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					Cover Photograph/Design/ Exhibition Design Cover card Text paper Catalogue Size Type Font Processed and Printed at

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Probir Gupta 350 gsm Magno Matt 170 gsm Magno Matt 21.5 cm x 27.5 cm Times New Roman Archana, Tel.: 011-24311992

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present

E Y E

R E V E A L
an exhibition

photographs & short stories

e x p l o r i n g v i o l e n c e

t h e

i n t e r p l a y w o m e n

b e t w e e n a n d

g e n d e r ,

a g a i n s t

m a s c u l i n i t y .

Galerie Romain Rolland 26th April to 6th May 2005 Lalit Kala Akademi, 7th to 13th May 2005

S u p p o r t e d b y U N I F E M S o u t h A s i a Re g i o n a l O f f i c e

UNIFEM is the women’s fund at the United Nations. It provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies that promote women’s human rights, political participation and economic security. UNIFEM works in partnership with UN or ganizations, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and networks to promote gender equality. It links women’s issues and concerns to national, regional and global agendas, by fostering collaboration and providing technical expertise on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment strategies. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of UNIFEM, the United Nations or any of its affiliated organizations. No part of this printed work may be reproduced without due acknowledgement.

UNIFEM South Asia Regional Office 223, Jor Bagh, New Delhi - 110 003 (India) Tel: 91-11-24698297/24604351, Extn: 26 Fax: 91-11-24622136

I have been afraid

I have felt an endless ir repressible pain;

I have seen the sun wake in a blood-red sky

a n d c o m m a n d m e t o d r e s s a s a s o l d i e r o f h u m a n i t y,

confront the world;

Jibanananda Das

For e wor d

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“E ye

Reveal ”

Gender-based violence knows no boundaries. Right through history, it has cut across continents, class and cultures, impacting all aspects of women’s lives. Gaining in momentum, it is moving from strength to strength, taking new forms, and increased impunity on the part of perpetrators. With the proportions of a pandemic, gender-based violence remains one of the most outstanding challenges that all of us face in the 21st century. Several articulations respond to this. The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, shortly after the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, set the pace. And today, violence against women is recognized as a crime requiring official action, in peace and in war. It is no secret that gender-based violence remains the biggest deterrent to both development and empowerment of any kind. Deeprooted for generations and built on social sanctions, it is no casual visitor and remains a timeless health and human rights issue. Clearly, unless, all stakeholders join hands to confront and combat this common adversary, there is little chance of vanquishing it. For strategies to be effective there is a need for multi-sectoral efforts at multiple levels. For solutions to be enduring and durable, the active involvement of the youth is critical. This is what we have tried to do in ‘Eye Reveal’. In a way, a companion to UNIFEM’s earlier initiative, “Touch”, we have had the pleasure of partnering again with eminent artist Probir Gupta who has designed and conceptualized both. In ‘Eye Reveal’, the objective has been to sensitize young people on issues of gender based violence, masculinities and HIV/AIDS using the power and potential of art, the photographic medium and the written word to communicate and create appropriate messages. ‘Eye Reveal’ has essentially been a journey of discovery - not only for the 150 university students, who participated, but also for everyone involved, including resource persons. NGOs facilitated student interactions with survivors of violence, leading to increased understanding on the issue as well as offering glimpses on community responses. Resource persons from specialized agencies provided insights on diverse dimensions of the issue, including the life cycle of violence faced by women, trafficking, issues of

mental health and HIV/AIDS. To explore the interplay between gender, violence against women & masculinities, students interacted with men in traditional and non-traditional areas of work, such as wrestlers, dancers, chefs and singers. Interactions with leading journalist were held, to provide a journalistic perspective, demonstrating how such issues could be articulated. This tremendous journey, with so many special partners could not have achieved the level of success that it did, without the exemplary commitment of all. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and applaud our many partners. To begin with, I would like to extend my appreciation to the students of colleges of Delhi University, which include, Jamia Milia Islamia University, Indra Prastha University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Rai University. Without them, this journey could not have been made. I warmly thank Mr. Probir Gupta, who conceptualized and guided the whole process, Ms. Sudha Tiwari of Shakti Shalini, Dr. Achal Bhagat of SAARTHAK, Ms. Vidya Shah of Breakthrough and Ms. Sanghamitra Chakravorty of Outlook – our resource persons, who brought such a singular edge to their respective areas and who created a holistic understanding of the issues under consideration. My sincere gratitude to Prayas, Shakti Shalini, Mamta-Health Institute for Mother & Child and Nav Sristi for deepening understanding on violence by facilitating exchanges with survivors of violence. I extend my appreciation to the Chandgi Ram Akhada, the School of Kathakali Dance, the chef of the Maurya Sheraton Hotel, the Qawwals of Nizamuddin, without whose inputs, understandings on masculinities could not have emerged. I thank the Alliance Francaise and the Lalit Kala Academy for making available their art galleries for our exhibition. I would also like to thank my colleagues Nandita Baruah and Gitanjali Singh for their hard work and close involvement in every facet of the initiative. We are sharing this journey through an exhibition at the Galerie Romain Rolland of the Alliance Francaise de Delhi. The First Lady Mrs. Gursharan Kaur has honoured us by inaugurating the exhibition and releasing the catalogue. We have been further privileged to have the gracious presence of Mrs. Nane Annan on this occassion. This exhibition will also be housed at the Lalit Kala Academy.

We have brought out this publication in an effort to share this unique and multi-facetted initiative with a wider audience. Having made a deep impact on the participants, it is encouraging to see the response. Some have said that they would like to take this experience of working on issues related to violence against women forward, as a career option. Others say that it has changed the way they think and feel, enriching and educating them at a personal level. We are hopeful that it will contribute towards making an inter-generational change in mindsets, that it will help in making changes in individual lives – such as standing up against dowry, fighting against sex selective abortion, and breaking the silence around violence, among others. We hope that this publication will add to the knowledge and resources currently available on violence against women, bringing new insights on the issue. Equally, we hope that it will be a useful tool for diverse stakeholders in their work to end violence, catalyzing increased involvement of youth in creating a world that is more gender-just and more violence-free.

Chandni Joshi Regional Programme Director 13th April 2005

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Eye Reveal: A dream project whose final approval by UNIFEM follows their recognition of an artist’s emotional and creative intervention and its worth, thus allowing it to grow. The symbiotic relation between the revealing nakedness of the visual image and the word - Word the first product that sells in a marketplace (as said by a Baul friend) and images that the eye and the inner eye records. Eye Reveal records, combines and connects manuscripts of countless shrieks in visual images of the inner eye. Sounds - the word that needs to be uttered to create a sense called communication, as the essential. Here we see and speak in the hope that people will see, read and react, if not in the same way but close to the way we reacted and not be mere spectators. A predetermined and sensitive approach towards the presentation and portrayal of reality is the need of the hour, connecting masses to masses is how one would define the priorities of Eye Reveal a true Public Art Project. One experiences and carries it to other negotiating mediums. It is the Art of transmission connecting people that is termed as Art here - Art in its role of development and community service - an intimate involvement of people of different generations; the youth as well as seasoned grass root activists (committed field workers) in identifying victims/ survivors of violence, in difficult and dangerous circumstances. Especially those like Nazma (survivor), Kiran, Ayub, Suneeta , Shabana, Ranjita, Ashok and many others like them operating in infamous areas like Sangam Vihar, Tigri and Nangloi in Delhi deserve much more than just an applause. Hence Muktangan. Endless trips were made to several colleges in different corners of the National Capital. And all this was done relentlessly over the last few months, repeating tape – recorder like with the will to convince and mobilize the youth of today to enter the limited arena of social work for social action. Following months of frenetic activity, like minded, convinced young people were brought together. All that I could do as an artist was to reach out to their sensibilities; it goes undeniably to the credit of these young people that they willingly stepped out of their sheltered existences and sought out the deeper shades of grey… willing to look into the under belly of our society…

Awakening of dormant senses - immune to everything else but one’s own, Eye Reveal has touched the sensibilities, when exposed to atrocities much in the same manner as the emergence of a product of art. Contrary to what skeptics might have to say, many a survivors shattered within their world of irony and savage like existence, opened their hearts and homes and shared their pains and pleasures with us…looking for a brighter day? Perhaps! … Long, turbulent nightmarish hours of listening where one tried to give them hope, for that one day. Conscience and conviction gave me emotions and strength that were required, to prepare and pilot groups during their meeting and interacting with a survivor, nervous as ever of making a faux pas. At moments, temperatures would soar and raw emotions would flow uncontrolled, soon excitement would ebb giving way to silence…punctuated with sobs that none could bear. These very emotional out bursts held us together, as a family. Unable to focus on perpetrators we took the cultural route going to Chandgiram’s Akhara, whether the Pehelwan’s (wrestler’s), the Chef of a chic hotel, the Qawwals or the Kathakali dancers - glimpses to the male psyche. There were moments of silence when asked “why would a woman never be allowed to be a Kathakali dancer? Even she has the right to enjoy, earn and contribute – silence, silence when the young womenfolk of the Nizami (Qawwals) family asked the all girls team of LSR to come up to see their room - they were shown the solitary window. Moments when none of us were in creative spirits - moments of grey blur and vacuum: we were not intellectuals but workers absorbed in the weight of revelations. I would like to thank our guest of honour First Lady Gursharan Kaur ji for having graced the opening of this exhibition. Her words of encouragement during my discussions with her on a couple of occasions at her residence have been a great source of inspiration. I take this opportunity to thank Chandni Joshi, Firoza Mehrotra, Nandita Baruah, Gitanjali Singh, Suneeta Dhar, Chandrashekhar

