Society Magazine

A Room of One's Own!

Posted on the 11 September 2013 by Yamini
When I just started reading Virginia Woolf's "A room of one's own", I started to wonder. Wasn't she right when she said a woman needed a room of one's own and 500 pounds to be an author. While it is true for women it is also true universally. Probably it is a little more difficult for a woman to have it. One can extend this to several other creative pursuits, when one commends the talent of someone, one also has to be aware there could be millions of others much better at the art out there but were not fortunate enough to be at the right time and the right place. The intention is not to undermine human effort but to say equal opportunity is a myth, atleast in the world we currently live in.
Alekh was born in Bhavani Patna in Orissa. His father worked in the postal department and mother was a housewife. Alekh loved to sing, he had a mellifluous voice. He was always invited to sing the prayer in school and was appreciated by all his teachers. He was popular among his peers, all of them would ask him to sing. As he grew up, the number of occasions when he would sing were reduced. He would hum now and then but he was quite busy in educating himself and getting a job for himself. He finally got a job as a clerk in the bank, his  family was quite happy to see him in a good position. Aditya was born in Hyderabad. His father was an officer the electricity department and his mother was a teacher. She sent him to a art school as a kid, he was never interested in art, so he never picked up any of the skills. Aditya then shifted to learning tennis, as he had seen several of his friends join, but tennis was not his cup of tea. He didn't want to take the physical stress. Then he moved on learning music, this was something he had began to like. He had a good voice but there was nothing extraordinary about it. Aditya's father was overjoyed to see that his son had finally found his interest, he sent him to the best of teachers. As he grew up it was decided that he would go abroad and study music. When he returned he was one of the first performers of Jazz in India, he is still regarded as the pioneers of the form.
While it never occurred to Alekh that he could learn music or take it up as a profession inspite of being very good at it, Aditya had a chance to explore several possibilities before finding what he liked, he had the luxury of having access to the best resources. What made the difference was the social class. One might argue there are ways to overcome, there are scholarships, there are grants. But even to avail them one has to be aware. Many a time it might not even be about the affordability, the difference could just be about the awareness. Or  there could be several other factors, imagine Anita in the place of Aditya, inspite of having all the resources and being skilled she might have to be at the mercy of her husband to be able to perform. (Unfortunately that is the sad truth about patriarchy). While I have taken a trivial example, there are several other sociological forces at play. Equal opportunity is still a thing of dreams, at least for now. 

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