Do you know A Mrs Sen?

With years of roles foisted upon her, she has forgotten what it is to be herself

A certain Mrs Sen was staring hard at life. Four decades of scathing remarks and constant belittling had reduced her to an entity she could hardly recognise as being her true self.

Mrs Sen in the balcony, reading a book to herself.

Irritable and lost, all that she could remember of her past was the warmth of her childhood home and the amassing accolades for her performance.

Marriage had bestowed on her, activities and engagements, but untimely and unknowingly, halted the flowering of the self. Doing the chores and tweaking her life in the larger interest of the family soon became her habit and the only way to be.

And then one day, life seemed to have passed by in a whiff. With her fledgelings flying out of the nest, age and ailments catching up on her, the gnawing presence of the spouse and every morning a span of twenty-four long hours hurled at her, she barely knew what to do.

In those yesteryears, she never had the time (though she did nurture a secret inclination) to make friends, to cultivate a hobby or to delve into the purpose that could have defined her being.

You know her as much as I do...She is...everybody’s somebody.

But today when time is the currency with which she can buy the world, such finer aspects of life elude her. Trying religiously to gather herself from the meaningless heap of accumulated impressions and assorted roles that others have made of her life, she often gets baffled and spent. Nothingness looms large as she refuses to celebrate the wasteland that she has conquered.

Now tell me, do you know this Mrs Sen? You would be beguiling yourself if you answered in the negative. You know her as much as I do. She is beyond gender and age, belief and barriers. She is your mother, my father-in-law, your aunt, the neighbour’s cousin and everybody’s somebody. We meet her every day and almost everywhere but refrain from acknowledging her reality and rift.

Consciously engaging myself in this disturbing discourse, I have decided to put my wee bit into the restorative process. I have taken it upon me to look closely into every Mrs Sen that I know of and unearth those sparks which once ignited her.

After all the filament is fine and just needs a little twist to glow back to life. That twist is a purpose - the purpose to live. That purpose could be doing any of those things which she always wanted to or being with those people she had built her life upon.

But to do any of these, she needs you and me to step in. To enrol her in a class, to plan her long-awaited vacation, to take her to a community where she can make friends, to hold her hand when she goes for an evening stroll, and yes, to remind her family that she rightfully deserves some time away from ‘their’ busy schedules. By the way, what do you want to do for your Mrs Sen?

By: Promita Banerjee Nag

This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.


  1. A true reflection of a section of our society, one which most of us come across in various forms, shapes and sizes. Many of them have taken this for granted and do not know of a life beyond this. I would like to help some of them to break the mental barrier and do something they have never done/ not done in a long time, would you too?

    1. Yes of course, Sarbari. That’s the endeavour. A stark reminder to each one of us to do something now, to reincarnate not only the innumerable Mrs. Sens around us but to redeem each one of us from becoming another Mrs. Sen.

  2. Such a thoughtful and relevant piece! Thank you for writing about this. I hope we all look at the Mrs Sen in our lives, who are living their years in quiet desperation, and try to reach out to them.

    1. Pooja, you’ve nailed it just right. No point talking about a Mrs. Sen or even acknowledging her plight, if we do not reach out to one. Let’s begin with our own families and then take gradual steps outside it. The attempt would be a trying one but the achievement worth a self-praise.

  3. And that's a lovely image too. Barshali Ghosh, very well framed and the feeling is communicated.

  4. lovely words... It is my Mom you were writing about I felt.. I try with my busy schedule.. but the best therapy Mrs. Sens of the world can get is company of grandchildren... or any children.. My mother is happiest when she is with her grandchildren.. so are they... :-)

    1. Very true. With children around, they get to cherish those moments, which had rushed past the previous time. Once again their hands are full, and this time, they value every experience more than they ever did. A proactive Mrs. Sen would also love to learn something new from her grandchild or even accompany her to a class or an activity. The synergic relationship blossoms and happiness abounds.

  5. Very thoughtful and pertinent to our society...a very common phenomenon in our parents generation...and more so for those people whose kids are not around....they find it daunting to start anything new at this age and yet the loneliness is too overwhelming..... spending time with grandchildren is a good remedy...or else to find a way of getting them come together with similar folks.... Hope we can do something in what ever small way possible for the Mrs. Sens in our lives ....just to make it a little bit easier for them.

    1. Thank you Sanjukta. Empathy only can lead us to real solutions.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

My strands of American Childhood

Live to Learn or Learn to Live…

Zulay Kitchen