It was just a regular morning. I was getting ready for my 10 AM Zoom call with my boss and the team. I heard a ping on my phone, indicating that someone had messaged me on Instagram. It was my sister-in-law. We rarely talk to each other, she doesn’t like that I insisted that her brother and I live in a separate home because now her mother has nobody to do the housework.
I opened the DM and saw a long paragraph. At first I got tensed, but my mood improved when I read through the entire message.
She wanted to express solidarity with me as a woman. Her message claimed that women can be stronger if we uplift each other instead of bringing each other down. It said that she had chosen me because she wanted me to know that she values me as a woman. The message then instructed me to post a black and white picture of myself on my feed to be more empowered, and therefore empower other women. I didn’t understand how it would work technically, but there was an accompanying hashtag with it, so it seemed pretty legitimate.
I didn’t have much time, since I had to attend that meeting where my colleague (Rohan S.) was going to present the ideas we had come up with last night, to our boss. I mean, I did come up with most of those ideas, but Rohan has a better camaraderie with our boss, Mr. V.S Sharma, and so we figured that it would be best if he presented the ideas.
It was almost 10, so I quickly thumbed through my phone’s gallery and found a selfie that I took on my last birthday. I couldn’t post a current selfie because I haven’t gotten my upper lip waxed since last week and if you looked closely, you can see some little hair growing.
I posted the selfie with the caption, “Strong women uplift one another #ChallengeAccepted”. I waited for a few seconds for the empowerment to sink in, but nothing happened. I figured it was one of those deals where it takes some time for it to take effect, like antacids.
The Zoom call got a little delayed as my boss wasn’t ready. He started the meeting after a few minutes by apologising for being being late because his wife needed some time to prepare his breakfast as she was busy getting the class assignments ready for her students. She is a teacher. I almost envy her for her easy job, but not really. She could have studied harder for a better job.
The meeting went on smoothly, our boss liked the ideas a lot. He complimented Rohan for being a visionary. I think I was distracted by waiting for the empowerment to kick in that I missed it when Rohan shared the credit with me.
The black and white selfie now had almost 30 likes, that’s 29 more likes than what my usual posts get. This was thrilling, but the empowerment had still not taken effect. I checked my inbox to see if any email had popped up form HR telling me about an increase in my salary, to match Rohan’s. Nope. Only emails from a man named Arun Jain from LinkedIn who wanted to know if I was on Facebook.
It’s been about 12 hours now and I haven’t felt empowered yet. I think this challenge might not be as legitimate as I thought. Hashtag be damned.
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