Sep 26, 2022·edited Sep 26, 2022Liked by Mahima Vashisht

I was weeping by the end of this one. I'm not a mother who has had a similar experience. I'm a single woman, a 35 year old widow who has basic (extremely high by Indian standards) expectations from the next man who may become my partner. A non- raja beta, a mental load sharer etc. For me, the family vs career question crept in even before I had a family.

Romita's story resonates so much. I'm now at a prestigious institution in London, pursuing my Masters. But the joy of getting this offer was dampened a few months back when I was asked what was the value in this when I should be prioritizing finding a husband. It canceled all the hard work that went into getting a place in this course (oh God, the horror of writing and rewriting those essays). I almost didn't go, the self doubt was enormous. Now that I'm here, I know I'm at the right place, away from the 'concerned' looks of family members.

And there's obviously the flip side, the mom guilt that Romita mentioned. A fellow student here is a mom who had the extra stress of bringing her whole family to London, find a house close enough to college so she could get the kids ready for school before going for her own classes, and manage the finances for 4 people coming to London rather than just herself. She ultimately decided to opt for a less expensive course at a different university. I asked her if leaving the family behind was an option, and she said her kids were at a delicate stage in life. I wish someone in her family had given her the courage and confidence that her kids would be well looked after in India for a year, that she could concentrate on her Masters (a bloody daunting thing in itself) and leave family worries behind. I want to believe it is her independent decision to take the family along, but it is the manifestation of years of rubbish conditioning.

I'm sorry for the long comment, but this triggered so much recent anguish. Not engaging with our dearest family members when they doubt our priorities is the hardest thing to do. But it is the right thing to do. I wish it were easier for us. More power to all the women who take on these prejudices and power through life. And more power to you, Mahima, for calling out these realities for what they are.

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I feel like an Onion, every week asi read your post, i peel off a layer that i never really understood i had but which was wrapped around me tightly.

Great going Mahima. Still listening to your episode, one hour more to go.

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Sep 26, 2022Liked by Mahima Vashisht

it was a pleasure reading this email. I hate it when people say such nonsensical things like "leave your crown in the garrage", and i had burned when i read it from her memoirs. I surely wasn't aware of your newsletter, and i now try to forward it to as many people (not only women) in my contacts, as soon as i hear them sensible enough to percieve a conversation such as this.

Thank you for keeping on writing about these, and God bless (although i believe Amit doesn't believe in them), for introducing us to you and your work.


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May 11Liked by Mahima Vashisht

Yes. Hearing that "leave your crown in the garage " that too from a mom no less .. had me seething from the day i saw that article long ago before here.

I even posted a rejoinder on Instagram about it with many agreeing with me.

I made compromises on my career to fit my family responsibilities a load I carried alone .. refused to take up promotion though all ky colleagues knew my calibre. I regret it to this day.

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