May 28, 2017 Meghna Roy 1Comment

In the age of Facebook activism, your wall may be adorned with posts where you scream your lungs out about why we need feminism; you may be shouting from behind your computer screen about how transphobia and homophobia are thwarting the progress of India. Our social media profiles are often a way of consciously constructing our identities and proclaiming our support to certain convictions. In posing as liberals, we, the middle class English-speaking urban millennials of India, are sensitized to many an expression of social discrimination but there is one particular form of discrimination that seems to resurface only when we…

March 19, 2017 Meghna Roy 4Comment

“The life that you live in order to photograph it is already, at the outset, a commemoration of itself.” -Italo Calvino, Difficult Loves First Snap stories, then Instagram stories, followed by WhatsApp statuses; and now Messenger Day seems to be the newest kid on the block. With the most frequently used social media platforms doing the 24-hour story game right, it seems like it won’t be long before our social media experience will be engulfed by the anxiety of posting, checking who viewed the posts and viewing others’ posts. For instance You go to have pizza with friends, one of…

February 14, 2017 Meghna Roy 2Comment

“Why be afraid when you are in love?” is what Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya literally translates to. It appears in the iconic film Mughal-e-Azam which was released in 1960 after 14 years of production. Here’s why it might just as well be termed as India’s song of defiance. 1. It defies persistent gender roles Gender, as Judith Butler (1960) contends, is constructed through a set of repeated performances. The dance by Madhubala’s Anarkali serves the male gaze appropriately- you will find the camera focusing on her many a time during the sequence. However, Anarkali does not shy away from this gaze. She confronts…

January 26, 2017 Meghna Roy 10Comment

Ours is a nation which imagines the mother in the cow and the nation in the mother. I wish to disintegrate through this article the dual concepts of Bharat Maata (Mother India) and Gau Maata in light of the recent events happening across the nation. Why I don’t have a Bharat Maata The symbol of a mother is often used to identify a nation. This is in view of the analogy that women can conceive and land can sustain the lives of its denizens. This kind of an analogy essentially leads to a very patriarchal kind of nationalism which necessitates…

December 11, 2016 Meghna Roy 8Comment

Hi! We are a pair of honour(s) from below the brassiere speaking. We are supposed to be a woman but lately (which means since puberty), she has been reduced to a size- 32B. For those of you who don’t know what 32B means: 32 is the girth of our bra band and B is the cup size, going by the lingerie brand we use. This must be a size good enough. We mean, we have no issues with it, but the cat says that it is larger in proportion to the body. The cat, in fact, loves us so much…

November 20, 2016 Meghna Roy 5Comment

Look at your fingers. You know exactly what I meant by the word “fingers” even though I did not personally go to you and gesticulate at the area near your palm. This is because you and I have mutually agreed upon a certain code which we shall follow to communicate with each other. This code is called language, but you see- it is nothing but a consensus on using symbols. Now let me tell you about another symbol. Think about a white rectangular piece of cloth. You can use it to wipe sweat off your face, dry utensils or to…

October 14, 2016 Meghna Roy 14Comment

When the average student of fifth standard in Bengal is asked to write an essay on Durga Puja, she does not forget to mention that besides being the most awaited festival of the year, it is a celebration of the power of womanhood. Saree brands leave no stone unturned to monetize this seemingly feminist stance in their commercials. Radio channels, newspapers and social media platforms are intoxicated in the worship of Maa, who, according to mythology, descends with her four children from her husband Shiva’s abode to her father’s home. The build-up to the festive days echo with repeated statement…

August 15, 2016 Meghna Roy 2Comment

Paris. January, 1895. The immediate shadow of the symbol of modernity, La Tour Eiffel in fancy French or the Eiffel Tower as is called by anglophones. A young artillery officer is stripped of his insignia medals, his sword is broken over the knee of the degrader and he is jeered at by a crowd shouting “Judas” in unison despite his desperate cries, “I swear that I am innocent. I remain worthy of serving in the Army. Long live France! Long live the Army!” Delhi. February, 2012. A jail in the political capital of the largest democracy of the world. A…

June 19, 2016 Meghna Roy 8Comment

Picasso’s Blue Period by Reya Ahmed If your child has a vagina, let the obstetrician declare her gender- a girl she is! Welcome, welcome her as the mascot of your family because girls are believed to bring good luck. Rejoice, for legend has it that if you father a daughter, you’ll never have to go to bed starving. Teach her from the very outset of life that she is the honour of the family- a treasure to be cherished. Paint her room pink so that she may love her room; girls love this colour, and I’m…

May 30, 2016 Meghna Roy 19Comment

The following terms are not in alphabetical order because neither smoking, nor coolness or Death for that matter, are very systematized actions. cigarette /sigaret/ noun TOBACCO in a tube of thin white paper that people smoke: A stick of death that slowly gnaws at all frustration. Frustration, like unrequited love, is chronic. It begins during those days of teenage when you juggle among anxious parents, the threat of an adverse future, the demands of a sexual partner…not to forget, your mood swings that toss at once carefree days- all in the name of Life, and haunts you till the ignited…