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Kamala, Anvika’s maid walked into home with heavy steps. She entered the kitchen to start with the daily household chores.
Anvika found something strange, stopped her on the way and enquired, “Kamala, what are all these red-coloured marks on your hands and the back? Why these swollen blood red eyes? What’s wrong with you?’
“Kuch nai didi, ye to roj ka mere pati ka pyaar hai” (This is everyday’s love of my husband). But today there was an overflow of love and hence, a bit more is visible,” answered Kamala, wiping her tears with the corner of her pallu.
“What? What are you talking about?” Asked Anvika
“Yes didi, daily night he comes home drunk and beats me without any reason. Sometimes, he spends the entire night with the lady next door and at the end of the month asks my entire salary. He spends it wholly on his drinks,” amidst sobs Kamala managed to say.
Anvika replied, “And you are undergoing all this silently? Why don’t you raise your voice against this ill-treatment?”
“No didi, I can’t. After all, he is my husband. He is the father of my kids. How can I?” told Kamala.
Anvika couldn’t believe it, “Then, what are you going to do? Simply go on leading your life like this by bearing this daily torture!”
“Didi, I’m praying everyday for his to become better. I’ve even been to many temples seeking his freedom from all his sins, to get rid of all his bad habits,” Kamala said.
“Do you think that is worth enough a step for your better future?” asked Anvika.
Kamala replied, “Then, what shall I do didi? You only tell me.”
Anvika asked again, “As far as I know, you are the only breadwinner of your family. He is not earning even a penny. Right?”
“Hunh.” was Kamala’s response.
Anvika suggested, “Then why are you worried? If you really want me to suggest, then get out of this abusive marriage. It’s not going to fetch you anything despite shame and humiliation. In fact, it’s creating a negative impact on the minds of your kids. They are grasping a lot from it and getting themselves conditioned.”
I don’t get it didi!
Let me explain it to you, “Your son will grow up thinking the whole authority lies in his pockets and it’s perfectly fine to do anything with your wife and kids. Your daughter will learn to accept that it’s her fate and she has to bear it all through her life and abide by the decisions of the male counterpart.”
Kamala kept mum and was just paying attention to Anvika’s words.
“I know there are many questions and obligations running in your mind right now. But I know you can do it. You have to do it for your kids at least. Take one step at a time. Open a bank account and start saving money in it slowly. There are so many SHGs (Self-help Groups) extending to support to the needy. Reach out to them. Slowly get yourself engaged with extra work to earn a little more. You are good at stitching. Explore it. Slowly and slowly, taking one step at a time, you will reach your goals and make your kids future ready. Just think you are contributing a small step towards female empowerment, which will take the shape of a bigger and massive one as it would be passed on to the further generations. And I’m there to help you at any stage.” said Anvika.
Kamala replied, “Didi I never thought in those lines. But, I guess it’s time to make a move and start a new life with baby steps. Thank you so much didi for the guidance.”
Anvika wiped her moist eyes, gave a warm hug to Kamala, wishing her good luck for the future.
Image Source – Wikipedia
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: