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Imagine my ‘culture shock’ when I discovered that the husband’s family was a patriarchal, sexist, orthodox family with the pater familias ruling the roost in a tyrannical manner.
Chirag tale andhera (darkness beneath a glowing lamp). I am borrowing this Hindi adage to highlight the paradox in my personal life.
Yes, I am an unconventional woman (tad Bohemian) breaking shackles wherever possible. A milestone was opting for an arranged BUT unconventional ‘civil’ (court/registered) marriage.
I appreciated my partner’s endorsement of my decision. However, imagine my ‘culture shock’ when I discovered that the husband’s family was a patriarchal, sexist, orthodox family with the pater familias ruling the roost in a tyrannical manner.
As I have mentioned in my earlier posts (about my married life) by and large I received ‘gyan’ (lectures) tongue lashing, browbeating formy ideas, attitudes and overall conduct which they found irksome. I bore all this patiently.
Nonetheless the watershed of my life (I consider it my worst debacle) was when three years down the line, I found I had conceived.
The atmosphere at home became slightly more bearable (obviously for the sake of my unborn child). Little did I realize that the devil in disguise (my F-i-L) had some trick up his sleeve regarding ‘his grand kid’.
As a consulting anaesthetist, he had unlimited access to other branches of medicine. In all probability he must have pumped his colleagues – my gynaecologist and radiologist – regarding the sex of the foetus. Though PNDT is labeled a criminal offence, yet this heinous practice does take place clandestinely.
I grew suspicious because as the D-day drew near, the old venerable gentleman (PBUH) began flaunting girls’ names in the course of casual chitchat and gossip. Strangely, never did he enquire whether or not I had any suggestions. Why would he? He was a Doctor (a demi-god)! ‘‘An honourable man.” Like Brutus.
Anyway, post-delivery, he seized the earliest opportunity to get my newborn’s name registered. I begged and pleaded with the partner to reconsider. But he would have none of it. After we returned home post-quarantine, I cajoled with the husband to at least let me pick a nickname (every Bengali has a nickname) for my baby. All in vain. This time it was the grandmother’s prerogative! I was shell-shocked. My world crumbled!
Motherhood has been glorified in every age and clime. It remains the pivot point of dance, music, art and literature. And here I was being denied a natural, inalienable right. Why? Just because I am a woman in a Man’s world? Sigh!
Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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