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Janani Balaji

I am Janani Balaji. A grade 10 student, 15 years old and passionate about writing stories, art and poetry. I feel strongly about gender equality, body issues and mental wellness.

Voice of Janani Balaji

The Closest I Feel To Home Is When I Live My Secret Second Life As A Boy

I’ve gotten accustomed to watching her vicious smile flicker in windows and mirrors as I walk by, yet every time she chuckles, my stomach sinks with dread.

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I Can’t Do It Alone Anymore; But How Do I Escape This Life?

A cold, eerie calm settled on her. She knew what she had to do. She had constructed this world with her own hands, and she’d destroy it with her own hands in turn.

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What We ‘Allow’ Our Girls And Women Is Only An Illusion Of Choice; Coz How Dare They?

An elegy for choice, an illusion we offer our girls, and as an extension, our women. Because how dare they think for themselves, right?!

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As A Schoolgirl, I Choose To Challenge Gender Bias In School Uniforms

Skirts, pinafores, and other such school uniforms for girls are uncomfortable and impractical. Why should our genitals determine what we need to wear?

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A Strong Single Mom, Just Like Hidimba From The Mahabharata

The landlords did not want a single woman with a child and said they preferred a ‘family’. What were they then, she thought.

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It Was The Fall Of Everything She’d Held Dear, But…

It was like a hidden vault had been opened. All those comments that had never hurt her then now came cascading out. 

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There’s Always Been Love, But I Doubted It At The Time

We heard the ambulance come in. I saw you on the stretcher, with blood pouring from your nose and head. I couldn’t even run out with all the lockdown.

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She Had Been There For Me; And I Had Pulled This Stunt For, THIS?!

And she said, looking at me with eyes reluctant to leave me. “Lie down for a bit, then we’ll watch some movie on Netflix tonight? It will be okay."

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Ranting Is Not The Language Of Queens

Grow up, Rachna! Did you know my father had a paralytic stroke when I was five? Did you think my barely graduate mother with both in-laws and children to care for sat uselessly and lamented? No, she didn’t!

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