Feminism India

Why We're Here

Hi. We meet again on the day before the launch of our next episode. For the past 6 weeks, Meenal and I have been talking about big, BIG topics with you guys. We discussed the obsession of our generation with the term “love” marriage, the common fallacies about marriage in India, the plight of the younger daughter who gets left behind once an older female child elopes from the family, the second most common obsession of our country in terms of education and career, the basic differences between a western and Indian school system, and the career choices available to the budding generations of our country. Phew! Like I said, around 50 minutes each on all those big, BIG topics.

So this week, we decided to let our hair down - quite literally in Meenal’s case. On a related note, I request Ms Meenal Viz to please explain how she gets all that sportsing done with all her Desi long hair.

Meenal: My long hair is a part of my personality, I've spent years searching for the perfect shampoo and have been conditioning it thoroughly to give it a luscious, wavy look. Just kidding, I'm a poor student with no money for fancy haircuts so, just like your annoying hourly phone calls, I deal with it. (BURRRRN)

But coming back to the point, we realise that a lot of you don’t know much about us except from our ‘About’ page, if you’ve read it. It pleases me immensely that a lot of you guys join us every week from my blog, 22 Nelson Street. Thank you for that. But it delights me even more to know that a good chunk of you found us organically, and even stuck around. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, for that!

I was born in the year 1991 and Meenal was born in...doesn’t matter. I don’t wish to bore you by repeating the things that you might already know from our descriptions and maybe, even from my blog. The purpose of this piece right before the release of an episode that we’re both really looking forward to sharing with you guys is to tell you about our vision and purpose. We’re two ordinary girls with extraordinary dreams. Big, BIG dreams. We have experiences to share based on our very different upbringings in two completely different settings, and despite how those experiences made us feel at the time, we thank our stars everyday for them. For, without those experiences, we would never feel this strongly about the things we discuss on this platform. And without this discussion, we’d never be able to do the good that we intend to do with our voices.

We feel that the one thing lacking in an Indian home is communication. People hardly ever talk about feelings. Sex and reproduction is out of the question. Girls grow into their twenties without ever realising that they have an extra opening down there and that they don't in fact poop their babies out. Boys grow up believing that boobs are two perfect hemispheres of flesh that defy the forces of gravity, thanks to all the porn they have to resort to in order to “educate” themselves on that tale of the birds and the bees. Homosexuals are asked to snap out of it, unhappy couples are asked to deal with it, rape victims are asked to feel ashamed of it, and abused children are asked to get over it. In fact, a dear friend even pointed out on her blog that people seem to be getting drunk a lot around kids but not even once does an adult discuss a hangover in the presence of a child. India lacks a discussion. Indian families lack basic intimate conversations. No one is talking. No one is communicating.

So since both Meenal and I have big mouths, little shame and incredibly thick skins, we decided to do all the talking for our generation. Are you mad at your jobless aunt for trying to sabotage your wedding? Tell us about it, but first listen to what we’ve already said about it. Are you a wildlife photographer stuck in a boring desk job? First watch the movie 3 Idiots and then listen to our podcast because you’re not alone. Are you 11 years old and have no clue how babies are born? Worry not, child. We’re gonna tell you all about it.

But we don’t intend to stop there. We aim to build a community. We aim to bring people together. We aim to encourage at least this generation to - for the love of GOD - talk. Like Meenal mentioned more than once on the podcast, it’s not about schooling, it’s all about educating. Because somehow, ‘educated’ Indian men and women were blinded by hate and proceeded to slaughter families that were accused of consuming beef. Because somehow, many woke up after Brexit to regret their choices as the realisation sunk in that the promises made to them were lies. Because somehow, the majority of the US population seems completely okay with electing a man who is mired in controversies (and is even being called into federal court in proceedings relating to allegations of rape of an underage girl), as their President.

So if you want to be a part of this community and it’s conversations, don’t forget to subscribe here. Every week, we share with you one podcast episode and two related blog posts. Be sure to subscribe to us and contribute to our discussions. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, GooglePlus and Youtube. I promise to share a picture of Meenal’s toothy smile, complete with those braces if you like, follow and subscribe. See you tomorrow! Bai-Shai!

Ankita Narayan

Edinburgh, Scotland | http://ankita.ink/

I'm a blogger, podcaster, wife and feminist. I record snippets from my life on my blog, tackle social issues on my podcast and work with my team of fellow feminists in this space.