To Sir, with heartfelt gratitude. And complex. And guilt.

Dear Mr. Bhagat, 

Since you (here) have so benevolently decided to address the issue regarding the belief that women can’t really have it all, please specify who has this belief, and while you are it, define all. Err, and men can have it all? My man wants to live in the mountains in a cottage, with a trunk full of books, choicest of whiskey in the bar, and a bike parked outside. Guess what? He slogs each day and the dream is a far off fantasy. He cannot have it all. My children dream of an examination and homework free world. Oh, they are so not having it all. And the dogs, if they had their way, they’d be buried heads down, tail deep in treats. Yeah, you guessed it. They do not have it all.  To simplify things for you, that is the plight of every living being – they cannot have it all. 

Noted that this issue, and therefore this column that you wrote, applies to a relatively small section of Indian women. Err, wait. So the issue is not relevant to a large section of men, women, children and dogs? Duh. My bad. Inadequate women have a hard time getting a grip of things. Be patient. Please?

 Women feel inadequate. Damn. Either I am not a woman, or I am severely delusional. Oh, my bad again. You are talking about a ‘relatively small section of women.’ I’d suggest you make sure that this section doesn’t read your post. It could end badly. On a serious note, feelings of inadequacy are more linked to a poor self-concept, which isn’t essentially gender-dependent. 

A+ complex – How will the Psychologists of the world ever thank you for this term? Such a great service to mankind. Or was it Womankind?

Humour me here. So I am inadequate. You know, a woman from a small sliver of society who must have it all, and fails miserably. You get the picture. Hence, first I contract the A+ complex and then go on to nearly kill myself, cry myself to sleep, and the rest of melodrama that you describe takes over my life? I am seriously worried about the women you observed to come to that conclusion. Here’s what I usually do (which obviously is wrong) – First I feel overly adequate, just like most PEOPLE I know. Second, I don’t grade myself. Nor let anyone else do it – especially the grades involving blood-grouped kind of alphabets. Third, I do not cry. Sorry, I’ll fix that. Oh and I take out time for myself. Lots of it. That time could involve spending time with family. But then would that count as not-me-time-leading-to-A+-complex-thing? 

I sit and read when the kids need homework help. It is called teaching them independence. I do not remember attending the mother-in-law’s puja because there is none. Gym? Women must go to gym? Drat. So yeah, there is loads of guilt – for not writing that book I hope to, and for eating up that last bar of chocolate. It belonged to my older one (died of guilt there). For not aiming for an A+, and hence questioning my very membership to womankind. Get it? No? Thought so.

 I am to aim for B+? So if I first get the grading system in order, and then conclude that I am stricken by the ghastly A+ complex, I should aim for B+ which will make me feel guilt-free, happy and basically an A+ sort of a feeling which I need to resist and achieve B+. I am a bit dizzy now. Wait, let me wrap my very much inadequate female head around it.

You have to be normal? And smile? Double damn! Is a full toothed-guffaw allowed? I cannot do the sufi-smile if my very existence as an A+ craving woman depended on it.

 Aw! I am allowed to have reasonable expectations from myself while the men go and win the world for me? Can you see the tear trickle down? Can hear the small section of women doubled over under the burden of A+ complex heave a sigh of relief? Oh, thank you, O kind one. I shall pack my ambition and bury it. With the aforementioned smile pasted well in place, of course.

 No I didn’t like the column. And yes you could have written better. And pray tell why are you not aiming for the A+? You are not from the stricken gender. You can aim for the coveted grade. Happy whatever day.

I need coffee. And a shredder. Now.


A+ yearning, A+ not getting, A+ complex ridden, goal revising, B+ aiming, woman.

Why the hell do I feel like I am in middle school?



2 thoughts on “To Sir, with heartfelt gratitude. And complex. And guilt.

  1. haha.. I dont know which article you are referring to but I can imagine Mr. Know it all bhagat saying something stupid.. Just because he sold a lot of copies, he has an expert on all areas? Ridiculous..


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