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Feminism Is For Everyone

Posted: May 25, 2022

The meaning and idea of feminism that I wish to focus on here is a more convoluted one, i.e., the idea of feminism that society beholds. These days, it is easy for people to insult a woman by calling her a ‘feminist’ if she is someone who blabbers about women’s rights.

Calling Someone A Feminist Is Not An Insult

A lot of girls, including me who talk about stereotypes and derogatory remarks against women are blatantly labelled as feminists. It’s as if being a feminist is like belonging to an ostracized group of women who have no other better job to do than to campaign for women’s rights. We get used to comments like, ‘Oh! Really? So, she’s a feminist too’ or something like, ‘Here comes the leader of the feminist group!’

The Concept Of The ‘Perfect Woman’ Is Dangerous And Flawed

Many people even believe that feminism is just a hoax and that its whole idea is flawed. A majority of men and women still believe in the prevalence of the paradigm of an ‘adarsh naari.’ An adarsh naari or perfect woman is obedient to her husband and in-laws. She has no rights whatsoever. Unfortunately, the word ‘feminist’ is often used as a slur for vocal women. Honestly, the whole problem lies with the way people perceive the notion of feminism.

Feminism Provides You With A Better Choice

Feminism is a set of ideologies that argues for equal rights and representations of women and talks of equality for all genders and communities. To quote Emma Watson, “Feminism is not here to dictate you. It’s not prescriptive, it’s not dogmatic. All we are here to do is give you a choice.”

Feminism is here to provide you with a better choice. It is not about placing women on a pedestal or making them the sole superheroes of a world that has an overwhelming number of men who deserve to be celebrated and idolized, just as much. Rather, it’s about bringing men and women to that same pedestal.

Women Don’t Hate Men!

Why does everyone think that women hate men? Especially feminists? No, we don’t hate men. Feminism is often misconstrued as man-hating. However, all of these ideas about feminism are far from true. To say that women deserve more respect and those of other genders do not is simply pseudo feminism. Several people fight for a world run and ruled by women, that plans attacks on men for all the injustices in society.

Pseudo Feminism Is Not Real Feminism.

Pseudo feminists believe that it’s always the women who are the victims and it’s always the men who are their perpetrators. In this typical Indian society of ours, it’s mostly women who stand against and hinder the progress of other women. One such example of this is when the mother-in-law controls their daughters-in-law to snatch away their shred of independence. Or it could be an orthodox mother who wants to curb the freedom of her ambitious daughter or any other situation.

Feminism Is For Everyone, Even Men!

Feminism demands that the perpetrator be treated as one, irrespective of any gender biases. Similarly, the ones at the receiving end of such assault could be men, and those at the other end, women. It’s wrong to assume that men are not sexually abused or that they don’t face any sort of harassment.

In simple words, all that feminism demands is equality. If it’s all about equality, what’s the point in bringing in feminism? It’s just that feminism has been focused on helping women, in particular, to be at par with their male counterparts. It’s all about elevating women from deprivation and bringing them to the same level as others.

Feminism Is A Well-Organised Revolutionary Movement

The most important thing is that feminism isn’t just a term, it’s a well-organised revolutionary social and political movement. Moreover, it has a global impact on women over their basic political and individual rights.

These rights include the right to vote, own property, equitable pay, access to education, the right to initiate divorce proceedings and the right to make individual decisions regarding pregnancy including access to contraceptives and abortion.

Women had no right to make their own decisions and were even denied the most fundamental rights as citizens. Feminism helped change all that; at least women now have laws that can help them.

Feminism Is About Giving Women Equal Opportunities And The Rights That They Deserve

Although we associate feminism with ideas such as liberation and independence, we must see to it that these notions do not become dictating and something forcibly thrust upon women. For example, consider the scenario of a homemaker. She is happy working for her family and spending time with her family members, and maybe that’s all she wants to do. For women who want to be self-reliant and aspire to great opportunities in their work field, the idea of spending the whole life serving their family and doing nothing for themselves could be so strangulating!

Who Is Feminism Really For?

Feminism is for women who are suppressed by people around them who have no right over their own lives and even over their bodies. It’s always someone controlling them and the ideas of feminism are meant to free such women and help them realize their dignity and their self-respect.

Finally, I would like to wrap this up by quoting Emma Watson again:
“Feminity needs to be embraced wherever it is, whether it be in a man or a woman, or a non-conforming gender person.”

Image Credits: Markus Spiske on Unsplash 

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5 Surefire Ways Women Can Break Free From The Overprotective Great Indian Enmeshed Family

Trigger Warning: This deals with overprotective or clingy behaviour typical of an enmeshed family common in India with its ideas of filial values, and may be triggering for survivors.

*Names and identifying information changed to protect privacy.

*Latika, a 27-year-old media professional, has had a long day at work; all she wants to do is relax for the rest of the evening. Unfortunately, she comes home to a familiar scene: her parents hurling abuses at each other. She takes a deep breath and closes the front door. Time to be the adult again, she thinks wearily. Later that day, when mother and daughter are alone, the former expresses gratitude. She reveals that without Latika, they would have been divorced years ago. Latika feels glad and tells her mother she is happy to help.

*Ragini, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, is sulking in her room on a Saturday morning. The reason? She is forbidden to go on yet another school trip. Because according to her parents, “weekends are for family only. We work so hard for you, and this is how you repay us? If you don’t spend time with us now, you will regret it later.” Although Ragini doesn’t agree with their words, she feels guilty enough to keep quiet and obey.

