Saturday, December 21, 2013

Married Women and the "BUDDHA" expression

As a child, I first noticed the pronounced “Buddha expression” on my own grandmother. Then I observed more closely other grandmotherly women (amongst friends and family) and I saw the “Buddha expression” in all of them.

Then I observed my mother, aunts and mothers of friends – and I again saw many hues of the “Buddha expression”. In some instances, it was not as pronounced as it was for the grandmother generation. But it was visible.

So what is the “Buddha expression”? You may ask It is this expression that I have observed in way too many married women over the years – It is characterized by this “calm, serene and peaceful facial expression” which does not really change based on external triggers or stimulants – be it in words or deeds [good, bad or ugly] of people around you

Let me give you a few examples that I’ve seen in women around me:

You speak rudely to her; and she is quiet, unruffled and has that “Buddha expression” on her face
You shout at her; and she is still quiet, unruffled and has that “Buddha expression” on her face
In some cases, you even beat her; and she still has that “Buddha expression” on her face
You praise her; and she still does not say anything. She just has that “Buddha expression” on her face
You sing her glory; and still she does not say anything. She just has that “Buddha expression” on her face
You thank her for all that she has done for you; and she responds with that “Buddha expression” on her face

I often wondered how married women could have the “Buddha expression” – No matter what situation lay in front of them?

I thought..

Did they not have any feelings?
Were they stoned?
Did they think there’s no point in expressing their thoughts?
Did they not want to react and respond – shout / scream / slap / rejoice in what was being spoken / said of them?
Did they not want to share their inner most emotions with their loved ones (family / friends)?

What was it that universally brought out the “BUDDHA expression” in many a married woman..

As I think, observe and analyze - I think the reason is that the only “practical and realistic” way for a married woman to BE was to mask her true thoughts and emotions with the “BUDDHA” expression.

You say what’s on your mind – And you’re labeled as “ambitious”, “bossy”, “dominating”, “not lady-like”, “being disrespectful”, “too smart”, and “aggressive”. So over a period of time, you learn to hold back and not really speak what’s on your mind. The only possible response is SILENCE. And if you are silent and serious, then again that’s not acceptable behavior. So you don the “Buddha expression” – “Calm, Serene and peaceful”

You say what’s in your heart – And again, you’re written off as a cry baby who is just too emotional and sentimental about everything under the sun. Too girlish or all that you do is cry for everything is what will be said about you. Again, the only possible response is SILENCE. And if you are silent and show a ting of emotion, then again that’s not acceptable behavior. So you don the “Buddha expression” – “Calm, Serene and peaceful”

You feel happy about something good that’s happened and react in a happy and excited manner – And you are again type-cast as someone who gets too carried away with what other say. Again, the only possible response is SILENCE. And if you are silent and show happiness, then again that’s not acceptable behavior. So you don the “Buddha expression” – “Calm, Serene and peaceful”

Bottom-Line: Any sort of reaction or response to external triggers and stimulants (good, bad or ugly) – and you are labeled and branded…. for life. So the “Buddha expression” was a self-discovered, self-imposed and self-taught shield against the world for many a married woman.

Now with the times changing, I still see the “Buddha expression” in many an experienced married woman. For most of them, it is again probably the only “practical and realistic” way to maintain peace in the family on a daily basis. They do pick battles once in way, but wisely! “No point in waging a war every single day. After all, we all want to have a good night’s sleep. So this Buddha expression keeps the family going through the ups and downs of what life has to offer” is how one woman summed it up!

I really don’t know how long women need to wear the “Buddha expression” to keep the world going! But here’s what I do know - There are benefits in mastering the art of the “Buddha expression”. And while I practice this art, you leave a comment to let me know how long do you think married women need to keep the “Buddha expression” going?

Originally published here

Linking this to the December 2013 NaBloPoMo at BlogHer

7 comments:

  1. The 'Buddha 'like calm expression cannot be maintained for a long time and it will explode and the lava of suppressed emotions will find its way. A nice write-up Nischala.

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  2. Well I would say it has to be a balance of both the Buddha expression and having your voice and venting out at times. love your viewpoints.

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  3. Food for thought in your post. I think as one grows older one starts to connect with one's spirituality and the Buddha expression becomes a natural phenomenon. The calm, serene and peaceful is not something one can just put on.

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  4. I see that expression in my Mom's face every time I back answer her... and I swear that look just makes me feel so guilty ;(

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  5. Let me warn you when this buddha expression breaks, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned expression comes to life :P

    Richa

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  6. Brilliant piece Nischala! The Buddha expression is already finding lesser visibility owing to the empowerment of women. The day it breaks, it'll be stronger thanaz tsunami, destructive like a volcano and mightier than the mightiest.

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  7. Haha... I have tried it, really like tried and been successful for like full 5 minutes (please applaud my efforts)! I have no idea how all these women in our lives do this :)

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