Iyer and others from the UNIFEM family for their contribution towards the blossoming of this significant endeavor and all the support that was extended to us at various stages. I am grateful to my new found young friends for their participation and sustained support as they continue to make me grow younger, I have cherished every moment that I got to spend with them. Special thanks to my energetic project assistant Mr Neiljeet Gupta, Aapa ji of Nav Shristi, my old friends Meraj bhai, Farid bhai and Chand Nizami Qawwals of the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, Guruji of the school of Kathakali Qutab Institutional area and his disciples, Mr. G. Sultan Moideen executive chef the Maurya Sheraton Hotel New Delhi, Anjali, Supriyo Mukkherji, and Vikas from Mamta , Mohan, Mr. Soma Sundaram, Claire Devos, Muktamani Kaul, Padma Natarajan, Mr. Sandeep Biswas , Mr Tupinder Singh, Ramlal (framer) and the unrecognized Taxi drivers for their support and affection. Probir Gupta

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As she walked down the hot, dusty road, the sun scorched her little shoulders. The bundle was heavy but she was used to the burden now, having had to carry it for about two years. The tiny seven year old caught sight of the Academy and hurried her steps. As she approached the gates, the gatekeeper’s eyes looked her up and down. “Hello Maya.” He smiled and pinched her cheek. “You’re becoming cuter and prettier everyday!” The discomfort and dislike showed on her face, yet she boldly pushed his hand away. “Where’s my father? I have his lunch here with me?” “He hasn’t dismissed his class yet. So why don’t you come with me, I have something interesting to show you.” He took hold of her hand. “No! I’ll wait in the verandah,” and throwing his hand off, she ran to the safety of the verandah. Maya abhorred the man, yet she could do just anything to get a chance to visit the Academy. Her father was a teacher of Kathakali at the Academy, which was one of the oldest institutions in the village. Her elder brother Krishna too, was a student here, entering the world of dance two years back. While her father and brother were at the Academy, the little girl helped her mother about the house, washing clothes, dusting the straw mats, learning exactly what ingredients to add to the rassam and various other things. Maya looked around searchingly for her favourite window, concealed and unnoticed by everyone passing by. There it was! Calling to her. She sneaked to it and snuggled down against the low window sill. Immediately, her father came into view, graceful, poised and perfect in every movement his body and face made. He was a strict teacher and his students, all boys, feared and respected him. The little girl observed every exercise, every facial expression-the eyes, the mouth, the cheeks- observed carefully. For two years,

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these few moments of being able to view and feel what went on inside a Kathakali classroom, had meant the world to her. The first time she had dared peep into the tiny window, she was struck by the beauty and grace of the dance form. Kathakali fascinated her! Often, Maya had overheard her father explaining the difference between and the significance of the Red, White and Black beards to her brother. He would scold her if he spotted her listening intently instead of boiling the rice. Often she had received suspicious, unwelcome looks from the other teachers at the Academy, if found on the premises. Women were not welcome. They believed that women and Kathakali did not go together, for the latter required great stamina, concentration, dedication and perseverance, which, according to them, the former lacked. They believed that women were better off at home, looking after the household affairs and children. Women weren’t even allowed to view a dance performance! But Maya had gathered substantial information about Kathakali, through means of eavesdropping and vigilance. She was aware that Kathakali had originated about four hundred and fifty years back, as a reaction to foreign aggression. It reaffirmed the social status of heroic warriors, staging spectacular dance-dramas as a public ritual for the entire community. From her brother she had learnt and observed that to affirm masculine pride, enacted dance-dramas presented the female as submissive and the male as dominant. Men were portrayed with creative and vigorous powers, while females were portrayed characters, since women were given no share of the stage in Kathakali. By being attentive in a lecture on it’s history, Maya learnt that the Mudras came from the Arya culture and the colour on the face and body came from the Dravid culture. The songs were in the Manipravara style, which was a combination of Sanskrit and pure Malayalam. The themes were usually traditional, mythological, religious stories. Closely observing the steps that were being taught today, Maya tried to memorise them the best she could. She would practice tonight, in front of the mirror, when her family would be in the other room. The class ended. With a disappointed air, she rose, but waited for the students to exit first. She didn’t want to be seen and teased. Then she went up to her father, who was instructing Krishna on his finger movement. “Hello Acha! I’ve got your lunch.” “Ssshh! Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something? Silly girl.” And he continued. She sat in a corner, her face in her hands,

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watching. How she longed to be taught what her brother was learning! She dreamt of becoming a famous Kathakali dancer someday. The journey would be very hard, she was aware of that, but it would be worthwhile. She wanted it so bad! A week passed by, during which, Maya mustered up the courage to ask her father to let her join the Academy to learn Kathakali. She did. Her father was furious and cruelly disdainful! He shouted at her, reminding her of her right place at home! He blamed her daily visits to the Academy for her foolish, selfish, impossible dreams! He forbade her from going anywhere near the Academy anymore. Maya never saw it again. As she looked into her mirror, her eyes brimmed up with tears. Her vision became hazy..... Hear my voice in it’s silence. Tread on me softly, I’m woven with delicate thread. Try to reach me earnestly I’m at the end of infinity. But my feet are now fettered, Though they were meant to explore. My blanket which covers me Is now wet with pain. My body, now ornate With scars of my destiny. My silence, once complacent Now prays for it’s death. My hands held tight The Elysian swing, But now, impregnable bars. My lips, they have forgotten

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I used to smile. My eyes don’t remember, Now they hallucinate, Show me only the dark. My soul so effervescent, Now bleeds, it cries, The only part of me; Today, it too has fallen, In the abyss of my destiny.

The deafening applause from the audience snapped Maya out of her reverie. Becoming aware of the tears rolling down her face, she wiped them away with a handkerchief. How pretty she looked on stage, graceful, poised... her grand daughter. With proud eyes she watched her grand daughter perform. She was a famous Kathakali dancer, known all over the world for her talent. Maya sighed. “Things have changed,” she thought. “And I’m happy that my grand daughter has got what I never could achieve... a fair chance to live her dreams.” She rose with the rest and her clapping echoed the loudest in the auditorium.

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They call me a survivor, a term often assigned to those who struggle their way out of the clutches of devastation. My life today is a footnote of tears, anger, dismay and frustration. And though I have just traveled 23 years of this journey, the years to come are a battle for me, the outcome of which seems predictably decided. Growing up in the suburbs of Delhi, I had a world of my own with my family, with parents who comforted me with the best they could afford and even more at times, with siblings who would not let me spend a moment by myself alone. My father is a painter and had a meager earning yet he had always made us feel rich enough to ask for whatever we wanted. Mother, though always confined to the chulha had given us the liberty to speak and decide for our best. As a child I had always felt that life was like a magic box, full of goodies, a treasure of amusements that never seemed to end until suddenly I grew up to this phase of life where the box of goodies had turned into a storehouse of horror, pain and dismay. I was married into a family which was financially sound and considerably well-to-do. They appeared to be the ideal in-laws one could imagine and never mentioned a word regarding dowry or any other demands; I was also told that my husband was employed in two jobs which fetched him a handsome income every month. All posed as angels sent from heaven and claimed to go to any extent to have me in the family. I realized that it was in fact the contrary, only after I had fallen into the pit and drenched myself in muck. The stains which tell stories of that one year which I spent in that house, a year that has doomed me and the world that I live in for ever. It all started with trivial marital clashes and increased with impossible demands of my in-laws which never seemed to end. Yet all these concerns appear petty when I am reminded of those horrifying nights that I spent with my drunken husband forcing himself on me, beating me with just about anything that came to his hands, from hot iron rods, to belts and car spare parts. The rest of the family indulged in ghastly tricks of black magic which chased me from one corner of the house to the other, hitting my head against the walls and drawing me closer to insanity. Living behind closed doors, confined to a room, not allowed to touch anything around that was not sent by my parents, I bore it all. Until one day, during the eight month of pregnancy I decided to put an end to the sleepless nights, continuous physical torture and mental pressures I had been subjected to. Driven by an unknown sense of fearlessness

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and passion to survive I decided to leave. Today, Guddi is almost a year old and recognizes only me as her family. The battle was less tough till she was born. The threats that I receive from my in-laws have been growing with time, my parents who are already financially and emotionally drained have three more children to raise and I have no education to fall back on in order to secure myself a job. As things worsen I look up at the sky, feel the droplets of rain on my skin, sigh; another day in paradise; and the rain makes it worse. There is no sun today and as evening sets in I will carry on and even though the outcome of this battle seems predictably decided, I shall not lose even if I am meant to.

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“It is the need for sensitivity that should be prospered in the minds of the people. There is a lack of sensibility and every window is closed till they themselves are struck with the same problem. Lest we should make a humble beginning”, Probir Da claimed our attention. A series of related discussions and observations on the burgeoning problems, cases of domestic violence...Phul Bano...working of NGOs...Mamta...Shaktishalini...male stereotypes...cultural fragmentation...So went a chain of talks till the wheels finally came to rest in an alley in one of the many bastis of ’metropolitan’ Delhi. A short flight of steps and a window overlooking a dump yard piled with the only conspicuous luxury of the masculine; empty wine bottles. Tea and more discussions and there hung an air of expectancy, of nervousness brought about by our complete inability to take the unfamiliar role of consolers. There she was, hesitant yet oozing with pride. Before we could make each other’s acquaintance, the moistness in her eyes, too circumspect and suspicious to make a bold statement made a more conveying comment. A few stuttering statements; thereafter Shahajahan opened up and settled into her groove. “Sir he may have been close to his first wife but my life has been hell since I arrived in his life or rather he brought me into his. A girl is not appropriated by society to scrutinize the one with whom her life is fixed and I was no exception. I question those contractors who negate the girl’s right to even know about the one to whom she is being married, what his biradiri is, what his sanskar is. I wasn’t even consulted before my marriage; I don’t know whether I should blame my parents or not...Sahib he suspects me of having an affair with a friend of his...he beats me brutally with an iron rod...calls me a randi, a tawaif...” But here was no sobstory, none of the soft, inconsolable wretches we had dreaded. Not one tear rolled down those eyes...pellucid eyes overflowing with vehemence and fury...it caught us completely off guard, swept us off our feet and we were carried away as in a flood. “He treats me like an ayah..., says he’ll break my legs if I go out to work...Even the children don’t recognize me...even they doubt my character, my own daughter’s voice is full of sarcasm... only the little one here is still attached to me...” Sympathy and remorse were compressed beneath the sheaths of hatred that swept through us...hatred against the vanity of the masculine...against the system as a whole...against the forces responsible for the fettering of the feminine...and the room seemed too small to contain it...”I want to work sahib...am

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ready to live alone, will be happy with just this one child...Kuch banna hai...unhe dikhana hai ki mein bhi kuch kar sakti hu...” Fists clenched, jaws set. “Unke dost bahut achhe hai...Aisa bhi waqt tha jab pehle mujhe roti dete phir hi khud khate...”,”Mujhe doordarshan pe bolna hai sahib...”\ Television alluded her besides a lot of other things that came her way. But the desire to break from the shackles of exploitation was overwhelming, to grasp at any opportunity that came her way. The contrast in the glint of the eyes at the end and the moist retina upon her arrival held the promise to challenge any hurdle that came her way. In retrospect however, the story went in hardly without the taste of cinder.

