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Her in-laws were aware of Vanya’s plight. Her MIL used it to control her, while her SILs never had empathy for her. In such situations, do women really support women?
We do talk a lot about patriarchy and male dominance. Every other story or article one reads about feminism points towards inequality created by the other gender.
We have used hashtags #womensupportingwomen #girlpower, posted black and white photos on social media supporting a drive towards supporting women. When I see, hear, observe the surrounding, the reality seems very different. Isn’t it true that the injustice women deal with as a daughter-in-law is more often created by either mother-in-law or the grandmother-in-law.
Vanya, the only child of her parents is married into an affluent family as she turns 24. She’s got everything to flaunt about, a handsome husband who was the most illegible bachelor once, in-laws who mark a stand in the society, a big house, pets and so many helping hands at every step. Her husband Aditya was well-read, well-travelled, had 4 elder sisters and understood ‘what women want’. Days passed by and in no time, she realised the reality was so different from what it looked like from the outside.
The obsession that Aditya’s family had over him was unreal, intimidating, detrimental. His parents would applaud all his flaws and mistakes saying he’s the son of the soil, an alpha male. He threw plates if the food had a little more spice, he punched his staff if they didn’t do things with ultra-perfectionism. He couldn’t stand Vanya having an opinion about something as small as where to place the flower pot.
Each conversation about a change wouldn’t go down well with him. He had never been argued with, he had never been corrected if he did wrong. His whole family did whatever he wanted and that became his whole way of living. He didn’t know the other way. He didn’t know to listen, to understand.
Obviously for Vanya, at first, this whole attitude of her husband was strange but like any other girl in newfound love, she was ready to address challenges, wanting to make this marriage beautiful for the both of them.
She looked within, corrected her ‘mistakes’, practised effective communication, therapy, counselling, reiki. Even after months of effort she still found communicating with Aditya the same as walking on eggshells.
Their family was very well aware of Vanya’s plight. Her mother-in-law saw it as an opportunity to have her under control. Her sisters-in-law never had empathy towards her. They would tell her to cook, clean, keep herself groomed, dressed to her best 24/7 to win his heart. She did everything just to spend one normal day as a ‘normal’ couple. Some days were lucky but some days that weren’t used to make her coming weeks worse. Thousands of apologies also couldn’t make it right and ‘normal’ again.
She started losing confidence, she had no self-esteem left. She did not feel beautiful. She felt a big deal to even get out of her bed every morning, but of course, if she didn’t then that would have caused more damage. The ignorance and arrogance she received from the ‘women’ of the house shattered her soul completely. In such situations, do women really support women?
Her parents on seeing her felt how the girl they raised to be a loving, empathic and positive person was no longer the same. Surviving each day is a challenge, facing arrogance, backlash, blame games etc.
She lived with the majority of women in the house but all they did was support Aditya’s actions and doings. When on one hand the Indian joint family system is preached about so much stating the support and care it comes with, Vanya received none of it. Aditya on getting applause and support over his anger and bad words never changed his attitude towards her.
Vanya, having given up on love, marriage and relationships that come with it, is on a journey to find her inner peace through her writing. Expressing herself on a blank paper which doesn’t judge or misunderstand her. For when she writes it’s only herself, her true emotions, her desires and her beliefs that are unbiasedly accepted.
Image source: Still from English Vinglish
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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 wouldn't want to disturb your life. I love you, you know that, but love does not always accomplish by acquiring someone. Love coexists with friendship."
“I wouldn’t want to disturb your life. I love you, you know that, but love does not always accomplish by acquiring someone. Love coexists with friendship.”
Kriti had everything a woman could dream of. At 35, she was the Managing Director of a software firm and had unmatched business acumen. Married to the love of her life, with two beautiful kids, her personal life was great too! What else could she have asked for?
One day, she was called in early to be part of an interview of an extraordinary candidate. Or at least, that’s what the HR manager indicated on the phone. She walked in five minutes late and such was her aura that everyone noticed her. With her black shift dress and nude stilettos, she made heads turn.
It is Aditya’s first night after marriage and he is expected to act as man. He overpowers his wife, until something brings back memories of the past.
It is Aditya’s first night after marriage and he is expected to act as a man. He overpowers his wife, until something brings back memories of the past.
Aditya sat surrounded by his friends. They were drunk and laughed away the night wildly. Aditya as the groom, in his cream colored silk kurta looked handsome. The women sat huddled together in a room, some gossiping about the dowry received and others putting night creams on their sagging faces, still trying to reclaim what was once young; each one still trying to figure what the other used and if it had a better effect before retiring for the day.
Huge mattresses had been brought in from the local handloom shop, to accommodate the relatives. There was a commotion everywhere one stepped. The entire house had turned into a min field, as people had to move precariously to avoid bumping someone sleeping on the rented mattresses that sprawled all over the house, occupying every inch.