Monday, 15 December 2014

Hemantha Kalam - 28 'Gender Bender'

It’s been four months since I posted my last spiel, er blog! Every time I post my blog, I send the link to an approximate 2,500 contacts. And in these four months hardly four persons mentioned of missing my blogs. The first came within a month of my pausing – from an unusual place – Nizamabad in the Telangana State, India. B. Umamaheswara Rao took the trouble of calling me over phone to find out why there are no more blogs from me. And then a couple of enquiries came from my fellow members in the Photographic Society of Madras (1857), in Chennai, on similar lines.

Now this gives me scope for several inferences. 

The first is - that nobody cares, really. 

The second is - that everybody is so busy that they must have heaved a sigh of relief and muttered ‘Good riddance, bad rubbish.’ 

The third is - neither of these. These are people, who, never opened the links to ‘miss’ anything anyway! 


The last one is - really the matter of concern – readers must have been feeling that my writings are insipid, lack lustre or you name it - in your own choicest words.

So I thought ‘let me keep off till I can’. 

But then those four odd persons who cared to enquire on the absence of my blogs, some faithful followers who always read my blogs and sent their comments, observations, opinions and solidarity, some more faithful who read quietly and mused with amusement or annoyance but were gracious enough not to say or write a word and then, a recent column that I read in ‘The Hindu’ issue dated the 10th December, 2014 titled 'Conversations with a Lady Taxi Driver'  stirred the juices and here is another short and quick one. Please do take note that I am not talking of those ever faithful who read and comment or do not comment. :-)

The column by Omar Rashid made me reminisce on my own thoughts in this matter.

Sometime during 2002, my boss Mr. SB, a devout Bohra, asked me to work on the copy for a classified advertisement to be released for a Chauffeur and I started with the usual ‘Require an experienced Driver, Male, patient and with good experience…….’

My boss who normally is a very serious person guffawed on seeing this ‘masterpiece’ and observed ‘GM (General Manager) saab, since when did you get ideas that you can get Lady Chauffeurs in India and that too in conservative Chennai, that you are specifying the gender in the ad copy? If available, don’t you think I would love to hire them to take care of my family driving needs?’

Only then did I realise how automated my thoughts were and that I really did not apply my mind while writing the ad copy, but went in a routine. Though mellowing, still the MCP that I was must have been working sub consciously.

But, ever since this incident, the idea dwelled in my mind and I was wondering why not? And that I would not be averse to the idea of hiring a woman chauffeur to take my family, especially, my lovely growing daughters around, with a little more comfort in mind.

We see several auto-rickshaws in the city being driven by women with confidence and I do hear or read of some achievement by a woman truck driver or a woman bus conductor. I have seen women driving buses in London with confident nonchalance. And every time I was flown in by a Lady pilot, safely, my conviction increased, with much more confidence.

Now the latest column, under reference, from ‘The Hindu’ does give rise to hope that we are in for seeing and getting things in differently; in India too.

Only we need to hope that relevant laws and systems would be put in place and more importantly that they are implemented with certainty to the dot, thus providing security to the driver and the driven equally, irrespective of the place or time or most importantly the gender.

Now, what do you think? You tell me! 

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Sthoothiy (Sinhalese) Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian), Kob Kun Krab (Thai) and Asante (Kiswahili), Maraming Salamat sa Lahat (Pinoy-Tagalog-Filipino)

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy

Chennai, India


  1. Nice thoughts and thanks for sharing. ..As they say..sing for yourself. Blog for your pleasure. !! If we are privileged to have a peek then we shall.

  2. Dear Hemantha - "times are a changin" so sang Bob Dylan; so fret not, this too shall happen. In fact, seeing lady autorickshaw drivers in Chennai certainly brings hope that this boorish male dominated profession is changing. SV

  3. As the adage goes, I only intended to pause and not stop! Yes, I shall be continuing and thank you so much for your kind words and support dear 'Tech Experiments' and 'Venkat's Musings'

    Best wishes
    Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy

  4. Dear Hemanth,
    In your observation, you had left out one more category. Those who read the blog but do not comment.
    With good wishes,

  5. Yes, Mr. Srinivasan, but in this context I am only enumerating about people who did not appear to have missed my blogs! :-) I know that I have been blessed by support from people like you who always are there in need indeed! :-)

    Warm regards

  6. Since corrected Mr. Srinivasan! :-)