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Though no one can go back and make a new start, Anyone can start from now and make a brand new end. Anonymous. The following lines are about a life struggling to live through a hailstorm of pain, sorrow and uncertainty, having faith that one day the sun will shine bright upon the stormy clouds and end all sufferings. Young wild and free Nothing can take you away from me When I am lying in your lap I feel heaven on my back It’s my age to fly high Twist and turn Flip and slip But in the end Its only love that I’ll always need I found it in your heart And I’ll never let it go When I’m feeling down I know you will turn my world around Main abhi ek gudia hoon, Mere kadam kamzor hain. Chalti hoon kuch kadam to, Usmain bachpan ke shor hain.

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Abhi to main apne ko Pehechanti bhi nehi hoon Pal rahi hoon aise main Ma ki mamta janti bhi nehi. Abhi main bachpan se bahar Aai bhi nehi hoon Ek aisi kali hoon Gamo se murjhai huin hoon main Ai nanhe kadam mere Katon se lahoo luhan hain Mangti hoon adhikar jeene ki Par dushman ye jahan hai. But suddenly, my world did turn around\ Instead of joy, brought total darkness And no hope of light Your heaven on my back Became hell in front No where to go No turning back to the normal flow Everything cuts like a knife There’s no way to know who’s going to bite Who is selling me by making me his own device Playing with me when I’m in pain

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Taking my everything for their personal joy and gain I don’t remember my roots A blur face I see in my dreams Who is my father I scream Waking up in the middle of night I’ve lost my mind, will I be ever free? Tanhaiyon se ghira jeevan hai Kis tarah ab basar karain? Kaaton se bhara raah hai Kis tarah abs afar karain? Jidhar dekhti hoon main Veeran se raste hain Intezar aapka hai Bas tera vasta hai Ummid ki kiran bhi Ab bujhti nazar aa rahi hai Jaldi se aa jana sanam Takdir tadapti nazar aa rahi hai Me and my soul Talking with each other, searching for a goal i.e FREEDOM starting from here, we made promise and we are honest

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will never come back to this forest nobody can stop me I don’t know where I am going Everything has gone But there’s some HOPE which is carrying me on vo mausum kitna suhana hoga jab ayegi jhum ke baharain hum khushi se jhumenge phir chamkenge yaha chand sitarain ab nehi hai khabar hamain na jane kya hoga aage ab peeche nehi hatenge kadam bada chuke hain aage. Sun is shining on my face Everything is clean and clear There is no limit where I can see And the whole world is open for me Trust in God has made me strong What I felt- the limitless sky, the deep ocean From head to toe, I was in motion Found a home called “SHELTER HOME” I’m not the only one to get the whole pain Here we are several ones without any gain

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God has given me feelings I express them in words But I don’t know with whom I’m dealing Everyone says you are the one to heal us You are the one to heal us My name means “REVOLUTION” I’ll maintain my devotions To drag them all Out of this slump I’ll push myself as far as I can go To the end of the sky And to the earth’s core as low And one day I’ll find you And never let you go.

Naam hoga itihas mein Khud itihas banayenge Hum aise rung hain Rangeen prayas banayenge Atm nirbhar humko banaya Jeevan se ladna humko sikhaya Khoya hua apno ka pyar Yahan muhobbat humko dilaya Ab koi lachari nehi Charo taraf ujiyara hai Aane vale bhavishya mein Ab humko lana ujala hai.

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The house is completely dark. Ma and I are the only ones awake. Munni, blissfully unaware of the curse that has fallen upon our lives, sleeps peacefully in her cot. Bhaiya…I feel sick calling him that…has passed out in a drunken stupor. I feel frozen to my bed. I just keep lying there…staring at the ceiling fan as it moves in slow painful circles. I think back to how the day began…was there any hint in the morning sunshine, in the usual breakfast of chai and roti, of the horrors I would witness today? Were there signs that I missed? Had the chirping of the birds’ prophesized how I would suddenly in one evening, turn from an innocent child into a violated woman? Had I only known… I would never have woken up today... Haven’t you ever felt that some things just cannot be helped, I mean call it a defense mechanism or just harsh reality but some things simply cannot be helped. I woke up today morning, slightly sweaty and uncomfortable … when I realized that no one was in the house besides Ritu and me... I could hear her humming to herself as she hung the wet clothes in the verandah. She came back in, her hair wet from a bath…droplets of water were trickling onto the front of her kurta… “Bhaiya do you want tea?” I finished my tea and headed out of the house. My friend Deepak and I had big plans for today. We planned to remove some of the parts from the more expensive cars in his employers’ garage and sell them to a dealer. When I reached the school where we were supposed to meet, Deepak was standing huddled together with a group of boys and seemed to be having a highly entertaining conversation. They were talking in whispers and chuckling to themselves. I hurried my step but they fell silent when I reached. A sort of guilty look was passed around. Instantly my mood soured. Deepak came away from the rest of the group… He seemed to be in unusually high spirits and kept whistling an annoying tune… “What are you so happy about?” I asked him, finally losing patience. “Nothing...” He smiled; unlocking the garage door, his air of secrecy beginning to get on my nerves. We set about our work but he began to whistle again.

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“What the hell is it you bastard? What are you so happy about? Did you finally manage to get it up last night or something?” Maybe I was overreacting…I don’t know…it was something about the day…it was too bloody hot and his self-satisfied smirk was really bothering me. “Just tell me what it is you ass…what’s the big secret?” I said grabbing his collar “Ok fine…just don’t take it badly …” “Arre…bol na” “It’s Ritu… we kind of saw her hanging the clothes out in the verandah… and you know… ok don’t get me wrong… but she’s really grown up…” I felt my face go hot immediately; remembering the wet kurta clinging to her body, my fists stated to clench …but I decided to let it go... I looked away, and we set about our work silently At the end of the transaction, we acquired about 100-rupees each. When I turned to go home Deepak said with some hesitation, “Yaar, don’t go home yet…at least let’s celebrate our earnings” By the fourth quarter of rum, I had long forgotten my anger towards him; we were merrily laughing and exchanging jokes. Soon we came to our usual topic of discussion… “Have you seen that one who lives near your house… she is always wearing that white salwar kameez without a chunni… good heavens… I could just….” “I know exactly what you mean” Deepak said taking a swig. “She does that to me too…” “But she’s a married woman yaar…” I said with a hint of disappointment in my voice. “Married? Oh no…not her…I was talking about that sister of yours …I just can’t resist her …” The next thing I knew was Deepak screaming for me to stop hitting him. I wasn’t even sure what I was doing anymore…I just punched any part of him within reach…

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Deepak’s face was covered with blood, and my shirt was torn. I gave him one final shove and stumbled home. I flung the door open and stormed in. It was completely dark by now; a lone electric bulb was swinging in the corner. Ma and baba were asleep. I could feel the effects of the alcohol increase with literally every movement. I lurched towards the charpai, when suddenly Ritu awoke …she was sleepy and her clothes were disheveled. “Bhaiya? What happened to you? Is that blood on your shoulder?” her voice shrill. She came towards me and put up a hand to touch my face, but I pushed her away roughly… Suddenly it seemed like everything was coming into focus. It was because of this bitch that things were getting so out of hand. I couldn’t even look my friends in the face anymore, because she’s been parading herself like a whore in the verandah. I pushed her again- harder this time. She fell down and looked up at me with fear in her eyes… It was almost as if she knew what I was thinking…accepting her guilt…she wasn’t even screaming anymore…just looking up at me with that mute, pleading expression…I felt powerful. I felt strong. It was almost as if I was possessed. I wasn’t thinking but somehow knew exactly what I had to do. The whore had to be punished. She had to learn what happened to girls like her. I dragged her by the hair towards the charpai… “Bhaiya…please…no…don’t…” she was choking on her sobs now. I felt repulsed and aroused at the same time. It was a sickening sensation…but I couldn’t stop now…I had to go through with it… What do I remember of it? Tears… blood… and an overwhelming sense of ecstasy that had taken over… It’s a strange feeling. I really don’t know what to make of it…a weird, warped sense of calm has taken over… I feel completely numb to the world. Everything and everyone has ceased to matter. There’s just this overwhelming sense of emptiness within… this deafening silence. It felt like the end of the world, but now, I don’t know .I keep telling myself that it’s not such a big deal, that I’ll get over it someday, somehow… but suddenly the look on his face flashes in my mind… the way he pressed me down against the cot…that feeling of helplessness…and something inside me explodes. I lose the will to do anything… even to live. Ma says what happened was unfortunate…but I should put the past behind me and look forward to the future… she says they’ve found a boy for me…the idea of leaving home seems like the only ray of hope…

