Pooja Priyamvada

Pooja Priyamvada is a columnist, professional translator and an online content and Social Media consultant. She is also a writer/poet/editor/ and a bi-lingual blogger formerly also radio announcer and lecturer. She has an M.Phil. in English Literature from Panjab University and speaks vociferously about issues of gender, identity and marginalisation at a wide variety of platforms and mediums. A single parent and fibromyalgia survivor, she believes that she derives her strength from being a voracious reader and a tea connoisseur. Both her blogs have been awarded several times consecutively at the Orange Flower Awards and she has been associated with reputed national and international online addresses like The Mighty, Menstrupedia, Women’s Web, Feminism In India, ShethePeopleTV, Momspresso, Sheroes, Bonobology, Writersmelon and Sadaneera. Her translation titled A Night in the Hills, a collection of short stories by Manav Kaul has been published by Westland Books recently, besides she also translates for other forums like the Sahitya Akademi and The Raza Foundation. She is the author of an e-book Mental Health: A Primer. Her poetry and fiction have been published in several reputed online journals and print anthologies in India, UK and Canada and a few poems can be read with a hot cup of coffee on the walls of The Human Bean Cafe, Cobourg, Toronto. She has been featured amongst “10 Indian Women Bloggers you must follow” and “25 writers whose work readers enjoyed the most” at Women’s Web in 2018 and also in “Most empowering moments by Indian women” by SheThePeopleTV .

Voice of Pooja Priyamvada

Put The Blame Where It Belongs – Rapists Enabled By Rape Culture, Poor Sex Education, & Violent Porn

Everyone is blaming women for "getting raped" and putting restrictions on them. Utter nonsense. Put the blame where it really belongs.

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No Matter Why JNU Students Protest, Moral Police Will Slut Shame The Girls

Moral policing is brought in the lime light each time there is a new protest at any university, especially JNU. Why can't people give it a rest?

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Delhi Is Choking. 5 Tiny Changes Every Family Can Adopt To Do Your Bit For The Environment

While the government and infrastructure have a major responsibility in reducing pollution, is there anything we as individuals and families do?

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5 Reasons Indian Women Are More Likely Than Men To Develop Mental Health Issues; We’re Not Surprised!

10th October, World Mental Health Day, is a good time for women to share their stories, and speak up for themselves and other women, because they are more at risk than men. 

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woman in pain
Why Is It So Easy To Disbelieve (And Gaslight) A Woman In Pain?

Women experience pain differently, for different reasons, and also with very different symptoms, so they are regularly disbelieved, expected to endure, and gaslighted. 

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74 year old mom
74 y.o. Mom AND The Dad Of Twin Girls In ICU – What About The Babies If Something Happens?

A 74 year old woman recently had twin girls after a successful IVF. How ethical, is it, however, for parents this old to try for a baby? What about the babies' human rights?

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World Suicide Prevention Day
We All Know Of At Least One Death By Suicide; What Could Have Prevented It?

Suicide rates by women in India are exceptionally high by global standards. Among these, Indian housewives is a very large percentage. Let's get to the bottom of this.

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KBC people with disability
Why KBC Showing Disability & Depression As ‘Inspiring’ Is A Disservice To Those Who Suffer!

Popular show Kaun Banega Crorepati recently featured a few people with disabilities (PWDs) as contestants. Which is good, except for the way the whole thing was handled.

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Shruti Chaturvedi Reveals Why Women Are Forced To Withdraw Sexual Assault Cases

Recently, entrepreneur Shruti Chaturvedi withdrew a sexual harassment case that had gone on for a very long time. Why is justice so slow for women reporting sexual harassment or assault?

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“Sex Ed Not Required In Indian Schools” – Why This Is Wrong Advice!

The RSS linked SSUN - Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas recently stated that sex education is not a requirement for schools. We disagree.

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India most dangerous place for women
India Remains The Most Dangerous Place For Women Despite All Govt Schemes And Slogans

Despite all its schemes for girls and women which claim to better their lives, and our 'goddess worship' claims, India remains the most dangerous place for women in the world.

