What do you do?
How often I have been asked this question by people who I have met for the first time. It encompasses so many answers within it that often I am left wondering about how to answer it. All of us have encountered a question like this, specially the older women - people generally just assume that that younger ones have a job somewhere - they are asked : "Are you working somewhere? "
Personally I feel that there really is no straight forward answer to this question.
At any given time of the day, like so many of my friends we play different roles.
Early in the morning, I am the relaxed housewife, having a cup of tea with Pran in the verandeh, enjoying the weather and the garden.
A little later I am the cook and the home manager, sorting out the day's schedule.
A little later I am the content provider writing my assignments, doing the projects assigned to me.
By afternoon time I am the grandmother indulging my grandchildren and watching them play or chatting with them.
In between I am a full time daughter and and wife.
Then of course I am also a friend, the lady of the house, the memsahib ordering the servants around, the head cook and bottlewasher of my home, a social worker in a small way, and so many other things.
I feel that we tend to compartmentalize people too often. We put them into slots which are determined by our perceptions of them. We do not realise that like me they do different things at different times and there really is no one answer to this perennial question. The men in our lives also play different roles at different times, only they do not have to juggle so many of them all through the day. They may differ with my opinion, but frankly there are no better multitaskers than women in this world !
Hence I am back to the beginning of my story - What do you do?
I would love to hear from others - to find out how do they answer this question. Do they have a simple answer such as - I am an HR Manager in a multinational firm? Does that really define who they are and what they do?
Or should we only state that aspect of our lives which we excel in? I am not sure what I excel in -maybe talking - I can out talk anyone else; maybe being a mother - I think I am a good mother; maybe being a writer - at least my clients seem to think so.
I have no answers - or maybe I have too many answers to this question. If I have confused you with this blog - then welcome to my world !