November 16, 2009

Dirty Picture

IQBAL HASAN’S PAINTING of a young woman sitting on a chair with an older woman standing beside her makes for the cover of Anuradha Marwah’s third and latest novel Dirty Picture. As a reader and someone who has seen these paintings in a plush Lahore restaurant called The Cuckoo’s Den, incidentally located in the […]

September 08, 2009

Dev.D through the Gender Prism

“IN A WORLD ORDERED by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure, which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong […]

July 21, 2009


That girl at twenty-

her black hair ripples

through the comb

in the pride of spring —

such beauty!

(sono ko hatachi kushini nagaruru kurokami no

ogori no haru no utsukushiki kana)

– Yosano Akiko, Midaregami: The Poetry of Yosano Akiko, 1952.

2005. THE L’OREAL SALON in Chennai. I was at the […]

July 06, 2009

Markers of marriage

RECENTLY, I PARTICIPATED in the launch function of a documentary film Pottu about the hardships and social humiliation faced by widows and deserted women in Tamil Nadu. Produced by the Kalangarai Trust which works among the widows in the southern district of Nagappattinam (particularly in Vedaranyam, Sirkaali and Poompuhaar), the 50-minute documentary attempts […]

June 30, 2009

The Fear of Feminism

ON A RECENT VISIT to a Ivy League university in the US with scholars from across the Global South, we came across something strange. A book on feminism from its library had a bizarre tag pasted on it. The tag was brought to our notice by Elizabeth Weed, one of the editors […]

June 12, 2009

Remembering Kamala Das

ONE OF INDIA’S most beloved writers, Kamala Das, passed away after a long illness on the morning of May 31 2009. A poet and memoirist, she died at the age of 75, after a long and conflicted career.

Predictably, many of the obituaries focused on the more controversial aspects of her writing and life, […]

June 08, 2009

‘Your Name is Justine’

LAST YEAR, when I read Lotus’ review of The Road of Lost Innocence, just the review was enough to send shivers down my spine. I doubt I have the stomach for the entire book. The Road of Lost Innocence is a survivor’s account, the memoir of Somaly Mam who survived the brutality of the […]

March 06, 2009

Weekend Protest Details

Saturday, 7th March 2009, 3.30 pm – 4.30 pm Meet Director General of Police for Karnataka, Ajay Kumar Singh: A crowd will gather outside the DGP’s office while a delegation goes to in to present him with a memorandum. More details at Bangalore Aware.

Sunday, 8th March 2009, 6 pm onwards Take Back the Night […]

March 04, 2009

Responding to the Bangalore Attacks

Team Maraa responds to the series of attacks on women in Bangalore.

Seven attacks in the last ten days! In response to the recent attacks against women in the city of Bangalore, many individuals and organisations have come together to form FEARLESS KARNATAKA or Nirbhaya Karnataka to reclaim public spaces and promote safety for […]

February 26, 2009

Evil As She Does

Pity the female villain.

Male villains can look forward to world domination, tons of moolah and all the power they can handle; females, on the other hand, spend all their time scheming to sabotage various weddings when they’re not forcing their daughters-in-law to mop floors while dressed in rags or nagging […]

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