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All the arrangements have been made. The wedding is going to take place tomorrow...in a matter of less than 24 hours, I will be a married woman. I’ve seen brides weeping from the pain of leaving their childhood homes behind…yet I will never know that pain. I realise now that I was never really a member of the family anyway…just a liability. As for now, let us all forget what happened that night. He is the son of the house, after all. Let’s pretend no one heard me screaming and begging for him to stop. Let’s hope my husband to be doesn’t find out he’s getting “tarnished goods”… So the sooner I am out of this house, the better. No one knows what to say to me anymore …they’re all bustling about preparing for the wedding as if it were a normal, happy occasion. Sometimes it feels like I imagined the whole thing…the way everyone is being so nonchalant about it. But then night falls…and fear grips my heart again… It’s been four years since I’ve been married. In the beginning, it was all just right; things were going according to plan. But gradually problems started cropping up… At first it was just little things…her constant nagging about where I had been, why I’m late, why am I drinking so much, then the way she’d cower in a corner if I was drunk, look at me as if I were a heartless demon … the list is endless. Progressively her behavior started becoming more and more unbearable, she started demanding that I let her work …thinking that I could always use some extra money I got her a job at my friend Satish’s factory. But it was of no avail as she began hiding the money she earned … I would discover it in several nooks and crannies of the house… inside the pillow, under the idols in the temple…even in the lining of the mattress… my blood boiled with anger when I saw her trying these scheming little tricks. She would come home late, see me drinking and hide herself away. I could see her flinch when I ventured near her; recoil every time I touched her, as if she was repulsed by my sight, revolted by my touch… that made me livid, I felt like thrashing her so much, that the scars on her body become permanent… I cannot go on like this. I left home thinking this marriage would save me. But there seems to be no respite for me yet. He sits at

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home drinking all day…and when he is completely drunk, drags me out of bed and forces himself on me. When I am unwilling, he hits me, abuses the children and me…says that he will sell us off to a brothel if I don’t do as he asks. I try to be a good wife…I try to keep him happy. But nothing I do seems to be good enough. He flies into a rage at the smallest of things…the other day he didn’t like the way the food tasted, so he flung the kadhai on my face, sometimes he doesn’t return from work for days on end, and if I ask him where he has been he whips me with his belt … what have I done to deserve this? I think I’m losing my mind, because, these days the display of his wrath has begun to amuse me… when he whips me, I feel as if with every successive blow, I’m enjoying the pain more. My children feel disturbed… though they never say anything, just keep looking at me… their eyes brimming with terror. My employer Satish, he is an elderly man, is the only person who has shown some interest in helping me…but the help comes at a heavy price; for he is no different from any other male. In return for what he wants out of me, he gives me money and is even willing to give me a place to stay in the city. One day when my husband is away, I shall take the children and run away from this place. It’s funny how this situation seems so familiar, four years back I was leaving my house to find solace in my married life…I found none. Now I’m leaving this place to go to another with the same ray of hope in my heart- that someday the clouds will part…

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“Shakti ki puja to karte hi hain, par Bajrang Bali zyada strong hain.” (We worship Shakti but Bajrang Bali is stronger.) — A pehelwan1 at the Chandagiram Akhara The epitome of masculinity, vigor, power and male strength, Bajrang Bali2 looms large over the Chandagiram Akhara3 as its patron God. A place where stereotypical notions of masculinity are manifest in the traditional Indian sport of Kushti4, or Mud Wrestling, the akhara offers significant insights into the workings of gender relations in patriarchal structures. A visit to the Chandagiram Akhara, one of the oldest and most renowned in Delhi, allowed us to examine the different facets of a gendered existence. The front door opens into a large hall stocked with modern fitness equipment. Doors on all sides lead to the single room accommodations of the resident wrestlers. In the backyard is an approximately twenty by twenty foot mud ring where the matches take place. On one corner of this ring is a small shrine to Bajrang Bali. The akhara houses almost everything that a wrestler needs. Everyday routine is a continuous cycle of sleeping, exercising and eating. The single focus of the men here, is to perfect the art of wrestling, but like so many other things, this is not merely sport, it is a way of life. Men work out, wrestle, win awards and money. The most important function of the women is to support the man’s routine and see to his meals. Here, the enforcement of traditional gender binaries: man/woman, public/private, culture/nature, reason/instinct is stringent and harsh ignoring the notion of identity as a fluid construct. The traditional akhara is clearly a male domain. The ancient link to Bajrang Bali highlights the Hindu tradition of celibacy that now operates in a much lesser degree. It also hints at the fact that a woman’s intrusion would not be welcome. Most of the wrestlers we interviewed did not seem to mind the idea of women wrestling. Women also wrestle now, but their matches are held on mattresses, not on the mud. Their menstrual flow pollutes the wrestling ring. They were, however, silent on the issue of introducing women from their own families to the field.

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A pehelwaan is often associated with notions of masculinity and interestingly even violence. A closer examination of popular perceptions led to interesting observations. Social imposition of a gendered identity creates a sadistic and violent image of the pehelwaan in popular perception. This perception functions on the basis of social collectives ignoring the individual. “Dominant, authoritative, muscular, broad shouldered, insensitive, tall, strong” were among the variety of responses we got on asking people what they associate with the notion of ‘masculinity’. Being asked to describe a pehelwaan fetched broadly similar responses. Most respondents also believed, however, that pehelwaans were intellectually stunted. “If you have muscles you can’t have brains” said one of the people we interviewed making it apparent that in popular perception, a pehelwaan was really the male equivalent to the stereotype of the ‘dumb blonde.’ The wrestlers themselves looked at masculinity purely in physical terms. The only difference between them and any other man, according to them was physical strength. Far from violent or even aggressive, they seemed to be victims of social stereotypes. Gender is a social construct. Ultimately it assumes proportions that subsume the individual. The male identity, then, becomes equally transfixed as that of the female. The akhara provided a glimpse of how such pressures form the basis of the male experience. The assumption of a grandiose image of a macho and authoritative wrestler (which some of the men did enjoy) is very different from the reality. For most of the wrestlers, learning the art of wrestling is not an end in itself. It is a means to the security and stability that employment in the Railways would offer. Wrestling then, for them becomes like any other means to earning a livelihood. The akhara with its stringent sexual division of labour also reveals how patriarchy functions on the silence and support of women. For the order to sustain itself, it has to be internalized by the women who as compradors, further male dominance. Ironically, the champion of patriarchy in the household of …………. Is the matriarch, whose status comes from being the mother of two sons. “Aurat ke saat roop hain”, she boldly announces, “maa, beti, bahu, behen, shakti, randi aur chandi.”5 Extolling the virtues of the good old days when women were confined to the household, she revels in the reflected glory of her Father in law, husband and son, all wrestlers. In her world

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view, these roles are mutually exclusive. The path of true womanhood or manhood is to fulfill to the best of one’s abilities, all social obligations that come with an assumed role. Caught in the dichotomy of Shakti and Bajrang Bali, in the minds of the wrestlers seemed to reside a growing conflict. Their world seems to be in a flux. The conflicts in their minds often found expression in the silence that punctuated their speech. Caught between the age old dichotomy of the traditional and the modern, the pehelwaans in traditional akharas are precariously balanced between the stringent codes of the system they learn and the changing realities of the world. Changing realities, especially in urban spaces constantly problematise accepted and cultivated attitudes towards gender. While studying the oppression of women inherent in our system, we must also understand the position of the male. Patriarchy also defines the man’s fixed role and he must respond to its dictate without exerting his will actively and combatively against it. The freedom of choice overtly denied to women, is also restricted for men. Thus, an alternative system would become librating not only for the female but also for the male. Notes 1. Pehelwaan; A wrestler involved in the traditional Indian sport of kushti. 2. Bajrang Bali; or Hanuman is the monkey God who assisted lord Ram in defeating Ravan and bringing back Sita from Lanka. The son of the God of Wind, hanuman is revered by the wrestlers as a symbol of power, valour, fearlessness, good health and specifically male strength. A specifically Hindu tradition attached to the figure of Hanuman is that of celibacy or ‘Brahmacharya,’ a symbol of his lifelong devotion and service to lord Ram. 3. Chandagiram Akhara; one of the oldest and most renowned Akharas in Delhi. The word ‘Akhara’ may be seen in two ways. It refers to the traditional wrestling ring that is specially prepared before the matches. The earth is dug up and matches are fought on lose mud, thus the term, mud wrestling. It also refers to the institution usually maintained by a senior pehelwaan that takes in young boys as students and teaches them the traditional art of kushti. 4. Kushti; an ancient traditional form of wrestling in India. 5. “Aurat ke…Chandi”; Women have seven roles, mother, daughter, daughter in law, sister, power, whore and that of the destroyer. The matriarch, ‘Amma’ also held that the role of Shakti, or power was most important and all women must preserve it, while, of course, always being subservient to the man.

