Posted in Musings

The Invisible Line

I bought my copy of The Help by Kathryn Stockett at a large book fest last year. The stall offered any 3 books for Rs. 200 which was cheap by any standards. While scrambling for good ones from piles of mostly trash, I found this one. The cover page looked interesting and the title seemed oddly familiar. It was three days ago that I noticed the untouched book tucked into the shelf and decided to give it a go.

It was a revelation.

Continue reading “The Invisible Line”
Posted in Verses

The Proposal

“Come away with me, love

Marry me..?”

Barely above a whisper

But the words rang clear

I looked down

Cheeks flushed

Ears burning

Heart thumping

Rage pumping

Indignation coursing

Through flesh and blood;

Complacency a woman’s virtue

They taught

Turn your back, ignore

They said

And I follow suit

Cheeks flushed

Ears burning

And eyes downcast

Even as the comments

Continue to rise

From the lewd mouth

Of a migrant

Selling cheap shades on the street,



His rights as a man

Over me,

As I walk away


But complacent

As taught.

Posted in Musings

The Existential Crisis Of An Overthinking Feminist

I have been married for a little over two months now, and a very unique problem has presented itself to me. I am lost, figuratively.

A little context.

I identify myself as a feminist in all its gore and glory, sharing religiously the links of uplifting poetry recitals, picking up arguments defending the new-born genre of women-centred movies and taking sermons as and when needed on how the society is ridden with casual instances of gender inequality and misogyny that are so rampant and commonplace that they are not even noticed. I even teared up after watching Nanette. (Brilliant piece of work, if I may digress. Stop reading and watch it NOW. Okay wait, read this, hit like and then watch it. It’s all the same. *shrug*)

So, I’m a feminist. What’s the issue you ask? The issue, dear folks, is that Mr Beloved, in spite of all his million virtues is a tad sexist. He expects me to cook, do the dishes and clean the house. And I have a problem with that.

(Disclaimer: Those of you who know me better may contest that the whole feminist angle is a facade to cover up for my inherent laziness, but I’d like you (yes YOU) to keep your thoughts to yourself.)

So what was I saying? Yes, so the whole housekeeping business. I like the idea of getting credit for keeping the house spotless and revelling in the exclamations made by colleagues (who have incidentally known the erstwhile slobby me) when they realize I don’t have a maid, and I do enjoy the privilege of having that as a legitimate reason for why works allotted to me are not done on time, but somewhere deep down in my psyche, I have a fundamentally philosophical worry that I am somehow being sucked into the vortex of an ideological irony. It’s matter of principle, don’t you see?

And adding to this conundrum are three other aspects of reality, so to speak.

One is that Mr Beloved is not resting his legs on the coffee table as I struggle to scrape grease off the frying pan; he is a final year resident in Internal Medicine with 80-hour weeks and no holidays. I have a 9-to-5 work pattern and Sundays off. He feels that it is a good enough reason to shirk housework, and I largely give in except when said grease gets on my nerves.

Secondly, there is the idea of ‘compromise’. Any commentary  on successful marriages would talk about how differences should be dealt with care and love and trivialities should be set aside from becoming a major talking point. Sure. Easier said than done. You know who creates nagging wives? Husbands who do not understand the concept of why a cloth-stand is called a cloth-stand and a laundry basket a laundry basket.

(Okay. Breathe in… breathe out… and again…)

So, where we were?

Ah yes. The third and most distressing aspect is the quintessential nature of womanhood that of late seems to form the driving force and excuse for celebrating Women’s Day. Take any WhatsApp message forwarded (or perhaps broadcasted??) by that well-meaning friend who you don’t know the surname of. “Here’s to all the strong, ambitious, compassionate, selfless, caring, giving, patient, understanding, ..*a hundred odd adjectives later* women in my life.. You guys rock!!”. A compliment? Or a trap? If femininity is linked to being all that, am I being an unworthy woman by pointing out that I need a break? Is being a racy feminist undermining the very values that I am supposedly upholding?? In what universe are selfless and ambitious co-existent properties?? Sure, throw all that at us periodically and then proclaim women are complicated. *passive aggressive eye-roll*

So friends and foes, I set forth the dilemma that has engulfed my sanity in recent days. To clean or not to clean. To fem or not to fem.

What does it really mean to be a feminist, really?