Ankur Narang Bhatnagar
Ankur Narang Bhatnagar lives in Jabalpur. She completed her M Phil in English Literature and went on to work at the Fullerton India Credit Company. When she quit in 2012, she held the position of Location Manager. Ankur is currently occupied with the upbringing of her one year old daughter, Amaaya.
What are your views on feminism?
Feminism to me, unlike it’s dictionary meaning is not just a movement, or an ideology that needs to be established or used as a tool to facilitate a woman’s place into this world. Rather it is the Best Celebration one can have of that profound Energy which every single Woman on this planet is born and endowed with… ‘Power ‘not just in the physical sense but that rare Power of the Liberated Heart, Mind, Body and the Spirit !! Feminism to me is- Pride.. a sense of Being… a State of Existence which is so exotically layered that mystics, writers, philosophers, artists and scholars have not been able to explain it in its full measure across centuries. It is Wisdom, Grace, Beauty, Color and the Vibrancy of Life. A Woman encounters Challenges/Questions/Apprehensions on her very being/her choices/her wishes and desires since very early in life, she remains marginalized by a largely male dominated set up but there’s something in her soul that sustains her through every single of those denials that life, people, conventions and society send her way. For that, she is Special! Both God and Nature outdid themselves when they created ‘Woman’… for she is the creator of Life and capable of sustaining that miracle on a day to day basis ever after. She has enough strength in her to choose and fight her own battles on societal pressures, restrictive mindsets and institutional hurdles and win them too! Feminine energy is almost a synonym of that Divine Energy that knows no bounds, remains unexplained and yet exudes such power and influence it almost seems to be holding the entire world together by its sheer magnetism and charm.
If there was a code of conduct for women what according to you should be the rules?
Be there … Don’t ever let Time, Space or Distance come in between
Don’t Judge one another
Let go offand Crazy petty Expectations and Forgive easily
Don’t Compete…Compliment instead
Be honestly Neurotic and Crazy when around your girl friends. It is the most soul satisfying thing you’ll ever know in your life!! !
Tell me about one woman who has inspired you ?
If I were to name just one woman out of so many that have touched my life and enriched it beyond measure I would be unduly differentiating between them. To list a few, my maternal grand mother ( whom I never got around to see because she passed away, well before I was born) is perhaps the first woman who has inspired me…in her ability to stay humble, to be there for people despite her own limitations and to smile even when bogged down by life and circumstances. The second woman to make the most profound impact on me would be my own mother. She remains undaunted through whatever life has sent her way! She possesses a will power so strong she could turn the worst coming towards her and her children away!! She is a wonderful human being with a heart of gold always willing to cast its shiny stardust on those who happen to touch her life! I am inspired by some friends of mine who perhaps did not get the best of childhoods/upbringing either materially or emotionally, but who have not let that embitter them from becoming great human beings. They enrich my life with their innate goodness and warmth and prove that no matter what your past and its limitations have been, it is the present that matters and needs to be lived well and with dignity!! Despite coming from deficient backgrounds these women have ensured they gave me the best of their love and friendship and always had my back through thick and thin. On a broader level, a woman of substance I remain inspired with is Maya Angelou.People who read her work and know her life story would know why she remains an endearing inspiration to many. Closer to home, I guess it would have to be Ela Bhatt (pioneer in starting the Self Employed Women Association, SEWA), Chanda Kochar- MD and CEO ICICI Bank and Nirupama Rao, India’s first full term Foreign Secretary and the first female spokes person for the Ministry of External Affairs.
The Feminine Code By Ankur.
© text+photo-Ankur Narang Bhatia.
Monica Singh is a passionate, motivational woman who currently studies Fashion Marketing at Parsons. Her vivacity is so infectious that on meeting her you forget about the tumultuous life she has lived. She is not a victim but an acid attack survivor and what a firework she is!
What is your view on feminism?
“Feminism” is so different from just saying – “I am a Feminist”. It’s a strong word to describe your power- to become equal to man, with indefinite power of grace and strength. I am a feminist myself, but I don’t want to take the place of a man by up ruling their duties. Feminism is part of every women. But most of us forget its strength or they don’t realize it. It’s not a word to express women’s delicacy and irrevocably use it for wrong reasons. It’s unidentified source of energy which is most beautiful and powerful in its own way.
