What's New - Spotlight

Women’s Day 2022

Jasma G. Pühringer


Placing an incisive piece of writing by Jasma G. Pühringer (also addressed by family friends as Gayatri), gifted daughter of my film festival aficionado Bindu Batra, who passed away some years ago. It invigorated me to the degree that I needed to share it.
Thank you, dear Gayatri …


Let me ask you. When you think of a strong woman, what picture comes to mind?
I feel that at the base of beauty is feminine strength. A strong soul.
We enjoy the beautiful woman's presence. It both refreshes and inspires. But we rarely ask: How did she get this way? Where did her beauty come from?

We reap the benefits without knowing the source or understanding the journey.

In celebration of women everywhere, I lift the curtain...

There is an unbearable heaviness that comes with being a strong woman.

A strong woman is not fearless. She’s full of all kinds of fears. Fears about her present and her future. She fears for her family and she fears for her community and for her world. She’s anxious. She lies awake at night sometimes and wonders how she can make a change. She wonders how she can better herself and the people around her.

She is not fully confident. She is in fact, full of insecurities. She worries how she will be perceived and whether she’s good enough. She worries whether or not she is capable of reaching her dreams.

She doesn’t yet fully know who she is. Sometimes she doubts herself and her decisions. She tries to be many things to many people because she has to be. She has to be wife or mom or daughter. Or boss or employee or friend. She has to be tough and she has to be a nurturer. Or all of these things and sometimes all in one day. But somehow she does it and she knows she is finding herself. Piece by piece her identity is being built. Little by little she is realizing her potential and how strong she really is.
(My mother was a lot like that. I can’t imagine the pressure she must have been under. And yet, she did it flawlessly).

It’s a mark of privilege if you don’t feel like you represent an entire people group. A woman doesn’t have the luxury of only speaking and acting for herself on a micro level. She carries the reputation of half the sky on her shoulders.

She is the single mom who has to be mom, dad, provider, teacher, caregiver, and everything in between.

She is the woman who, after years of abuse, gets the courage to leave that relationship because she dared to believe that she’s worthy of love and happiness. (I know this isn’t possible for so many women and my heart aches for them).

She’s the breast cancer survivor who dares to wear that dress despite how she feels about her body. Because she deserves to feel beautiful. Because she is beautiful.

She’s the refugee or immigrant who, despite her oppression and abuse, is risking her life to speak out so other women can be free.

I am 2 women. The strong woman with the fighting spirit and shameless independence. And the vulnerable one who wishes she could fall down without fear of the scoffers.

I fight hard. I speak loud. I walk even when there’s no end in sight. But my strength is not unending. I am not indestructible.

But I say this. We, as women, have nothing to prove.

So ladies. No critic or opponent can make you carry this burden. Your weakness in a moment does not mean that women are weak.
Your vulnerability does not mean that you or your cause have failed, it means that you succeeded in staying human.
Your “breakability” is not a reflection of your value or ability as a leader. You are wise enough to recognize your own weakness. You are brave enough to be vulnerable.

We answer to a higher being who never asks women to prove their value.
May we live in our skin, in our strength and our weakness, in our beautiful humanity, and in the confidence that we have always been strong.

Woman: wild, beautiful, free. An old soul that’s just getting started.