Feminism in India

To be a feminist in a society as patriarchal as India, one has to be prepared to receive considerable criticism and backlash. A majority of the society finds it very easy to disregard feminism as a passing fantasy or a movement with no importance in the evolution of the society.

What is ‘feminism’ really? Feminism is a movement and an ideology that opposes chauvinism. The term ‘chauvinism’ does not refer to only the belief in the male superiority. Women can be chauvinists too when they believe themselves to be better than men. Feminism stands for equality of both the sexes and hence opposes chauvinism.

If feminism is synonymous to equality, then why is it called feminism? Why is the root of the first half of the word feminine?

Throughout the history of mankind, it can be observed that women have more often been the ones being suppressed than the ones doing the suppressing.

Traditionally, women played the role of a nurturer in the unit of family. They tended to the offspring while the men hunted and gathered food. Providing for the family financially has been considered as a man’s job in most societies of the world. In lieu with these roles so assigned, women were encouraged to take up the responsibilities of managing the household while men had to cultivate the land or provide other services with the aim of earning an income for the family. This was a system of co-dependence.

However, ,much like the Varna system, this harmonious co-dependence turned sour as the mobility reduced. Women were now considered incapable of taking decisions regarding the family or the finances. They were denied an education, political rights and financial rights. In India, especially, women were subjected to a number of unfair and often cruel practices such as child marriage, sati, pardah and so on. Even in the absence of the horrible practice of Sati, widow remarriage was not allowed and the widows had to follow a strict etiquette which severely curtailed their individual freedom.

It is the year 2016 now and we can’t still say that these practices have been completely abolished.

Society doesn’t undergo a metamorphosis overnight. Change occurs over a period of time. Feminism ensures the continuity of change of women’s development in the society. It is primarily a women’s movement because they comprise a section of the society that still has to fight for their rights. The balance of equality can be achieved once women get the same opportunities and rights as men.

We live in a mostly urban society today. Many women in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai work for a living. The female literacy rate in India is on a rise. There are seats reserved for women in government offices and political organisations. Women can and do vote. So feminism mustn’t be necessary anymore.

The thing is this scenario can be seen only in urban India. Rural india is a different story altogether. Young girls who haven’t even hit puberty are still married off to much older men. The female foeticide and infanticide rates continue to rise despite strict laws taken by the government. Dowry system still prevails.
In urban areas too this disparity can be still seen. Girls might not be denied an education but their academic endeavours are limited till school or graduation. I am actually acquainted with someone who was forbidden from pursuing graduation but married off instead. She lives in Mumbai.

In workplaces too, sexism prevails. Men are often provided with more opportunities for growth on the basis of their sex as compared to women. There are times when a female employee worthy of the promotion is dismissed only because of her femininity.

Crimes against women are prevalent in the urban India. Not a day goes by when we don’t read about a case of rape, molestation, assault, acid-attack in the newspapers. The guilty of such offences often show no remorse as they consider it to be their birthright to dominate the so-called weaker sex. In response to this, we have politicians making statements blaming rapes and other forms of assault on the women’s clothing or curves or something as ridiculous and disconnected.

Even in the absence of all this, the Indian women is stereotyped to an amazing extent. An unmarried Indian woman simply can’t be happy or satisfied with her life. Marriage is yet another test that the Indian woman has to through. Can she make round rotis? Is she pretty? How does she dress? Is she a virgin? These are the questions asked.

India needs feminists and feminism. It will take a lot more time to vanquish every trace of chauvinism from the Indian society as this attitude is so deeply ingrained in the Indian culture.

Feminists are women who demand equal opportunities and rights for themselves. If such demands are not made, how will change take place? If one half of the population isn’t functioning at its optimum, how is the nation supposed to progress?

Be a happy potato ^_^

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Waffle Dreams

It’s a Sunday. We do lists on Sundays.

