Slums are the biggest and cheapest vote banks. Minority, caste, regional or the intellectual vote banks come at a price, often a steep one. A slum dweller on the other hand will take a thousand rupees or less and/or a bottle of booze to press the button on the EVM.
We had done extensive research about job interviews by turning to our primary source of information — Hindi movies. What we saw reassured us greatly. All one had to do was to sit in a cabin and sign some papers after getting selected! That was what Jeetendra did in the movie.
Here is to the hero of our times, the man who effortlessly navigated through the confusing and confounding times when everything around us was changing. And not just that, he managed to keep us grounded too, giving us an identity when many were going through an identity crisis.
If you are an Indian, you can celebrate New Year’s Day several times a year, for, every region and state celebrates it on different days. Each one has a different name and is also celebrated in different ways. But the joy and hope of an unfolding new year is common to all.
I often think of how we circumscribe our own lives and define our roles – the different hats we juggle expertly as women. As an expression, donning different hats is a great one, but when I think about roles we take up in life, I feel ‘wearing different shoes’ is actually a better analogy.
The L&M saw how hassled I was and decided to pitch in with other things without being told — like cleaning the house. I made the tactical blunder of telling him not ask me where to put what and use his discretion while doing it.
The concerns affecting us all at that time were very similar. So whatever social inequities existed vis-à-vis women applied to all classes cutting across religions and regions. We were all fighting for the same things: a better life, better sanitation, better education and better future, right to land and property, and a say in the patriarchal system of society.
Ironically even as many of us scorned fashion and make-up and the use of feminine charms to get noticed, the beauty pageant scene also flourished in tandem. So we had girls aspiring to become beauty queens and willing to be judged on the basis of their vital statistics and pearly smiles.