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Qandeel Baloch's parents
Appeal By Qandeel Baloch’s Parents To Spare Their (Accused) Sons Is Clearly What’s Wrong In Society

The Qandeel Baloch 'honour killing' had shocked the subcontinent - her parents recently appealed to the court to spare their sons accused of murdering her under the earlier 'pardon' law.

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benevolent sexism
“Women Must Be Protected, Men Must Protect” This Is How Benevolent Sexism Works

Benevolent sexism. It's a cousin of Feminism Lite, where a feel good statement about women traps them further into patriarchy. How does this happen?

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This Abuse Of Women Via The OTHER Inbox Enables Violence & A Culture Of Silence

"She must have asked for it" is a common statement made when women face abuse; worse when it happens online, isolating them by cutting off their online support too.

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#SareeTwitter For Its Love Is Great, As Long As It Isn’t “Good Indian Women Wear Only Saree”!

Twitter has exploded with pictures of women in sarees with the hashtag #SareeTwitter. But what when it is deemed the only 'respectable' garment for Indian women?

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An Open Letter To Indian Parents: Stop Controlling Your Daughters; Let Them Live Their Lives!

The viral video of Sakshi Misra, daughter of BJP MLA Rajesh Misra showed her asking her father to let her be happy in her marriage outside her caste.

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how to recognise rape culture
How To Recognise Rape Culture In A Society, In 11 Easy To Understand Points

A culture that is based on a gendered hierarchy, condones gender based violence, normalises the toxic behaviour of men, even eulogising it, is rape culture. Here's how you identify it.

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Sexist Air India Ad For Female Cabin Crew Wants ‘Clear, Blemish Free Skin, Even And Regular Teeth’?!

Air India Express recently put out an ad for female cabin crew requiring 'clear complexion without any blemish, even and regular teeth". This is blatant, in your face objectification.

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6 Things Very Wrong With Recent Viral Post By Haryana Women’s Commission Vice Chairperson

Yesterday, a Facebook post by the Vice Chairperson, Haryana State Commission for Women, in which she shared a write-up she attributes to Dr Rekha Jain, ex-DSP, Sagar (M. P.), went viral. We think it reeks of moral policing.

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single parent refused admission
Vashi School Official Refused Admission To Single Parent Child; HRD Ministry Has Initiated Action

A single mom was recently refused admission for her child at a private school, because "we can't handle single parents", said in a very rude manner. This is ridiculous, to say the least.

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Rebellious, Submissive Or Ambivalent: Girish Karnad Created Female Characters That Question The Status Quo

Whether the articulate Chitralekha of Yayati, the bold Amritamati of Bali or the questing Padmini of Hayavadana, Girish Karnad’s female protagonists leave a deep impact on readers and viewers.

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Zomato parental leave policy
Zomato’s Impressive New Parental Leave Policy Is A Welcome Step Towards Being Inclusive

Zomato has recently announced a new, more inclusive parental leave policy, taking into account not only dads, but also surrogate, adoptive, and same sex parents.

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women's mental health
Why Is Indian Women’s Mental Health The Last Priority On Everyone’s Mind?

Fear of social stigma means that we tend to hide any issues of Indian women's mental health until it is too late. This May, Mental Health Month, let's address this.

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virginity tests
Finally, Virginity Tests To Go From The MBBS Syllabus In Maharashtra

Recently, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) removed the topic of virginity tests from MBBS syllabus – and rightly so.

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As A Single Parent, I’m A Mommy Co-Learner With My Daughter, Not Just Her Mother!

As a single parent of a daughter, this mom is proud of her child's pride in her as a writer, and would rather be called a 'parent', eschewing the expected pedestal that comes with being a mother in India.

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Atishi slut shaming
Slut Shaming Oldest Tool Used Against Women; We Need To Stand By Atishi In This

Have a powerful women, what better tool to use to discredit her in a patriarchal society like ours but to slut shame her? In this, #IStandWithAtishi.

