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Who was Amma? What was her life made up of? Did anyone really know?
Even today as she lay one last time in the house she had entered as a child bride some 70 years ago, Amma smelled of the kebabs she had served her family last night.
Like in life, in death too Amma had no smell of her own. In all these long years the spices mixed with the dust and grime of life had dissolved and settled into the layers of her flesh.
Her bones had birthed; and her womb had nurtured. They too were strangers now, they no longer smelled of her blood.
Amma’s husband had a itr shop in a street across the masjid. ‘Sahab’, as she lovingly called him, brought her jasmines and roses bottled up in colourful bottles. But even those smells were given to her. Sahab died in his youth and the borrowed smells also faded away gradually.
Amma’s life smelled of rituals. Rituals, carefully ironed at night and laid out impeccably throughout the day.So when she died as quietly as she had lived, she left behind no smell, even the ashes of her dreams didn’t reek of her wounds.
They found a box near her bed the next day. It had neatly folded papers of all sizes, some had yellowed. They were all pictures of rivers – free, falling, flowing, breaking boundaries when happy and drying out when sad.
Pictures cut out from newspapers, magazines, school drawings. All the rivers in each picture were blue, the same blue as her eyes.
First published at author’s blog
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A collector of stories, I am a freelance event curator with an experience in liasioning, content development and ideation for heritage & culture themed immersive events. I have featured in a documentary produced by the read more...
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.
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People have relationships without marriages. People cheat. People break up all the time. Just because two people followed some rituals does not make them more adept at tolerating each other for life.
Why is that our society defines a woman’s success by her marital status? Is it an achievement to get married or remain married? Is it anybody’s business? Are people’s lives so hollow that they need someone’s broken marriage to feel good about themselves?
A couple of months ago, I came across an article titled, “Shweta Tiwari married for the third time.” When I read through it, the article went on to clarify that the picture making news was one her one of her shows, in which she is all set to marry her co-star. She is not getting married in real life.
Fair enough. But why did the publication use such a clickbait title that was so misleading? I guess the thought of a woman marrying thrice made an exciting news for them and their potential readers who might click through.
Did the creators of Masaba Masaba just wake up one morning, go to the sets and decide to create something absolutely random without putting any thought into it?
Anyone who knows about Neena Gupta’s backstory would say that she is a boss lady, a badass woman, and the very definition of a feminist. I would agree with them all.
However, after all these decades of her working in the Indian film industry, is her boldness and bravery the only things worth appreciating?
The second season of Masaba Masaba (2020-2022) made me feel as if both Neena Gupta and her daughter Masaba have gotten typecast when it comes to the roles they play on screen. What’s more is that the directors who cast them have stopped putting in any effort to challenge the actors, or to make them deliver their dialogues differently.