From Maya Angelou to Madhuri Dixit: The things you need to read this weekend
While we’ve been battling 47 degree heat and thunderstorms here in Delhi, the country has been getting along with the usual quota of every Amar, Akbar & Anthony declaring “Five Things The Modi Government Needs To Do”; the SP government claiming “we are doing something about it but don’t you dare ask us what” as yet another horrific rape is reported from Uttar Pradesh; Arvind Kejriwal (remember him?) still in and out of of jail….and all the other things that make up a typical day in India. And yes, we deliberately left out talking about cricket.
As we march inexorably towards the burning pit of an Indian summer, here are a few things that provided a welcome respite during the course of the week gone by.
Every Woman is a Madonna:
We’ve got to doff our summer hats to artist and activist Denise Jolly, who got herself photographed on a Brooklyn street in an imitation of Madonna’s famous hitch hiking photograph from 22 years ago. No she isn’t Poonam Pandey – she is a 6 ft tall, 300 lb (136 kg) female, who wants to inspire women all over the world to “actively learn the power in what it is to redefine beauty.” Attagirl!
If you have to read just one article this week, it has to be her explanation of why she posed naked on Huffington Post. Here is an extract:
…The first time I saw a naked body that looked like mine, worn proudly, was just over a year ago. In saying “a body like mine” what I mean is, no matter the steel cage of a corset or the taut elastic of a girdle, my thick curves pour over and out like soft dough. I have always been soft dough. This, just like my worker hands, was bred in me. This, like my strong will and stubborn heart, is indicative of both my light and my survival.
Behind every man, there is a successful woman:
The Better India brings the story of Women Foremost Forever, an initiative by a Bangalore based IT professional to acknowledge the role of women in nation building. It started with a song (watch the video) and now has spread into a full fledged movement. We love their concept of reaching out to children – both boys and girls – and making them aware of the power of women by means of theatre, games and workshops. The best way to change the deeply patriarchal attitudes in our society is to catch them young – so more power to these guys!
The Wisdom of Maya Angelou:
The death of one of the most charismatic women of the 21st century had tributes pouring in, from Oprah to Michelle Obama. It was left to Brainpickings to remind us of Angelou’s powerful legacy by sharing two of her less talked about works – her powerfully simply poem for children appropriatedly titled Life Doesn’t Frighten Me and a collection of 28 short essays collected as Letter to My Daughter.
I am convinced that most people do not grow up … our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.
The Rape Joke:
Patricia Lockwood is out with a new book of poetry – Motherland Fatherland Homosexualand (Poets, Penguins). Why is that important you ask us, only because she wrote what was possible one of our favourite poems a year back. A poem we wis every idiot who refers to rape as a “social crime”, or casually mentions how he was “raped at work”, or how she feels “raped by the paparazzi“, would read. Read the whole thing here.
The rape joke is that you were 19 years old.
The rape joke is that he was your boyfriend.
The rape joke it wore a goatee. A goatee.
Imagine the rape joke looking in the mirror, perfectly reflecting back itself, and grooming itself to look more like a rape joke. “Ahhhh,” it thinks. “Yes. A goatee.”
Fan Boy Worshipping On The Altar of Madhuri:
And finally, Raja Sen completes Ten Years at Rediff! Ten Years of sometimes-incisive, sometimes-ridiculous reviews, almost all of which riled the Rediff commentators into saying “Raja Sen, you make a movie first then you talk.” and “This man did not like Three Idiots. He is rubbish“
While we don’t agree with all of his work, this profile of Madhuri Dixit is a thing of beauty. We’ve always had a thing for that lovely smile but never wanted to share a drink with her more than we do now after finding out that she’s a fellow trekkie!
“Do you watch Star Trek at all?” she asked, a raised eyebrow topping that smile, acutely aware her half-man half-machine metaphor may be lost on a non-Trekkie. “So cyborgs just come and assimilate people into their own culture, turn them into half-men half-robots and that’s it. So they’re one, they think as one. But if you really want to live in a world as one and yet have your identity, then your culture is something that you uphold because that will give you identity.”
Have a great weekend girls! Watch The World Before Her, listen to some wonderful music and dance the nights away. See you Monday!!!
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