If you had to form a female code what would it be?
I would say that “Wo-code” should be knowing yourself and having complete control over your thoughts and mind. There would be no code as such, since we are living with unintentional disciplinary in our own life, already. But I always prevent through my mind as a “Man” can do attitude towards life. We have women around the globe who are going through different changes in their lives and creating new rules for their lives. It’s all subjective. If every country’s women can have their own code of conduct. Then why we are trying to develop one “code of conduct” which cannot apply on everyone. However, everyone has one thing is common -a Maternal Heart to prevent all negativity from their life. But they should start taking psychological control too. Not to be afraid of men and social rules. And instead of thinking about others and loving others- THEY SHOULD LOVE THEMSELVES, first.
Who are the women who have inspired you?
If I say big names like “MOTHER TERESA”, MARY KOM or MANY MORE , that is not enough. EVERY Decade or I would say every era there is/was at least one woman who proved and brought change in our lives. The names I mentioned cannot imply to our current situation. So the Question is who can be the “one woman” who inspired me most – My mother?? I guess part of my life she inspired me. But I cannot ignore other women who came into my life such as- my professors, girls I met during my campaign, news reporters who believed in me, a girl who recognized me in the crowd and ask me to give her an autograph and take a picture. There are many who keep inspiring me all the time. It’s on me now, who I pick for my next inspiration to achieve my dreams, further.
The Feminine Code (Wo-Code) by Monica.
To know more about Monica read – https://a100reflections.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/monica-2/
Tripti Singh is a young, introverted student of Fashion Styling at PAF.
Feminism is the soul of a lady. A mother, a sister, a teacher who have great stamina to defeat in battle, as well as to inspire for good reasons. A woman has the feature to make anyone’s beautiful just instead of it she wants respect and love!
The set of rules which I will make for woman is just to let her live freely without
showing any kind of partiality. The second rule is that there should be no rules.
A woman who has inspired me is Kalpana Chawla. I admire her for her talent, courage as well as for her dedication to her work. She inspired me while she was alive and even when she’s no more.
The Feminine Code By Tripti Singh
© Photo and text-Tripti Singh.
Imrita Chhabra is a senior visualiser at Talenthouse. Born and brought up in Jammu, she currently resides in Mumbai.
What are your views on feminism?
Feminism seems to carry such mixed sentiments. If you are labelled feminist you are considered anti-men. I don’t hate men or want to make them my slave. I believe in equal rights for men and women. If this is how you define feminism, I am a feminist. If it’s only about women then I’m not a feminist. I feel both men and women face inequality. It just depends on which side of the spectrum you are. In fact we need to fight for equality for everyone whether you are a MAN or a WOMAN. I have seen women playing feminism card as per their convenience. When it comes to paying bills or spending their salary on things other than the personal expenditure, Oh it’s my husband’s responsibility to take care of it. After all he is the man of the house, why should I pay for it? But yeah when it comes to household chores my husband should help equally. Why because we are equal. Really ??? I pity the guy here, He is the victim here. On the other hand I have seen men who are jerks, have no respect for women whatsoever. There are women who are not allowed to work even though they are more qualified than their husbands because it’s their duty to take care of kids and do the household work. Some of them are not allowed to talk to any male members of the family, keep their face covered all the time. That’s the kind of women we need to fight for. Here again the women faces injustice not only from the men but also from the women. So who do be blame here? So let’s make this year a FEMINISM A FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF ALL GENDERS.
If there was a code of conduct for women what according to you should be the rules?
I feel people around us already have so many expectations and rules for us that we don’t need more. I want all women to forget all the rules, be compassionate, be classy, love yourself and follow your dreams. Don’t just LIVE be ALIVE.
Tell me about one woman who has inspired you?
Many women have inspired me not just one. Some for their courage, some for their talent and some for their attitude. But one woman who has inspired me the most is my MOTHER. I admire her for her patience, selfless love and courage. She has been my friend, my pillar of strength. Sometimes she just amazes me and I wish I could be half the women she is.
Shruti Chhabra is a Masters in Psychology with more than a decade of experience in the HR consulting space. She has recently launched her venture Saina Human Capital Advisory Services as a Sole Proprietary.
