Should I call it an omen that the issue I am invited to edit and one which I gladly accept , runs into so many technical blocks? I would certainly call them signs, but not omen nor would I consider myself marked by fate. I could never do that – self derogate and denigrate that is. Signs of struggle they are no doubt and of tough times, but no, they do not dither me.
Coming back to my being in the editorial chair, I was specifically requested to stress on how it felt or how it might feel to the women out there to be an Indian women. The double tagging did throw me off for a while for I had never thought of nor tried to think in similar lines. But yes How did it feel? Or How would it feel?
How did it feel to be born amidst cheers of “Goddess Lakshmi has arrived”? I guess, elated.
But again what if one had to listen to those snide remarks of “a daughter? They should have aborted it”?
How had I felt when my parents had proudly flaunted my achievements to envious neighbours, stressing on the fact that they were liberal people who never used to differentiate between their sons and daughters?- Lucky , if I remember well.
But how would you feel if in the same breath you are forbidden to stay out late and move
unescorted as because you are a girl?
How does it feel to have coaches, trains, buses specially earmarked for you? How does it feel when people are extra courteous to you just because you belong to the fairer sex? Touched!
On the other hand , how would it feel to be raped, molested, murdered and abused without any hope of justice?
How does it feel to belong to a culture and tradition that believes in respect and protection of their females ? As in Raksha Bandhan? The sacred vows of marriage?- Proud!
And then later how does it feel to see the uglier side of the same traditions and culture? Dowry? Honour killings? Flesh trade?
I guess in the end, all I feel is that the life of a woman is one big irony. And maybe the reason I had never ever given a thought to it (and hence had been blissfully unaware in the truest sense) was because I had always believed in the ‘I’ in me rather than the ‘woman’ within. The day when a woman believes in the ‘I’ in her will be the day she will be truly empowered and every day will be HER day .
Keeping in mind the theme of our issue this time, we have brought before you some very interesting write ups and conversations. We have the super achiever in Sumitra Senapati , from WOW with us this issue and also have featured women who have shared their treasured experiences with us. Hope this issue brightens your coming fortnight and stirs some pleasant memories in your minds.
Assisted by the Editorial Board – Manipadma, Radhika Baruah, Sankhya Samhita and Tinam Borah