We were no longer who we were before colonisation; and we could not go back there, no matter how hard we tried. We were different peoples now.
The meticulous weaving of their poetry rendered me breathless and left me in wonderment at the powerful hold that poetry has over our minds.
The Gujarati community has a long tradition of seafaring and a history of immigration to foreign lands. The mercantile culture resulted naturally from the Indian state’s proximity to the Arabian Sea. Although air travel had replaced sea travel by the time I was born, this innate restlessness I feel to explore new lands is something that is irrevocably embedded in me.
Subhas Chandra Bose was the most celebrated freedom fighter and charismatic influencer of the youth in India during the freedom struggle. His patriotism and obdurate refusal to stop till he achieved his desired goals has made him a patriotic hero. Due to his nationalistic temperament and leadership capabilities, Mahatma Gandhi was the first to address him as Netaji Respected Leader. Netaji was also the first to accost Gandhiji with the title ‘Father of the Nation’.
It began with Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury who pioneered the art of producing children’s literature. His son, Sukumar Ray, then chose to carry forward his father’s legacy with his innovative writing style that flabbergasted children. Then came his son, Satyajit Ray, with a creative mind that appealed to children as well as adults and gave a new direction to The Ray Legacy.
Brahmavadini was the title attributed to women scholars, who dedicated their lives to the pursuit of knowledge and the study of the Vedas. Some were unmarried, living as ascetics and independent of their fathers, brothers or male counterparts. They were paragons of intellectual proficiency, natural philosophy and spiritual enlightenment. They were Rishikis–female sages–in their own right and were revered as teachers, doctors and theorists.
In Ancient India, the practice of Swayamvara or self-chosen groom was a significant ritual. A young woman of marriageable age, belonging to a noble family, had the right to choose her own spouse in the presence of her parents and family members. The intention of the ritual clearly signifies the ideals of women empowerment in a forgotten age and time.
“A Dream in Marble, designed by the Fairies and finished by Jewellers.” The line long learnt came back to my mind at the thought of visiting the Taj Mahal. Throughout my childhood, I had only heard stories about it and seen pictures in my history books. It was beyond my imagination that one day we would actually visit one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. However, it’s easier said than done.
In the midst of a modern world that places men at the epicentre, histories tell stories of a time when we once followed the footsteps of women. Prior to the 20th century, matrilineality had a strong foothold in Kerala: a state on the southwestern coast of India.
For a long time, Tagore wasn’t allowed to leave the premises of his house. But he wanted to see the outside world. When someone visited their house, young Tagore asked them to narrate stories of the world outside. The more he heard, the more his desire rose. Yet, there was no escape.