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ut+jkuk
^^MkDVj lkgc oks csM uEcj ik¡p ij tks is'ksUV gS u mldh ek¡ fQj xk;c gS** ulZ ds psgjs dh >YykgV lkQ fn[k jgh Fkh ^^D;k fQj ls] bl ckj oks vk;s rks mls esjs ikl HkstukA nks ?k.Vs ckn ,d iryh&nqcyh lh vkSjr flj >qdk;s muds lkeus Fkh] ^^ueLrs] eSaMe]** mldh iryh lh vkokt lqudj MkDVj lkfgck us flj mBkdj dgk] ^^cSBks utjkuk] utjkuk rqe tkurh gks u fd rqEgkjh csVh dh ns[kHkky dh fdruh t:jr gS] eSa ;s ugha dgrh fd rqe gj le; mlds lkFk jgks ij de&ls&de fnu esa rks mlds lkFk jgk djks** bruk dguk Fkk fd utjkuk QQd iM+h] ^^ns[kks utjkuk eSaus igys Hkh dgk Fkk vkSj vc Hkh dgrh gw¡ fd vxj rqEgs dksbZ ijs'kkuh gS rks eq>s crkvks D;k irk eSa rqEgkjs dqN dke vk ldwaA** igyh ckj utjkuk us utj mBk dj MDVj lkfgck dh vk¡[kksa esa ns[kk] dqN lksp dj mlus viuh dgkuh 'kq: dh& dgkuh 'kq: gksrs gS vkxjk dh xfy;ksa esa jg jgs ml eqfLye lekt esa tgk¡ vkSjrksa dks ljsvke [kk¡luk Hkh xqukg gksrk gSA utjkuk dk fudkg mldh cqvk ds dgus ij ,d ,sls 'k[l ls fd;k tkrk gS tks fctyh dk dke djrk FkkA fudkg ds oDr ;g ckr lkeus vkrh gS fd vtgj 'kjkc ihrk gS ij ;s dg dj fd ftEesnkjh esa iM+dj oks [kqn lq/kj tk;sxk ckr ;w¡ gh mM+k nh tkrh gS ij dk'k ,slk gh gksrk] tSl&tSls oDr xqtjus yxk vtgj s dk crkZo cnyus yxkA nsj jkr rd 'kjkc ihdj ?kj vkuk] NksVh&NksVh ckrksa dks ysdj >xM+k djuk mldk jkst dk dke gks x;k] dHkh&dHkh ekjihV rd dh ukScr vk tkrh gS] cw<+h ek¡ dh ,d u pyrh] cM+s HkkbZ Hkh le>kdj Fkd x;s Fks fj'rsnkj ?kjsyw ekeyk dg dj ihNs gV tkrsA utjkuk ds ek¡&cki le>kdj tkrs] nks rhu fnu ldwu jgrk Fkk fQj ogh 'kq: gks tkrkA pkj cPpksa dk cki cu tkus ds ckotwn Hkh vtgj dks fdlh ftEesnkjh dk ,glkl ugha gksrkA ij 'kk;n brus ij Hkh [kqnk dks lcz ugha gqvkA jkr dks lks;s cM+s HkkbZ lks;s gh jg x;s 'kk;n mUgsa fny dk nkSjk iM+k FkkA ,d ogh Fks tks ?kj dks lEHkky jgs FksA yxk fd cM+s HkkbZ dh ekSr vtgj dks lq/kkj nsxh ij gqvk bldk mYVk gh mlds tqYe vkSj c<+rs x;sA utjkuk vius cPpksa ds [kkfrj lc dqN lgrh jgh ij ,d fnu oks gks x;k ftlus mlds gks'k mM+k dj j[k fn;s nksigj ds oDr oks fdlh dke ls HkkHkh ds dejs esa x;h rks ns[kk vtgj viuh HkkHkh ds lkFk ,d gh fcLrj esa-------------------------- vkSjr lc cnkZ'r dj ldrh gS ij vius 'kkSgj dks fdlh nwljh vkSjr ds lkFk dHkh cnkZ'r ugha dj ldrhA

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jkr Hkj utjkuk lksprh jgh lqcg gksus rd mlus QSlyk fd;k fd oks vc vkSj ugha lgsxh vius cPpksa dks v¸;k'k cki dk uke ugha nsxh viuh lkl dh btktr ysdj oks fnYyh vk x;h ;gk¡ ?kjksa esa NksVk&eksVk dke djds viuk vkSj vius cPpksa dk xqtj&clj djus yxhA ftUnxh /khjs&/khjs lQj r; dj jgh FkhA vc mldk ,d gh edln Fkk cPpksa dks dkfcy cukukA fnYyh ds ml cnuke bykds esa dqN 'kjhQ yksxksa us mls jgus ds fy, >qXxh fnyok nh Fkh utjkuk vc uTtks pkph ds uke ls tkuk tkus yxhA ij dgrs gS u fd bUlku lc dqN NksM+ nsrk gS ij mEehn ugha NksM+rk] utjkuk ds fny ds dksus esa vHkh Hkh ;s mEehn Fkh fd dk'k vtgj lq/kj tk;s vkSj mls <w<+rk gqvk ;gk¡ vk tk;s vkSj ;gh mEehn vtgj ds :i esa mlds lkeus vk x;h vtgj us vkrs gh cPpksa ds ckjs esa iwNkA utjkuk dks yxk fd cPpksa dk I;kj gh vtgj dks ;gk¡ [khap yk;k gSA mlus vtgj dks viuh ftUnxh esa dcwy dj fy;k eu ls Hkh vkSj ru ls HkhA ;gk¡ utjkuk us ik¡pos cPps dks tUe fn;kA vtgj eghus&nks eghus esa ,d ckj t:j vkrk cPpksa ds lkFk Hkh mldk crkZo Bhd jgrkA utjkuk us ;g tkuus dh dksf'k'k ugha dh fd oks dgk¡ jgrk gS vkSj D;k djrkA vc utjkuk dks fQØ Fkh rks cl viuh nksuksa yM+fd;ksa dh ftuds fudkg ds fy, mlus rS;kjh 'kq: dj nh FkhA ,d fnu mls fdlh dke ls ckgj tkuk iM+k nks fnu ckn ykSVh rks nksuksa yM+fd;ksa dks ?kj ij ugha ik;k] NksVs csVs ls irk pyk fd vtgj vk;k Fkk vkSj nksuksa yM+fd;ksa dks lkFkys x;k gSA vxys fnu vtgj vdsyk ykSVk iwNus ij crk;k fd mlus nksuksa yM+fd;ksa dks fudkg dj fn;k gS ;gk¡ Hkh utjkuk lcz djds jg x;hA [kqn dks le>k;k fd mldh ukekStwnxh esa gh lgh ij mldk cks> rks de gqvkA ckn esa vtgj ds lkFk oks nksuksa csfV;ksa ls fey Hkh vk;hA nksuksa ds llqjky okys mls lgh yxsA Bhd nks eghus ckn cM+h csVh ds ?kj ls ngst dh ek¡x vk x;hA ek¡xh x;h jde utjkuk dh gSfl;r ls gh T;knk Fkh ij mlus fdlh rjg mudh ek¡x dks iwjk fd;k ij ;s flyflyk ;gha ugha :dkA vk;s fnu fdlh u fdlh pht dh Qjekb'k gksus yxhA 'kq:&'kq: esa rks

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utjkuk fdlh rjg mudh Qjekb'k dks iwjk djrh ij ;s lc mlds cl ds ckgj dh ckr FkhA vtgj dk ,d ckj fQj dksbZ vrk&irk ugha FkkA utjkuk fQj vdsyh jg x;hA dbZ ckj csVh ds llqjky okyksa ds lkeus viuh ykpkjh trk;h ij mUgksaus rks tSls dle [kk j[kh FkhA b/kj ?kj ij NksVh csVh dh rfc;r Hkh [kjkc jgus yxhA mlds bZykt esa gh jgs [kpksZ us jgh lgh dlj iwjh dj nhA ^cl eSMe fdlh rjg iSlks ds bUrtke ds [kkfrj ;gka&ogka HkVduk iM+rk gS blh otg ls csVh dks iwjk le; ugha ns ikrh gw¡** dgrs&dgrs mldh vkokt HkjkZ x;h vk¡[kksa ls fudys vk¡lw mlds xkyks dks xhyk dj nsrs gSA ^^vki gh crkb;s MkDVj lkfgck] dgka ls ykÅ bruk iSlk xgus rks igys gh fcd x;s tks FkksM+k&cgqr tksM+ j[kk Fkk oks Hkh [kRe gks x;kA u tkus [kqnk dks eq>ls D;k nq'euh gS dHkh&dHkh th esa vkrk gS fd [kqn[kq'kh dj yw¡A ^^utjkuk fgEer er gkjks** MkDVj lkfgck us utjkuk ds dU/ks ij gkFk j[k dj dgk ^^vkt ls rqe dHkh vius vki dks vdsyk er le>uk] eSa ,d laLFkk dh dk;ZdrkZ gw¡ tks rqEgkjh tSlh vkSjrksa ds fy, gh dke djrh gS vc eSa vkSj esjs lkFkh ges'kk rqEgkjs lkFk gSA** vc rqe tkvks rqEgkjh csVh dh nok dk le; gks x;k gS] oks rqEgkjk bUrtkj dj jgh gksxhA** lqudj utjkuk cksf>y dneksa ls okMZ dh vksj py nh** mlds tkrs gh MkDVj lkfgc us viuh laLFkk ls lEidZ fd;k mUgsa utjkuk ds ckjs esa crk;kA mldh NksVh csVh dk bZykt fcuk iSlksa ds 'kq: fd;kA cM+h csVh ds fy, Hkh dkuwuh lykg yhA b/kj bruk dqN gksus ds ckn Hkh tSls [kqnk dh jaft'ks de u gq;h ,d fnu [kcj feyh fd LVkso QVus ls cM+h csVh vkx esa >qyl x;h gSA cngokl lh utjkuk mlds ?kj x;h rks ogka mlds ?kj okyksa us mls viuh csVh ls feyus ugha fn;kA utjkuk le> x;h fd mu yksxksa dh Qjekb'kksa dks iwjk u djus dh ltk mldh csVh dks nh gSA utjkuk us cgqr le>k;k fd oks viuh csVh dks vius lkFk ys tk;sxh [kqn bZykt djk;sxh ij bl ij Hkh mu yksxksa dks dksbZ jge ugha vk;kA bl ij gn ;s gqbZ fd mu yksxksa us utjkuk ij gh ;s bYtke yxk fn;k fd oks viuh csVh dks ;gka ls ys tkdj cspuk pkgrh gSA ^^dgkuh fy[kh tkus rd utjkuk dh csVh dk bZykt py jgk Fkk vkSj mldh cM+h csVh ds fy, laLFkk iwjh rjg dksf'k'k esa yxh FkhA**