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MJ Akbar’s Defamation Case Against Priya Ramani In Court Today, Many Tweet In Her Support

Ex-Union Minister MJ Akbar's defamation suit naming only Priya Ramani, one of the several women who have accused him of sexual harassment during his tenure at The Asian Age came up for hearing today.

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CJI Gogoi
CJI Gogoi, The Onus Is On You To Ensure The Supreme Court Remains A Safe Space For Justice

Yet another allegation of sexual harassment against a Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi begs the question - will this top judiciary body remain the safe space it should be to demand justice?

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Dipak Misra marital rape
Ex-CJ Dipak Misra, Your ‘Personal Views’ On Marital Rape Are Callous & Irresponsible Towards Survivors

Former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra thinks "marital rape should not be made a crime in India for the sanctity of marriage". This normalises sexual violence in the name of 'tradition'!

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Kanishka Kataria
UPSC Topper Acknowledges Girlfriend’s Support Publicly, Gets Trolled – When Will We Stop Moralising?

UPSC topper Kanishka Kataria was recently trolled for crediting his girlfriend for his success, and the nasties all came out of the woodwork.

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CBSE Wants This Single Mom To Prove Her Single Mom Status

Rules in many places still need a child to have a father's name on documents. Let's outlaw this patriarchal compulsion in this day and age!

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Sex Workers Are Not Criminals. Thank You Renuka Shahane For Reiterating This!

Recently, Actor-Director Renuka Shahane spoke up for sex workers in response to a common cliché about them being “dishonourable criminals”.

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Holi Is A Great Time To Teach Everyone About Consent!

Can Holi be a teachable moment for our families and communities, with people coming together in joy and comfort with each other? Yes! Make this Holi an occasion to talk about Consent. 

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What Does $10 Trillion Look Like? It’s The Value Of Women’s Housework!

In the last few decades women across the world have stormed almost every profession with élan, but it has led to a double burden on women, especially in conventional societies like India where women’s work in homes and families is still almost invisible.

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modi dyslexia remark
PM Modi Recently Cracked A ‘Dyslexia’ Joke – Why Are We So Insensitive To Those Who Suffer?

PM Modi recently used the term 'dyslexia' as a joke to get back at Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and the attendees found it funny! Those who suffer from it deserve better.

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What Is The Geneva Convention? How Does It Protect The Human Rights Of Prisoners Of War?

What is the Geneva convention? What rights does it accord captives or prisoners of war? Given the social media usage of this term, here are some things you need to know. 

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how to deal with gaslighting
8 Things You Should Know To Deal With Gaslighting As A Survivor

How to deal with gaslighting, if you are in any emotionally abusive close relationship, not just a romantic one. How do you help yourself as a survivor?

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abused goddess
If This Is How ‘Goddesses’ Are Treated, We Indian Women Would Rather Not Be One!

Women might be 'worshipped' in Indian culture as goddesses, but one just needs to look around to see how ironic and misleading this pedestal is.

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11 Signs Of Gaslighting That You Need To Recognise

Knowing these signs of gaslighting can help you identify if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. Remember, all abuse is not physical in nature!

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intimate partner abuse
You’ll Be Shocked By How ‘Normal’ Some Of These 30 Signs Of Intimate Partner Abuse Are

Are there any of these signs of intimate partner abuse in your significant relationship? You have to read this list of signs - to understand why you don't feel completely comfortable with him.

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Why Sholay’s Basanti Was My First Bollywood Feminist Icon

This independence day, it is 43 years since the release of Sholay. Pooja Priyamvada tells us why, despite her flaws, Basanti is a feminist icon to her. 

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Sophia Naz
Pakistani Urdu-English Poet Sophia Naz Urges New Writers To Explore Paths Less Travelled

Sophia Naz is a Pushcart Prize nominee, who writes in both English and Urdu, and is also the poetry editor and columnist at The Sunflower Collective, as well as the founder of rekhti.org

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Fearless, Because I’ve Been Afraid Through Generations

Fear, shame, prejudice - all comes the way of a girl from the moment she is born, changing form only to suit the stage of life she's at. But despite it all, she survives, thrives. How?

