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I read like a maniac, like my life depends on it. I also write and aspire to be a published novelist soon. I love animals and have adopted two dogs and two cats so far.
The feminism I believe in has been aptly described by Author Roxane Gay, "I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself."
I am also a foodie, a fitness enthusiast, a traveler, a nature lover with a spiritual core. I live in a house filled with books, animals and another sweet fellow human. :)
Other than online publications, so far my work appeared in two print anthologies:
'Bengal Write Ahead Best 50 Stories from the Facebook Contest', published by Rupa Publications and
'Kunti’s Confessions & Other Short Stories: 15 exciting stories inspired by India’s best women authors' published by Women's Web.
I blog at www.viakat.blog
While all of us may know the women on-screen, how much do we know of the gritty ladies behind it, those not in the limelight? Changemakers brings us the stories of these real life heroines.
A fan's tribute to the superstar - Lalita Iyer's Sridevi: A Queen of Hearts - is exactly what it sounds like, and should be read as much for the author's razor sharp style, as for the iconic actor herself.
For long, Bollywood has been shy of showing sexually liberated heroines and erotic scenes in popular movies. Here’s how things changed over time.
In a letter that she has written to a daughter she would love to adopt some day, Kasturi Patra tells her to be herself, not trying to 'please others' as a girl is expected to. "Don't let anyone tell you what to do," she says.
As the skeletons come tumbling out with all the #MeToo posts, what is so beautiful to see is the sisterhood that women are showing to other women, even strangers, as they hold each other up.
Actress Tanushree Dutta is perhaps the first woman from Bollywood to show such courage, to openly name the man who harassed her. It takes guts to speak up in an environment where speaking up can really hurt your career.
Marriage is hard work, never mind all the romantic ideas of 'love' as today our basic needs are mostly met and we need higher ones. If both partners choose to make it work, it can be a happy one.
Its time for misogyny and rape culture to end as women are standing rock solid for the support of other women. Women in Cinema Collective's support to Kerala nun is proof of the same.
Same sex relationship is now legally accepted in India. Supreme Court's verdict, decriminalizing homosexuality, is our country's a step forward towards social progress.
Five women who chose to marry early reflect upon their lives and talk about their perspectives on early marriages, especially as far as their kids are concerned.
Sex workers in Hindi films often fall under the stereotype of having a heart of gold and needing male characters to rescue them. A look at this trope.
Any number of ugly memes have surfaced taking potshots after Priyanka Chopra's engagement for her having dated other men in the past. Any bets on how long it will take us to abandon this misogynistic mindset?
The recent ad by MANforce condoms, on the occasion of friendship day, gave a whole new meaning to friendship between the opposite genders. Here is what our author feels about the same.
In a country like ours where women are judged for every aspect of their lives, how tough is it being a single mother? Here are the stories of 5 inspiring single moms in India.
Sunny Leone's new biopic, Karenjit Kaur: The Untold Story of Sunny Leone, is out, and as expected, people have problems with it.
Where should a woman's loyalties lie? Her family or a greater cause? Sumana Roy’s Missing revolves around this theme, drawing in bigger questions and paradoxes along with it.
If it's only the fear of legal punishment through our adultery law that keeps you from cheating on your spouse, then are you really in a happy and healthy marriage?
The trailer of Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, and Rajkumar Rao starrer Fanney Khan is out and it seems Bollywood is becoming more real with its representations on screen.
Sunny Leone trolled recently for a family photo posted online shows how people have a problem with strong, unapologetic women who want to lead lives on their own terms!
Want to raise feminist children? Feminist writer Chaimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about the various challenges one faces in a society rooted in gender stereotypes.
Swara Bhaskar was trolled mercilessly yet again for her 'masturbation scene' in Veere Di Wedding, a sad reminder that talking about female sexuality is still taboo in India.
In a recent incident, actor Jacqueline Fernandez coerced a seven year old boy to hug her when he clearly did not want to. When will our celebs learn the importance of Consent?
The latest Buzzfeed video depicts how non consensual porn is thriving in India owing to the age old norm of victim-blaming along with the absence of proper laws to curb it.
When I deactivated Facebook, this is how my life changed. I'm still on an ongoing journey and if you too crave for some respite from social media.
Nandita Das recently spoke to Anupama Chopra about her experiences as a director, about life, and about everything she has been doing so far.
This beautiful tribute to a single mom who braved huge odds to educate her daughter and raise her to become feminist - we guarantee, it will make you cry.
If you are an Indian woman with opinions of your own, chances are you already know that expressing them in public can be hazardous.
After the delightful Ravan and Eddie, Kiran Nagarkar comes forth with Jashoda, an insightful book about a poor yet strong woman's struggle against her 'fate'.
