A few days ago, a friend messaged me to check if I was interested in a dinner event. She was vague about details except that the food was free and that it was a small group of like-minded women. I figured I would give it a shot since I knew at least two people there.
Yesterday evening another friend and I drove over to the banquet hall which was set up in a cozy manner and featured a clearing in the middle. There was a formal event manager who pointed out where the food and drinks were. Women in their forties, dressed gorgeously formed small circles. I stood by the side observing, hearing snippets of conversations and taking it all in.
It was almost midnight when I got home and much longer until I fell asleep. The evening featured excerpts from a solo show called Honour: Confessions Of A Mumbai Courtesan. The performer Dipti Mehta was a stunner. She slipped easily between the roles she performed, her body language, accent, voice modulating according to the character. She led us through what goes behind the scenes before each play takes shape. She, aided ably by the hosts of the evening, did a reading of two plays near completion. Each play dealt with a different topic, a different social topic involving women.
After she was done and we had dinner, each of us had an opportunity to introduce ourselves and talk about our journey thus far. Almost every woman up there started with “I have no clue why I was invited…” or “My life is so ordinary that I have nothing of import to share…” and each went to deliver life lessons in resilience, patience, grit, contentment and finding meaning amid chaos.
It struck me in the moments before I slept that women in their forties are a force to be reckoned with. There is so much wisdom, realization, latent strength in cliques like the one yesterday. These are women aware of their power and reach and exhibit a willingness to touch other lives. These are women looking beyond narrow definitions of success and happiness. These are women who are altruistic but with no awareness of it.
It makes me wonder in the grander scheme of things if this is what the world needs more of. Women in charge, women awakening to the amount of strength we possess collectively, women giving each other a leg up, women lifting, cheering and raising themselves collectively.
If you ever get a chance to see this show, do not miss it.