Navratri is a 9-day Indian festival that involves the worship of the feminine spirit, power and divinity. Specific colours are symbolic of the rituals associated with each day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if India respected its women the way we worship our goddesses? Here is the first of a 9-part series that aims to celebrate women through the 9 colours of Navratri. These are simple examples that probably capture a very very small percentage of the countless challenges that women face on a daily basis in our country.
Day 3: Today’s colour is grey. For women who’ve had to fight unimaginably hard battles and are still fighting for justice.
Day 4: Today’s colour is orange. For all the women (especially domestic helps) who work odd jobs and long hours to be able to support their families and afford their kids an education. I think we have a lot to learn from this country’s fiercely strong didis/akkas/bais.
In some parts of India, widows are isolated from society and abandoned by their families. Apart from wearing only white and being forbidden to participate in festivals, in extreme cases, widows are also to shave their heads and suffer psychological abuse. Last year, thousands of widowed women, who typically dress in white, gathered in Vrindavan to celebrate Holi, breaking a 400 year old taboo. While these traditions are changing in many parts of India, this comic is for all those women who’re still seeking acceptance, and more importantly, fighting for a life of dignity.
Day 8: Today’s colour is pink. Women everywhere think negative thoughts about themselves – I come across so many women who think they’re too fat, too thin, too short, too lanky — there is always something wrong. We try on a dress, and even if somebody tells us we look fabulous, we want to think otherwise. We seem to obsess when we look into the mirror. I’ve figured that the most amazing feeling in the world is to look into the mirror and see somebody who’s beautiful, confident and ready to take on the day. That in itself is most battles won 🙂
It was a humbling experience to be part of TEDx Pune, where I spoke about the power of simplicity in visual storytelling. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world started communicating using stick figures? With such a non-descript visual tool, you can remove the baggage of identity and get back to simple caveman drawings.
At the event, I had the opportunity to meet some really brilliant individuals who are impacting so many lives through what they do. The TEDx team was incredibly supportive and worked hard to pull off a fantastic event. All in all, it was loads of fun! I didn’t say anything stupid on stage (I think) and I didn’t trip on the wires so very happy with how it went off.