What do these ladies have in common? Both of them belong to an enmeshed family. And if you are an Indian woman who lives with her kin, you may too.

What is an enmeshed family?

According to Psych Central, “Enmeshed family – Enmeshment describes family relationships that lack boundaries such that roles and expectations are confused, parents are overly and inappropriately reliant on their children for support, and children are not allowed to become emotionally independent or separate from their parents.”

Fret not because you are the rule, not the exception. After all, Indian parents are infamous for having poor boundaries, and every other Indian family is an enmeshed family.

This is unsurprising because following in the footsteps of one’s parents is passed off as “Indian culture.” Any child who strays from parental desires and expectations is considered uncultured or unsansakari. Since elders think of their children as an extension of themselves and society accepts this attitude as normal, it is challenging for the children to live life on their terms.

And of course owing to patriarchy, women have it a lot harder than their male counterparts.

The recent case of the Haridwar couple suing their son and daughter-in-law for being childless is an example of the great Indian enmeshed family. To quote the father, “The main issue is that at this age we need a grandchild, but these people (my son and daughter-in-law) have an attitude that they don’t think about us. We got him married in the hope we would have the pleasure of becoming grandparents. It has been six years since their marriage. It feels as if despite having everything we have nothing.”

Despite all of the above, young Indian girls and women can be themselves while cohabiting with an enmeshed family. Here are 5 surefire ways to do so.

Establish clear and flexible boundaries

Indian families typically disregard boundaries, and enmeshment makes people further disrespect them. This is why you must set clear boundaries and make them known.

Being flexible matters because your family will cross many boundaries, and it could happene occasionally even in the healthiest relationships. Either way, you have to take it in your stride instead of getting frustrated or losing hope. Ketaki Natekar, a senior psychologist at MindPeers, explains why you should categorize your boundaries.

“Boundaries in relationships are not always securely gated communities; it helps to understand them as hard and soft. Hard boundaries are where we put up a ‘No trespassing’ sign. Soft boundaries are grayer and decided on a case-to-case basis. Trust level, current dynamic, and mental or emotional state are some factors that can help you decide what to do about soft boundaries. ”

Schedule regular me-time

Me-time will help you regain autonomy, something that is hard to find in a family that doesn’t care about individuality.

Living in an enmeshed family without losing sight of yourself involves finding pockets of time where you can reclaim who you are as an individual. For example, if you like to read, make sure to set aside some reading time regularly. And then, try your best not to let anything or anyone get in the way of your scheduled time.

Spending time alone will also help you become more self-aware. It will enable you to untangle yourself from your family so you can focus on knowing your needs, values, and desires. When you know yourself, it will be easier for you to decide the family rules you can live with – and the ones you need to break.

Practice assertion

In order to set boundaries and prioritize me-time, it is crucial to be assertive. After all, you will be standing up for your needs and wants over and over again. If you are not assertive, it won’t take much time for you to be guilted into prioritizing what others want or expect of you.

Sadly, the average Indian woman is accustomed to saying yes under pressure, conforming, and putting herself last. If you can relate, Ketaki has some tips for you.

“It is quite possible that you don’t know how to voice your needs and wants with family. Start with a prepared ask like: Tomorrow I’ll be out from 6 pm – 8 pm with friends. Practice saying this to yourself in the mirror, because you may need to hear how it sounds out loud. And then, make your ask. Begin with small asks till you are confident and feel you can use your voice to stand up for yourself.” Once everyone at home gets used to you being assertive for trivial matters, it’s easier to move on to bigger stuff.

Step out of the house

One of the most effective ways to combat enmeshment is to simply hang out without your family. Since they do not encourage individuality, you have to pursue it yourself.

Physically spending some time apart from your family will help you be yourself and enable you to feel freer and in control of your life.

Personal space is important but going out doesn’t always mean you have to spend time with yourself. Ketaki specifies that meeting friends, getting physical exercise, and attending an offline event are some healthy and engaging ways to spend time away from family. When you step out by yourself, you can make unconventional choices and follow your heart. Eventually, this may help you to move out in the future as well.

Consult a therapist

A professional can help you do all of the above and more. For example, a therapist can help you identify problematic patterns in your family members, help you set healthy boundaries, teach you how to cope with your family’s guilt trips, maybe even get another family member to understand your perspective, and so on.

Ketaki explains why therapy is a useful tool. “Therapy can help validate your experiences and feelings when you are a part of an enmeshed family. It can also help resolve difficult emotions like self-doubt, guilt, anger, etc. Therapy can be that one place where you can prioritize yourself, where you can look after yourself. Your therapist can help you look at and make sense of the family dynamic, and figure out techniques for you to find yourself.”

Practicing self-care, being self-aware, and putting yourself first are all essential if you want to be an individual. Therapy can help nurture and enforce these kinds of healthy practices.

Ladies, do put yourself first and take care of yourself. Only a good relationship with yourself can enable you to make healthy relationships with others.

Image source: a still from the series Made in Heaven

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The Life & Times Of Usha Uthup, The Unconventional 80s Queen Of Indian Pop In A Saree

Think of Usha Uthup and her long, illustrious career, and you’d think that she’d have been sweeping awards from the start with her undeniable talent. I had goosebumps when I heard her speech at an awards show and learnt that she won her first Filmfare Awards in 2011 after 42 years of singing.

