The Colour of a People (The Ivory Throne-Part 2)

“If I were a Devadasi.”

It is time to get transported into one of the most fascinating milieus and yet another brood of the notorious caste system – the Devadasis. We could have easily been talking about the age of romanticism where women dedicated themselves to deities and temples. As resonates through The Ivory Throne : “their lives committed in service of god, dancing and singing and preserving high culture in great Hindu temples of the land.” To add to the romance, imagine a vivid picture of the great shrine of Mahakala in Ujjain, which resounded with the sound of the ankle bells of dancing girls: The Meghadutam by Kalidasa. Continue reading “The Colour of a People (The Ivory Throne-Part 2)”

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Happy Women’s Day, Babe!

A couple of days back, I woke up to a text message that said “Celebrate Women’s day with Levi’s!  Buy any women’s jeans and get FLAT Rs.750 OFF on your next Levi’s apparel. Only in exclusive Levi’s apparel”. I instinctively reminded myself to look out for offers in home decors. Later in the day as I walked into my office, I noticed a lot of women clad beautifully in sari and I could hear the men wishing them a “Happy women’s day”. My social media timelines were filled with greetings from men of all sorts – men who can’t crack a joke without mentioning their wife or marriage, men who believe women can’t be intelligent, men whose daughter is a princess, mother is a goddess and wife is a maid, men who believe women ought to dress appropriately to avoid being raped and more. Continue reading “Happy Women’s Day, Babe!”

Swami Vivekananda, Women’s Rights, and Uniform Civil Code

India celebrated Republic Day yesterday. We celebrated National Youth Day on 12th January. We also celebrated the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on 23rd. As I started for my work location on 12th of January, I saw on my way, a statue of Swami Vivekananda in a park. The statue shimmered like diamond, was garlanded, and ameliorated with marigold. The visage was beautiful. A similar image awaited me on 23rd January for Netaji and as we celebrated our Republic Day yesterday, I see flags and flowers blanketing the city. I had a question to myself. Have we limited our appreciation and celebrations to just a tweet a year, a post-share per annum of their famous quotes, cleaning of their statues, and garlanding them? The second question in front of me was – How many ideas of these great minds have we garlanded so far? Continue reading “Swami Vivekananda, Women’s Rights, and Uniform Civil Code”

The Tamasha of Women Empowerment in India

I don’t remember when was the last time I walked out of a movie feeling so content yet wanting to run back into the hall and experience it all over again. Despite the inconveniences of poor health and a bad choice of seats, the cheers from the audience, the hilarious narration and the inspiring story only left me wanting for more. As the end credit rolled and I walked out with a new found sense of optimism, there indeed were questions lingering all over my head. And I believe the questions that the movie leaves us with are more important than the movie itself.

Continue reading “The Tamasha of Women Empowerment in India”

நோ மீன்ஸ் நோ


சமீபத்தில் வெளியாகி பரவலாகப் பேசப்பட்ட பாலிவூட் திரைப்படம் Pink. வன்புணர்வில் தொடங்கி வடகிழக்கு மாநிலத்தவர் சந்திக்கும் இடையூறுகள் வரை பேசியது இந்த படம். ‘நோ மீன்ஸ் நோ’ என்ற ஒற்றை வாசகத்தில் ஒரு பெண்ணிற்கான தனிமனித உரிமயையை அழுத்தமாய் சொல்லியது. படத்தில் எனக்கு மிகவும் ஆறுதலான விஷயம் என்னவென்றால் இந்த கதையின் நாயகிகள் மூவரும் சாதாரணமானவர்கள்.

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To be or Not to be a Victim

Long ago in a country called India, there lived a girl called Nirbhaya. She was gang-raped and left to die. Enraged by the brutality of the incident, her country-men rose up in multitude against her offenders. They held rallies and spoke fiercely to render her justice. And then there was silence. Few years later there was a girl called Jisha in the other corner of the country who met an equally merciless fate. They woke up again to demand justice for Nirbhaya and Jisha. Then again silence took over them. Caught up amidst these alternating periods of voices, noises and radio silences, the Nirbhayas and Jishas never found an ending to their stories, forget about a happy ending. Continue reading “To be or Not to be a Victim”

Echoes that stay!

I broke a promise I made to myself, a promise I had kept for 9 long  years. I was not going to read another of Khaled Hosseini’s books after the heart-wrenching story of the Kite runner although I loved every bit of it.  I did duly skip A Thousand Splendid Suns and stayed true to the promise, until a friend, unaware of this promise of mine gifted me Hosseni’s latest bestseller And the Mountains Echoed. So I made my choice, picked the book to read during a bus journey in the night and here is how beautifully Hosseini opens the book for me.
Continue reading “Echoes that stay!”