American author and social activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin said,
“When men are oppressed, it’s a tragedy. When women are oppressed, it’s tradition”.
Yet, there are women who chose not to bear this burden of oppression. There are women who stood up, said “no” and startled the world. There are women whose voice broke the glass ceiling so that an uninterrupted sun can kiss their forehead. Not only women, but people from every sex, gender, and community also came to stand with them. This journey was not easy, neither it has ended. We will capture the different moods of this journey, different shades of expressions, different highs and different lows of women in the cover-story of this edition.
“I am not one and simple, but complex and many.”
So said Virginia Woolf, on the behalf of all women. Women are the most beautifully complex creation of this universe. Of course, one can argue that every person has different layers withinhim, so everyone is, in a sense,
many’. We are not denying that point. Neither are we here to establish female superiority over the other existing sexes. Rather we are here to read between the lines that a woman’s face holds. The face often speaks what the tongue can not utter. Discover the silenced sounds through navarasa. ‘multiple and
If you look at a face of a woman, you’ll find several untold stories. There will be the story of the first love that she carries within, the story of laughter and sorrow that she secretly recalls in the dusk of the spring, story of anger and courage that broke the glass ceiling of obstacles, story of discovering the peace when the sky is coming through the broken glass. If you take these fragments and make a collage, you might discover the greatest art of all time!
For ages, the oppressed people, especially the women, are going through a journey of shadow fighting. We, the women, have allowed men to be men and let ourselves become what we are today. Every time, a woman remained silent before patriarchy’s shouting face, even knowing that she had done nothing wrong, we allowed us the feeble position. That is why, in most of the paintings of the old and medieval ages, women have portrayed mainly in Karuna rasa, the emotion of sorrow. Even in the literature or plays, we can see most of the heroines are bearing a tragic fate and highlighting the Karuna rasa throughout their lives.
However, history never remained the same. There is another side of a coin, and that side showed us women who are reigning a country. Queens like Elizabeth I, or Sultana Razia were also women of medieval age. But, when we remember them- the rasa that comes to our mind is the Verra. Women who fought for their own freedom, or the freedom of their motherland highlights the Rudra rasa and to some extent the Bhayanak rasa. Shringara and Hasya is most commonly found rasas in women- they are the secret charm. And, Shantha rasa is like the color white. It is the state when our mind has reached a realm of peace beyond the other rasas.
Which rasa dominates a woman? Or, which rasa makes a woman more attractive? The answer is ALL. Women are not the embodiment of love and beauty (Shringara) only, they equally embody anger, fear, wonder, and every other rasas. They struggle, they fail, they learn and maybe again fail in a different way. But they never stop. There is no final point for us as far as we are breathing. Above all, irrespective of our sex, gender, country, or language- we are all trying to find the ninth rasa, peace. The peace is like the color white. It does not absorb the tone of any particular rasa, and reflects all colors. And, you know where to find this color… Deep within our hearts.
Dear woman, be brave enough to speak for yourself when you’re angry or facing any injustice. It takes a lot more courage to express the fear, and ask for help. Have that courage. Even let the world see the ‘bibhatsya’ side of you. You are not meant to be a princess from a land of pink. You are as real as mother earth. Stand boldly, and express every emotion that comes to you.
Know your worth, and let the world know it. Lastly, remember the words of Ava Duvernay, the American filmmaker:
“Ignore the glass ceiling and do your work. If you’re focusing on the glass ceiling, focusing on what you don’t have, focusing on the limitations, then you will be limited.”