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The rather unstable step made by the two slabs of stone one above the other, leads to a small courtyard with a shrine on the right and the sights and sounds of a busy household on the left. This is the residence of Farid and Chand Nizami, two brothers who are carrying on the Sufi legacy of their ancestors The Qawwals at the dargah are the direct descendants of Amir Khusro who came to India from turkey around 750 years ago. He invented the popular instruments like the tabla and sitar used today. Miraj, the eldest among the qawwals says that qawwali is sung for the greatest pir-GOD. He distinguishes it from the commercial form which is sung for mortals. Although Qawwali was to be sung for his praise and devotion or ‘Ibadat’, it is today only a ritual of sorts performed during Urs and the following day. The loss of our culture and its degeneration can be seen here very obviously where the descendants of a great poet have to struggle to survive. But the question to be asked is that in the age of globalization and capitalism is it possible for an art to survive? Can the performers sustain themselves without commercialization? The answers are available. The younger generation of qawwals like Zaffar Hayat Nizami is ready and willing to work commercially. One of the reasons why the economic condition of a family is important is its effect on other aspects of life like education, work skills and the condition of women. The qawwals are a close knit group. They do not mix their blood. Their daughters are married within the community and the daughters in laws are also from within the community. When asked about their daughters and their education Miraj and his friend go on the defensive. They say that their children including the girls go to schools like any of us and are free to pursue higher studies. But girls at no cost are allowed to sing or even learn music as a hobby. It is a domain of the men in the family. Miraj says that they would have no problems in teaching music to girls from other communities, but for their own girls it is forbidden territory. However the women are free to take up jobs such as teaching. This phenomenon of close knit families is neither new nor is it unique to the qawwals of Nizamuddin. It is a phenomenon that has

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existed in Indian society for a very long time even amongst the Hindus. What is interesting is the fact that though the qawwals sing of god or Nizamuddin Aulia in a way similar to Meera’s praise of Krishna, there is no Meera here. They sing of love and the beauty of their soul mate but the partner, the other half is kept away from the eyes of the world. Or the world from her eyes? Farid and Chand Nizami were very hospitable and forthcoming with information on Sufi music and their family Chands wife invited us to see her room. The invitation seemed unappealing to begin with. Strangely enough, she persisted and we complied. The narrow stairs opened in a small rectangular enclosure- HER room. she showed us around we realized the As importance of the four walls. Her room is stark-no bed, no tables, a small cupboard and a mirror. The highlight of the room, however, is a small window which is her contact with the outside world. It is her favourite room in the house because she can enjoy the view through the window at her own leisure. The view interestingly is that of the dargah of Nizamuddin Aulia. Her day is spent here, playing with the children, cooking for the family and offering the customary namaz five times a day. It is believed in this community that higher education restricts the mind towards the reception of music. The women choose to disagree, although they do not do so openlyThey want their children to pay equal attention to their studies. But given the strong . family tradition, moving out may seem an option hard to consider, even for the males. Perhaps a strict regime is the only solution for facing the challenges of today’s socio economic realities. Had it not been for the restriction in education, the younger generation would have found it easier to move out of the demanding art. Practicing this art, like any other art, requires patience, total dedication and undivided attention-Two qualities that have been forgotten today. The strict norms provide protection and a sense of guarantee. One can certainly not accuse the Nizami tradition of being repressive. Most of our other social orders take roots from the same beliefs. It is only recently that women have started venturing out of homes, into the public sphere. Even our more ‘liberal” societies, initially, did not accept women singing and dancing in front of audiences. Educating women, is a problem today even in modern India. A common thread that runs through society is the constant suppression of women, their confinement to the realms of the household. In places where they have managed to achieve freedom economically, there is still a constant subjugation within the

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house. Women are still attributed the traditional responsibilities of bringing up the children and looking after the house .This discrimination is not religious in characterIt breaks barriers of caste and religion. It is a gender- based discrimination. With the . ruling out of qawwali as a career option ,and no promise of education, the women are left with little to do. They do not have the courage to dream inspite of having ambitions. The same set of rules which are a boon foe the male members of the family to ensure that the qawwali tradition gets carried forward, become a bane for these women. Women will never sing, but they can do a lot more. Perhaps the simple step of educating them could prepare them for that dream. What such a step can do for a women’s confidence needs no explanation. This would also solve their e economic problems to a great extent and would leave the males for more artistic pursuits, rather than digressing from the praise of god to the praise of mortals for financial viability. The Nizami tradition presents a beautiful world, a world different from what we inhabit. However the solitary window, fitted with iron bars in the lady’s room troubled our minds. Is looking out of such windows the only way these women can see the sky above? The walls of their rooms are the universe for these women, but is the universe just these four walls?

Miraj with LSR students

Farid and Chand Nizami

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Kaaton se kheech ke ye aachal, tod ke bandhan bandhe payal, koi na roke dil ki udaan ko, dil wo chala....... aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai..... {I have pulled myself out of thorns, I have broken all shackles, Let not anyone stop my flight today, I want to live again...... Once again....}

Appaji with JNU students

It’s a chilly January morning-gloomy and foggy. Somewhere 40 kms deep in the heart of Delhi suburbs in a run down 3-storey building sat five people. The walls of the room are defined by posters which scream against violence perpetrated on the body, mind and soul that the so called “fairer sex” undergoes in phases within our modern society. The room was barely furnished with a few tables stalked with files and a chattai on which were seated five women. In one corner sat Najma staring at the small blackboard that hung at the centre of the plastered wall written in bold white chalk “MAHILA PANCHAYAT” staring at her, invoking the past. The pain, the tears, the betrayal and her triumph......they all came back in a flash. “I was 16 when I got married to a man knowing fully well that he was in love with another woman. But Ammi kept telling me that men change after marriage. I waited.......... days, months and years rolled by. But nothing really happened......For 8 years, I lived in that gilded cage. I was abused, beaten, raped and humiliated and scarred for life. I was even lured into trafficking by a man. But fortunately I saved myself.

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I decided not to take it anymore and thus walked out with my four sons towards an unknown destination. A new journey had begun. I found refuge in SHAKTISHALINI-an organization with a vision to empower women. Here I met APPAJI- one of the most inspiring personalities and a woman of incredible resilience, who showed me the direction and changed my life forever. A woman of insurmountable strength and an embodiment of courage who had seen it all. Her own daughter had been burnt alive by her own in-laws for demands of more dowry. But unlike many others, Appaji refused to break down. She instilled courage in me. She made me realize if she could do it, then why not many other women like us. A new dream was born-NAVSHRISTI and I became a part of it. It became a medium to realize our self-worth. Navshristi was established in Nangloi. Soon it became a symbol of communal harmony by generating goodwill in the equally dominated Hindus and Muslims of the area. Women from both the communities of nearby areas here got an opportunity for self expression by educating themselves, learning to stitch, sew,& being trained in beauty treatments. The centre has become a symbol of sisterhood. We have become a family sharing our feelings. We have tried our best to care for each person who has joined us and helped them fight against this state of fear, oppression and insecurity. We gave them a voice. The workers here strongly believe that girls should learn to be self-reliant and stay independently if needed. Things started to change. The battered wife stood up against her drunk husband, the harassed daughter-in-law said no to more dowry, many daughters convinced their families to educate them, mothers refused to stand by and watch their children suffer, they realized the futility of the senseless discrimination between the boy and girl child, many started challenging the conventional patriarchal wisdom. In short, “Navshristi”- our new creation forced people to deconstruct and then construct the traditionaly received norms.” Today, yet again I see another Najma here, hiding her tear-stricken face and bruised eyes in her wet dupatta. It’s ironical indeed! The pain stings back each time with equal vengeance. But this time I have promises to keep—and to walk a mile more........I’ll break her shackles. I will give her wings to fly.

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It is a universally acknowledged truth that the best meal in the world is prepared by one’s mother. Being budding engineers we might doubt Einstein’s E=mc2 but none of us doubt the above statement. In fact, the only Indian chef to feature on the list of world’s best chefs, Mr. G. Sultan Moideen, executive chef ITC Maurya Sheraton, reinstated the fact himself. Only recently we’ve had the good fortune of meeting a man as accomplished as Mr. Sultan. His career began as a nominated trainee at the Oberoi’s and he later went to France and Japan to complete his training in this field. Today, he has an industry experience of over 25 years and his kitchen boasts of a 98% satisfaction rating from British associations, (higher than most hotels in the UK itself). The very fact that we were able to meet him only after an hour long wait, since he was busy finalizing the details for the food of the Malaysian Premier, is an indication of his influence and importance. A Scorpio by birth, Mr. Moideen tells us that he has all a man could ever ask for: a satisfying job which pays him extremely well and provides fame, recognition and glory. In the words of Mr. Moideen, his job encompasses the role of a manager, public relations officer, scientific head and of course that of a culinary expert. He has traveled all over the world to work with the best, to learn from the best, to become the best himself. He has a simple philosophy that ‘Work is Worship’ and this is what has made a man like him earn the caption of “Every Creation is a Masterpiece” on his chef’s cap. On enquiring about his family we got to know that his son is pursuing an engineering degree, and his twin daughters are in +2 preparing for medical school. Usually he has no time for indulgences but whatever time he gets he likes to spend it with his family. When asked about getting his children into the hotel industry, he says that he would be more than happy to help them, but they do not show much interest. Surprisingly, his children never insist on savouring his cooking, not even for parties and he never cooks at home nor teaches his wife any of his recipes since Mr. Moideen wants food at home to be different from his hotel. Even the best cook in our country loves his wife’s cooking! When asked about the secret behind his success he told us that he lived by a simple axiom: “the main ingredient for preparing good food is the love you put in cooking it” which is probably why a mother’s or a wife’s cooking is the tastiest. This would lead one to

