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No more a bonsai; I am a powerful tree – A wake up call for women

No more a bonsai; I am a powerful tree – A wake up call for women

Hema Gandikota

HR Consultant & Trainer


“Men are like the sun – they create their own light. Women, on the other hand, are like satellites; they get their light from the sun!”

By and large, this seems very true of Indian society. In order to have a social status, a woman must be backed by a man –be it the father, husband, son or brother.Who can match the arrogance and pride of a woman who has many sons? Similarly who can match the suffering, self pity and insecurity of a woman who produces one daughter after another!

However, women too can create and are creating, their own light through education.

There are many, very highly educated women pursuing excellent careers in various fields, especially in urban India. They are simultaneously balancing many roles – of a daughter/ daughter in law/wife/mother etc. The irony here is that her role in each of these- particularly as wife, daughter- in- law and mother, is taken for granted, leading to constant exploitation, whether overt or covert. She, in turn, lets this continue, as she has been brainwashed from childhood into thinking, that her role is entirely one of obedience and sacrifice.

From the above it is clear that a good academic education alone does not serve the purpose; a woman must learn to differentiate between a relationship based on love and mutual respect and one based on dependence, exploitation and injustice.Once she has understood this difference, she must have the clarity of thought and conviction to stand by it.

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In short, she must learn to be assertive (not aggressive or passive or manipulative). This attitude will help her to respect herself; and once that is a fact, other people around her too will learn to respect her.

A woman too lives, not by bread alone!


Here’s my poem for the woman of today.



Oh ! What a beautiful home was mine!

The blue sky with its twinkling stars was my roof;

The lush green grass my carpet.

The chirping of the birds and the gurgling of the river

was my music;

The whiff of the wet mud, the cool breeze

and the fluttering butterflies

were my constant companions.


You believed that small is beautiful!

So, one day, you came and took me away.

You put me in a small pot,

you cut my roots;

You pruned my stems,

you tied me up with strings;

you restricted my growth.


You were proud of me!

I adorned your living room with my colourful flowers and leaves.

You gracefully accepted all the compliments for my beauty;

you told everyone how much you loved your bonsai.

But wait, think again; do you love your bonsai or yourself?


 Your game is over my friend!

Even a worm turns, even a bonsai rebels.

I have awakened from my long slumber;

The truth has finally dawned on me.

I am a powerful tree,

You made a bonsai out of me.

But no – not any more!

Please do leave your comments at the bottom and do share with others if you like this article.

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11 Comment threads
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BhaskarMousumi Ray ChaudhuriBharathi VmmSrividya Bharatrajan Recent comment authors
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Ira Goyal
Ira Goyal

Very well said But sometimes the Bonsai is more powerful than the biggest tallest tree.
Yes miles to go ahead but at least we folk have put our first foot ahead.

Hema Gandikota

Thank you Ira.In this context what I mean by bonsai is not the small size but the opression and suppression which restricts a woman from being as powerful as she is capable of.

Srividya Bharatrajan
Srividya Bharatrajan

Yes, size does not matter, But if a woman ‘s tolerance limit is crossed she can burst forth with all her energy ( which was so far suppressed)


Lovely! Very well written!

Rajiv Soni
Rajiv Soni

Its the man who is an ass and doesn’t know how to treat his woman right…😎

Sujata Murthy
Sujata Murthy

Beautifully put . Nice allegory. Way to go Hema !

Pallavi Shriya
Pallavi Shriya

There is no unity in women,they don’t support other women..

Lokesh Vashishth
Lokesh Vashishth

Very well written, especially the poem.

Srividya Bharatrajan
Srividya Bharatrajan

The feelings of a woman who at times becomes a bonsai because of circumstances has been beautifully expressed!

Anindita Lakhani

Loved the poem

Bharathi V
Bharathi V

Beautifully written, Madam.

Mousumi Ray Chaudhuri
Mousumi Ray Chaudhuri

Very Well written… Especially the poem… Although, I don’t think that sons, instead of daughters, are so much coveted nowadays, in the changing social scenario…. to a certain section of urban educated class.. Yet.. this still holds good in rural society at large… I absolutely agree with your viewpoint that a woman ” must learn to be assertive (not aggressive or passive or manipulative)”

Hema Gandikota

Yes Moushumi I fully agree with you that the situation is changing in the urban educated class but like you said that forms a very small percentage of our society….This is still very representative of ‘Bharath.’


Dear Hema, A very nice poem indeed, Whether it is on DTC bus or BONSAI you do have the talent in expressing yourself beautifully Personally speaking I always have a different take on women, They are always more intelligent, the big tree in a man’s life, the home maker, face adversities more boldly, more loving , more fun loving , think differently and above all they are beautiful and loving mothers. But at the same time I have also come across very very wicked women in my life , brought up due to faulty upbringing from whom I would be… Read more »

Hema Gandikota

Bhaskar I could not agree with you more.
Yes we sometimes see that women who have grown to their full height tend to ‘bonsai’ people around them including their husbands.
But the reason for this I think is their own personality…while in the case of men oppressing the is done with complete social support.
Anyone exploiting anyone it is unfair (irrespective of gender,caste etc etc)
That is why I prefer to call myself a fairist(if there is such a word) and not a feminist.