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Shabana Azmi is not only well-known for her nuanced acting skills but also for her bold activism.
Shabana Azmi kicked off her acting career by winning the National Award For Best Actress in her debut movie, Ankur, in 1974. This should say enough about the accomplished actress’ talent and passion. What’s more, she went on to win 5 more National Awards – 3 of which were won in consecutive years.
Shabana Azmi was not afraid of taking up controversial or off-beat roles, such as that of a woman embracing homosexuality in conservative India, in the movie Fire. Her poise and polished acting skills won her praise for realistically portraying all the characters that she played, while her choice of strong characters also brought criticism and outrage to her door.
In recent times, Shabana Azmi has also been in the news for fighting for the rights of the poor and the downtrodden in India. She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund and also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Among a host of other awards and accolades, Shabana Azmi was awarded the Padma Shri as well as the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government.
Why we find her inspiring:
– For giving her best to her work and for contributing immensely to the Indian film scene
– For lending her celebrity status to several social causes such as campaigns against ostracizing victims of AIDs
– For voicing her opinions and supporting women’s rights despite facing flak from certain quarters
*Photo source: I Love India.
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Calling a vaginal birth a 'normal' or 'natural' birth was probably appropriate years ago when Caesarian births were rare, in an emergency.
When I recently read a post on Facebook written by a woman who had a vaginal birth casually refer to her delivery as a natural one, it rankled.
For too long, we have internalized calling vaginal deliveries ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ deliveries as if any other way of childbirth is abnormal. What about only a vaginal birth is natural? Conversely, what about a Caesarian Section is not normal?
When we check on the health of the mother and baby post delivery, why do we enquire intrusively, what kind of delivery they had? “Was it a ‘normal’ delivery?” we ask.
Many women have lost their lives to this darkness. It's high time we raise awareness, and make maternal mental health screening a part of the routine check ups.
Trigger Warning: This deals with severe postpartum depression, and may be triggering for survivors.
Motherhood is considered a beautiful blessing. Being able to create a new life is indeed beautiful and divine. We have seen in movies, advertisements, stories, everywhere… where motherhood is glorified and a mother is considered an epitome of tolerance and sacrifice.
But no one talks about the downside of it. No one talks about the emotional changes a woman experiences while giving birth and after it.