Shamefully, an FIR was lodged against Journalist Swathi Vadlamudi, for her harmless cartoon of Ram and Sita to show the state of women's safety in India.
While considering that a cycle of abuse can happen with victims turning abusers, we have to ask: do we accept it too easily when the perpetrators are men?
An older woman and younger man. Why can't they be a couple? Why do Indians feel it is necessary for the man to be older in a relationship?
Daisy Irani, one of the most famous child stars of the 1950s, recently revealed that she was raped at the age of 6 years.
Jacqueline Fernandez's latest dance number, which is a remake of the Ek Do Teen song from Madhuri Dixit starrer Tezaab, made me cringe.
Are we feminists as long as it suits us, or are we truly inclusive feminists? Here are some questions that might help you think further.
Find your quota of inspiration from these multi-talented women today who don’t shy away from chasing their professional AND creative ambitions!
Grihalakshmi's cover on breastfeeding has left the nation divided. However, here are 5 reasons why we're cheering the magazine for taking this step forward.
When Love is hidden in the nooks and crannies of sweet little things. A poem inspired by the way the writer experiences Valentine's Day.
Kangana Ranaut shows us hows Sisterhood is done in competitive Bollywood. She seems to be one of the biggest cheerleaders of her female colleagues.
Irrespective of our relationship status, this Valentine's Day let's celebrate Love! Let's dig out love from those unexpected corners and revel in its glory.
While we were busy fighting for gender equality, Pepsi decided to gift womankind with feminine chips. But why stop there, we want more such gendered products!
This new year I plan to be more present and buy less things; to declutter my life and focus on meaningful pursuits.
A new study shows how even as female genital mutilation (FGM) is being made illegal across the world, the Indian government has done little to stop it.
Swara Bhaskar getting trolled for her open letter about Padmaavat where she wrote 'she felt reduced to a vagina' proves how our culture is still deep-rooted in patriarchy
The upcoming web-series, 'Haq Se' on Alt Balaji is based on Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women' and gives voice to Kashmiri women in current times
Wouldn't you want to know what went on in Padmavati's mind? What if the doomed queen herself were to narrate her story? Sutapa Basu lets us know in her outstanding book.
Stories from South or East India are now finding favour across the country as Padman and Mary Kom show, but people who look like us are still not!
Karan Johar may have apologised for body shaming actor Alia Bhatt, but the apology has a bunch of issues. Here's why!
The very title of Madhulika Liddle's recent short story collection, Woman To Woman caught my attention. When I read the blurb, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
The Whole Shebang is Lalita Iyer's latest book about 'the sticky bits of being a woman', speaking to all women, no matter what their circumstances.
These upcoming Hindi movies appear to be a breath of fresh air, at least as far as their trailers reveal. Stay tuned for these new releases!
Erotica might not be everyone's cup of tea, but Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows delivers in more ways than one, making it a refreshing read!
While the portrayal of Muslim women in films made in Bollywood has evolved over the last few decades, a lot is still left to be desired.
Indian advertisements have been repeatedly called out for their blatantly sexist messaging. This Kwality Walls ad celebrating a little girl's 'round rotis'...sigh.
Just when we thought it was impossible to love Kangana Ranaut even more, for her spunky interviews on all wrong with Bollywood today, we find we were wrong.
Meeting her for the first time also introduced me to my mother in law's kitchen, though I could never take to it and the expectations it had of me.
Like many, this author initially felt Kangana Ranaut's recent Aap Ki Adalat interview was too 'conveniently' timed. What made her rethink? Read on!
Evocative poetry in the second person, penning the picture of a single mother making a living as a sex worker, a woman just trying to live her life.
Instead of taking pride in Priyanka Chopra's global achievements, all some trolls can see is her choice of attire!
My baby was my mother now. As my fingers brushed across my flat chest, I felt as if all the signs of motherhood were slowly eroding from my body.
Kangana Ranaut starrer Simran's trailer is out, looks massively impressive and we can't wait for the movie to release!
This true story convinced me that even today, most women are solely blamed for failed marriages and receive little support from family and friends.
Sisters in Hindi movies are a rarity unless they are sisters to a brother. But are the times changing for the better for themes of sisterhood?
Remember the feisty Minal Arora from the empowering movie, Pink? Yes, Taapsee Pannu, the gutsy actress has stolen our hearts again.
Some reactions to Lipstick Under My Burkha, and a few real life conversations show how afraid many are of independent women who dare to follow their hearts.
Museum of Memories is a fabulous anthology of slice-of-life stories by Amrita Mukherjee, that touch you in many ways.
With a bisexual protagonist unusual in Indian fiction, Love Bi The Way by Bhaavna Arora had the potential to be so much more than it is.
Introverts too need social contact, and a lonely soul could do well to keep writing to connect with others and touch their soul, as I found out.
