Stories about taboo

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: A special thanks to the hands that rock the cradle

Every year the third day of December is marked as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, exclusively reserved to pay tribute to people with disabilities and acknowledge their contributions and achievements. On this prestigious occasion, conventionally, accomplishments of disabled persons are highlighted and cherished: seminars are organised on governmental level as well as by private organisations, television channels air special programs and conduct interviews of distinguished individuals and print media publishes editorials and success stories in recognition of people with disabilities. However, despite suffering from visual impairment and being a vocal proponent of rights of disabled community, I wish to address ...

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They said I was a paedophile, a prostitute, sick in the head, all because I loved a younger man

I was in the 10th grade when a friend of mine told us that she was in love with this guy who was a trainee pilot and was six years older than her. Quite frankly, it did not strike me as anything unusual since my own parents have an age gap of around eight years between them. And if anything, such age differences are deemed desirable by our society at large. I was also fully aware that my friend was mature and knew what she was doing. At no point in that conversation were the intentions of the guy doubted. ...

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Badhaai Ho: One of Bollywood’s finest

There are only a handful of stories that are uncommon and haven’t seen the light of the day in Bollywood. One such unconventional story was written by Akshat Ghildial and directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma, who dared to take on the project and turn it into the much awaited movie Badhaai Ho. With his second major film as the director, Sharma opted for an unusual subject and paired it up with a talented cast that is appropriate for subject-oriented cinema. The movie stars Ayushmann Khurrana, who is already known for selecting unique films, veteran Neeta Gupta, Surekha Sikri and Gajraj Rao, all ...

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Young at heart: Badhaai Ho hilariously tackles old-age pregnancy and intimacy

The trailer of the much awaited Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra starrer, Badhaai Ho, is finally out and surprisingly, it is not what you would have thought. Badhaai Ho, which is basically a Hindi expression to congratulate someone, is not an ordinary movie. I was taken aback by the audacity of the filmmakers who came up with such a novel concept and that too in the world of Bollywood. First off, I would like to establish that this is by far the most hilarious trailer I have watched this year. The trailer begins with Nakul’s (Khurrana) father (Gajraj Rao) hesitantly breaking ...

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Rawalakot, Kashmir is known for its beauty but it should be recognised for its exceptional women

The sound of the phrase, “women are not allowed to work” was so unfamiliar to me, until I reached university. I grew up seeing progressive, working women, like my mother and other relatives, in the society. I am from a small town in Kashmir called Rawalakot, situated in the northern region of Pakistan. This area is known more for its beauty and less for its exceptional women. Women of this area are termed exceptional because despite the existence of an ingrained patriarchal society, they have paved way to be achievers in life. According to the annual socioeconomic report of Kashmir, Azad Jammu Kashmir at ...

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“Mera jism, khandaan ki marzi”

It was a particularly tiring emergency day in the obstetric labour room. I was writing down patient notes on a file when a woman came pleading to me, “Doctor sahibaa, mehrbani karain, mainay jo sign kiyay hain wo kaat dain, hum nay waqfay ka chalaa nae rikhwana.” (Please doctor, nullify the signatures I just did on the file, we refuse to take intrauterine device for contraception.) IUCD (commonly known as Cu-T) is a small contraception device placed in a woman’s uterus to delay the next pregnancy and ensure better health opportunities for both the mother and the child. When I tried to ...

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5 reasons why every parent and child need to stop everything and watch ‘Meri Guriya’

Our local drama industry has been producing hits after hits. Thankfully, now we are not just producing entertaining content but also emphasising on content that educates the masses. We weren’t even done applauding the recently concluded Khaani, when we were graced with another amazing drama called Meri Guriya. The serial brings to light one of the darkest and less-talked about realities of our society: child sexual abuse, rape and murder. Though not the first of its kind, Meri Guriya is inspired by a real story and realistically portrays the aftermath of such a horrendous crime. Brilliantly scripted by Radain Shah and ...

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Back to school: Can ‘Helicopter Eela’ help Kajol get her mojo back?

The last time the audience saw Kajol in a Bollywood movie was in Dilwale, which also starred Shah Rukh Khan. That was three years ago. Since then, Kajol has appeared in one Tamil movie which was a critical failure. She will next be seen in Helicopter Eela, which is being produced by her husband, Ajay Devgn. The trailer of Helicopter Eela released a few days back on Kajol’s birthday. The story revolves around a single mom, Eela (Kajol). Her son suggests that she complete her studies, since she had to leave in between before he was born, and start tutoring ...

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Sanju’s triumph over his addiction should be celebrated, not trivialised

Addiction is a person’s psychological difficulty in the consumption of food, pornography and drugs or substances, among many other things. There are multiple theories to explain why people get addicted and the most plausible one is that addictive behaviours are a combination of heredity and the environment. That’s the reason that many people never get addicted or dependent on drugs and substances despite trying all kinds of stuff multiple times, while others get hooked to these merely in the first few interactions. Being a therapist, I have seen people and families facing all kinds of stigma for having any psychological ...

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Tête-a-tête with Beenish Afreen: A rebel reclaiming her public space, one bike at a time

In this technology-saturated modern biosphere, women motorcycling are still not a welcome sight. In a conservative society like Pakistan, it is unfortunate that people are more vocal and contemptuous about women riding bikes than they are about the harassment they face in their commutes generally. In a traditionalist patriarchal society where domination is believed to be a masculine realm, the general perception still is that women riding bikes and claiming public spaces or independence are against the orthodox status quo. The ill-norms, taboos and misogynistic expectations ballooned in society are holding women back from empowering themselves. Not many women dare to ...

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