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Monday, 19 October 2009

Biography of a Wife harassed by the "Other Woman": Chapter 12. Role and Identity! (WHO AM I?)

Biography of a Wife harassed by the "Other Woman": Chapter 12. Role and Identity! (WHO AM I?)

Main Characters:
1. Pranati Devi -The Legally Wedded Wife or Narrator
2. Gayatri Devi alias Mata Hari - The OTHER WOMAN luring the Husband in an existing marriage
3. Aditya Kumar-The Husband
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Date of writing: 19 October 2009
Date of Editing: 19 October 2009

Role and Identity
Role and identity play a crucial part in shaping a person’s character. A child, be it a girl or boy starts exploring his / her role from the time they are born. According to Erikson, the main essence of human life is to discover who each individual is, and to understand his/her relationship in terms of his/her family, community and society at large (Miller, 1993). Identity can be defined as "a conscious sense of individual identity....an unconscious striving for a continuity of personal character....a criterion for the silent doings of ego synthesis....a maintenance of an inner solidarity with a group's ideals and identity" (Miller, 1993, Erikson, 1968).

A sense of identity involves how one sees him/herself and how others see them. Throughout life, we question ourselves, and our purpose on earth, and such questions are well answered by the roles we adopt and perform in society, such as, being a wife, husband, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, worker, homemaker, friend, student, etc.

According to Prof. Sampath, visiting faculty IIM B, during the early stages of life of human, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and their family members become the role model for the infant. The child starts to emulate some of the traits as exhibited by his parents and family members. As the child grows, and enters the education system, in addition to their parents, teachers and professors become their role models for the future. Education being amongst the single most important aspects that “make or break” a human, role models from the education system cast a long lasting effect on the teenager.

A graphical representation of role modeling during the course of an individual’s lifetime is given below.
For more information on Role and Identity refer: http://www.gentleye.com/research/cb/id_cycle/id_cycle2.html

According to research conducted in the Role and Identity, most Indians take on the identity of either a God or Goddess. The most common identities among women are that of Parvati (mother) Saraswati (teacher), Durga and Kali (destroyer of evil), Lakshmi (keeper of wealth), Menaka or Rambha (courtesan) and among men are Shiva (destroyer), Brahma (Creator) Vishnu (protector), Veerabhadra (destroyer of evil, Kali’s consort) .There are many more identities in both men and women like that of Ganesha, Shanmuga, Gayatri, Ganga, Annapurna, etc…

According to the distinction of Landmark Education, the process of identity formation begins in childhood, as we gradually adopted ways of being and acting to deal successfully with things that didn’t quite go the way we thought they should. By the time we reach adulthood, we have assembled a set of practices and approaches, attributes and characteristics, that seem to give us a certain measure of success – that make up our personality, our style, who we consider ourselves to be.

How and when Gayatri Devi got her identity is not very clear. However, her actions and deeds so far, are a clear indicator that she has a strong Menaka / Rambha (courtesan) identity which explains her behavior with the men. For women with the courtesan identity, no man is unconquerable and the difficult it is to conquer a man more they get attracted to him. The women with courtesan identity go any lengths to get a man, especially the forbidden fruits.
Picture: Menaka the courtesan tempting Vishvamitra the sage

I have a strong Kali / Durga identity. Right from childhood, I have taken it upon myself to fight against injustice, it could be with society, friends or even family members. At times, I have been labelled as a rebel too. This possibly explains why I have not changed my maiden family name even after marriage. My family deity is Veerabhadra who is Durga’s male counterpart, which could subconsciously be stopping me from changing name.
Why are we taking about Role and Identity? Like I mentioned a little earlier, I strongly identify with Durga / Kali identity, however people who meet me today and interact with me would put me more into a Saraswati or Parvati identity and most don’t even believe that I could be Durga identity. (Incidentally my ex-husband calls me Chamundi till date which is extension of Durga). How did this happen?