I’d like to dedicate this post to my mother who stood against all odds to bring up her children with the ideals of self-respect, independence and kindness.
Tanuja Chandra, the co-writer for the hit movie Dil Toh Pagal Hain, and an acclaimed director too, now debuts with a book, Bijnis Woman.
"Yes, I am opting to leave your father. For 35 years, I’ve lived my life for him and for you all. I am tired now. The few years that are left of my life, I want to be free."
Women today would rather have an equal partnership with their spouse, than do it all and be awarded with the label of superwomen!
Besides biological mothers, there are many other kinds of mothers too. Here's wishing a Happy Mother's Day to anyone who embodies the spirit of motherhood!
A new web series called Mothers & Daughters, starring Lilette and Ira Dubey promises to be warm, interesting and complicated - just like our relationships with our moms!
The new sexy is about being comfortable in your own skin, not whether you show look pretty and stereotypically 'feminine'. Here's more power to us in all our avatars, sexy or not!
Harshali Singh's debut novel A Window To Her Dreams celebrates the indomitable spirit of a woman. Read on to find out more.
What does feminism mean? It addresses the gender discrepancies women face daily, but it is most misunderstood, even by women themselves!
Looking for some good reads for 2017? Here are some personal recommendations of books by women authors that you’ll love!
Men have to take the onus in calling out sexism among men, rather than trying to hush women up with the 'not all men' excuse.
Here's a list of 2016 movies from Bollywood that are totally worth watching because they deal with socially important and pertinent themes.
“How come it was okay for them to relentlessly pursue their careers? Why do I need to feel guilty about loving my job just because I possessed a vagina?” A short story. Here is the fifth winner of our December 2016 Muse of the Month contest, Kasturi Patra. The cue for this month was “There is love […]
In a historic first step towards gender equality in India’s service sector, Deutsche Bank (DB) has recently made parental leave gender agnostic.
The outrage over Saif and Kareena's baby name only shows us what a sickeningly intolerant nation we have become.
Using makeup is not all about objectifying yourself for the male gaze! It can be a woman's choice, and can make her feel good about herself!
Tired of stories featuring men as saviours? These books where women save the day make a great addition to your vacation reading list!
A rape scene in The Last Tango In Paris was filmed without the female actor's full consent. Sadly, this is not unheard of even in India.
Even though it's eighteen years too late, Karan Johar apologizing for ‘transforming’ Kajol's appearance in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to suit the 'Sanskari Indian' standards, comes as a breath of fresh air.
Hum Paanch, one of the most popular serials of the nineties, still touches our hearts with its feminist portrayal of girls as they really are.
A mother daughter relationship is one of the most wonderful yet most intricate of relationships. Here are a few books to help you understand it better, no matter which side you belong on.
Recently a twitter user questioned Barkha Dutt, if she would interview Sushmita Sen on Trump's misogynistic remark against former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Here's what she had to say.
Every woman has dealt with some form of sexism or discrimination at work. The Feminist Fight Club book gives you some excellent pointers to handle the negativity.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie divorce, but surprisingly Jennifer Aniston is dragged into this media gossip. Women including celebrities are still defined by their past relationships.
Strong women characters in graphic novels, a genre known for its misogynistic themes and macho men? Here are some you’re sure to love.
Women are always expected to follow rigid beauty standards however the 'Dispelling Beauty Myth' series breaks myths regarding beauty, ageing and gender identity. Here's more.
Being always in the public eye can have negative effects on relationships. However Bollywood couple, Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna’s marriage, has survived the test of time. “The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.” – Fawn Weaver This is perhaps one […]
The High Court calls 'Roka' a social evil. Are these marriage traditions relevant in these modern times?
Amitabh Bachchan's letter to his grand-daughters is women empowering, however it still has a few discrepancies. Here's why.
When it comes to sex outside marriage, unmarried couples still face social stigma. By introducing 'Oyo for couples', Oyo has taken an effective step in breaking this stigma.
Talented actress Vidya Balan stands up for body positivity. It is not weight but fitness that matters to her the most.
Maneka Gandhi's comment about men and paternity leave proves that leaders perpetrate sexist norms. Here's why the government should consider paternity leave in India.
Like many great changes it is women again, whose demands for toilets in rural India are helping improve the health, hygiene and of course safety.
In a major landmark, post death rituals of transgenders will be conducted. What a great initiative towards including them in them in the mainstream society.
There was nothing for her in this stifling marriage. Maybe it was time she did some letting go...
Our reasons to get married are often all wrong, and often dictated by social norms. Shouldn't we think and decide what works best for us?
This newspaper headlines on Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky indicates that we undermine women's achievements no matter how great they are. While we witness
The latest Dove ad challenges the stereotypes on beauty that is conveyed via the nursery rhyme ' Chubby Cheeks' and says 'No' to rigid beauty standards.