(Well no, we don’t. But let us assume that Sunday is the day of lists. C’mon, Play along.)

(Also, today isn’t a Sunday but let’s ignore that too.)

Weird things I do in my Freizeit (free-time but it sounds cooler in German)-

  • Read the entire plots of Hindi soaps on Wikipedia.

  • Read menus on Zomato.

Believe it or not, reading menus on Zomato is actually very fascinating and often fruitful. That’s where I learn about new restaurants where I can drag my mate, Geet. One day, I got very very lucky. I learnt about a place in Vile Parle that had an all-day breakfast menu.

Yes, I was won over by the mention of hash browns. But in my defence, hash browns are made from potatoes and potatoes are delicious.

After months of foiled plans, I ended up on a table at Tea Villa. The ambience was like a typical cafe with funky tea-themed décor.

My friends and I decided to avoid a main course and indulge in lighter snacks instead.

To begin with, we had a plate of nachos. The nachos were covered by a thick layer of creamy soft cheese. Tiny pieces of chopped bell peppers where sprinkled on the nachos. Now, for nachos, the dip matters just a little more than the actual nacho, in my opinion. The dip was exactly the thing needed to complete the dish. It was tangy- the opposite of the mild cheese. The contrasting flavours between the cheese-topped-nachos and the dip were beautiful.

1

Then, we opted for the much-awaited hash-browns. They were accompanied by slices of bread with a thin layer of butter. These cold slices weren’t all that appealing. We ignored them and devoured the hash-browns. Potatoes make everything better.

2

From the Starters section, I used a veto vote to order Sauteed herbs mushrooms. I have recently developed a mushroom obsession. I can assure you that, my obsessive self was wholeheartedly satisfied with this dish. The dish comprised of chopped mushrooms tossed in a sauce (that I couldn’t identify) with exotic vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, onions and olives. The pandemonium of tastes was so pleasant that we finished all our veggies like good children.

3

With our tummies nearly filled, it was time for dessert. When the establishment offers an all-day breakfast menu, what in the seven worlds do you order? Pancakes? Waffles? Pancakes? Or waffles? Tash flipped a coin and waffles it was. This time around, Dee and Tash used their veto power to order Oreo Waffle. “Loaded with Oreo cookie & melted chocolate” stated the description. Sounds delicious, right?

Well, here’s the thing, I can’t stand oreos. I love other brands of cream biscuits but not oreos, never oreos.

Also, good waffles are extremely difficult to get. Either they end up being too hard or too chewy or too soggy and no fun. I kept my fingers crossed.

The waffles that turned up at our table were beyond perfect. Not hard, not chewy and definitely not soggy even though the chef had been quite liberal in pouring milk chocolate over the waffle bases. Oreo crumbs were piled high on the layer of white chocolate. The waffles were served with a bowl of more white chocolate on the side. Overall, the meal ended with a chocolate induced foodgasm.

I am not lying when I tell you that the waffles have made multiple appearances in my dreams.

4

If you ask me if Tea Villa was worth getting out of my pyjamas, I would tell you that you needed to go to the cafe right now. Albeit the service was a little slow, the food tasted good enough to make up for it.

Have you ever seen a star die?

Have you ever seen a star die?
No, I haven’t either.
But I’ve always imagined it…
I’ve imagined it-
As a final spark
         before the lights die out;
As a final blast
         before the unending quiet;
As a final show
         just before the last bow;
As a final hurrah
         before the end of a year,
and the start of yet another.
A dying star doesn’t slither away
to hide in a dark, desolate corner.
A dying star doesn’t give in
to the impending unavoidable doom.
No. Instead it takes the centre stage.
One last final vibrant boom
before it all begins to fade.
The dying star doesn’t let its light go waste.

Being sick is like

Hello Blogosphere! Fear no more! Or fear even more. It’s all relative and I totally get that. The thing is, I’m back.

