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Is God a Woman? by Subroto Mukerji

A rebel to the core, refusing to accept the impossibility of such a thing, she asked him one day:
“Why is it that God is always referred to as ‘He’? Don’t you think it’s possible that God is a
woman?”

The more he thought about it, the more he appreciated the objection. Far too long had an Adam-
centric world depicted God as a man. By His qualities shalt thou know Him: and God’s qualities
(he ventured to speculate) qualified ‘Him’ for full-fledged womanhood. And by Her qualities shalt
thou be left guessing...

Who but a female God could be so capricious, so generous with her favours one moment and so
stingy with them the next? Who could be so fickle, so subjective, and so secretive? Who could
play so hard to get...to get what she wanted? Who often left her devotees in the lurch at the oddest
of times? And came to them when they least expected it? Was it her gender that made her so
indecisive, so demanding and yet so unexpectedly calculating – pragmatic to the core? Who else
would yield to those the world regarded as unworthy, and be so difficult to woo and win by those
generally thought of as being worthy of her hand?

The more he pursued this line of thinking, he more he saw the possibility of his being on the right
track. God was so many things—a host of conflicting things—that he could not possibly be a man.
A man was so uncomplicated, such a baby...so easy to manage, so effortless to control. His
emotions—his tantrums—were so childish. His primal urges made him so obvious. His
motivations were an open book: woman fashioned his nose-ring from them and led him around
like a prize-bull.

A man was so easy to harness, and so forgiving of ill-treatment: but Hell had no fury like a woman
scorned. A man nursed his wounded pride and died of invisible wounds, from a broken heart and
shattered dreams. A woman remodelled herself and fought her way out of the maze of life. She got
up, dusted herself off, and went on to conquer. She was far more resilient, yet utterly intolerant of
failure in others.

A woman nursed majestic ambitions for her life, and wanted the best that the world had on offer
for the fruits of her womb. She was driven to excel at all costs by the need to carve golden futures
for her raison d’etre: the offspring that came from her limited clutch of precious Eggs. She had a
much longer perspective on life, seeing a Grand Design of which she was the chief architect, chief
accountant, and General Manager. Men were the drones, the pawns that made it all possible. It was
almost a biological thing.

Men were far too easy-going, much too complacent. A man wantonly scattered his seed in his
youth and called it ‘sowing his wild oats’. He philandered his way through life, a warrior who
knew he could fall in battle anytime. He lived one day at a time, an expendable commodity. He
placed little value on his life, still seeing himself as a hunter-gatherer, a wanderer. Once he had
performed his Prime Function: of fertilizing the Egg, he promptly yielded to the urge to explore
the unknown country beyond the next range of mountains. He created Valhalla for himself to serve
as an excuse for his early demise in action, an end he craved. He made a fetish of dying with his
boots on.
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Woman was far steadier, much smarter...yet paradoxically operating within a framework of
specious logic! She was brutal as well as gentle, merciless as well as forgiving, unexpectedly
submissive or unpredictably, deliciously aggressive, she was sensible yet impulsively wild. She
was as mercurial as the sea. The softness of her body contrasted with the hardness of her steely
heart! She kissed with burning ardour but made love with an icy abandon that bewildered her
partner. She was rose and thorn, silk and rapier, melody and cacophony.

In an inspired moment, he saw that woman was a metaphor for Man’s eternal quest for the
meaning of life. She was his doom as well as his deliverance. With her body she made him, and
with it she could elevate him or devastate him. Her pudenda were a creative crucible as well as a
carnal coffin, portals to Paradise as well as Purgatory. She was his Great Lesson, meant to torment
him, teach him, try him, tantalize him and transform him. He came from her and to her he always
returned at eventide, for she was life as well as death. He could never quite escape her.

Women! Who ever understood them? They were paradoxes wrapped in oxymorons cocooned in
conundrums. They were harsh and soft, gentle and brutal, sensual yet abstemious, cold as ice yet
hotter than a flame, wholesomely earthy yet untouchably angelic. They were bundles of
contradictions—intolerable yet irresistible—that drove men insane. It was the very source of their
power over men. They could be fiercely faithful to a man while a latent promiscuity lurked just
beneath the surface.

They were driven by instincts they themselves did not understand, instincts as old as the earth
itself. They could see through a man as if he was made of glass, always knew when he was lying.
They could plumb the truth in the twinkling of an eye. Know, without a word being spoken, that a
man was crazy-mad with love for them. They were trouble with a capital T, they were avoidable
yet indispensable; you couldn’t live with them and you couldn’t live without them. One moment,
you felt like hugging and kissing them; they were so sweet and desirable...and the next second
they could turn so vicious you felt like dropping everything and making tracks for the badlands.

They were agony and ecstasy, journey and destination, means and end, love and hate, inspiration
and depression, triumph and despair, frustration and fulfilment, tension and release, chili peppers
and ice cream, soft pillows and warm beds, hot baths and cold compresses, perfumes and
moisturizers, green- painted toes and mauve-coloured lipstick, eye shadow and bleaches, blush-on
and botox, shaved underarms and hair enhancements, tiny thongs and full-length saris, face packs
and sun-screens, bikini waxes and hair conditioners.

They were shadow and substance, pleasure and pestilence, heaven and hell. He slept.

He awoke from a dream in which he met God...and she was a Woman. He’d known that all along.
And tomorrow? Why, tomorrow was another day...when—with a bit of luck—he might get to
know God a little better. So he just turned over and went to sleep again, thinking of Her…

 Subroto Mukerji 