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Please forgive me!

This is your day, ladies! You will have paeans written in your honour, pages and pages in your praise as the world acknowledges your power, writes Arif Zakaria.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2009 21:14 IST

This is your day, ladies! You will have paeans written in your honour, pages and pages in your praise as the world acknowledges your power.

There will be hard talk about equality of sexes and how once again you countered challenges through grit and determination.. and pulled yourself up when a quivering male hand muscled by tradition and chauvinism, tried to drag you down.

But this year, I want to celebrate by apologising to all the ladies of the world. I choose to believe that I represent the entire male clan of the universe. So I represent only myself although if a collective male apology ever emanated, I hope it read like this.

I have a lot to say sorry for. Firstly, I’m sorry I’ve never understood the emotional depths you possess. Your deep caring, I always misconstrue as claustrophobia.. your tears for melodrama.. and your love, well, who has understood your love?

Do forgive me for thinking that your love is complex, mysterious and enigmatic! It’s not. It’s just pure and heartfelt, which I, as a man, will never understand. I ask for your forgiveness for all those days when I had this fleeting thought that tasks which require great skill, expertise and immense physical strength could only be performed by me.

You fly a rocket, you climb mountains, you rule countries, run big companies, you even stand behind me and applaud my deeds, and how foolish I was in undermining you!

So shameful
I’m feeling deep remorse for having exploited you over the years, no, centuries. I have set out each morning to chart my destiny while I leave you behind to provide me comforts from mundane chores which have taken a toll on you and acts which have suppressed your talents, ambition and flair for living. For each of your thwarted dreams, my apologies!

You nurture life, you warm the seed of existence and patiently fan it within the depths of your bosom till it springs forth and blossoms.

I’ll never understand this magic, nor its pain. I merely give that seed my last name hence I apologise for my arrogance.. and for misreading your divinity. For all the times any man has snuggled to his pregnant wife and whispered, “I wish it’s a boy,” I hang my head in shame!

Beauty with brains
I apologise for being lewd, lecherous.. and at times, disgraceful. I have failed to see through your beauty, failed to look at you with kind eyes and misinterpreted the simple warmth of your smile.

I have failed to match your beauty with your brains, and just for that I deserve your disdain. When I look back, I’m ashamed that I have a problem with all your ‘avtaars’.

As a mother, I loathed your indulgence and care.. as your lover, I always gasped for air.. as a wife, I gave you strife.. as the mother of my child, you never did right — for all this, today, I apologise.

For all the lessons on compassion, forgiveness and patience, I didn’t learn while thrusting my ego and false pride on you. So please forgive me, won’t you? Happy Women’s Day, ladies. Truly, I vow to change the way I look at you!