Kathmandu :

The pretty girl was heavily made-up and could not have been a day over 16. She had long-long legs that seemed longer due to high-high heels and a short-short skirt. Her demeanor screamed ‘model’. Somehow I had managed to land up at an ad agency while they were shooting for a campaign. The girl look embarrassed to be wearing a skirt better suited for a five-year-old, and looking at her I could not but feel uneasy.

My feelings, if they were to be analysed then, would have revealed to be similar to those I had when watching lissome girls sway seductively in front of an audience of half drunk lechs in one of the ‘dance restaurants’. My feeling was the result of my knowing that most girls are not in this profession out of choice, but due to compulsion borne out of the basest of needs. That of staving off starvation.

However, that is the dark side of the coin. But there is a brighter side and it is lustrous. In the last month, I have had the pleasure of meeting young women in their present ‘natural’ settings and I have come out the happier for meeting them. Among them have been four who are in the demanding profession of editing magazines. All four have confidence in their abilities and are willing to shoulder exacting responsibilities. Similarly, I have met young women holding important positions in business houses. Seven among them handle public relations and they are among the most polite, most pleasant, and most courteous people I have ever met.

I have also met with a number of secretaries, and they came across as competent besides, of course, being smart in appearance. Most bosses nowadays do not seem to like staying in the office, preferring to contribute hands-on by doing the executive network circuit, that is, openings, symposiums, parties, golf course, etc… while all the time remaining mobile-ly contact-able. In such a set up, the duties of a secretary obviously calls for the highest degree of patience, dexterity and tact.

I also met two women at the helm of affairs in their respective businesses. Both are young in manner and appearance, even if not so young in age, and both manage their businesses with ruthless efficiency. It was wonderful to see iron hands at work, encased within velvet gloves, and the absence of callousness in working methods. One of them is a professional and has strong views on current events affecting society and nation and obviously cares a lot about issues other than her own. The other steel magnolia I had the honour of meeting runs a hotel of high repute and is dedicated in her mission to contribute substantially to the preservation of the country’s heritage.

All the above, I believe, reflect the abilities of today’s capable women.