Woman, her charm and pride | Daily News


 

Woman, her charm and pride

Human beings can never speak of women without bowing their heads in gratitude to three of the greatest women who walked on mother earth. They, as mothers gave to the world three sons whose words on Karuna, Meththa, Forgiveness, submission, Love and peace lifted the minds of mankind to do ‘good’.

Woman is nature’s or God’s most consummate creation. She is always with us. She brings us into being. We are cradled in her arms. She guards us with devotion. We may look plain, but she sees beauty in us. Yes! To the mother of the scary looking Tasmanian monster her offspring is the prettiest. A woman will sacrifice comfort, sleep, food and her life to serve mankind.

Woman has been a part of the world and the human race from the beginning of time. She is by no means a man’s source of recreation but the sagacious citadel of procreation.

A woman’s constant and unwearied ministry is what makes the word ‘home’ the sweetest in the world. She is our guardian from cradle to grave. A woman carries a quiver full of arrows of love and peace.

We walk back in time. A smiling matron carries a babe. It is a girl, she coos, while placing her in the pink laced cot, all in raptures. A woman begins to suckle, to be fed by another woman - another addition to feminine gender. She grows up in a cozy cauldron of gossip where “with every word a reputation falls,” makeup, fashion and dolls – a mischievous elfin.

From an unforgettable childhood to the vivacious adulthood she likes to imitate the mother and the ‘real star’ artistes appearing in the large and small screens. Pampered by a doting ‘thaththa,’ whose dreams are shared with ‘Amma’, beautiful dreams about the future of an angel.

Then education becomes happy memories. Trophies for achievements in class and in the sport field pave the way to the future.

Then a proposal or a sweet love affair ends with a wedding. In a lovely white saree, exquisite jewellery, carrying a heavenly bouquet of white flowers, she walks with her spouse, clad in stylishly tailored dark suit. A slight digression. “Thaththa, why do brides always wear white?” “Duwa, white signifies purity.” “Amma, then why do bridegrooms wear black?” Amma was silent. Women will flyaway from the home of her parents to build a new home amidst embraces, tears, confetti and waves. We remember with nostalgia the song of Mignnone Fernando “kadallay…” and Professor Carlo Fonseka’s “Raththaran duwe…” Then ponder on the words of Leon Uris in his masterpiece “The Egyptian” quote;’ “the greatest gift a woman can give to a man is her innocence, which she can give only once.”

The woman goes to live with another woman - husband’s mother. The duel of the in-laws is common the world over. Truly if a woman can remember that once she was a daughter-in-law and the other will one day be a mother-in-law, then surely that obnoxious word ‘in-law’ could be deleted from the dictionary. The woman as a sister becomes a symbol of care for her younger members of the family. Along with an understanding spouse, she helps them without measure. A woman as a sister becomes a mother, to others under her wings and history repeats itself. The woman is in labour. Pain mingles with joy. How true are the words in verse ‘Le kiri karala’.

The family grows. The woman takes over. She keeps the home fires burning. In short she becomes the “home central bank.” She washes her wedding ring thrice a day- morning, noon and night in dish water to keep the family in good health. The woman as a mother is ever alert to the needs of the family.

Who keeps-awake to mark the temperature and administer antibiotics? Who attends to the laundry work, in keeping the house clean and in keeping the children under her watchful and affectionate care? At times, running around with soot and tear filled eyes brandishing the ‘pol katuhanda’ (coconut shell ladle). Most important of all, the woman as mother is there to take the family up to the altar of the beautiful teachers in whom they believe to pray and thank for all the sweet favours received.

A woman as a professional and heroine we cannot forget. Countess Cinchona who showed that a bark of a tree could yield quinine, the bitter medicine for the malaria infested world of yester year, Madam Curie gave us Radium, Florence Nightingale became an institution when her caring for the afflicted in war, armed with a lamp ushered in the world, caring angels in caps.

The indispensable nursing sisters, yes she helped the woman medical specialists. Grace Darling helps her father by waving a lantern, guiding the ships to sea when the light house lamp fails to give light. Maria Montessori gave the toddlers a unique system of understanding ABC and 123.

Immortal authors, whose works have been translated to many languages - Rebecca, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Margret Mitchells, gone with the wind Rachel Carsons ‘Cry my beloved country’ and Henrywoods ‘East Lynne-made in to film in Tamil as “Thaai Ullam.” Can we forget these women of greatness?

Now, we remember and salute one of the noblest women. Queen Viharamahadevi who bequeathed to us a noble and brave king who, from his heroic and meritorious deeds showed his righteousness by decreeing that all who pass the tomb of a very just king whom he had slain in battle should pay their respect to his royal opponent - a wonderful son of an outstanding woman and a mother stature.

Our women, in this little gem of an Isle were given the honour of using their franchise. They could vote. This was in the 1930’s long before many other countries thought it fit that their women who keep them and all mortal beings in the cozy confines of their water bags for nearly 264 days, were eligible to vote.

We astounded the world with a Guinness record which made Madam Tusseuds wax works in London to erect a model of the first ever elected woman Prime Minister of the world Sirimavo Bandaranaike of then Ceylon.

We created a precedent. Some say “woman thou art fraility” - a fallacy. She will be there ad-infinitum. The hand that rocks the cradle shall rule the world, in her own imitable way.

 


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