A couple of days back, one well meaning acquaintance from our building came to meet me. She wanted to know if I was interested in joining a “Beesi” group that she was starting. Not having the heart to refuse for fear of hurting the person in front of me, I actually found myself agreeing to join. It was actually a spur of the moment decision mostly triggered in an instant of self pity for losing my job in, a decision which I regretted the moment I uttered yes! I started cursing myself from the minute she left. What had I gotten myself into? I despise the word and more that that I despise the concept!
To all the ignorant folks, “Beesi” is an Indian version of kitty party. Each member in the group contributes a pre determined amount during each gathering. They then draw lots of all the members’ names. The person, whose name comes up, takes the entire amount home. Apart from the money factor, women use this opportunity to socialize, chat, and meet friends and gossip!
All my life I have looked down upon “Beesi” groups, kitty parties and gatherings of such kind. I thought of myself to be much above all this. I am a financially independent woman.” Beesi” is for those unfortunate women who have to rely on the meagre allowances that their husbands provide. Such gatherings provide the means to buy that piece of jewellery they saw in the shop window or some other much sought after luxury which they have been yearning for a long time but would not otherwise be able to afford. I don’t need to do this I used to think, I earn money so I can buy whatever I want and whenever I want, I don’t really need to wait for such an avenue to make big money. To me Beesi was just a place for these typical housewives who have nothing better to do.These women have a typical mindset and their conversations are also so typical (ex. What they prepared for dinner, or what their hubby likes/dislikes) etc. They are blissfully unaware of what is going on in the world so there is no scope for any intellectual conversations. Such gatherings were an opportunity for them to get together and gossip and show off their new clothes and talk about the latest scandals in the society. I used to pity such women.
And now, against my wishes I would be one of them. I felt utterly disgusted and sorry for myself. Hubby also joined in the fun, started mocking me with comments like “now you are those typical housewives who attend kitty parties and roll papads on their terrace in their free time” !! Was this going to be my fate after quitting work? The very idea was depressing and I was demoralized to the core. Was my decision to quit totally wrong I began to wonder?
About two weeks have passed since this incident. So while I am no longer depressed about going to a “Beesi” party, I am not very much looking forward to it either. I am still having second thoughts about whether I would fit into the “Beesi” group, but nevertheless, waiting for my first party! So Stay tuned and watch this space to read about my first Beesi experience!