Tag Archives: society

To the Mother who was not revered

//This article is the winning entry for the Momspiration contest conducted by mycity4kids. It is also available at the below link:

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/to-the-mother-who-was-not-revered-momspiration

Mother – the very mention of this word invokes deep emotions in our hearts. A mother is associated with veneration, strength, unconditional love and warmth. Our society places a mother on a pedestal, but does this same society demonstrate adulation and admiration for every mother who deserves it? 

During my stint as a volunteer with an NGO, I was fortunate to have had the privilege of meeting some extremely wonderful and inspirational individuals. Each interaction that I had with them has been a life lesson and has been instrumental in making me the person that I am today. That was the time when my friendship with Reshma, an employee of the NGO, happened. I believe that just like there are soul mates, there are also soul friends. These are the friends with whom we feel an instant connection; these are the friends who become an integral and indispensable part of our lives even before we get to know them enough. Reshma is my soul friend who is an inspiration in every sense of the word and she is someone who stands by me like a rock come what may. I thank my stars that I got an opportunity to bond with someone like her.

Sexual Abuse Survivors – The Ugly Reality

// This article was first published on the prestigious platform “Incredible Women of India”. Below is the link to the article:

Sexual Abuse Survivors – The Ugly Reality

“Oh, poor thing has been scarred for life.”

“She has become a big blot on the family’s reputation.”

“That is really sad… but she should have been more careful.”

“Why were you out so late in the night?”

“She has lost everything along with her dignity.”

“How will we face the society now? We are ruined!”

“Better go home and forget about the incident, a case will only subject you to more humiliation.”

These are just some of the awful things we say, and in doing so, continue to victimize the victims of sexual abuse. They face this everywhere – in their homes, at the police station, at the hospital, at their workplaces, in their neighbourhood. Through our insensitive words and actions, we only add insult to their injury.

A pimple reminded me of a simple lesson in parenting

//This article has been published by Women’s Web and is also available at the below link:

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/05/teaching-kids-to-be-accepting-lesson-in-parenting/

For parents, their children are the most beautiful living creatures in the whole wide world. But after becoming a Mother, I realized that the reverse holds true as well. Can you imagine someone calling my “Aadhar card” picture beautiful? Well, yes that someone is none other than my 28 months old daughter. Because of the obvious shift in priorities, I have barely bothered about the way I have looked since the time parenthood happened. But, she never fails to shower me with accolades, more so on the most unexpected occasions.

So, a nasty pimple popped up on my forehead yesterday, and my little one was enamoured by this irritating bump on my face. She exclaimed with exhilaration – “Mummy ka pimple sundar lag raha hai” (Translated to “Mummy is looking pretty with the pimple”). Only a child can find a pimple on the mother’s face beautiful! I was evidently amused by her compliment and laughed uproariously. But she seemed a bit vexed with my laughter because she was expecting a heartfelt “Thank You” from me for her admiration, as that is how I usually respond to her praises. I was about to reason with her by saying – “How can this pimple be pretty darling?”, and then refrained from doing so as soon as realization dawned – the realization that I was unnecessarily feeding in the ridiculous notion in her head that a pimple is ugly; the realization that however much we want to believe that our soul is what truly makes us beautiful, certain perceptions are too deeply etched in our minds and subconsciously we pass them on to our children.

Book Review – Onaatah of the earth

Onaatah

Book Details:

Author: Paulami DuttaGupta

Publisher: Readomania

Available for purchase at the below link:

http://www.amazon.in/Onaatah-Earth-Adapted-National-winning/dp/9385854224

//This review has been published by Women’s Web in their “Book Reviews” section and is available at the below link:

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/05/book-review-onaatah-of-the-earth-paulami-duttagupta/

Review

“But then in life we all have a permanent blindfold on and yet we pretend to be safe.”

It is lines like these that make “Onaatah of the earth” an engrossing, sublime and enlightening read, which lingers in your mind for a long, long time.

When you pick up a book that narrates the tale of a rape survivor, you expect to be drowned in a pool of tears by the end of it and imagine yourself to be in a melancholic mood for hours after you have closed the book. For this very reason, there is a section of people who avoid reading books on this subject because they feel they do not have the guts to stomach such stories. But, what if I tell you that I had a broad grin on my face after I completed reading the story of Onaatah and felt a deep sense of contentment? Well, that is where “Onaatah of the earth” stands out from all the other books dealing with the issue of rape and succeeds in making a vital point without being preachy or gory or overtly dramatic.

Based on a National Award winning Khasi Film written by Paulami DuttaGupta, who has also authored this book, “Onaatah of the earth” is an uplifting and relatable account of a rape survivor who stands up for herself in the face of adversity and emerges out of it, stronger and wiser. Exactly 4 years back, I had begun my journey as a social activist and I interacted with quite a few survivors of sexual assault while working on their rehabilitation. Some of them are my good friends today and hence, this book hit close to home. As I read through Onaatah’s journey, I discovered a bit of each of those survivors in Onaatah.

Feminism – The Facts and the Misconceptions

// This article has been published by the reputed media/news company YKA (Youth Ki Awaaz). It is available at below link:

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2016/12/feminism-the-facts-and-the-misconceptions/

This article has been published by Women’s Web and is available at below link:

https://www.womensweb.in/2017/01/what-feminism-is-not/

This article has been published by Bharat Moms and is available at below link:

http://bharatmoms.com/blog/feminism-the-facts-and-the-misconceptions/

While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed with my sleeping baby on my lap, I read a news article about an eminent cricketer whose family got his newly-wed bride’s name changed post marriage. I glanced at the comments section of the post curious to know how the masses had reacted to this news item. Expectedly, while some people expressed their disapproval of such an act enforcing a change of identity on the woman, others had no qualms about it as they perceived it to be her choice. I would refrain from getting into my take on this particular issue as the intent of writing this article is something else. In the same comments section, someone had posted a joke – “Feminists be like why Nelson Mandela and not Neldaughter Womandela?” This was supposed to be funny because there were more than 500 likes on this comment and possibly a few years back I would have had a good laugh reading it too.  No more! Far from making me laugh, the “joke” actually made me feel disappointed, piqued and helpless, all at the same time. Such jokes send across the message that feminists fuss over non-issues and fight for trivial matters.  This was not the first time I had come across such a bizarre comment about feminists and feminism. It is so common to see memes, sneering comments and ridiculing jokes all over social media which condone feminists or which mock feminism. This happens because a significant percentage of people have absolutely no idea about the feminist movement and what feminism really stands for. “Oh now the feminists will come and start their sermon”, “Oh the feminazis are hypocrites” , “If someone touches any lady, it is rape but if a lady sleeps with many men it is modern feminism. Haha” – these are the exact comments on any post that is remotely related to a woman issue and if you have come across them too, you probably already know that it’s actually much worse. It’s heart-breaking to see the constant use of “FemiNazi” in a derogatory manner by people to take a jibe at feminists. It is so frustrating at times that I wonder why it is that hard for people to understand the simple concept of equal rights! But then, reality is that it isn’t really straightforward because our minds are steeped in patriarchy and most of us have internalized sexism to an extent that we cannot see the obvious many a time. It is something that has trickled down from many generations ago and therefore, we cannot expect it to change so soon.