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Is asking women to adjust ‘practical’ or just another word for suppression? Here, the results of the Great Adjustment Story contest.
By Aparna V. Singh
The Great Adjustment Story contest by Women’s Web asked participants to give their take on the “Adjustment” word – a familiar to most Indian women. To what point does one adjust? Should everyone in a new relationship learn to adjust rather than it being expected mostly from one person? Are women by nature more ‘adjustable’? How does one decide if it is worth it? And what should be non-negotiable?
These were the questions we asked, and boy, did we get some great answers! 12 readers participated – perhaps a little lower than other contests we’ve run (maybe because of the festival season?), but it was still so tough judging! Almost every one of those entries was beautifully written and shared a different perspective.
Still, choose we had to, and here are the winners of the Great Adjustment Story contest.
The 1st prize of a Rs. 500 Flipkart voucher goes to Shail for her entry, “Adjust”. Shail had a completely unique take on the subject and wrote evocatively of the street harassment that women are asked to ‘adjust’ to. She says, “If I were given a boon, I’d wish for such pests to be turned to women (with their memory of their previous form intact) for a day, and that they are grabbed, poked, groped and touched as if they don’t own their body, yeah, just for one single day. At the end of that day, when they are turned back to men, I am sure they will realize how great is the adjustment that women make sharing the space on this beautiful planet with such scum as them.” Congratulations, Shail!
We have two 2nd prizes of Rs. 250 Flipkart vouchers, and those go to Phoenix Ritu and Heartcrossings, for their entries, “Science of Adjust and Jugaad“ and “The Great Adjustment Story” respectively.
Phoenix Ritu brings in ‘Jugaad’ as the innovative solution to the constant adjustments that girls and women are asked to make. She says, “Well ‘Adjust’ only works if both sides adjust. Otherwise it is just a pretty name for suppression. The moment someone says ‘Adjust’ I hear sirens of ambulances or fire engines. My mind starts working overtime, looking for a suitable jugaad.”
Heartcrossings has an incredibly moving story of her grandmother, whom a lifetime of adjustment turned into a lonely woman disliked by her own family. She says, “Coming from a poor family where there were five other sisters that needed to be married off, she had no choice or recourse. Adjustment was her mantra. She adjusted to being unloved, being treated like she did not deserve any better than she got, having motherhood thrust upon her time after time, losing her youth before its time, living in hopelessness about the future, worrying about the prospects of her daughters in the marriage market and much more.” Congratulations, Phoenix Ritu and Heartcrossings!
Once again, the 3 winning entries: 1. Shail’s “Adjust”. 2. Phoenix Ritu’s Science of Adjust and Jugaad and Heartcrossing’s The Great Adjustment Story.
I’m so glad we had a contest that could result in such empowering entries – no one who reads any of the entries for this contest can fail to be moved or provoked into at least some thinking on the issue. From that perspective, every one of you who participated is a winner and I’d like to congratulate you on sharing your thoughts so powerfully!
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Paromita advises all women to become financially independent, keep levelling up and have realistic expectations from life and relationships.
Heartfelt, emotional, and imaginative, Paromita Bardoloi’s use of language is fluid and so dreamlike sometimes that some of her posts border on the narration of a fable.
Her words have the power to touch the reader while also delivering some hard hitting truths. Paromita has no pretences in her writing and uses simple words which convey a wealth of meaning in the tradition of oral storytellers – no wonder, Paro is a much loved author on Women’s Web.
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I watched a Tamil movie Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer), recommended by my dad, on SonlyLiv, and many times over again since my first watch. If not for him, I’d have had no idea what I would have missed. What a piece of relevant and much needed art this movie is!
It is about an old farmer in a village (the only indigenous farmer left), who walks the path of trouble, quite unexpectedly, and tries to come out of it. I have tried my best to refrain from leaving spoilers, for I want the readers to certainly catch up on this masterpiece of director Manikandan (of Kakka Muttai fame).
The movie revolves around the farmer who goes about doing his everyday chores, sweeping his mud-house first thing in the morning, grazing the cows, etc and living a simple but contented life. He is happy doing his thing, until he invites trouble for himself out of the blue, primarily because he is illiterate and ignorant.