Skip to main content

Being me

You know that feeling when a scene from a movie or a few lines from a song send you into a reverie of your own? Something about the scene reminds you of past experiences and feelings and all of a sudden you are transported on the wings of your thoughts…

Similar thing happened to me a few days ago while watching TV.A jewellery advertisement about a young professional who is asked to ‘lose’ the blingy jewellery because it might distract the clients. The girl is asked to conform to the ways of her seniors, but the real beauty of the ad is when she goes ahead and wears her bling, does not allow office dictats to decide her wardrobe and does not ‘lose’ her identity. Her tongue in cheek answer- don’t worry, my work is better looking than me, is what really got me thinking.

I remember a day in medical college when a very senior female doctor called me to her chamber and advised me against wearing ‘dangling earrings and lipstick.’ She said,”If you spend so much time looking after yourself, patients will think that you don’t care for them.”

A scewed logic there, but I was terrified. In my impressionable young mind I thought they would send me home and I had worked too hard to get into medical college to be turned away for a piece of jewellery.So I conformed. 

This phenomenon of dressing down  is intrinsically embedded in the Indian psych. Our politicians are seen in un-ironed saris and hawai chappal and are lauded for their ‘simple living and high thinking’ when in reality they are playing to the galleries. These Indian politicians know that there appearances matter more than their actions.

Michelle Obama on the other hand always dresses smartly and is iconic not just for her fashion sense but her political correctness as well. Closer home even our neighbours take pride in their appearance and I remember the dapper Hina Rabani and her Hermes bag.

That is not to say that mere appearances define a woman, it is the actions that speak louder than any jangle of jewellery or clicking of Jimmy-choo heels.

This takes me back to the lines of the ad that my work is better looking than me.

Over the years I have been in institutes which have clearly stated what they DON’T want their female doctors to wear- no sleeveless, no kurta above the knees, no denims, no ‘legging churidars’ , some even went so far to say, no black or red clothing.I never had the guts to stand up for my identity. I followed the tide while seething inside at the injustice of it. 

But, that is all in the past. Now I am my own boss, and I wear my bling with pride. I picture of me shows me with silver jhumkas while operating. Someone once asked me ‘you are allowed to wear earrings?’

 I replied,” Yes I wear jewellery, and it has never changed the outcome of my surgeries.”


Unknown said…
It's all about image and laid down practise. Long hair does not reduce bravery in a man. But in army its not allowed. Even in parliament Nilekani came in suites was told to come in whites. Azharuddin gave him tailor address. Un saven look is appreciated on john abraham but not in corporate. I still think it's better to follow normal practice.
K?K! said…
Your post has got me thinking. In court I was once chided by the judge for wearing a pastel blue shirt. "black and white" is all that is allowed. unfortunately , he had not read the rule book that allowed 'women' pastel shades. here is my pst about it:(

Lawyers are challenging this dress code today - but more on grounds of comfort than anything else.
Unknown said…
Living life on your own terms with no one to dictate you .. A quite desirable dream. But only till a certain limit. Beyond which it becomes a trouble. The main aim of introducing rules is to introduce discipline and not to take away your life's freedom.

Popular posts from this blog

birthday retrospect : Lebensmude and other Midlife things

This year will be the 11 th Birthday retrospect;it is a promise I keep to myself, where I write my thoughts on growing a year older. I started writing a birthday retrospect on my 25th birthday and this year being my 35th birthday post. (read last years post  BR 2018 )
This year went by in a blur –and I was happy about it. Earlier, my reaction used to be, “ Oh my God! This week went by so fast, where did the time go?” , but this year I couldn’t wait for the months to roll by. I was in a WHY IS LIFE TAKING SO MUCH TIME TO PASS BY mode . Ah! I can feel that a lot of people reading this are going to be surprised by this. Because I have always been someone plugging my day with many things to do, I was someone who was a ‘go getter’ kind of person, so much to do in life, so much to see in life, the girl with the biggest FOMO or Fear of missing out. This year I had flipped completely to the opposite spectrum. I didn’t want to do anything new. It wasn’t like I was demeaning the act of disco…

7 things I wish I could tell my medical student self, 15 years ago

Two things happened this morning , one was the NEET (the national entrance exam of medicine) results in the Newspaper, and the second ,a discussion on our college whatsapp group that today was infact 15 years to the day we attended our first lecture as Medical students. The jubiliation of the students and parents of today as they embark on a new journey in medicine, and my own journey of the past 15 years ; the connection was like a resonance that my writing muse could not deny. What would I tell the medical student , that was me, from 15 years back? What secrets of the trade, what insider scoop could I share which would have made my journey a little less daunting, a little more fun, and may be even more satisfying? Here are my thoughts in no particular order, except as they enter my head.
1.You made it! : I think the first thing I would like my younger self to do is to celebrate , and not doubt myself. I had won. I was in. the door had closed (atleast to the medical college of choi…