Naturally, I was curious to know more about her story, and jumped at the chance of reviewing her biography.

The non-celebrity like celebrity

The Queen of Indian Pop: The Authorised Biography of Usha Uthup trails an unconventional road, and feels like a candid conversation with the towering legend. She holds you by the hand, shows you around her beautiful home and invites you to an exclusive literary party with her family and friends. She swoons about her love and her varied unrelated interests including painting, music, acting, sound recording and production, stitching, and cooking.

To think someone of her stature can be grounded, gregarious, generous, and gracious is unbelievable and sublime. It’s what makes her endearing and relatable to people.

Born to stand out and not fit in

Born to a large, middle-class Tamil Brahmin family, Usha Uthup defied societal norms and stereotypes with her choices. Be it singing in the yesteryears’ nightclubs, or walking out of a ‘normal’ but unfulfilling marriage and remarrying for love with a Syrian Christian man, Jani Uthup.

“Nightclubs were considered indecent. Usha entered the nightclub when only men went there. Usha changed that image with her dignified presence.”

Usha Uthup

Transforming weakness into strength and opportunity

Like many other new singers in that time, she found it hard to break into the big singing league in the film industry because of the unfair politics and dominance of the Mangeshkar sisters.

Also, her voice was considered “too manly” for a female lead actor. The few film projects that came her way were reserved for the bad girls of cinema. But Usha had tremendous self-belief, and used her perceived shortcomings as her unique strengths. Watch her speak about it in her TEDxIMIKolkataWomen talk here. 

“Usha created a contemporary narrative of the new-age Indian woman. And not only that, she introduced a new paradigm of the confident Indian woman-free and strong.”

Changing mindsets and perceptions

Usha UthupThe misperception about pop music initially went against Usha’s favour, including a court case. But she turned that around with her firm conviction in her niche music.

“There was a conservative perception among Indian listeners that pop songs are just ‘hip hip hurray’ songs which make no sense. But Usha proved that pop is meaningful and powerful. She believes it’s all about how we see it. Everything rests on our vision. Actually, pop means change with joy. A happy change.”

Check out this James Bond style theme song of the superhit ensemble movie, Shaan.

Her work was certainly ahead of her times. Perhaps that’s why the recognition started trickling in much later. In her diverse career, Usha has lent her voice in multiple languages to ad jingles, nightclubs, playback singing in films, and children’s stories in the famous “Karadi Tales”.  Compared to the legendary Mangeshkar sisters, Usha Uthup’s voice sounds youthful, energetic, and undeterred even in her seventies.

Owning her eccentricity and authenticity

Rina Banerjee, Usha Uthup’s friend says, “That typical Madrasi girl looked a bit eccentric at first glance. I was surprised to hear that and wondered what this girl would be singing?”

That’s Usha Uthup. A contradiction of contradictions. She’s someone who balances the extremes with an effortless ease like no other.

She wears her inner child on her sleeve unapologetically. Often, ‘happy’ people are dismissed as frivolous, shallow, and even unimportant. This biography dispels this flawed perception as it details her struggles. Uthup doesn’t shy away from talking about her vulnerabilities in a dedicated chapter called ‘Many Flaws, Many Fears’. Despite it all, she walked on stage every time with a hearty smile to enthral people and bring joy in their dreary lives.

Want a copy of this book?

If you’d like to pick up The Queen of Indian Pop: The Authorised Biography of Usha Uthup written by Vikas Kumar Jha and translated by Srishti Jha, use our affiliate links at Amazon Indiaand at Amazon US.

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Image source: YouTube, and book cover Amazon

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Does Loving You Always Have To Mean Not Loving Myself?

Posted:

“Tu bin bataye mujhe le chal kahin… jahan tu muskuraye meri manzil wahin…”

I was listening to this song and thinking, ‘Wow! That was me!’

There was a time when nothing mattered more than love. Nothing was more important than seeing the smile on his face and hiding all worries of life from him.

Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with loving someone but the cost will be paid at some point. This can be avoided only if we know how to love ourselves as much as the people we love.

When my love was my only world

A couple of years back if someone asked me what I would choose between ‘my love for life’ and ‘the love of my life’, the answer would have been so simple- “My partner! My love!”

Until we had a life changing event like in all marriages.

Any big issue can be a life changing event- where our thoughts don’t match and then the usual, “I said…” and “you said…”

As usual, in between all chaos, heart-piercing words were said and unknowingly a very tragic period of our life occurred and passed.

Is the ‘event’ so important?

What that tragic event was, is no longer important. And it never is when you look back. What is important is the outcome of the event.

Did the relationship survive it? What was the effect on the well being of the people involved and what decisions did they make?

Coming back to the point, the tragic moment passed, and like most mature people in love and marriage, we chose to let time heal the hurt. We decided to move on in life together, and happily work on us & our marriage

At the same time, we had to work on the ‘unsaid’. Work on concealing the scars the hurt caused.

Who is wrong?

When I sat down to reflect on the event, I realized that none of us was wrong. We both had been doing something wrong unconsciously over the past couple of years.

We both were giving up a bit and more of each other than required, for each other. We both were somewhere giving up on ourselves for the sake of “us”.

