It is said that ‘looks can be deceptive’. It is also said that ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. Both seem to be applicable for the book “How I Achieved Real Success – A Happiness Guide for Modern Women” by Indira Meshram.
This article is a part of the series ‘Vedic India’ where I discuss controversial traditional Indian and Vedic culture and explain why the tradition was like that. Many of those traditions are viewed today as oppressive towards women and against their personal freedom of expression.
When I first got the book in my hand, I was wondering what success this apparently deshi looking book was talking about. The cover showed a sari-clad woman completely covered from head to toe with two of her kids in a village setting. Inside, there were pictures of her family and all of them looked like very traditional people from an Indian village. In modern-day language, it was ‘deshi’ all over.
Even though I myself follow a simple and down-to-earth lifestyle in a way to check the Vedic philosophy of life, I was wondering what could the village woman tell us about success. Earlier, I have only heard about the philosophy ‘simple living and high thinking’ and now I was about to experience it, through this book.
So, my first impression of the 175 pages rather thin book was not that good. I was not sure what success she could talk about. So, despite knowing the fact that she is an Indian Institute of Technology Alumnus and a Masters’ degree holder in Computer Science and Technologies, and she indeed worked in the corporate world for some time before calling it quits to realize her true potential was not impressive enough.
At the back of my mind though I was wondering where do these women hide when we men look for our potential partners. It is because, no matter what men look for in women in a modern-day dating scenario, they still want a homemaker as a wife. Men today understand that women’s sexual appeal fades away as they age and most often faster than that of men, but what remains is their core values that sustain a relationship.
The book – How I Achieved Real Success – A Happiness Guide For Modern Women, tells us about a lot of finer feminist issues that we face today. Even though the book is written only for women and provides a happiness guide for them, it indeed works as the happiness guide for everyone, men included. That is where comes the success of Vedic Style of feminism, that is often misinterpreted as men’s rights or masculinist ideology. But when we learn about Vedic philosophy and the Vedic way of protecting women, we will see that Vedic philosophy is a feminist philosophy.
However, in many of the modern-day feminist issues, the Vedic philosophy is at the loggerheads with feminists. It seems there is a direct conflict between the two and that is why we need in-depth knowledge about Vedic lifestyle to understand why and how that society was a society many feminists can only dream about today.
The author was candid in discussing every feminist issue that revolves around family today – Women’s respect, protection, gender roles, debates around ‘nature and nurture’, arranged child marriages, polygamy, divorce, motherhood, education, career and conduct all are discussed at length. The writer Indira Meshram has shown in each of these feminist issues, why the Vedic principles were, in fact, favourable for women. She has discussed modern dating culture while discussing partner choices and also the hookup culture in American colleges to establish how these are ruining the physical and social well-being of women.
What is amazing to find in all these discussions is she seemed to have put all her arguments flawlessly and in such a logical manner, that being a men’s rights activist myself I was awestruck by her way of feminism. The reason I call the Vedic lifestyle a feminist lifestyle is because even though I find some components of men’s rights in it, it was predominantly structured around feminism.
Surprisingly, we the men’s rights activists will not have any problem in accepting that form of feminism.
Dear reader, it is amazing to note that keeping women in the home and barring them from mixing with the outside world is actually beneficial for women and not men. It is surprising to note why arranged child marriages in India were so successful and why our modern-day love or love cum arranged marriages are not; It is amazing to find out how even most illiterate women in the society commanded respect from the higher class of people even without uttering a word or how even without earning money women were both rich and happy. In today’s world opulence and happiness almost never go hand in hand.
One major point that I have noticed in this book was her in-depth research on feminism related matters. I myself am doing research on similar topics for 8 years now, however, I didn’t have so much study in these burning topics. Even though I try to follow a simple Vedic lifestyle but that is nowhere near what the real people like Indira practices; I still eat non-veg, use artificial material benefits like electricity, electronic gadgets and don’t follow the daily routine of prayers etc. still I have observed genuine happiness in my life. But despite that in some of the burning feminist issues I didn’t have a logical explanation and used to consider those as women’s oppression. Issues related to arranged child marriages, education, career and workforce participation and gender roles of making males the provider for women seemed very much gender-biased and unethical to me. Surprisingly, this book has given an explanation of all of these in the most logical and convincing way. I wonder how many years of dedicated study she had done for this work so that she could gather so much relevant information.
The book, “How I Achieved Real Success” also tells us what ‘success’ really is; and the way she told us, it never looked as if she was trying to preach us her personal belief without any scientific basis. What makes this book unique is that it preaches the Vedic Philosophy in our own language but it never felt as if she was trying to preach something based on her thought process or from some Sanskrit scriptures that we don’t understand. Her research was very modern yet very contemporary; her explanations were very concise yet detailed enough to cover all aspects of a topic; it was Vedic and scientific. I have not seen one single MRA who could successfully deal with these burning feminist issues with so much clarity and successfully debunk modern feminist theories.
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When it comes to the Vedic Philosophy, I have always said that it is not what MRAs preach. Even though the Vedic society seemed to have structured around men, when we look at these customs and practices and understand the explanations given by Indira in this book, we understand these are actually feminist principles and probably as males we will not have any problem accepting them as well.
That is where Vedic Philosophy is known as the most scientific one, that is where the expertise and wisdom of the author Indira Meshram come into play. This book is surely a winner in teaching the success mantras of life. The Mantra that even life coaches should start preaching and the common people like us should start following. A substantial reason for every individual to get a copy of this book and read and treasure the knowledge for one’s life. These gems are not created often and you surely can’t miss the opportunity to grab a copy of your success mantra fast.
This article is a part of the series ‘Vedic India’ where I discuss traditional Indian and Vedic culture and explain why the tradition was like that. Many of those traditions are viewed today as oppressive towards women and against their personal freedom of expression.
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*For other book reviews check – Here
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