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My father stood by me through everything despite his own pain when Ma passed away, and supported my decision to do her last rites.
My earliest memory of my dad was a caring, fun-loving, God-fearing, socially conscious, and emotional person. A typical Bong budget traveler, a loving father and husband, and a caring son – this pretty much sums up Mr. Nihar Ranjan Ghosh (my Bapi) for you!
Though he hardly understands Hindi, yet he accompanied mom and me to our monthly movie-watching dates – together we watched Hum Aap Ke Hain Kaun 5 times! In those days, we didn’t have OTTs, gadgets, or shopping malls, but we had each other – Friday dinner consisted of chowmein and chili chicken, Saturdays was Bengali recitation time as Bapi is a talented orator, Sundays were the time to visit my paternal and maternal grandparents, and a visit to Puri or Darjeeling during summer vacation – ‘bangalir r ki chai?!’ (what more can a Bengali want?!) – Bapi asked. Our life was sorted.
Fast forward to the current situation, Bapi is staying with me in Bangalore after my mom succumbed to cancer. I vividly remember ma’s last days and I dread them still. But having him around is like a balm as we share the pain together.
My mom was suffering from cancer for 8 years and my dad was her primary caregiver all through. Suddenly, everything changed in January 2019 when her cancer relapsed. My mother’s health started deteriorating rapidly until May 7, 2019, she breathed her last.
I shall never forget Bapi’s resilience during such a hard time. My daughter was very small at that time and I was breastfeeding her while going through postpartum depression myself and running errands to my home in Kolkata. At that time, several unsolicited advise from relatives poured in just like uninvited guests. While my dad was completely shattered from within, he did his best to uphold my spirits. He told me to remember Hamlet, “Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice: Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.” I silently did just that. That was the time I understood the power of silence amidst chaos and what a strong person my dad was – that same dad who used to cry whenever I used to get vaccinated or my mom used to undergo chemotherapy – has emerged strong over the years.
Even after my mom passed away, our relatives from both my side and my in-laws’ side staring giving their so-called expert opinions on what I should do, moments after our family doctor wrote the death certificate!!
“You are a mother to a newborn. You are still breastfeeding her. You should not light your mom’s pyre.”
My Bapi said, “Do what you want to do. You are a daughter and a mother too.”
“A married daughter need not observe 13 days ritual, she can ‘finish it off in 4 days.”
I chose to observe the 13 days rituals diligently. My Bapi said, “Mom is yours always, whether you are married or not. Observe each day as you want with love and respect. This is not a checklist that you finish off.”
“Abstain from non-veg food as they are not good now.”
My Bapi said, “Both veg and non-veg are unique; what matters is your way of looking at food. Having one type of food does not guarantee a particular type of feelings towards anyone.”
Losing a loved one creates an irrevocable vacuum in one’s life; I wish my relatives would have understood that before passing their judgments. I wish that society understands that grief is personal and everyone has their own way of dealing with it- not doing something as per social norms does not mean that feelings do not exist.
“I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!” – P.B. Shelley
But then, I know my dad has my back, and mom is with me as my guardian angel now. I am proud of the upbringing that they have given me – Bengali middle class, typical in some ways, non-typical in many.
Oh, did I mention that I was on my third day periods (menstruation) when I was performing my 13thday pooja for my mom?! Much to my dad’s knowledge…
A feminist father is a huge factor in a woman’s empowerment. It may be because daughters usually look up to their fathers, or in the Indian context because a father’s willingness to support and encourage a daughter to be an independent person makes a lot of difference in practical terms. For #FathersDay we bring to you a few such stories of #FeministFathers who stand by their daughters.
Images source: the author
Life is a journey and I have a long way to travel… I am a nomad at heart, a non-conformist of many rules, a hopeless romantic and I mostly look for self-motivation when read more...
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Half a decade ago marriage was a bargain between two famlies. Most of the women were married off to a man who was either well off or who could fend for his wife and family. Today the parameters of marriage have changed. Women no longer marry for the sake of economic security. Their expectations from marriage have changed in the course of years because of their changed status.
As women grew independent, their patterns of choosing partners have changed dramatically. Now women choose men who they feel can satiate their emotional as well as physical needs. Intimacy is no longer the physicality that happened between two people under the supervision of elders of the family for the sole purpose of procreation. Intimacy in today’s marriages involve understanding and fulfilling each other’s emotional as well as sexual needs.
So before you decide to hook up see if you know these five things about intimacy.
The recent Bold Care ad breaks some long standing taboos in Indian society about women's sexual pleasure and erectile dysfunction in men.
The co-owner of the new sexual health brand – Bold Care, Ranveer Singh, recently shared that he wants to focus at creating awareness amongst people about men’s sexual health and aims to provide a tangible solution to millions of people across the country. The new Bold Care ad which was dropped last week has taken the internet by storm. Netizens are ogling at the ad and cannot stop talking about it and how?
The Bold Care ad has created a buzz for multiple reasons. One, because of the unexpected collaboration between the A-list Bollywood actor and co-owner of the brand – Ranveer Singh and (wait for it… drumrolls please) the adult film star Johnny Sins.
People were not ready to see Johnny Sins in an Indian commercial ad and had their jaws dropped to the floor when they saw him dressed in a blue kurta and a golden coat and tie acting in a saas-bahu rip off. The internauts have claimed this unusual duo as the biggest crossover ever – bigger than Deadpool and Wolverine coming together! Second, the ad aims to normalise the stigma related to men’s sexual wellbeing and the ease with which it can be addressed.
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