Small things that made us happy individually were being put off for a later time and gradually being replaced by finding happiness in each other.

We were making more and more time for things that we can enjoy together happily. which is a great thing. That is what makes our fondest memories of yesteryears.

But as life goes on, one realizes that we have to love ourselves first to be able to love our loved ones.

I cannot be a good parent if I am not a happy individual. I cannot give my family the positive energy it needs unless I have it in me.

What is an unhappy marriage?

Similarly, I realised that there is nothing called an unhappy marriage, it’s only two unhappy people in a situation.

So, a happy marriage needs happy people. To be happy one needs to do things right by oneself before the other. Just like during the safety instructions on an aeroplane they say, “Please put on your oxygen mask before helping someone else!”

Basic understanding, isn’t it?

To continue loving my partner, I have to first love myself and cherish life. I have to try to live each day like it is my last. Capture it by taking a moment for myself!

So I let life take me by surprise and sweep me off my feet just a bit so that I could stand on my toes and feel the wind of freedom touch my bare face.

I opened my heart and mind to feel whatever I wanted to feel.

To read what I didn’t understand!

To write what I would not have ever written!

Only a happy me and a happy marriage?

It gave me so much happiness to enjoy my life that I radiated the same smile to my family and everyone around me.

A ‘happy me’ made my marriage happy!

For me, it worked out as I was able to be a ‘happier me’ with the person I love. I got the freedom to change and continue to do things for me and us.

Yes, there is a fine line and there is a need for constant effort to maintain the balance. And the onus of maintaining that balance isn’t always on the woman.

Okay, let’s take a moment to stop and think.

What if one ends up having to choose between ‘love for life’ and the ‘love of your life’ and both together cannot find a way to coexist?

Is it selfish to love one’s own life more than the ‘love of your life’?

If we are in love, can the depth of that love only be proven by ‘jahan tu muskuraye hai meri manzil wahin…’

Can anyone ever be truly happy if one had to choose one over the other? 

Image credit: Still from short film Dryfruit Ka Halwa, YouTube

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How A Man I Met On A Matrimonial Website Turned Into A Nightmare

Posted:

Trigger Warning: This deals with mental trauma and depression, and may be triggering for survivors.

I am someone who believes in honesty and trust, I trust people easily and I think most of the times this habit of mine turns into bane.

This is a story of how a matrimonial website service turned into a nightmare for me, already traumatized by the two relationships I’ve had. It’s a story for every woman who lives her life on the principles of honesty and trust.

Last year, after my second relationship failed, my parents asked me to make a profile on a reputed matrimonial website, as they thought “it’s high time” that I should get married.

I met few people there, and faced many abominable questions, showing me the mindset of so many Indians.

I remember one was “are you virgin?” even though my status is that of a divorcee; I mean despite knowing the fact how could someone ask such a question? I was amazed at his audacity and blocked him instantly.

The other one was even more disgusting. The guy called and asked for a video call just to check whether I look the same as in my pictures or not. Anyway I received the call and he saw me for like 2 seconds and cut the call. He called me again in the evening to tell me that he “saw saw me as his wife in his dream, and so he masturbated with my picture on his screen!” And he had this audacity to tell me about this disgusting act of his.

I met someone who I fell in love with

Then there was this guy M on the website who pinged me on WhatsApp. We clicked immediately and I eventually thought that I have found my soulmate, the perfect one, but that turned into a nightmare for me.

After long chats initially, he began calling me at least thrice a day. He used to call me his “someone special”, his alter ego. I was scared to accept that love came to me so easily, I was pretty much afraid of falling in love again. I was not letting my guard down, but he gave me hope that this time nothing would go wrong.

Until…

What we had was pretty much mutual, but I don’t know what got into him and he suddenly cut off with me. We talked for about three months and then all of a sudden he stopped calling, saying that he has to take care of his mom and dad as his father got infected by COVID. I was there for him at every step and I supported him as I could at that time.

He said that he needed sometime to himself. I waited for him as any other woman would have done, and I gave him his space, I didn’t want to be the clingy one. But I think I shouldn’t have waited for him, because all the mental agony and trauma I went through again was excruciating.

He didn’t talk to me for over a month and half. One night when he pinged me quite late at night, I felt sick, as if my gut was saying something, and I had this feeling that something has changed. It had.

He was not calling me just because he wanted to talk to me, but because he was in a mess. He had fallen for someone else. All the time I was waiting for him, he was falling for some other woman. He had friend zoned me.

Although he said sorry many times, something broke inside me, and for a while I wasn’t able to concentrate on anything. I went into mental trauma again and this time it was really bad; I had to see a psychiatrist. My agony and trauma just piled up and I started doubting myself. I felt that I was unworthy of love and respect, as if I had no self respect left. I spent many sleepless nights; I became a zombie then.

I’m writing this now because I am feeling stable and normal after a long time, and I even gave him back some of what he deserves. He literally asked for forgiveness in a way I’ve always wanted him to ask. I cut off with him and finally I regained my self respect.

I am writing this because people have made such sites their dating playground. They are not at all serious for the purpose of matrimony, they want such sites for entertainment and time pass, at least my experience was a nightmare. Why can’t they go to plain dating sites for this, where at least the immediate intention isn’t marriage?

It’s a shoutout to women and girls – beware of such things and people.

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10 Daycares In Delhi NCR You Need To Check Out Right Now!

