I was out for coffee a few days ago with a friend when I saw a man on a motorbike on the road, stealing glances at me at regular intervals. I wasn’t sure what was going on, so I decided to ignore. From my peripheral vision, I did look at him again, and again, for a while — until I realised what was happening.

He was masturbating. In public. While my friend suggested we leave, I stayed for a few minutes. I looked him in the eye, took my phone out and started recording. He left immediately.

While on our…

While the country still grapples with a pandemic and the school-going children sitting at home, some learning online and the others not being able to afford it, India welcomed the National Education Policy in July 2020. One of the major problems that formal education in India faces is the quantity and quality of teachers. While the National Education Policy made some bold changes in school education, it has also kept in mind the teachers and strived to make their lives less miserable.

After suggesting structural and administrative reforms, it is clear that the students will now be experiencing something completely…

About eight months ago, for the first time I tried a menstrual cup. My life hasn’t been the same since then. It was a tough decision for me to switch from sanitary pads to menstrual cups, even at the age of 26, but I took that leap anyway.

My first interaction about periods was with my mother, during menarche. She explained to me what periods were and how to deal with them through menstrual products. The first product that I was given (because can you explore menstrual products by yourself that age!?) was a sanitary pad, as standard as it…

“I was always a hairy girl. In school, I was called names and compared to boys because girls are generally not that hairy. Most night, I would cry myself to sleep. Neighbours and relatives would ask my parents to take me to a doctor and get checked because ‘girls are never so hairy’ and ‘it’s abnormal’. I don’t want anyone else to go through this,” says Shruthi, when asked if she encountered gender stereotypes in her childhood.

With Elon Musk and Grimes announcing that they plan to raise their child X Ӕ A-12 in a gender-neutral way, there have been…

This morning I woke up to many of my friends sharing stories of something called Bois Locker Room. It was an extremely disturbing thing to see how hundreds of school-going boys had made a private group on Instagram, explicitly to share photos of girls, and passing sleazy comments on them. This is one of the many incidents that show what is wrong with us as a society, we who call ourselves ‘well-educated’.

In a chat transcript that was almost a hundred pages long, the boys are seen making comments about girls’ breasts, their figures, body shaming. Words like gang rape…

While we are in self-quarantine in the times of novel Coronavirus, one of my favourite things to do is to watch a famous American sitcom for the 51436384 thtime. It’s the one thing I watch on Netflix, even though I bought the subscription to watch movies and documentaries. YES, I AM TALKING ABOUT F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

In addition to defining wit, sarcasm, and the very ideas of friendship, there are other things that the show did subtly (or not) which we seldom notice. In my opinion, F.R.I.E.N.D.S was way ahead of its time — progressive and liberal, something that the India in…

While we are proud to be progressing towards a ‘modern’ society, a faction of India is still struggling to separate virtues with menstruation. The conversations are mostly kept in the dark, covered — like the packet of sanitary pads that the chemist hands over in a black cover.

When a girl is in the ages 11 and 15, she goes through what could be called one of the most crucial times of her lifetime — menarche. This is when she realises that her body leaks blood, 5 days in a month. It affects her in a number of ways, hence…

A Book Review

The Evil of Communalism

Image by Tanisha Venkani

Lajja — The Evil of Communalism

This book took me back to a line from Ravish Kumar’s The Free Voice that says “In the drawing rooms of the elite, communal talk is already like a dessert after a good meal.” This line has become more relatable and has been reinforced after completing this book.

Of late, a lot of political narratives involve religious ideologies and religion-based atrocities. On the one hand, there are all kinds of accounts around social issues of oppression and human rights violations. One of the important points of discussion has also been the interference of state…

A Book Review

An exploration of country values and pure journalism

Photograph by Tanisha Venkani

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Where’s Democracy After all?

A few days ago, Rahul Bajaj expressed his concern over how the incumbent government is creating an atmosphere of fear in the country, and in just two hours, people on Twitter started targeting the industrialist over his remark, some saying that he is biased in his political leanings.

India is currently witnessing a nationwide protest regarding a certain act, and the youth of the country have come to the streets as an act of resistance and agitation.

Mr. Bajaj is not the only one who feels this way, nor are the students. Considered one of the finest and bravest journalists…

A few weeks ago, I was in Uttarakhand in India trying to understand the present condition of the public education system there. While interacting with bureaucrats, teachers, and the community and asking them about power differentials between the two genders, I heard from almost everybody that there is no difference practised between the two genders.

However, as I looked closely, the situation changed.

I read a little about the same situation and realised it is not just limited to one state, but a commonplace of the entire nation.

Tanisha Venkani

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