After sacrificing the prime years of her life for a greater cause, Irom Sharmila is questioned about her personal life. Women have ordinary desires too.
Marjane Satrapi is an Iranian born french graphic novelist who has an interesting take on feminism. Read to know her words of wisdom.
Acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi, is all set to dazzle in the New York Fashion Week. Watch her prized reaction in the video, after receiving the good news.
While internationally, there are books galore celebrating women friendships in fiction, there seems to be a distinct invisibility of female friendships in Indian books. Why?
As we grow older, we need to use our education. Open your minds. Yes, I keep changing with age and so should you!
News of alleged stalkers turning into rapists came to the forefront last week when a 16 year old girl was raped and then set on fire in Delhi.
We need to model good behaviour ourselves first, if we are to teach kids compassion and respect for their fellow human beings.
It is awe-inspiring when celebrities use their fame and credibility to send across a positive message. This is what Hollywood actor Olivia Wilde did. Read to know more. Olivia Wilde, besides being a renowned Hollywood star, is also a staunch feminist who believes in propagating gender equality. Not only that, she also tries inculcating the […]
Even though the series has many strong female characters, feminism in Harry Potter isn't all there. Here is why.
A group of young girls from Jadavpur university in Kolkata got together and used social media to highlight the harassment they faced.
Dove's new ad with the tagline #MyBeautyMySay is bound to steal your heart. It also requests media to stop objectifying women.
Twinkle Khanna is a woman who knows her mind and boldly speaks her heart out. She nailed it yet again, when she wrote about Serena Williams.
Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was killed by her brother in the name of 'honour killing.' What does this say to us as a society?
Life can be terrible at times, but we can make a choice of making life beautiful for ourselves. It is all in our own hands.
According to recent news, Kareena Kapoor is pregnant. It’s great to see that motherhood need not be a limiting factor for female actors anymore. Kareen Kapoor Khan’s pregnancy is a happy news. However, what has increased our happiness even further is the fact that at least some people in Bollywood are acting as true professionals about it. Instead […]
It was not just a tattoo. It was an expression of her breaking free from the shackles that she had initially accepted, even welcomed.
The Stanford rape incident is proof of all that is wrong with our society today. Here is an anguished poem inspired by it, which speaks for all women everywhere.
Sometimes circumstances teach you more than anyone else can. A touching tale of love and epiphany. May 2016 Muse of the Month winning entry.
This rant by Tanmay Bhat, stand-up comedian at AIB, takes on the misconceptions about feminism, which make people shy away from calling themselves feminists.
Beauty cannot be defined, nor can it be contained. It comes from within, and this beauty can come in every body size.
Nil Battey Sannata is a Hindi movie that had recently been released across theatres in India. Here is why it resonated with me, why I loved the movie.
Why are periods shameful? Break the silence around periods by encouraging young girls to buy their own sanitary napkins, and see them grow into confident girls!
We need to be compassionate and sympathetic towards people irrespective of their gender, if we profess a belief in feminism. A thoughtful article.
A jealous husband is not cute, no matter what advertisements might say! Marriages should be based on trust, and an equal position for both.
The Motherhood Dare on social media, which celebrates mothers, is hurtful to those women who are not mothers, or unable to become a mother.
Sometimes, who you are born as doesn't matter - trying to rise above it does. April 2016 Muse of the Month winner.
You can get in touch with your inner self with nature. Spending time with nature can not only be relaxing, it can be inspiring, for a better life.
What do men feel when a relationship ends? Do they feel the loss as acutely as we women do? A flash fiction piece exploring men's emotions.
If you have a passion, follow it. And if you can earn your living using your passion, go for it! It is never too late. Do not give up your present for your future!
How did she misjudge her parents? Why did she take so long to return home, where she belonged? A wonderful short story that will bring tears to your eyes.
One of the simplest way to bring more happiness into your life is to be grateful for everything you have. Have a Gratitude Jar. And see it attract happiness.
Fame, success, beauty isn't everything - time robs one of those. Deeper and meaningful relationships endure. The second winning entry for the muse of the month.
Relationships change over time. What we think is important for us now, might not remain so. Do we have the courage to take hold of our lives and live it, then?
In this winning entry of December BookTalk writing theme, Kasturi Patra writes beautifully on how books made her make the choices she finally made in her life. A moving post.
In this very thought provoking piece of flash fiction, Kasturi Patra writes, why the beloved Goddess have left the temple, not to return.
These women centric ads are making rounds on the Indian Television, and for all the right reasons. They take us a step forward.
Sadly, Sexism has become a part of our everyday life. We as women too, add to sexism, sometimes by making remarks on someone's skin color or choices. Its high time we let it go.
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