Looking for daycares in Delhi NCR?

It’s difficult to balance work and parenting which is where daycares come into the picture! While people have prejudices against daycares, it is crucial to understand the importance of daycares.

Daycares are a way for kids to explore their environment while broadening their horizons and growing their personalities early. It gives them a chance to interact with other kids too!

So, here’s a list of the best daycares in Delhi NCR!

Footprints Childcare

Image credit: Footprints Prechool & Childcare

Timings: 9 am- 6:30 pm

Address: Footprints Childcare – NFC, Sukhdev Vihar, Ashram, Okhla

Phone: +91 7406 222 118

Website: https://www.footprintseducation.in/

Footprints Childcare is rated as the best Preschool and  Daycare by Silicon India Magazine. Other than that, the daycare caters to 78 centres in 14 cities! This excellent institute continues to give knowledge to students as they provide a daycare facility too!

Kids can reach their maximum potential here by participating in several activities. Footprints Childcare provides a nutritious meal with tonnes of activities such as storytelling, dance, music, drawing sessions, Taekwondo, and Yoga while ensuring kids’ safety via live CCTV cameras and mobile updates. 

360 Kids Day Care

Timings: 24*7

Address: 360 Kids Day Care –  Mahavir Enclave, RZ A 1/21, First Floor, Vijay Enclave, Dwarka 

Phone: +91 8527 177 855

Website: https://www.daycaremasti.com/

This popular 24-hour daycare operates around Delhi and NCR, catering to needs across Dwarka, Janakpuri, Palam, Mahavir Enclave and Uttam Nagar. 360 Kids Day Care is one of the most popular daycares around the area as it is open for 24 hours with total surveillance.

The daycare has two shifts- 6 am- 9 pm and 9 pm to 6 am. This indeed is a second home for kids as they’re provided with hot vegetarian meals and even transportation service. 360 Kids Day Care comes in like a  knight in shining armour for parents that have to work through the night! 

The Little Company

Timings: 8:30 am to 7 pm

Address: The Little Company –  216, Okhla Phase III, Okhla Industrial Area

Phone: +91 11 4060 6000

Website: http://thelittlecompany.co.in/

This daycare mogul has franchises nationally. The Little Company has an experience of over 10 years as it consistently caters to children’s as well as parents’ needs. Moreover, they even provide occasional daycare for parents who don’t need it regularly.

The Little Company closely works with parents and corporates to ensure a protective yet independent environment for children as they enhance their social needs. They help children get a unique personality while instilling confidence in those young minds.

The Banyan

Timings: 8 am to 7 pm

Address: The Banyan – B–4/42, Safdarjung Enclave

Phone: +91 11 4174 1418

Website: http://www.thebanyanworld.com/

The Banyan is India’s leading corporate daycare. Moreover, The Banyan doesn’t specifically have daycares, they have summer camps, playschools and pre-schools too.

It majorly caters to corporate, however, parents can safely keep their kids at The Banyan and not worry about their children as they work. The Banyan strives to engage kids in several activities like dance, music, skating, poetry recitation, vocaboom and IQ classes too. 

The Small Wonder School

Timings: 9:30 am to 7:30 pm

Address: The Small Wonder School – 630/6, First Floor, Govindpuri, Kalkaji

Phone: +91 8447 715 876

Website: http://smallwondersschool.com/

The Small Wonder School caters to over 200 kids every year. The campus is child-friendly with 100 per cent surveillance throughout the daycare. The teachers are well-trained as well as sensitive with kids which helps the kids attain emotional stability.

The Small Wonder School organizes several events like cultural dances, public speaking, picnics and sports events too. Most importantly, they are continuously in contact with parents to talk about the child’s development. The Small Wonder School enhances the kid’s public speaking as they ensure confidence. 

Mother’s Pride

Image credit: Canva Pro

Timings: 9 am to 6 pm

Address: Mother’s Pride – GK II, Malviya Nagar, Jangpura

Phone:  +91 8586 984 453

Website: https://www.motherspridepreschool.com/

For the last 25 years, Mother’s Pride is giving love to all the kids enrolled there! This daycare is one of the renowned daycares in Delhi NCR and other locations nationally. The multi-franchised daycare has several programmes for kids. Moreover, they have an abundance of activities right from dollhouses to full-fledged projector rooms for kids’ use.

Other than that, they have a state-of-the-art computer library which inculcates basic computer knowledge in the kids. Lastly, they have several days- grandparents day, annual day, national days and festivals celebrated in the daycare itself! It is the best place to let kids enjoy their day to the fullest while learning several things cumulatively. 

Angel House Play School Day & Night Boarding

Timings: 24*7

Address: H-225, Rama Krishna Appt., Plot #29, IP Extension, Patparganj, Delhi, 110092

Phone: +911140120430

Website: https://www.proeves.com/delhi/delhi/ip-extension/daycare-ip-extension/angel-house-play-school-and-day-and-night-care-centre-111

Angel House is another 24 hours daycare for children up to 15 years. They provide weekend childcare too and the kids are under 24*7 surveillance. Moreover, there is always a doctor present and first-aid facilities are immaculate here.

The kids get freshly cooked meals as well as transport service for the kids whose parents can’t travel. There are several activities like crafts, painting and poetry for children to enhance their skills. Lastly, the parents get daily reports on their kids’ development. 

