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I am a woman, says the author, who is going through a breakup with her best friend. I am the force of life. And no matter what ups and downs we all go through, we rise.
That evening in April 2017, I sat on the Promenade at Rock Beach, Pondicherry. My then best friend sat by my side as we both were quietly looking at the majestic ocean, thinking perhaps of all the battles we were going through.
As women, don’t we all go through the routines of everyday life, hardly ever flinching for even a moment while a multitude of challenges come our way in various shapes? Getting support or breathers in between all the alleged roles, responsibilities, duties we act in- it is a luxury.
However, at the end of the day, what we hold within us, what drives each one of us is the fact that within us, we hold many worlds and we surf all the waves with bravery even if it be subtle, unseen one.
That evening, I was on the verge of losing my best friend to many of such intermittent battles and friction between us – we were breaking up.
But what stayed with me, despite that realisation of having given in to the pushes and pulls of our lives was this – I, my friend, a hundred thousand other women whom we don’t even know personally, are all warriors. We live through so many break-ups, shake-ups, make-ups without actually being too rattled. To each of us, to my long-gone friend, to myself, I dedicate these lines.
I am the ocean, inverted.
I rush, I go mad, I am fierce.
Restless in anticipation,
Adamant to not stay.
I would keep coming back,
In many minds before I recede,
Leaving a part of me behind,
Each time I try to kiss you….you,
The shore holding the softness in your heart,
The shore hidden behind the rocks,
The shore that laughs at me day and night-
The one that can never be mine……..
Reject me, keep doing that,
I would though keep trying.
It is not for you to know,
Why I keep chasing you….
You are proud of the beauty I give you.
Stay that way.
Your ignorance keeps me going…..
And my fury makes you more beautiful.
Even though you don’t know, yet
I fall for you, more passionately.
Each day. With each wave.
And I give you life.
For, I, am the woman. I, am the force. I, am the life.
Image source: freepik
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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.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).