What are your views on feminism?
Feminism in my view is more about liberation and equality of both genders in various aspects of life. One needs to see a woman as a human being first and treat them with all fairness while taking decisions like equal pay, roles and responsibilities etc. The attitude that ” she wont be able to manage it” or “the weaker sex” is something that goes beyond me and I feel disheartened to deal with. Today in a developing country like ours, where men and women are equally educated, work equal number of hours and occupy similar positions in organisations, contribute almost equally to running the household; then why the discrimination.To sum it up both men and women should be seen as equal on a common war footing and play their game to win and meet their end goal.
If you had to make a female code what would it entail?
I dont believe in a code of conduct for women if I am saying that both genders should be treated at par.
A woman you admire?
One women who has inspired me is a “women of substance”. She has gone through really hard times both professionally and personally but kept going strong and worked fearlessly and persistently. Today she runs a company successfully and won many awards and has deep credits to herself; in addition to raising her child independently without compromising on the parenting bit and playing a dual role of both parents when her child needed it the most. I see her as an all rounder who has worn different hats at different times to motivate and drive subordinates; colleagues; her child; parents and meet their expectations without a crib.
The Feminine Code by Shruti.
Avleen Khokhar, wears many hats. She is a well reputed cosmetologist, mind therapist and spiritual counselor. Avleen, has been the recipient of many awards. A few months back she received a Woman of Substance Award in the field of Art and Beauty.
A woman is nurturer and man is provider. A woman must always remember her basic nature to nurture what ever she does. Her work, her family, her surroundings must be nurtured and embraced. Feminism is not to be validated or acknowledged. Feminism is grace, love and softness.
Every woman must learn to love herself first . If you love yourself, people will love you for sure. If the woman of house is happy she can distribute happiness. Every woman must pamper herself. I feel equality is not the virtue or point of conflict. The real thought must be understood. Mother nature has made a woman a nurturer and she can only make a healthy and peaceful surroundings. So love your self, believe in yourself and nurture yourself and surroundings around you.
I am inspired by my mom. I have see her always smiling and boosting us in all situations. I have never seen her giving up. She has a solution for everything and she is a strong foundation of the house. I am inspired by the way she loves herself. We are three sisters with different set of surroundings. Initially, we all had problems to adjust in our new extended families. My mom use to counsel us in positive direction and now we all are successfully settled in our universe and enjoying love and respect.
Feminine Code by Avleen Khokhar
Varija, meaning Lotus in Sanskrit, is a Design Studio and namesake of Delhi based entrepreneur, Varija Bajaj. A self taught artist, she has completed over a decade in the fashion industry and is accredited by the FDCI. Varija, is now a case study in ISB Hyderabad.
Feminism for me is being comfortable in your own skin as a Woman. It may sound very simple but in practicality very few woman can stand up for themselves and their rights.
Rules for a woman are mostly what it would be for any individual or a citizen. I don’t think there are any set of rules separately just because one is a Woman. Although I feel women have a collective responsibility to stand up for each other when it comes to a woman’s dignity.
It would be hard to pick a single woman as an inspiration. They are so many …they are everywhere. A woman labour at a construction site who take turns to feed her children amidst her work. A woman who teaches her children and is the foundation of a society’s value system .A woman who braves herself through a man’s world and dirty glares just because she wants to persue her dreams.
The Feminine Code by Varija Bajaj.
© Text & Photograph-Varija Bajaj.
Shikha Gulati completed her Bachelors in Psychology from Lady Shri Ram College. She then went on to work with Mercury travels and Punk Clothing. She gave up all of it to become a Stay At Home Home Mom, to her daughter Pritika. Here are her views on feminism, the feminine code and women she admires.
Feminism. …..is the need of the hour. In today’s world there is no difference in men and women except physical differences , so equal rights should be there for women.
Rules should be flexible…..follow them if u like. People can’t impose dressing restrictions on us. Or say no outings at night for women. If that’s the case- same rules should apply for men.
A woman I admire is Indira Gandhi for her leadership qualities & personality .
The Feminine Code By Shikha Gulati
Ritika Narang Tickoo.