Care Plus World

Timings: 24*7

Address: Care Plus World  – 1092/1, Bus Terminal, Mehrauli

Phone: +91 9999 820 487

Website: https://www.proeves.com/delhi/delhi/mehrauli/daycare-mehrauli/careplus-world-day-and-night-centre-and-baby-care-hostel-4610

We have yet another daycare that caters to children 24 hours! Care Plus World is an excellent choice for children. They take care of children who are 30 days old to 12 years.

Moreover, they give confidential daycare services to certain families too! Most importantly, they take care of children for a long period too if their parents have to go somewhere on an urgent basis or in case of any other difficulties too. 

Klay Preschool & Daycare

Timings: 8:30 am to 7 pm

Address: Several, refer here: https://www.klayschools.com/daycare-preschool/gurgaon/

Phone: 7676708888

Website: https://www.klayschools.com/

Klay is yet another daycare that pans nationally. Klay offers preschool services as well as extended daycare services if needed. Moreover, they provide quality education while ensuring the child’s safety. The best part about it is that they provide online services to children too.

They provide safe lead-free toys, brightly lit gigantic play areas and learning areas for music, artwork, storytelling and reading. Other than that, they have highly trained nurses to tend to unforeseen medical emergencies too. Klay, the multi-franchise mogul is one of the best daycares in India. 

Pathways

Timings: 8:30 am to 7 pm

Address: Golf Course Rd, Huda, Sushant Lok 2, Sector 55, Gurugram, Haryana 122011

Phone: 097177 55998

Website: https://www.pathways.in/earlyyears/daycare

The last on the list of daycares in Delhi NCR is Pathways! Pathways provide state-of-the-art facilities for children in the Delhi and Gurugram area. What’s interesting is that children are divided into age-wise batches as it ensures proper and age-wise development of children into social, emotional and physical areas.

Pathways cater to kids between 9 months and 9 years. Some highlights of Pathways are its varied programmes of dance, music, physical education, art enrichment and drama too!

To conclude, these 10 daycares in Delhi NCR are great for children! Let me know if you know more about such amazing, state-of-the-art daycares in Delhi NCR!

Image credit: absolute-India from Getty images via Canva Pro

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Dear Mom, Your Own Happiness Matters Most, Not What Your Relatives Or Even Your Children Think!

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The auspicious notes of the shehnais reverberated in the air. Patterns of hibiscuses, jasmines, bougainvillaeas, and marigolds accentuated the revelry of the banquet hall. The colour of the lotuses adorning the mandap at the centre of the room matched the bride’s attire.

Kankana’s heart fluttered as she awaited the groom’s arrival. She had waited for this day for ages. In fact, she had used her first salary to purchase the peach wedding lehenga and choli three years ago without informing her mother.

At the thought of her mother, Kankana’s lips parted wide. She was the youngest of four children raised by her hardworking mother single-handedly. Distraught at the birth of yet another girl child, her father abandoned them soon after Kankana was born. Her mother had worked two shifts and yet not let her children feel the absence of a father. It was her mother’s dream to see all her daughters educated, get a job and settle down, in that order.

“Respect begets respect. You will respect yourself once you stand on your own two feet. Then your life partner, too, will hold you in high esteem. That will make for a marriage of equals,” her mother often told them.

And yet, the quinquagenarian was worried when Kankana didn’t show any inclination to marry two years into her job.

“All in good time, Ma,” Kankana assured the sceptical lady. “Let my dream come true first,” she had said, glancing wistfully at the peach attire in her wardrobe.

Finally, she met the man she had been waiting for. She had first gotten introduced to Vivek through a matrimonial site. After five meetings, she was satisfied enough with her choice to introduce him to her mother.

The proud lady was aghast at first. “Our Indian society won’t accept this match, Kankana. Even your own sisters will be against this unsuitable match. No, I will not meet this man of yours.”

“It doesn’t matter what the society, your relatives, and even your children think. The most important thing is your own happiness. Please meet Vivek once and decide after that. There is no hurry. The marriage will not happen until and unless you give the go-ahead.”

Kankana’s mother had relented with reluctance and met Vivek with her. As Kankana expected, they both warmed up to each other from the first meeting. Still, it took a year for her mother to come around for the wedding. Kankana had finally taken the peach lehenga and choli from the box and given them for dry cleaning. She wanted the D-day to be perfect.

“What has the world come to? People have no shame now,” her relatives lamented.

“We won’t let this happen,” her siblings said.

But Kankana, always the headstrong one, had stood her ground. Surprisingly, so did her mother. Eventually, everyone who mattered came around. Those who didn’t come around didn’t matter.

“The groom has arrived.” The pronouncement from her sister jolted Kankana out of her reverie. In a black bandhgala suit and matching trousers with a red rose in his right breast pocket, Vivek looked even more handsome than usual. The pink headgear added to his considerable height.

Kankana smiled when he came near her. “You look gorgeous today,” he whispered as he sat down at the mandap.

“Thank you,” Kankana said. “You look dashing yourself. Nervous?”

“I am. Is it that evident?”

“No, it isn’t. And don’t worry, everything will be fine,” she assured him.

The pandit commenced the formalities. “Please call the bride to the mandap,” he said after five minutes.

Kankana turned back and signalled her elder sister. The bridal room door opened some seconds later, and out came the bride, looking resplendent in her peach attire, flanked by her two oldest children on either side.

