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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A 23-year-old writes a letter to her future self at 30, touching upon things she’s learnt over the years, and where she hopes she will be at 30. Vrinda Manocha’s letter makes you smile even as it can make you feel a lump in your throat.
Maheswaran Sathiamoorthy clicks vivid images of women in their various, natural moods.
A mother teaches her child music, even as he wonders about the future of the music that he is learning. Years later though, he realizes the worth of the music his mother taught him and the truth behind her words. M. Mohankumar pens a poem on the music lessons and the conversations between the mother and her child.