This is transformation. Way back in 1993 I met Prof. Pulin Garg in a Workshop conducted by ISISD, in Exploration of Role and Identity and that is where I realized that I was a rebel without a pause and cause. Prof. Pulin made me realize that being rebel is fine, but you need to have a cause. Later on I had opportunity to work with Prof. Sampath and was further able to transform from Kali to Saraswati identity. This kept reinforcing through the nature of may work. Today I strongly identify with Saraswati, however when I see someone being wronged the Kali identity surfaces.

Transformation is possible and there are many examples of the transformation from one end of the totem pole to another, the famous being, Ratnakar to Valmiki and Agulimal transformed by Narada and Buddha respectively.

Gayatri Devi today has come to that stage where she has possible realized the folly of the role that she identified as a small girl. If she is really looking forward to settle down as a wife and subsequently as a mother then she needs to transform her identity. This is not very easy as unless you recognize the need to transform the transformation is not possible.
Who are the modern day Naradas and Buddhas that can help in transformation? Some organizations that are doing exemplary work in the space of Role and Identity are:

Indian Society for Individual and Social Development (ISISD) http://members.rediff.com/isisd/
Iidian Society for Applied Behavioral Science (ISABS) http://www.isabs.org/index.htm
Why is Transformation needed? People like Gayatri Devi and Mithun are the victims of their own identity, if they want to lead a normal and happy married life, transformation is essential. When I started gathering information about Gayatri Devi from the social networking web sites like Facebook and Orkut she vanished from them. She is in touch with Aditya on Orkut under an assumed identity. People like her who hide do not have the courage to face the truth and live under the constant fear of being exposed. Transformation helps in being complete and gives courage to accept and be what you are. I shared earlier that I was a rebel and I have done many things that I would love to hide, however that does not scare me. I would go ahead and say that had I or my ex-husband transformed when we were going through the rough patch, we would have still been together. Since then both of us have transformed and hence can now laugh at our mistakes.

Will Gayatri Devi be able face her children when they come to know that their mother is a home breaker? How long would a home built on the ashes of another home last?

I know Gayatri Devi, Mithun and Aditya are all reading my blog. I request all my readers who have themselves gone through transformation to comment / give their feedback and messages to Gayatri Devi, Mithun and Aditya so they too can transform.
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Voice of Women is pleased to present the BIOGRAPHY OF A WIFE (WHO IS BEING HARASSED BY A YOUNGER WOMAN COMPETING FOR THE ATTENTION OF HER HUSBAND).

Inspired by the success of the 'Chronicles of a Battered Abused Discriminated and Disadvantaged Fatherless Girl-child'----another woman has come forward with her "Testimony of a wife in an existing marriage", who is being harassed by a Young Unattached Woman who is wooing for the attention of her HUSBAND and luring him.

This TESTIMONY brings to LIGHT the Strenuous circumstances of LEGALLY WEDDED OLDER WOMEN, who are facing competition from 'Sexually empowered young women'. These 'OTHER WOMEN' are younger, divorced or free, and compete to STEAL HUSBANDS FROM EXISTING MARRIAGES, by hook or by crook (and other carnal means----by Lure, beauty and looks!). And, then proceed to Sham conversions to Islam, Sham marriages, adultery, and other Social crimes ---if unchecked.

The core issue of the Biography is to look for Solutions for "The Other Women" in our Homes, Community, Society and the Corporate World. The solutions include Counseling, Healing, Family Forums and other Alternative Counseling Forums.
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Disclaimer: The Story is told in the first person narrative by the " Legally Wedded Wife".

For reasons of confidentiality, please don't assume the identity of the 'narrator'. The entire story has been placed in custody of certain well-wishers. Names and identities of characters have been masked and changed to protect their identities. Let us call the name of the WIFE as 'Pranati Devi'.

Images used are only representative of the story.

Strong Legal action will be taken in Bangalore jurisdiction, against all those who claim to resemble or know the identity of any characters mentioned in this Biography.

Events are true and character sketches are disguised to protect their identities.

Copyright © 2009 Roshni Pereira and "Pranati Devi, The Legally Wedded Wife"

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