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She is powerful, unapologetic, unashamed, and quite frightening. And isn't that society's definition of a feminist? Celebrate her too, then!
Wild, untamed and fearless, Kali, the Indian goddess of destruction is the ultimate feminist. If looks could kill, Kali with her glare would burn every bad-guy in seconds, milli, micro, nano.
Just take one look at her, she presses upon you that she is a feminist.
Well, for starters, there’s her untamed hair, who would flaunt it that way if not a feminist. Any woman would succumb to the society’s shackles, if she weren’t a true feminist. And look at her body, she’s unashamed and clearly hasn’t tried dieting or delved into the size zero frenzy. She isn’t concerned about what the world would think of her, she is self-confident and doesn’t look like she cares. Or else, how would you explain, her tongue-out angry expression and her choice of jewellery, it’s a chain of real human skulls after all!
She isn’t fair like the other goddesses, either no fairness cream is available in heaven, or she didn’t try. I’d obviously go with the latter, because look at her, does she look like she’d care! She clearly isn’t afraid, she holds a severed head in her hand and quite confidently. She is powerful, unapologetic, unashamed and quite frightening.
And isn’t that fitting society’s definition of a feminist?
Feminist or not, to live a good life, doesn’t everyone need to borrow a bit of Kali?
To silence the society running a commentary about you, around you, shouldn’t women be the powerful Kali?
To not have every move judged, shouldn’t women embody the unashamed Kali?
To not regret every move and to not be unsure of every action and their repercussions, shouldn’t every woman imbibe the spirit of the unapologetic Kali?
To walk alone at night, to board a bus with no other women and still be able to return home safely, shouldn’t every woman have at least an imaginary trident in her hand, and show her fiery tongue and roll her eyes at anyone who ‘eyes’ her?
Celebrate eight days (rather, nights!) of fair skinned, petite, well dressed and well mannered goddesses, but on that one day for Kali, don’t just eat sweets and visit a pandal; take inspiration from the mother goddess herself and awaken your inner Kalis!
Image source: a still from the film Mirch Masala and im a photographer and an artist from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
When someone accuses you of "too much feminism", what they are really saying is, "I am uncomfortable with you challenging the status quo and disrupting my privilege".
Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
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