Ritika Narang Tickoo is a post graduate in marketing and communications. She is the co-founder of Either Or, an eclectic store which aims to support and create awareness about handicrafts. Ritika is a Delhi girl, who has been residing in Pune for over fifteen years.
For me feminisim is not being the bra burning, screaming for your rights…but an acceptance of the feminine principle and its strengths, subtleties and experiences. As a follower of Shakti , it is the celebration of the energy source within us …which allows to be the the bud in the flower, the wild river, the raging storm , or a silent forest. There can be no life without it…and hence respect for it is the only way.
The Feminine Code-To understand our diversity and to celebrate it without insecurity. That with great freedom comes greater responsibility. That if we are free to choose our dance , it still must not trample in others ballets and dance dramas.
There are many many, many women who have inspired me. But for me it is the representative of all womanhood..the goddess divine that inspires me. For every query, for every thought there is a form which Inspires, encourages and invites you to go deeper and deeper to see yourself.
The Feminine Code by Ritika Narang Tickoo
© Text and Photograph- Ritika Narang Tickoo.
Puneet Kaur is a 35 year old, single, Sikh woman. She’s a full time businesswoman and also a part time blogger. Here are her thoughts on feminism, the feminine code and women who have inspired her.
I don’t completely conform to the concept of being a feminist. But I believe that men should respect every woman whatsoever field or age they are in. One doesn’t have to agree to everything a woman says but showing mere respect or acknowledging them is the least they can do. Giving women a chance to speak, to voice their opinion is also respect which I feel men dislike or wouldn’t approve off. If women readily listen to men’s opinions, men should be able to do the same too.
I don’t feel that there should be any such code of conduct for women. But just as women would like being respected by men, the same should be amongst them i.e between women. We can choose to listen to each other even if we disagree on something. I feel one should be open to communicating. We all have pre-conceived notions about people we don’t know. Communicating & taking a step forward to interact on any subject clears any such notion that we have about other women. Besides erasing any obstacle that one may have in the mind, it paves the way to a healthy relation, whether personal or professional. I believe one should look for the goodness or uniqueness in others, it helps society grow.
There are quite a few women who’ve inspired me. I was very inspired by one of my teachers at school who believed in me & encouraged me to perform well. When a child fails to bring a decent grade, he/she is often left disheartened. And if a teacher comes to aid & shows faith in his/her performance, it makes a world of difference. Such was the effect a marvelous teacher had on me. I think she was strong at heart & a very humble person. Above all, its my mother who’s been an inspiration & my strength which I’ve never really acknowledged. I take her presence for granted but now I do notice how selflessly she looks into the satisfaction & well being of all family members. I notice that her world revolves around the family and she’s content with this. She’s never wanted anything for herself outside this world. To see the family happy was all she ever wanted. She has encouraged me to be myself and has a lot of faith in my abilities. Qualities of selflessness, patience & perseverance are some of the things I’d like to imbibe from her. Both these women have inspired me to have belief in myself & given me the freedom to simply be, me.
© Text-Puneet Kaur
Photograph- Saadiya Kochar
Rosy Singh is a successful, 50 year old business woman who lives in Nasik, Maharashtra. A mother of two, she’s also a partner at Twilite Products (India).
What are your views on Feminism?
I believe there is space for everyone on this earth- males, females, trans genders and for all ages. Why then do we need feminism or to carve out a place or want to be treated as equal unless you think we are not? Which I clearly dont…..Live and let live. We are all equal and have our own roles to play so why this feminism? Females are people with their own mind just like any other gender.
If you had to form a code of conduct for women what would it entail?
The only code of conduct we all need to follow is Humanity. We need to respect and value each person- of all genders of all ages.
A woman you admire?
Living in Maharashtra, we have mostly female workers in the factory. I respect each of them who work, earn, support or help the finances of the family, look after the children, parents, in- laws and still have a smile.
The Feminine Code By Rosy Singh.
© Text &Photograph -Rosy Singh
Bulbul Kumar did her Masters in Geography and works at the Shri Ram School-Aravali. Here are her thoughts.
Feminism is gender bias and disproves the concept of equality, rather than promoting it. It can be abused and exaggerated.
If there was a female code what would it entail?
Code of conduct for women and men should be alike.
A woman who has inspired you?