I was sick and stuck at home for a greater part of the month of February. There was a time when I didn’t mind being indoors so much. That was when I was watching Doctor Who. I finished watching the newest season, series 9, in December.

Confession time: I don’t know what to do with my life any more.

Okay, I admit I am not that lost. I make plans and draw up schedules but when the time comes to follow through what has been scheduled, I’d rather watch Doctor Who.

The cure for a TV show/ book series obsession normally is to get obsessed with another show/book series/movie franchise. I did that. I did just that. I got into Star Wars. I had long,endless discussions about Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala with my friend, Sofia. I listened to and watched Jimmy Fallon’s Star Wars A Cappella Medley on repeat. But the discussions came to an end and I got a little bored of the medley.

Also, this was in January.

I decided to watch Hannibal in February and it was way too intense and gory. I am almost through season 1 but I couldn’t binge it. A Hannibal binge might just result in some serious mental scarring. I’m not denying its absolute brilliance but not everyone can stomach Hannibal. I mean, he is literally shown cooking human meat. And then feeding it to his guests. Argh. And those poor schmucks have zero idea that they are basically indulging in a bit of cannibalism.

After a few episodes of the cannibalistic Hannibal,  I was left with a dire need for some light-hearted comedy. Enter Jane the Virgin. I have already caught up with the show. It is the best thing I’ve seen in a very long time (Since Doctor Who, probably). I can’t even begin to fangrl about it. But if you haven’t watched it, watch it NOW! It is funny, romantic, sensible, outrageous, dramatic- all at once.

Jane the Virgin has all the plot twists that you would expect in a soap opera or a telenovela but they aren’t lame here. Rather the show makes fun of all the soap operas. I find it to be a satirical genius. Also, Jane is such a relatable character. She isn’t me, but she is the person I’d like to be.

Then there is Rafael Solano.

giphy (3)

Jane’s reaction exactly. 

 

giphy (2)

Look at that smile!

giphy (1)

AWWWWWWWWW

Safe to say that I have developed a bit of a crush.

I have also thought of a short story which could possibly end up as a full fledged novel. That isn’t scaring me. Not even a little bit. Due to my absolute lack of fear, I haven’t started writing it yet.

February was also me mum’s birthday. I gifted her a pair of pants and a nice top. I had also planned on taking her out for dinner wearing the aforementioned pants and top but then I fell sick and mum ordered me to stay at home. Meh.

In Feb, I have been more or less stuck at home. I might be an introvert but I am also human. Human beings are social animals and my introversion has its limits. It’s driving me insane now. I can’t wait to go back to school (well, college but back to school sounded like a song…oh wait! Grease 2!). I can’t wait to fight for a seat in the train or cuddle up next to Geet in class (and also eat her tiffin. I know you’re reading this, Geet. And you know what I want. Yes, you do.) I want to have a cup of chai with Amreen and snapchat with Zaitun. Most of all, I want to make fandom references with Kellu.

Yeah, I miss my friends.

Meanwhile, I have another couple of days of doctor’s appointments. Then I will escape these shackles and take my first breath of freedom.

Till then, be a happy potato, you.

 

Meraki

This is a story I wrote for RavenclawSam’s blog. There’s some good work there. You should definitely check out the other stories in this series of guest posts.

A Blast Of Random

The curator switched off the main light and looked back into the room. All seven paintings were lit by their individual soft lights. They were placed all around the room with benches for observation in the middle of the room.

Personally, the curator didn’t like this particular exhibition of paintings. They made him uneasy. He couldn’t point out why but they seemed to be eerily alive- especially in the dark.

The curator left the room in a hurry. It was 11.15 pm. He knew he was late. The wife would be angry. He checked the room once more before locking up for the day. His boss would have his head on a platter if anything were to happen to the paintings.

The room with the paintings was enveloped in complete dark barring the lights of the paintings. The room was quite empty and still. Yet something was breathing. Breathing, waiting…

View original post 1,696 more words

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