A gust of wind blew in the room, and the banner announcing ‘Rajalakshmi weds Vivek’ fluttered in the air.

As Rajalakshmi traced her steps to the mandap, her eyes met those of Kankana, her youngest and favourite daughter. The two women smiled.

As her mother reached near the mandap, Kankana took Rajalakshmi’s hands into her own, pressed them reassuringly, and helped her into the vacant seat on the ground beside Vivek. No words were exchanged. None were needed.

“Ma needs a second chance,” she had explained innumerable times to her siblings in the last four months. “She has all the right to start a new life. Besides, she has sacrificed so much for our happiness. Who will think about her happiness if not us?” The fiery young woman had ultimately prevailed.

Kankana had aspired for a happy married life ever since she could remember. She also desired her mother to settle down and not be lonely after the marriage of all her children. And had decided to put one dream on hold for another.

She was the happiest person in the world on this day. Her mother was getting married. Again.

Kankana tied the bride’s veil with the groom’s sash as the couple got up for the saptapadi. Adorned with mangalasutra and sindoor, Rajalakshmi revelled in all the bridal finery.

The doting daughter had arranged a suitable match for her mother. The guests would remember this wedding like no other.

Image source: YouTube/ Jaimala

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Lost

Posted: May 24, 2022

Have you seen her? I’ve lost her somewhere on this way. It’s been an hour before I realised that she had been lost somewhere in the woods.

I don’t know how am I going to go through this trauma. I can’t return or continue my journey without her.

But I remember very well that when we had set out for the trip, she was so desperate. Also, she behaved so furiously to hide something that others shouldn’t know.

I said to her umpteen times, “Dear if you are not feeling well… let’s postpone this to some other day.” But she was the one who compelled me to go with this.

Her longing for swarming up into the deeper woods had brought me up here.

Deep inside there she had buried a lot of dreams which is never going to materialize.

I assured her that let’s sort it out and let us fulfil our ambitions. We packed our minds along with the luggage.

But now I’m scared to step out a single step in her absence.

She was the one who stayed beside me in all my old good and bad days.

She was my inner strength. My guiding star who deviates me from sinful paths.

And she had genuinely helped me in sorting out how to behave at crucial stages of my life. It worked well too.

Now, in her absence, I can feel my strength has been lost somewhere.

My palpitations had increased. My visions are blurred. I can’t stand firm without her support.
I tried so hard to move on without her presence.

My patience had reached its limits. I decided to go find and search for her. Without leaving a trace of her shade, she had left me behind by swallowing my expectations.

I was running around and my quench for thirst increased enormously. I stepped towards a lake and dived my face into it.

The water which flowed through my oesophagus was sweet. So once again I tried diving in, but suddenly I saw her in my reflection on the lake.

I realised it was my soul whom I was searching for these hours.

Image Credits: Jen Johnsson on Pexels

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The Massacre Of Innocence

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“Take aim – Fire!”

At his commanding officer’s command, with steady hands, sepoy Lacchiman Gurung took aim and fired. An unarmed man dropped dead. Taking innocent lives no longer bothered him. He no longer questioned the unjustified commands to shoot. He was a seasoned soldier, ever since…

13th April 1919, Amritsar

The walled-off courtyard was packed with thousands celebrating Baisakhi. Most people in the crowd were unaware that that very morning an order had been promulgated banning such gatherings.

When news of the gathering reached the Commanding Officer of The British Raj, he was incensed. How dare his order to be defied? This was an open rebellion. He would nip it in the bud. He would set an example. Fuelled by a murderous rage, the Brigadier General and his troops stormed into the courtyard and surrounded everyone. The officer surveyed the situation and barked – “Fire.”

At the order, seventeen-year-old sepoy Lacchiman Gurung palsied in shock. Open fire? The courtyard was full of innocent women, and children, young and old; all unarmed. Had he just been ordered to open fire without warning?

“Is the Brigadier General asking us to massacre innocent people? How can we? We are men of honour. This is sheer cowardice.”

Beside him, he saw the veteran sepoy Padam Lama lift his Lee-Enfield and take aim. “Lama, don’t shoot,” Lacchiman shouted in alarm. “This is mass murder. It will only bring dishonour to the Gurkhas.”

But sepoy Lama fired. His job was not to question but to obey higher commands. For a steady paycheck, he had sold his soul to The British Raj. Did it matter now what his body did for them?

“You are a sepoy,” Lama shouted back coldly. “Your honour is in doing your sworn duty.”

Pandemonium broke out as the first round of shots hit the crowd. Within minutes the courtyard transformed into a killing field. A clamour rose, punctuated by terrifying screams and wails. Alarmed and desperate to escape, the people started stampeding towards the exits.

“Fire at the exits. Don’t let them escape,” the Brigadier General’s voice bellowed.

The command further horrified Lacchiman who was still wrestling with his conscience. “Where’s the honour in shooting innocent people in the name of duty? It’s a sin. God won’t forgive me. I’ll be damned to hell.”

Lama witnessed Lacchiman’s inaction. This greenhorn will bring the wrath of The Raj upon the entire regiment. We’ll all pay with our lives. In a commanding tone, to spur Lacchiman, he shouted, “Sepoy Gurung…shoot! You took a soldier’s oath. Honour that.”

But, Lacchiman’s limbs still refused to move.