One woman who has inspired me is my friend Liz..she’s a mom, wife, daughter, daughter in law, friend, doctor etc..how she multi tasks all her responsibilities with patience and no cribbing amazes me..yet, she has time for herself (exercise, beauty parlour, dinners etc)..
The Feminine Code By Bulbul Kumar.
© Text and Photograph- Bulbul Kumar.
Here are the thoughts of Shirin Hasrat, a 64 year old retired teacher from Pathway World School.
What are your thoughts on feminism?
Feminism should focus on the core essence of fighting for equality in education and job opportunities, but distance themselves from issues which would trivialise the movement.
What trivalises the movement?
Fight for equal opportunity, or against domestic violence or marital rape. Supporting women who have had live in consensual relationships and then cry rape…that trivialises the movement.
If you had to write a feminine code what would it entail?
Is there a code of conduct for men? I would only suggest that women carry themselves with dignity and grace and not allow themselves to be belittled. Respect for self should take precedence . Be supportive of causes which edifying women and help them to make their lives qualitatively better. Fight for equal opportunity, or against domestic violence or marital rape. And why do we forget that it is women who perpetrate the worst kind of cruelty on other women? What needs to be built up through awareness is support of the sisterhood, women need to educate their sons to respect women. That is what is important.
A woman you admire?
Public figure Mother Teresa for selfless love and service. However my inspiration are the thousands of women who contribute in their unique way by rising above their circumstances to make their world better.
The Feminine Code By Shirin Hasrat.
To know more about Shirin, read-https://a100reflections.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/make-love-not-scars-by-shirin-hasrat/
© Text & Photograph-Shirin Hasrat
The inspiration for this year’s, International Women’s Day Campaign comes from a post that I wrote on the 8th of February . “My entire life, most of my interactions have been with men. Teachers, mentors, bosses, assistants I have been surrounded by the male species. Though, I went to a convent school, I kept to myself and the few female friends I made, were also like me, always surrounded by male relatives. Though my work has been about the female energy, my personal life has been a far cry from it. But suddenly, there has been an influx of women in my life and I have started to understand many things about my own kind.
Men have an unspoken understanding, the bro-code as they call it. Women have no set of rules to deal with other women. We are the first ones to pull a woman down. A guy will think twice before saying something unsavory, women can say and do anything to each other. Last year I joined an office, where all the women claimed to be feminists but I never heard them say one nice thing about each other. I realized that as long we are fighting for the victims we all stand together. But when it comes to dealing with someone from our class, who directly affects our lives, the rules change.
The only way we are going to change society, is by changing ourselves. The first step is to make your own set of female rules. I have started to make mine.” My rules were posted earlier as part of the post. I will post them again at some point during the month. But when I started making mine- I also wanted to know what women like me, thought. Not the ones who are ‘well-versed in ideas of the feminine’. Just regular women whose voices are considered unimportant by even the ones who stand up for us. So this campaign is dedicated to the voice of the everyday woman.
The Feminine Code by Aastha Rana.
I start with a 19- year old, photography student -Aastha Rana.
Q1) What are your views on Feminism?
Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal i.e. to define, establish and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal and social rights for women. Feminist movements are required because our society is still a Male dominant society. Women still are not free and we are not considered as equals. We have a right to live our life as we want to live it and not under the pressure of what people might think of our actions.
These movements have helped to promote bodily autonomy and integrity and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence. We need feminism to control the Dominant society in some way.
Q2) Men have their Bro code. If you had to make a set of rules for women what would they be?
For me here are some of the Codes I would like to have with my girl-friends 😀
1. No girl may date her friend’s exs, past crushes.2. No hating on other women that you don’t know. 3. If a girl looks intoxicated beyond repair and needs a friend , Be her friend. 4. We ride together, we die together. 5. Presence is necessary if a friend has been dumped or if she needs a help to kick off somebody’s head. 6. If your best friend is recently dumped, rejected or deemed miserable for any reason, They get a Weekend of doing WHATEVER they want with you as the babysitter. 7. No keeping secrets! 8. Be there to bail out your best friend from a bad date. 9. Share the details !
Q3) One woman who inspires you?
Benazir Bhutto, the ‘Iron Lady’. She inspires me.
© Text-First part Saadiya Kochar
© Text + Photograph-Aastha Rana.