GUEST COLUMN | When Chetan Bhagat writes ‘I’d like Indian men to have an open mind about choosing their life partners and revise their ‘ideal woman’ criteria’, one expects that he is exhorting many Indian men to finally realize that women are equal ‘partners’ in a marriage, and are also humans with their own ideas and aspirations both within and outside the home, which are not tied to being someone’s wife or mother. But no, Mr. Bhagat fails miserably, as in his narrow view of the world that ignores disturbing everyday realities for much of India’s population, women’s lives still revolve around men. Shreya Sen tells us why this is not just pissing off, but also extremely problematic, and hardly “progressive”.
There are certain things we all say at some points of time about women, brimming with pride, joy and appreciation. Women are naturally caring, they are born to be mothers. Don’t dismiss housewives, alright, ask the men to handle the home for a week and they’ll flounder! And of course, can you ever find a better cook than your wife or your mother – God just made women that way! Have we ever thought about how we end up unknowingly stereotyping all women in these ways because we see a few such women? Three women tackle these stereotypes in their own ways while not dismissing the joys of motherhood, the pressures and demands of housework or the aroma of tadka sizzling on hot, hot food.
This is the story of a puppet that was brought home by a family as a souvenir of a good holiday. But eventually, it turns out to be something more than a puppet for the narrator. Vinita Agrawal captures the feelings of a woman through poetry.
We praise housewives – we even call them ‘homemakers’ – because we know it’s no easy task to run a home. But have we ever thought of how leaving homemaking to women might be problematic and unfair – and not just for women? Suchitra Ramachandran explains.
Kamatchi is an odd sight on a Chennai road on a sweltering hot afternoon: she is obviously watching men pee, and writing something in her notebook. Vani Viswanathan pens a story.
Do women achieve ultimate fulfilment only by bearing a child? Is motherhood only about bearing a child? In fact, is motherhood only about a woman and can a man not experience it, asks Srividhya Radhakrishnan.
At the heart of Nishtha’s dream that literally keeps her going is Vikrant Kapoor aka Vik. Who is Vik? What is Nishta’s dream all about? Where does her dream take her? Parth Pandya’s story about a woman who alternates between two worlds has the answers.
Shakti, meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that course through the entire universe. Shakti is the personification of feminine creative power, actively manifested through female embodiment and creativity. Art by Sreetama Ray.
A woman who has had a difficult and challenging past, chooses to relieve herself of bitterness by opting to forget and forgive, and move on. Jessu John writes a poem inspired from the single ‘Better Days’ by the Goo Goo Dolls. The poem combines fantasy and a few Biblical references including that of the story of ‘Balaam and his Donkey’, to paint the picture of a woman who doesn’t fall too hard for or entirely disbelieve traditional faith.
As teenagers, what makes us consider a woman beautiful or attractive? And what happens to this definition as we grow up? Aman Chougle pens a story on the narrow perspectives of how men – and the society – view women, and why these narrow definitions might be to our detriment.
Do women love to cook and excel at it simply by virtue of, well, being born women? Divya Natarajan shares her thoughts.