Keen to learn more about inclusive workplaces? Want to be inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community? Download our special report with Randstad India on making Inclusion without Exception happen
My mother would string some loose jasmine flowers everyday and put them on - until my father passed away. I knew she had healed, however, when I found jasmine flowers with her again.
My mother would string some loose jasmine flowers everyday and put them on – until my father passed away. I knew she had healed, however, when I found jasmine flowers with her again.
Mom loved her jasmine flowers. Almost every single day, she would spend the afternoon hours stringing together these tiny buds into a sequence. This would then be adorned around her little bun in the evening, and it would seem mom carried with her its fragrance- a sort of divine one.
Much as I loved their fragrance and sight, I have never been comfortable adorning them on my braid. As a young girl, it almost always seemed to be an irritant. As mom would braid them tight into my hair, I would pull them off and discard them at the earliest opportunity. One fine day, she just gave up. To her, my act seemed to be an insult to the delicate flowers that so selflessly spread its fragrance.
Years back, living in Bangalore, these flowers would be bought from Valli– a local vendor, who would come by our home to not only sell flowers, but to also chit-chat on matters of life. An arm’s length of strung flowers bought from her would be offered to God every morning. Valli would also drop in a handful of loose buds into mom’s basket- which were painstakingly strung together by mom for her own use. Fridays were special, when the jasmine flowers would be mixed with the orange colored kanagamaram (the firecracker flower). Our home would be a myriad of fragrances, one that would instill a pious feeling.
…until she lost my dad. Surely as a country we have come a long way, eradicating some evil practices with regards to ostracizing widows. Yet, there persists still, even in progressive communities, customs that are irrational in every way. It is quite common to find women who have lost their husbands, to encounter restrictions of several kinds such as not being invited to auspicious functions, or adorn the once loved flowers. Mom continued to buy flowers from Valli, but things had changed. The basket no longer saw loose buds. The arm’s length of strung jasmine was still religiously offered to God every morning, yet the evening fragrance that would fill the air was absent.
Much as I pushed mom to ignore these absurdities and live life on her own terms, I soon realized that she herself wanted to abide by these rules. Having grown up in a community amidst these restrictions, she seemed to have accepted them all whole heartedly, and believed that her life was to be that way. The illogical thought process associated with widows was so deeply ingrained into her whole psyche and system that it seemed impossible for me to get her to think, otherwise.
No wonder they say time is the best healer. Five years since Dad passed away, the memories of his last few months slowly faded away. We had all come to terms with it, including mom. The years had helped heal her broken soul, as she began to venture out to meet people of her own age, discussing life- its woes and joys. Everything seemed to be on track, except that the absence of the jasmine flowers kept gnawing at the back of my mind.
During my last visit home, I noticed a spark yet again in her eyes, something that had been missing for a while. Valli still visited her every evening with her arm’s length of strung jasmine flowers. But this time, when I peeped into the basket, I noticed the loose flowers over there. So glad was I to see yet again, the afternoon hours spent stringing them together and, the evening yet again emitted the best fragrance I had ever come to know.
Image source: YouTube
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
A blogger who writes on society and culture, hoping to bring about positive impact on as many people as possible. Read more posts on www.meotherwise.com. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Stop glorifying biological parenthood - other methods of growing a family are just as valid, and completely a couple's choice, especially of the woman whose body goes through pregnancy and birth.
Stop glorifying biological parenthood – other methods of growing a family are just as valid, and completely a couple’s choice, especially of the woman whose body goes through pregnancy and birth.
Trigger Warning: Contains derogatory remarks about having a baby through surrogacy or any means other than giving birth through biological means, and may be triggering, especially to adoptive parents.
Recently Priyanka Chopra Jonas announced parenthood by surrogacy. This has once again sparked the debate about ethical surrogacy, which is a discussion for another day.
Arathi Rajagopalan, founder of 'House of Kalart', talks about thinking like a designer & transitioning to thinking like a business owner.
Excerpts from an interview with Arathi Rajagopalan, founder of ‘House of Kalart’ – a fusion jewellery label that merges global aesthetics and traditional craftsmanship.
When did you start ‘House of Kalart’ and what was the intention?
I started House of Kalart in 2017 as a venture where painting, drawing and embroidery are married with metalsmithing to create well-handcrafted fashion jewellery. Along with painting and styling, the venture aims to create a holistic fashion experience for a bold and dramatic woman!” As a child, I had always been fascinated by arts and crafts.
I thought he belonged to me only - my man. But how wrong I was. I still had a lot to learn about men and the position of privilege they were entitled to.
I thought he belonged to me only – my man. But how wrong I was. I still had a lot to learn about men and the position of privilege they were entitled to.
“Rain falls and ceases, all the forest trembles:
Mystery walks the woods once more,
We hear a flute.
It moves the earth, it is the god who plays
With the flute in his lips and music in his breath:
The god is Krishna in his lovely youth.”
— “Canons of Giant Art”, Sacheverell Sitwell
Radha could hear the faint melody of flute wafting in the moist breeze. The melody engulfed her in a trance, once more. The heady fragrance of jasmine flowers intoxicated all her senses, once more. The ground beneath her bare feet seemed cool. Was it the wet earth of Vrindaban, drenched in the monsoon rain? Someone gently touched one of her shoulders from behind. The sudden human touch jolted her out of her reverie. No, she was not in Vrindaban. The cool ground beneath her feet was, in fact, the cool marble floor in the royal palace of Dvarka. The jasmine flowers kept in a silver bowl in one corner of the room rendered the air inside the room fragrant. And she was standing right in front of queen Rukmini, in her royal bed chamber. No flute was being played anywhere. It all seemed a figment of her imagination.
People with fetishes or fantasies can be ordinary people - doctors, lawyers, clerks, accountants, unemployed people who have families, pets, and the same socio-familial responsibilities as you and me. The fetishes are just one part of their stories.
Maybe the ‘latex-clad freak’ most of us are worried about is inside you too? Confused? Let me explain.
The sexual mores of the world around us have changed over the years. We have, perhaps, moved a little way away from the times of chastity, virtue and “good girls have to say no.” You may notice that in pop culture as well, and while sexuality is not as openly discussed as may be ideal, we have started to depict some things that may appear “bold”. Movie franchises like 50 Shades of Grey and shows like Game of Thrones had millions of people watching, excited at the prospect of openly depicted ‘deviance’.
Yet all around us fetishism is still seen as abhorrent or niche. Watching it on a screen is fine, because there is a divide between fantasy and reality, and we can stomach fetishism in fantasy. In reality though, it is something that feels less than acceptable, a little ‘sick’ perhaps, and maybe you don’t see what’s dangerous and sinister about that. I didn’t either, until the Tarun Tejpal judgement.