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believe that this is a job that most women would be adept at, but surprisingly this field remains mostly male dominated. It is quite ironical that at home men hardly enter the kitchen whereas when it comes to the professional front, women are rarely to be found. When asked about this paradox Mr. Sultan told us that professional cooking is a very strenuous job involving long hours and so women are generally not suited to this profession. Being physically weaker than men, women have difficulties in handling huge and heavy utensils, as is also the case with large quantities of raw material required for cooking. Long working hours extending late into the night do no good either. He tells us that since most of the kitchen workers belong to lower economic classes, they are illiterate and use abusive language. And so he reasons that the few women who might be present would find the atmosphere quite uncomfortable. But of course, there is no profession in this world that is bereft of any difficulties and we wondered if there were some women who, undaunted by these limitations, wanted to enter this field. Mr. Sultan told us that when he was a student, there were no girls in his batch but now the society is changing and there are some girls taking interest in this profession. When asked if the hotel authorities were prejudiced against women for the same reasons, he refused and said that he himself was a great promoter of enterprising girls who were interested in this field, since he believes that merit can outdo any preconceived notions. In fact, the proof for this lies in the fact that the daughter of a top defence personnel works under him in his kitchen. After a few days, we got the opportunity to meet Bahadur Singh, a cook at a local dhaba where he has been working since the age of 9. Today he is married with two daughters and a son. His daily schedule is monotonous and consists of sleeping, eating and cooking primarily though he watches Hindi movies once in a while. He has not won any international accolades but nearby residents swear by his ‘aloo ke paranthe’. When we asked him whether his wife worked along with him, he seemed quite amused at the prospect and replied, “If ladies work outside, then who will take care of home?” When we explained that by letting his wife work he would be increasing his household

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income, he looked as if realisation had dawned upon him. Just a minute later he changed his statement and said that a woman should be allowed to work only if she can handle both the fronts. But when asked whether he would allow his daughter or his wife to work separately or independently, he gave a very cold “NO” as an answer. On being asked why, he replied in a very serious tone that no man in his society could see a woman working separately. Assisting the husband was one thing, but working independently would mean that the man and master of the house was incapable of providing for them. We went on to explain to him that now society was changing, women enjoyed an equal status as men, they were ambitious and were extending their area of expertise, beyond the household. Bahadur Singh got angered at this and said that these were the kind of new ideas that were responsible for the moral degradation of society. He says that a man will never allow a woman to get a step ahead of him, and his daughter will comply with whatever her husband expects of her. We do not wish to draw any set conclusion from this nor do we wish to offer an opinion on any of these accounts that we have retold. We only present you with a true picture of our society in just a few lines. We leave it to the readers to conclude whatever they choose to and realise the truth if they wish to.

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Cries, stifling cries, maddening hysteria…..silence and then again…..shriek, a painful shriek……which dried the blood in her veins. As her eyes opened she just wished him to be away. It was just another nightmare lying there beside her in reality. Still shaking from the heart wrenching shrieks of desperation, she got up, wrapped a shawl around her frail and scrawny body and just stood in front of the open door. Her vision was blurred by the tears welling up in her eyes. As she kept staring outside looking at the empty road, it turned into a grey muddy path and instead of buildings she saw small black mud houses like dots on either side of the road, tall trees hung over the houses as if protecting them from some unforeseen forces, she had drifted as if by magic into her childhood, which was a distant mirage now. It was that dreadful night where it all ended for her………. The sudden noises of a passing car shock her back to reality. She was grinding her jaws so that they would stop moving but this was no respite as it was very cold. She went inside and got a small bottle with an ugly skull made on it in red, as she looked at it she thought life was mocking at her face, voices started echoing in her head all screaming at her just one word “COWARD”. With the bottle clenched tightly in her small bony fist she sat by the door and started to gaze outside again. Only this time what she saw was unbearable, open, moist eyed, she saw only shades of black and grey broken houses with cobwebs, trees like scary onlookers without leaves that wanted to grab her with their branches. She was feeling suffocated, as if she were underwater in an ocean at night, it was so vast that she did not know where it started and where it ended. She was taking a bath in the lake in the village, she was 13 when two hands grabbed her and drowned her in the shadows of darkness forever. He was 35 yrs old. She shivered as she thought how he had forced and penetrated all her innocence and had left a void in her soul.

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She was married to that same man within two days. The flowers lining the lake had withered and so had she, each day she was drowned in that same waters of shame by her husband and the trees without leaves, they just looked. She was chained to her own tomb for eternity. Shivering she looked at the bottle with the ugly skull and saw her once spotless face in the glass, so bruised and battered now that she could not recognize herself. They shifted to the city after a year of the marriage. Every day she saw the sun rising from behind those tall buildings. The sun looked so feeble and tamed in the midst of that concrete jungle, an epitome of freedom and strength, the sun seemed insulted and deprived of its glory in the shadows of those tall buildings, she too was deprived, deprived of her freedom, deprived of her own will. The shades of black and grey encircled her again. She felt as if someone had poured molten lava on her, as the boiling water seeped through her sari and her 4 months pregnant stomach, she saw the face of hatred staring back at her, she became deaf to the yelling and walked away, those same hands grabbed her again and drowned her again in the waters of shame and lust. Little eyes small feet, just like a doll she was holding life in her hands, after toiling with labor for 4 hrs, this was her prize. Her child died after 8 months due to pneumonia. Closing her eyes she touched her stomach, there were burnt marks still there, she had suddenly aged she touched her eyes around the corners and felt the lines of time which had passed quickly for her while she was still waiting for salvation. Blood gushed out of her wrist and made red spots on the floor, she stared at them and then looked up into the eyes of her second child 10 years of age; she saw fright in those small pupils; she smiled and then started crying that, the life which had evolved out of her had no future; her son was working in a mechanic’s shop, her husband was bedridden, liver cirrhosis and she worked in houses, cleaning utensils, clothes.

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The neighbours came, hearing the screams of an innocent, forced into this meaningless life and took her away to the hospital. The scares of all the years were still there on her heart, mind and soul. The tears whirled in a black whirlpool along with the ghastly buildings and she swam in an endless tunnel without any light. He was lying there on the bed, grey hair and ageing but those hands had not lost their strength or their greed and showered their venom on her and her son, who also lay there on the floor curled into a ball trying to give his mother some place on the bed but even he could not give her a place in this world. He was curled as if hiding away from the tentacles of poverty and black eyed malice of hunger. The angry face on the bottle again screamed at her “COWARD” she wanted to drown that word away. As she stared at the sun rising from the concrete jungle, insulted and deprived of its glory in the shadows of those tall buildings, she slowly brought the bottle to her lips. Everything was in the shades of black and grey.

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u n t i t t l e d

This is not a sob story for the benefit of a PhD in male bashing. If it comes across as such, then all we would like to say (politely of course) is – “Face the reality ladies and gentlemen! Don’t make fabricated excuses in order to satisfy your conscience.” Because we tried as hard as we could to not put ‘spice’ into our tale…and this is what it sounded like: Take 1: Paridhi is born when her family is going through financial difficulties and is branded ‘unlucky’. Take 2: Paridhi passes her 12th standard exams, is not allowed to study further and is married off to an unemployed man. Take 3: Paridhi’s father-in-law starts making physical advances towards her. Her husband demarcates his association with the whole business. Take 4: Paridhi leaves her husband and files for divorce. Take 5: Paridhi’s family lets her into the house but constantly accuses her of ruining the family name and any future that her younger sister might have had. Take 6: Paridhi agrees to marry a divorcee police constable so that the path can be cleared for her younger sister to marry. Take 7: Paridhi reaches her new home in the interior of Uttar Pradesh and finds that the first wife of her new husband is still living with the family and is not legally divorced. Take 8: Paridhi discovers that her new husband has a sexual relationship with his younger brother’s wife and Paridhi herself is expected to reciprocate the same favours to her husband’s younger brother. She refuses.

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Take 9: Paridhi stays in constantly harassed circumstances for 2 years till her younger sister is married off without any ‘stigma’. Take 10: Paridhi leaves her second husband and comes back to her family begging them to let her in willingly. Take 11: Paridhi’s family now fears her legal right in the family property which should all go to the son ‘traditionally’. They accelerate their demeaning attitude towards her. Take 12: Paridhi still lives with her family. She now has a job but that does not compensate for the constant psychological stress on a day to day basis, 365 days of the year. Here we finish the story of our protégé with minimum of emotional sentiments. We made sure that the readers didn’t cry or were even remotely entertained. So now that everyone is not sentimental, is thinking rationally, is capable of an ‘impartial’ hearing of our narrative…we continue. Paridhi was never a man-that is obvious! she has been treated as “woman”. But her future is something that has even the term as “woman” ripped from her badge of accomplishments. Because according to our ever righteous socity, a “woman” without husband and kids is not a complete “woman”. So what do we call Paridhi now? We will not go into the complexities of what ‘feminity’ and ‘masculinity’ mean. All we have to say is that Paridhi is not interested in marrying again. Let alone depending, she does not want to trust any man, any longer….bottom-line…no arguments. Who can blame her? In Paridhi we saw the face of thousands of women who have burnt all bridges of contact between ‘feminity’ and ‘masculinity’. Here goes our benevolent purpose of gender studies again. Can we salvage it yet?