Lama understood the youngster’s angst.  “Sepoy,” he reasoned, “God knows that it’s not who fired the shot but who paid for the bullet that is to be blamed. This isn’t your burden. It’s the Brigadier General’s. Open fire!”

Lama’s words found their mark.

Slowly, Lacchiman lifted his rifle, took aim and fired…again and again.

That day, with the innocents, Lacchiman’s innocence died a violent death and another seasoned soldier was born to serve The British Raj.

Image Credits: NDTV 

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8 Powerful Feminist Bollywood Movie Dialogues That I Love!

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Almost all of us have grown up watching Bollywood movies. We’ve gone from watching those iconic Shahrukh Khan movies to feminist masterpieces like Pink and Thappad. Not only this, the feminist Bollywood movie dialogues are becoming popular. You can see them trending all over social media.

I would like to believe that Bollywood movies are going beyond those utterly sexist dialogues on women’s bodies and sexual objectification.

Albeit these types of movies haven’t ceased to exist, a few movies are experimenting with a new genre of powerful women. These women talk back, get what they want and aren’t afraid to speak for themselves!

Naturally, these movies have superbly crafted dialogues that are sometimes powerful yet truthful- that it’s sadly beautiful. These people are inspiring, and so are these feminist Bollywood movie dialogues, that hit right to the heart.

Here is a list of my favourite feminist Bollywood movie dialogues!

Thappad, 2020

Even if it’s just a slap, he can’t!

Thappad, a 2020 movie, was about a woman seeking divorce after her husband slaps her. This movie is a part of my favourite feminist movies. The utter audacity of this movie to highlight something that is often neglected is praiseworthy.

This six-word dialogue holds the weight for those women who think slapping is normal in a relationship. It says so much without saying so much, which is why this is my favourite dialogue of this movie.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, 2008

When a girl starts dreaming with open eyes, her entire world changes!

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, a 2008 film, was a romantic comedy about how a man tries to impress his wife through an arranged marriage. This movie portrays Taani, a shy girl, forced to marry a man of her father’s choice while he is on his death bed. 

The movie is beautiful in its ways- especially when Taani says how women are fed the idea of marriage and a life of taking care of their spouse. But the moment a woman dares to dream, her world changes as society interferes.

English Vinglish, 2012

When a man cooks food, you call it art. But, when a woman does the same, it’s her duty. 

English Vinglish, the 2012 film, is one of the best feminist movies of all time. Sridevi’s character, Shashi, is a housewife and is often ridiculed for her lack of English speaking skills. This movie makes you understand how ridiculing someone and deeming them as dumb can affect the person greatly. 

While this movie had several dialogues, this particular dialogue stuck with me. It wonderfully tells how cooking might be art for men- women are taught that it’s a responsibility from an early age.

Veere Di Wedding, 2018

Even though you complete your graduation and post-graduation, unless you don’t have a mangalsutra on your neck (don’t get married), your life doesn’t seem complete (to others).

Veere Di Wedding, a 2018 movie, was a revolutionary movie amid the stereotypical movies Bollywood made. It targets the lives of four independent women and a holiday wherein they rediscover themselves.

The movie is rebellious. It talks about taboos and things that should be normalised. However, this dialogue hits home. This dialogue successfully explains how a woman’s life may never seem complete despite her numerous achievements if she doesn’t get married and settles down.

Pink, 2016

Everyone is making efforts in the wrong direction. We should, in fact, save our boys, not our girls. Because if we save our boys, then only our girls will be safe. 

Pink, the 2016 movie, is a legendary movie that talks about sexual assault and prominent political interference. This movie is a feminist masterpiece in every way possible. 

The dialogues of this movie are phenomenal, gut-wrenching and liberating. This particular dialogue talks about how saving our boys- from the wrong company- will eventually save our girls from falling into this trap.

Baadshaho, 2017

Baadshaho, the 2017 movie, can’t be considered a feminist movie, but it does have some instances wherein the dialogues have wooed us with their feminist references.

One such dialogue is this by Queen Gitanjali- she simply tells how we see famous men who wrote the history- it’s always them. But, history is not always made by men. Some women come along silently- to make history. 

Thappad, 2020

I could finally see all the unfair things that I was oblivious to after that one slap.

We have Thappad again on this list because honestly, I can’t get enough of it. The movie is a slap- metaphorically on the faces of people that believe abuse is normal in a relationship.

In this dialogue, Amrita- the female protagonist, realises how she overlooked so many things under the facade of love. Moreover, after that one slap, she finally realised what was happening around her.

Pink, 2016

The boys must realise that no means no. A no is a no even if your acquaintance, friend, girlfriend, wife or sex worker says this (to you). You stop when someone says no.

The last on our list is possibly the greatest dialogue in a Bollywood movie. This dialogue holds so much weight over a simple word- NO. A no means no, and this dialogue makes it clear.

People, especially in Bollywood, have failed to portray consent under the facade of love. We have seen movies that promoted stalking and eve-teasing a woman while objectifying her, and most of us have been okay with this filthy portrayal.

Bollywood is gradually changing, yes. But there are still some movies that have the recurring theme of this kind of love. But, these movies have time and again proved to us how consent is important and how one should stand up for themselves in this male-dominated cruel world.

Kudos to these movies and actors for portraying these fabulous and important characters with sincerity and benevolence!

Image source: Still from films mentioned.

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