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Spark – March 2015 Issue

We are happy to present to you Spark’s March issue “Woman: Facets and Forms”. A fiction and poetry special, we have truly explored myriad perspectives of what a woman could be, ranging from mythological fiction to letters to the future to poetry about a woman about to give birth. We are also proud to present a feature on a programme by the ICRW called Parivartan, that aims to reduce gender-based violence by working working with men and boys through cricket!

Sitarekha

Sita, the heroine of Ramayana, is the symbol of an ideal woman in India. But what if she had a chance to be a little less ideal? In this mythological fiction penned by Bhargavi Chandrasekharan, Sita questions her life choices, discovers her repressed dreams and busts her own myths.

Getting Men on Board for a Gender-Equitable World

Fighting gender-based violence requires women to be empowered, but equally important is encouraging men to never resort to violence against women. Parivartan, an ICRW programme, aims to reduce gender-based violence by working with men and boys through cricket. The results are encouraging, as Madhumita Das of ICRW says in an interview to Vani Viswanathan.

Parting Again

For a woman, the sadness that comes with parting could be as traumatising as a snake twisting and turning in her belly. Sukrita Paul Kumar captures the feelings of a pregnant woman about to deliver her baby.

Learning to Fall: Lessons from My Girlhood

Lopa Banerjee presents the little wonders, the fumbling, the falling and the rising of a girl on her physical, psychological, spiritual journey of attaining maturity through a poem.

The Scavenger

A professor finds himself in the house of the local garbage collector, a foul-mouthed woman he would rather not be seen with. But there are surprises in store for him, as he discovers the layers defining this woman. Vidya Panicker tells the story.

Beyond the Spotlight

There is something to every woman that is beyond what is stated and beyond the obvious. With all the spotlight that she has recently been attracting, there are depths to her that are yet to be unravelled, even to herself. While the world has been busy defining, and even glorifying, her role as a mother, sister, daughter and what-have-you, the woman has moved on from strength to strength, enriching old pastures and discovering new ones. She embarks on a new journey every once in while, unravelling little-known mysteries, her own self not the least.

I Owe an Apology to Mom

Ranu Uniyal writes a poem about a protective and tenacious mother and her daughter who isn’t courageous enough to speak up in a city steeped in bloodshed, lust and death.

She and She

When a woman becomes a mother, the expectations from her go many notches up. And most of the times, there are two ‘shes’ battling within her. Anupama Krishnakumar reflects on the endless dilemma that a mother faces – her children versus her own dreams, accompanied by a guilt that never ceases to be.

Biriyani and Birthing

Subha Srinivasan talks about the looming crisis of Caesarean-sections becoming the default means of giving birth in urban India. It’s time women start understanding and taking control of how they give birth, she says. Read on for an engaging take on the issue.

Mirrored

A man observes a woman in the darkness of a movie theater, attempting to unravel the mystery that she is, in his own mind. Paresh Tiwari writes a poem on the unravelling while also touching upon how the entire movie is actually mirrored on the countenance of the woman.