A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South

Author: Ramya Anand

Sunset
Photo Credit: Ramya Anand

The Gifts of Time

Even negotiations related to the use of contraception or types of sexual acts in consensual relationships become difficult for a young girl because of her fear of displeasing her partner. But if one is fortunate, time helps us acquire some sets of skills and the language to speak up against violence and enforce decisions surrounding one’s sexual and social life.
a cartoon sketch of the yin and yang symbol

The Paradox of Principles

I do not feel the need to fight the feminist war within these spaces all the time, now that it has become my home. I have come to terms with the idea that certain contradictions can co-exist peacefully like the yin and yang. But still, sometimes, my mind is roiled in conflict, with me cautiously trying to balance my two identities – the feminist and the army officer’s wife. Nevertheless, I am unwilling to give up one for the other (even if I might be perceived as being less of one of them). So I continue to be an individual with two seeming contradictions: a feminist army-officer’s-wife!
Artwork showing two women sitting, both wearing saree and heavy jewellery. Screen reader support enabled. Artwork showing two women sitting, both wearing saree and heavy jewellery.

बदलती छवियों के साथ बदलती पोशाके

वह एक ऐसे परिवार में बड़ी हुई थीं जहाँ बनने संवरनें की सराहना की जाती थी, इसलिए कपड़ों के प्रति उनकी चाहत को कभी भी विलासिता की तरह नहीं देखा गया। उनकी माँ की शख्शियत की एक विशिष्ट पहचान, उनकी बड़ी सी बिंदी और सूती साड़ी हमेशा अपनी जगह पर रहती थी, चाहे दिन का कोई भी समय हो, चाहे वो खाना बना रहीं हों, धूप या बारिश में बाहर गई हों, सो रहीं हों या बस अभी ही जागी हों, हंस रहीं हों, या रो रहीं हों। उनकी और उनकी बहन के लिए, उनकी माँ की फैशन को लेकर एक ही सलाह थी, “हमेशा ऐसे तैयार होकर रहो जैसे आप बाहर जा रहे हों, भले ही आप सारा दिन घर पर ही हों।” अपनी माँ की सलाह के बावजूद, वह घर पर ‘गुदड़ी के लाल’ की तरह और बाहर जाते वक़्त ‘सिंडरेला’ की तर्ज़ पर चलने वाली बनी।
Artwork showing two women sitting, both wearing saree and heavy jewellery. Screen reader support enabled. Artwork showing two women sitting, both wearing saree and heavy jewellery.

Dressing Up Without the Dressing-Down

Then came a time when this small-town simple Sati Savitri-esque girl moved to a big city. Sucked into city fashion, she couldn’t resist skirting sinful hemlines and being trapped in T-shirt tapestry. All her sanctity theories about clothes were thrown in the trash for good. In the process, she happily shed her desi avatar by shedding her saris and proudly embraced the ‘modern’ attire.
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