Women had reason to celebrate in the city on March 8

As a feminist, you might storm and stamp your feet at the idea of an International Women's Day, but it can have its advantages. Apart from the rich history of the women's movement, there's the lighter side of pampering and perks.

From getting roses to discounts, Hyderabad celebrated Women's Day 2010 with a remarkable number of special offers and services for women. Enter Shoppers Stop, and you're greeted with exclamations of ‘Happy Women's Day!' as roses in shades of pink, yellow and red are thrust at you. Clusters of women are giving their views on the day to a purple-clad host brandishing a microphone.

“I stopped by to do some shopping while my kids are at school, and it was a pleasant surprise to receive such special treatment,” says homemaker Rathi Shah. “I was encouraged to participate in a Bingo competition to win special prizes. I didn't expect it, so it was double the fun.”

The celebrations extended out of the air-conditioned malls and into the scorching heat. There's nothing worse than waiting for a bus in the blazing sun, dreading the sweaty journey jostling with strangers for space. Keeping that in mind, Celon Labs decided to make women commuters a little more comfortable by introducing Celon branded buses for the day. The fleet of buses offered free bus services across the city, picking up women waiting at bus stops and taking them to their destinations.

Women's Day also seemed like the ideal opportunity for college girls to bunk and take in a movie or two – for free. A group of hyper girls are gathered near the ticket counter of Big Cinemas, which was offering free tickets for women throughout the day. “We can't decide what movie to watch but we also can't pass up free tickets!” giggles 19-year-old Megha Reddy. “We're supposed to come 45 minutes before the show to pick up passes, but we couldn't wait so we're here hours ahead.”

From boutiques to bars, the festive spirit continued. Shops like Sarang in Banjara Hills offered 10 per cent discount for women on their purchases. 10 Downing Street took it a few steps further.

“There were drinks on the house combined with a fashion show,” says IT employee M. Divya. “It was the perfect setting to unwind with the girls.”

Keywords: Women's dayfeminism