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And She Finally Took A Decision

She suffered immense emotional and sometimes even physical abuse at her husband’s hands quietly for the sake of her child. But her struggle was yet not over.

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Savita Ambedkar
The Woman Behind Dr. Ambedkar – Why Are Our Women Denied Their Rightful Place In History?

Dr Savita Ambedkar was Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's 2nd wife and a great support, but was sidelined like most women through history have been.

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Tell Me Little Girl, Tell Me Your Pain

A poignant poem that takes its unfortunate inspiration from the Kathua rape and murder of an 8 year old. Do read.

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Dear Almost Pistanthrophobia, Yes, Your Love Taught Me This New Word

This beautiful letter to an ex is filled with the peace of knowing that life's experiences leave us with precious memories - even the ones with scars.

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like no other
Like No Other [#Shortlisted]

Kusum said, “She is didi, seems also a few weeks pregnant, so now it seems all will be sorted. If it’s a boy then her future at her in-laws will be secure, but if it’s a girl…”

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acid
Acid [#Winner]

As he drove away ashamed and insulted, Jyoti was scared seeing that look in his eye, that of an injured wild animal as he shouted “If I can't have you, no-one else will!"

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A Tribute To Gauri Lankesh

This beautiful poem pays tribute to Gauri Lankesh and to all those who refuse to stay silent even when answered with abuse and threats.

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the goddess
The Goddess And Her Sculptor [#Poem]

Every year comes Dussehra, and the Goddess is crafted again. What of the goddess' own dreams?

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sex actuality
Sex (Actuality) [#Poetry]

To feel and respond to ask for intimacy and beyond, of touch, smell and sound, being a woman who knows desire.

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fibromyalgia
Living With Fibromyalgia – An Invisible Abuser & Painful Condition

In a country where sensitivity to an invisible illness like fibromyalgia is abysmal, life can be very lonely indeed. A personal account.

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vendetta
Vendetta [#ShortStory]

“... good families do not talk about sex and you are saying our daughter is being raped by her husband. Husbands never rape, it is their right on a wife’s body."

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she the revolution
She: The Revolution [#Poetry]

“Like a warrior at war with life...She is claiming HERSELF finally...The maps are still patriarchal but she is not...following them blindly!”

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The Journey [#Poetry]

“The defiance is actually the last push to a glass ceiling... Her mother and mother’s mother have been pushing too long.”

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The Legacy [#ShortStory Winner – Muse Of The Month]

“Why should Harsh’s sexual orientation take away from his political acumen or his capability as a leader? Would it change her love for him as a foster parent?” A short story. Here is the first winner of our December 2016 Muse of the Month contest, Pooja Sharma Rao. The cue for this month was “There is love […]

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In The Quest Of Liberation [#ShortStory]

"Men were the masters of their destinies and their bodies,... a widow needed to be punished for her misfortune of outliving her husband." A short story.

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So Our Boys In Blue Wore Their Mothers’ Names On Their Jerseys. Will This #NayiSoch Really Be Revolutionary?

Is it enough that our 'boys' in blue wore their mothers' names on their backs, to strike at the roots of patriarchy? Is this #NayiSoch going to change society?

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The Revolutionary [#ShortStory]

"But Kamayani was blinded by love and ideals ... she lived her ideology, ... everything about her was so anti-establishment." A short story about personal choice.

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Nothing Is Forever [#ShortStory]

She gave in, but when she knew better, she stood up for herself, creating a new life from the ashes of the life she had till now.

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Freedom. April 2016 Muse Of The Month Winning Entry By Pooja Sharma Rao

Freedom is a precious thing - and getting freedom for others can sometimes free us! April 2016 Muse of the Month winner.

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HERStory

Through the ages, women have served as a looking glass, a companion, a mirror; is it surprising that Jane Austen's intelligent women had trouble finding men they could love?

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Finding Myself

Don't forget who you are, even if everyone else fails to recognize you, says this beautiful story.

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