The Help by Kathryn Stockett

21st century. Freedom of speech. Equal human rights. No racism (at least it is frowned upon, anyway!).

Now, rewind a bit and enter the world of Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. A time where black maids raised up white babies, though they weren’t trusted-‘ not to steal the silver’ .

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is an extra ordinary story told by three extra ordinary women, who live in a time they are much ahead of.

The story starts by showing the two very different worlds of ‘The help’ (the colored women) and the ‘jobless, stylish, league ladies’ (the white women) co-existing together in a small town in Mississippi.

The joining link between these two worlds was one of the main protagonists- Miss Skeeter- the white, aspiring writer raised by black maids all her life.

Skeeter always wanted to write something that people really needed to read about. So, in a time where even speaking to a black person was shunned upon, she decided to team up with two black women (Aibileen and Minny) and write about the point of view of ‘the help’.

In this dark, hard hitting tale of the past, Stockett re-explores history with three strong women.

Women, who dared to break the unfair, unspoken rules in search of a truth, they had been questioning their entire lives.

Women who risked their lives to speak out against injustice.

Women who showed us what courage is, and the impact it can have and finally, women who taught us the power of unity and friendship.

Through The Help, Stockett not only changed the lives the people in the book but also those of its readers as it forces one to think about the ignorance we practice on the help around us even today. It forces us to realize that the evil of ‘slavery’ still exists and that it is finally time for us to start changing that.

This deeply moving novel teaches us to ultimately respect everyone and anyone around us irrespective of their class, caste, gender or color.  So it’s a must read for both racists and anti-racists out there, so they can either feel the shame or the pride they deserve.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest – A Critical Reading

//ws-in.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=IN&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=n0f1-21&marketplace=amazon&region=IN&placement=8184770928&asins=8184770928&linkId=f03581faacf846366f3c12dff4576534&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff

The Tempest was Shakespeare’s last play via which he bid adieu to the stage. It is considered to be one of his shortest plays ever written. But, as they say – small but extremely influential. The Tempest was written in 1610-11. And, like his other plays, Shakespeare always had a lot to comment upon through his plays. We saw in Othello, how Shakespeare touched the topic of interracial marriage or in Hamlet, he talked about the impermanence of life, revenge, Karma, etc. Continue reading “Shakespeare’s The Tempest – A Critical Reading”

Is motherhood a necessity or a choice?

In today’s world of gender equality and feminism, are women empowered enough to decide whether to become a mother or not? Is motherhood a necessity or a choice?

You must be familiar with the saying that the motherhood completes a woman. It is a patriarchal concept which is subtly & slyly embedded in the mentality of both men & women. It is so ingeniously etched in our minds that any woman opposing it is considered to be an outcast. Patriarchy makes sure that every girl is fed with this idea from the very beginning.

How the Patriarchal Tactics Work?

The concept of motherhood is introduced to the girls at the very tender age. It is introduced in the format of a game play. The mother-daughter game play. We see how small girls are given baby toys and are expected to take care of them like a mother does. And, without knowing the concept of a mandatory motherhood is placed in their psychology.

Due to this kind of upbringing, no girl ever questions the idea of motherhood. Patriarchy is so brilliant at controlling women behaviour and female fecundity that even women, inadvertently, become enemies of one other. It is so powerful that it makes women turn against each other if the patriarchal codes are disobeyed.

When certain women, after marriage, oppose the idea of pregnancy, they are either threatened with the concept of divorce or even ostracized from the society completely. This, I shall remind you again, is done by women who act as the perpetrators of patriarchy. It is almost like the idea of motherhood is shown as a natural/necessary phenomenon and not as a choice because of our beloved patriarchy.

I definitely oppose this idea of an obligatory motherhood. I sincerely believe in letting women decide what they want to do with their bodies. Do you agree with me or have some opinions to share? Do let me know your thoughts through your valuable comments!

A Short Interview on Feminism

A short interview of mine, taken by Abi, about the commonality of prevalent myths surrounding feminism in both USA and India!

Hey folks,

I’m very excited to share with you, a short interview of mine taken by Abi about #feminism. So, as you guys know, that a few days ago I posted a blog post under the topic –Exploding the myths about feminism – this interview is an elaboration of that.

After I posted that blog post, I got a mail from the team of ‘Sparemin’ ( it’s a free app built to provide a wonderful platform to connect to people worlwide and talk on trending topics) and they asked me to do a mini podcast session with Abi.

So, we managed our time since she is from Los Angeles and I’m from India, and we talked about how there is a common thread of myths prevalent in US as well as in India (basically, around the globe).

I’m sharing the link of our conversation below, please listen to it by simply downloading the app and share your views about it, in the comments section below 🙂

Cheers!

http://share.sparemin.com/recording-4044

Also, guys, this is my profile link on Sparemin. You can connect with me here (free calls) and we can discuss about novels, blogs or can even have casual talks 😀

http://share.sparemin.com/preet_kaur

Exploding the Myths about ‘Feminism’!

Get a clear understanding of what ‘Feminism’ really means.

We all have been listening and even debating a lot about this term called ‘Feminism‘ since so many years, especially, it has gained a lot of momentum nowadays. These days, we try to scrutinize almost every issue through the lens of feminism, be it entertainment sector, education sector or political sector (which is definitely a good thing to do). Everybody is supporting this radical movement and are trying to associate or have already associated themselves with the idea of being a feminist. But when asked what the term means, people often come up with lame answers and they don’t even know what it really signifies.

This word has become like a fashion statement, especially for girls and a reason for boys to shun girls down as if they are breaking up because you are too much of a feminist (WTF, I know). People have a lot of myths about this term, ‘Feminism’ and it is extremely dangerous to propagate feminist ideas without even having a complete knowledge about it. Hence, I have decided to explode some myths about feminism in this article, so that, next time you say you are a feminist, you’re aware what you are uttering.

Main Agenda – Equality (Not Feminism as an opposite of Patriarchy)

Feminism began as a movement to give equal voting, property and educational rights to women as they were being given to men. The agenda of this movement has always been – Equality. Feminists wanted and still want an egalitarian society, where both the sexes will be equal. A society devoid of gender biasness; a society where neither gender has an upper hand over the other. To believe Feminism to be an opposite of Patriarchy (a social system dominated by men where women are believed to be an inferior sex) is a myth that needs to be exploded. Feminists are equally concerned with the societal pressures suffered by men ( for eg – should have strong financial status, well-built, shouldn’t cry, etc). There is no upper hand which feminists are seeking over patriarchs, if this would be the case, then what difference will remain between Patriarchy and Feminism? We will simply be substituting one system of domination with the other. Thus, people need to know that feminists do not believe in the extinction of entire race of men (and if you were believing this concept till now, then you are wrong my friend, correct your facts).

Anybody (any gender) can be a feminist!

This is the biggest myth surrounding this term! Feminism is not a prerogative of only ‘women’, anybody can be a feminist, it doesn’t matter which sex you belong to. If you are a guy and you support equality of sexes and totally believe that women should have as much rights (related to freedom, education, etc.) as men have then you can also be a feminist. Even there are cases where certain women are not feminists; they prefer Patriarchy, they prefer men dominating them. Hence, either of the sexes can be the supporters of Patriarchy or Feminism. Being born as a girl doesn’t make you a feminist.

So, these are two of the biggest myths which surround this term of ‘Feminism’ and are misleading many people in believing things which are not even related to it. I hope this article helps in clearing your myths about this term, so that, you can proudly state why you support ‘Feminism’.