me with a pendrive in his hand. 'Here is my pendrive' he said. 'That's nice', replied I. 'What do you want me to do about it?' 'Oh' he said 'not you. The other woman'.

The other fat woman he meant.

Not bothering to learn my colleague's name or look at her face, he had just looked at her body and walked up to the nearest person with the same body type.

And later in the day, I spoke about my work on the Ramganga. During the tea break after, I was surrounded by a small group of people who wanted to know more and let me know they appreciated what I said. I was gratefully basking in the nice comments when one person said, 'you speak like Vandana Shiva'.

 'eh?' I was confused- while I appreciate what Ms. Shiva has done for the visibility of India's agrobiodiversity, we don't share an area of work and certainly not a speaking style. What he said next made his thoughts clear. 'You also look like her. Actually, you also look like Usha Uthup. And Shubha Mugdul.' 'Ah.I see.'

Look, I know it might be confusing, this proliferation of large and loud women. But here's a tip. We have different faces.And we do different jobs. Focus on those two things.