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Why is it that parents acknowledge the ‘burden’ of marriage of their daughters as their responsibility and yet the responsibility of checking the credentials of the household they are packing their ‘burden’ off to, is outside their domain? In this case the educated parents of the girl blame it on her ‘kismat’. Yet another excuse for getting something off one’s conscience...? Why is it that even ‘educated’ people, according to the presence of their flashing degrees, are not ‘educated’ in the true sense of the term. Paridhi’s father is an engineer but his education seems to be nil in real terms. Why is it that in certain situations a woman has to be dominated and kept down while in other situations (mostly when she is doing wrong) is not to be interfered with and even encouraged. Paridhi’s mother is in the forefront of the whole attack, her father and brother who would otherwise designate her to the position of a ‘woman’ in other matters, do not interfere and even support her when she harasses her own daughter. Her second husband says that he has seen the world and knows that all city girls are whores or nearly whores, so Paridhi being a city girl should not object to sleeping with her brother-in-law. This portrays the attitude towards stereotypes that have been formed….city girls-too open, girl smoking - bad ‘character’, girl dancing in a disc - ready to sleep with anyone who approaches. One can somehow deal and fight with the situation but what happens when the members of the law enforcement force start categorizing everyone into broad categories of what they consider ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They are the ones we look up to for the well being of the people and maintenance of the law…when did we give them the right to make laws and play God?

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The only thing that carries this beautiful woman around, like it does many in the world, is hope - Hope that her husband would come back to her one day. Sanam Bano’s husband deserted her, three years ago, to clandestinely marry a widow, who already had a son from her earlier husband, to have a child from her, as he did not have a child from Bano. As they say, justice prevails; the new couple could not conceive a child either. A meeting with her husband recently, where, according to Bano, he looked very tense and drawn - probably for what he did - has refreshed Bano’s hope of her husband’s return. The mixed feelings of betrayal, anger, hope, and confusion that rules the mind of this 35 year old village woman has made her life no better than hell. During their 22 years of married life, her husband, Noor Mohammad, had been very kind to her. But Noor’s mother and sisters, according to Bano, got him under pressure to remarry. Quite tragic though, Noor Mohammad did remarry but without divorcing Bano or either taking her consent, which is illegal under both the state and the religious laws. The sweetness of the tragic betrayal is that Bano, who can very well file a suit against him, is reluctant with the idea because it would be an “embarrassment for her husband”. She said, “Log boleinge ki Sanam Bano ne apne shohar ko pitwaya” (People would say Sanam Bano got her husband beaten). What betrayal of a 22-year old trust on one side; and what trust even after a betrayal of the other! Sanam recalls the incident when her husband went away to marry Saraswati, a Hindu girl, at the Nizamuddin Awlia’s Dargah in New Delhi. It was Friday and the first day of Ramadhan (Holy month of fasting in Islamic calendar). Noor had told Sanam he was going to attend a friend’s wedding. Sanam had kept a new dress ready and his shoes polished for the occasion, least did she knew what her husband was up to. Sanam did not see her husband for the next three days. Noor’s mother and sisters had also attended the marriage. Sanam has a pet name for Saraswati - “xxxxxx”. She did not know Saraswati till she saw her husband giving her a pack of sweets at a sweets shop on Deepawali. Late at home, when Sanam taunted Noor about the sweets, he beat her ruthlessly. “How dare you doubt me?”, Noor told Sanam. He pulled down the earrings from her ear like a towel from its hanger. Blood trickled down her neck. But the only thing that Sanam did not like about the bloodbath was that it was different from what she was used to. Unlike earlier

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thrashings, her husband did not tame and love her after the beating. “Pehle jab marte the, pyar to karte the” (Earlier, he would be tender with me after a beating)! What can one call this? Ignorance about one’s rights or submission to the one you love? A serious question for all those who still believe in healthy debates. Sanam had been with Noor through all the hard times. Her restless hands, came one over the other, perhaps in search of her better half’s pair; her beautiful eyes drained tears every time she mentioned his name; as she narrated how they would remain hungry for days together in their harder times back in the village. In fact, they had migrated to Delhi in search of work only, where now Noor is well off working for a garment company as a master tailor. He earns Rs 15,000 a month and sends Rs 1500 to Sanam too - enough for her to kill her time - alone? She indulges herself in occasional visits to neighbourhood Thakurs. Plays around with their children. Dresses up quite bright and always wears a plastic smile in the Mohalla street. She might have to do only this for the rest of her life. What does she do now? Would she remarry, as she is still beautiful and quite young; or would she seek divorce from her husband? All tastes bitter to her. She is in a dilemma. However, she seems quite eager that her husband take her back, which seems quite unlikely though. But, what to do, she is still in love and has hope. I wonder can hope and love ruin somebody like this as well?

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I was back home. Everything seemed so familiar around the house. The walls, the smell, the people. It was like coming back from a sweatshop. Loads of work, meager pay, pathetic conditions et al. Abbu was still in Dubai, drinking. He was supposed to send money which he never did. He hadn’t called this week. What would happen when I tell him that I would never go back to that house again? My mind refused to work. My marriage seemed like a fairytale, like snow white ……. No, like Cinderella’s except the prince charming would never come back looking for me. The house seemed so peaceful. The nagging there was constant. “Your dowry is less”, “You should have given us a scooter instead of that cycle.” My head was exploding. Too many dilemmas in my head. Too many problems and no solutions. I had to take charge of my life. But what if he came back? What if he came back, to take me to his house? No! I will never step into that house again. That old man disgusts me from the very pit of my stomach. I was supposed to be like his daughter. How could somebody abuse their daughter, sexually? My mind fails to understand. And… and to top it all Ravi Ji wouldn’t believe me. He felt that his father couldn’t go wrong, but that? Even after he saw it happen in front of his own eyes!!! My mind fails to understand. I hate that house, I hate the occupants of that house, except Ravi Ji, but only if he leaves that house. But even he has fooled me. Even he told me how he was working even though he wasn’t. They had made me useless and even he had a hand in it. If only he could leave the house to come and stay with me. I will surely forgive him, because I miss him. However he may be… Seems like Ammi is back. She looks exhausted. Anybody would be. She works 14 hours a day. To

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feed herself, her daughter, now both the daughters and that useless lazy oaf, who doesn’t do anything except drink. Even he is cribbing about getting married. I’ll make sure he doesn’t marry until he sorts himself out. Poor Ammi. I need a job, one where I am provided with a good house and a long sleek car. Ha… who would employ a poor seventh grade pass for that job? I feel so lost in this world. I want to learn crochet. But I don’t have the time. I will make garlands instead. They pay according to the garlands you make per hour. I can work more to get more money. Even Munni has to get married. I have to talk to Ammi, I don’t want her making the same mistake they made with me, by not letting me grow up. Ammi tells me that lazy oaf has been harassing her for money. He beats her up to get money so that he can have his drink. In front of me he is like a mouse. These men! When will they ever have sense? Life seems so disgusting. I have to realize all this! These are my problems. Nobody would come forward and help me. I need to take charge of my life. I need to take care of my family. I need to be the man of the house. Even when there are two! Huh funny…

P A R T I C I P A N T S

College of Law & Leagal Studies, IP University • • • • • • • • Reeva Gujral Vasudha Sen Geet Priya Jha Megha Sharma Akshata Goel Neeti Shikha Divya Shree Dhimaan

Jamia Milia Islamia & Ramjas College • • • • • Chandrakesh Bihari Lal Tanvi Jain Himani Singh Shatabdi Chakraborti A. Ravi Kiran

Delhi College of Engineering • • • • • • Aditi Shukla

Lady Shri Ram College-I • • Natasha Jha Shruti Dua Aali Kumar Suman Sharma Adita Singh Shaivya Saxena Shymaine Panday Sameen Siddiqui

Amber jain • Aman Verma • Anuj Dhawan • Nipur Arora • Rajat Vashishta • •

Namrata Pahwa

Rai University • • • • • • • • Devika Dayal Anushree Agarwal Mritunjay Devvrat Abhijeet Chhabra Siddharth Gautam Divya Kothiwal Mansi Goel Saurabh Kumar

MCRC (Jamia Milia Islamia) • • • • • Amit Madhesia Shirley Abraham Stuthi Raghavan Charulata Menon Manak Matiyani

Delhi College of Art • • • • • • • • Sugandha Gaur Shruti Soharia Charu Monga Amandeep Bakshi Rajesh Duggal Surendra Kumar Kapil Kumar Rajiv Chauhan

Lady Shri Ram College-II • • • • • • • • Kanika Samra Sheema Sharma Tenzin Nyima Gayatri Mishra Shivani Kapoor Aashita Tayal Surabhi Sharma Prerna Jain

P A R T I C I P A N T S

Jesus & Mary College • • • • • • • • Ragini Singh Niti Dhingra Parul Bhargava Vanessa Deepanshi Chaudhary Shalini John Ann Philipose Rahi Goswami

Hindu College • • • • • • • Kanika Gupta Chetan Pathi Praveen Prashant Jha Akshay Chopra Pranav Prakash Umaid Vikramaditya Naveen K. R. (Kirorimal College)

St. Stephens College • • • • • • • Nida Ali Saba Joshi Nishita Jha Triranjan Radha krishna Pallavi Raghavan Mathew Mathai Nitin George

National Institute of Mass Communication • • • • • • Arshad Rasool

Shri Venkateshwara College • • Ghazal Javed Siddharth Pathak Ravi Ekka Shalini Rajaram S. Ashwath Venkatesh Shiva Kumar Nandita Gupta Anuja

Jawahar Lal Nehru University • • • • • • Mansi Singh Piyali Sarkar Rukmini Gohain Malini Bhattacharya Ziko Cooshali Samuel

Neha Uppal • Kanika Suri • Harneha Gulati • Nidhi Aggarwal • Tabassum Sofi • •

Probir Gupta an awardee of the 10th Triennale India is an artist and a human rights activist determined to take art to the masses. He combines art practice with community and development work for the marginalised. For the past 8 years he has been deeply involved in sensitizing adolescents against various issues, such as trafficking and sale of organs of infants, child labour and violence against women. He is nominated to the General Council of the Lalit Kala Akademi by the Govt. of India.


				
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