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The expectations from Indian women are many. When will the questions for women end?
The expectations from Indian women are many. When will the questions for women end? Arundhati Venkatesh has a delightful surprise for December’s writing theme, ‘Endings’.
Even when I was a school girl, it had been made amply clear – “the goal” was marriage. Nothing else mattered as much, neither capability, nor performance. I was dark-skinned, who would marry me? This, when my age hadn’t even hit the double digit mark.
In a few years, more was expected of me than just being a decorative piece. I didn’t know to cook, how did I intend to please the in-laws? And, didn’t I know the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach?
When I was twenty-four, the matchmakers began “work” in earnest. The pressure was palpable.
Finally, I did get married. Overnight (ahem), the goalpost shifted. So the next thing was to deliver the “good news” aka baby. The first twenty times I was asked if there was any “news”, my response was about developments at work, our weekend jaunts and vacations. Then it struck me (yes, I was slow, in more ways than one). I took my time to deliver the good news, and the baby.
As soon as we had dealt with breastfeeding, weaning, sleep deprivation and the school dilemma, the friendly nudges began anew. Now that he is in school, isn’t it time you have the next one? That made me wonder if the purpose of the education system was to allow adults to engage in procreation. I searched for a suitable response. Should I proffer a frank and direct reply – but why should I provide information on something so personal? Should I try evasion tactics – but that meant dealing with the same question over and over again, like a grinder working on idli batter. I confronted the husband – It wasn’t fair, why didn’t anyone ask him?
Two more years passed. There was no end in sight. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) had advice to offer, unsolicited, but well-meaning of course. I was told that two was the golden number; or else the poor dear would be lonely and pine for company. Then one day, the domestic help decided to use a tactic to help me arrive at the “right” decision.
‘Do you want a younger brother to play with, or a sister?’ she asked the kid as she was dusting the furniture. The child’s prompt response uttered with great finality sealed the matter once and for all.
“I want a dog”, he said.
Pic credit: Valerie Everett (Used under a Creative Commons license)
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I wanted to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting 'win' moments.
My daughter turned eight years old in January, and among the various gifts she received from friends and family was an absolutely beautiful personal journal for self-growth. A few days ago, she was exploring the pages when she found a section for writing a letter to her future self. She found this intriguing and began jotting down her thoughts animatedly.
My curiosity piqued and she could sense it immediately. She assured me that she would show me the letter soon, and lo behold, she kept her word.
I glanced at her words, expecting to see a mention of her parents in the first sentence. But, to my utter delight, the first thing she had written about was her AMBITION. Yes, the caps here are intentional because I want to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting ‘win’ moments.
Uorfi Javed has been making waves through social media, and is often the target of trolls. So who and what exactly is this intriguing young woman?
Uorfi Javed (no relation to Javed Akhtar) is a name that crops up in my news feeds every now and again. It is usually because she got trolled for being in some or other ‘daring’ outfit and then posting those images on social media. If I were asked, I would not be able to name a single other reason why she is famous. I am told that she is an actor but I would have no frankly no clue about her body of work (pun wholly unintended).
So is Urfi Javed (or Uorfi Javed as she prefers) famous only for being famous? How does she impact the cause of feminism by permitting herself to be objectified, trolled, reviled?
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