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By Sreyashi Mazumdar
While bidding adieu to her daughter, tears streaming down her eyes, she said, “Dear, do not go against your in-laws despite unsound circumstances, bear with whatever they say and ask you to do. Look after your husband’s needs, do not refute his commands, his well-being should be your penultimate goal,” and her newly -wed daughter baulking to leave her bonds, gradually trails down a road, heading to a strange alley, tangling with a completely different lifestyle.
Hesitant she was, but as his better half held her hands, unraveling an implicit intent of never forsaking her, they set off on a newfangled journey and lived happily ever after.
But, what if this wouldn’t have been the case? What if he would have turned out to be a demon? What if his carnality would have bereaved her of her sanity? What if the tears trailing down her eyes while leaving her parents would have embarked on a never-ending journey? What if she would have been raped within the four walls of her so-called ‘heavenly abode’…by her better half…her husband?
Considered as one of the sanctimonious institutions, Marriage has always been a hot potato amongst Indians, they say- Shaadi ka laddu khao toh pachtao aur na khao toh bhi pachtao (You will repent if you get married, and you will repent even if you don’t get married).
Holier-than-thou, this institution celebrates the union of two individuals; individuals who might have never known each other as in the case of arrange marriages and when individuals might have known each other for a considerable stint as in the case of love marriages.
However, the entire gamut of marriage is not just constricted to the big fat Indian weddings and the subsequent brouhaha it involves, but it also brings forth a string of issues, ranging from dowry to marital rapes.
“It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors e.g. level of education/illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament, etc,” Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, minister of state for home affairs, said in a written statement.
Now, Haribhai’s statement might have bamboozled millions but there are people who still think that marriage being a consecrated institution, shouldn’t be rebutted, one shouldn’t challenge its sanctity despite issues like domestic violence, marital rapes creeping into the matrimony.
Trailing on a myriad of opinions flocking in, especially with the kind of deliberations on the issue of marital rape being put up on news channels, NewsGram conducted a vox populi and tried to collate public opinion on the same.
“Personally I believe marital rape should be made illegal. If marriage is a legally binding contract, then all acts within marriage should also come under the scrutiny of the law,” says Devjani Bodepudi, a writer.
Tuning in to a similar line of thought, 55-year-old Atashi Chatterjee fleshed out her views, “A wife confides in her husband; she looks up to her husband and relies on him completely. If the husband forces himself on her despite her unwillingness, then that’s nothing less than rape; the wife inevitably gets subjected to a psychological trauma, a mental block. I think it’s high time that a person committing such a hideous crime should be penalized.”
Taking a slightly different note, a lawyer at a OICL Devpurna Talapatra brought forth the probability of the law being misused if marital rape gets a legal recognition, “It’s easy and righteous to say that yes, of course, marital rape should be criminalized right away, but the probability of it not being accessible to its target group and rather being misused makes one wonder. Mooting on the same, she added, “It is yet another one of the necessary risks we have to accommodate for the greater good, much like the often debated Section 498A.”
Vexed by the usual male bashing, 40-year-old Anwar Hussain talks of the probability of a husband being raped by his wife, “It’s not always the husband who forces himself on his wife, there are incidents where the wife forces herself on her husband or rapes him – if that’s how we choose to define it. Therefore, it shouldn’t be all male bashing.”
“Marital rape should be penalized but do you really think that would solve the problem?” asks newly-wed Bramhomoy Bose, an employee at an IT firm. “How will a woman prove her stand under circumstances wherein her husband passes of forceful sex as a conjugal sex?” he wonders.
Scrolling through these opinions one might ponder upon the brutality and a sense of helplessness attached to the issue of marital rape, but the entire ambit of the issue doesn’t boil down to a mere black and white inference.
Lampooning the perpetrators isn’t the only solution; one requires digging into the deeply entrenched retrograde mindset borne by the people. It seems that our hidden carnal instincts are traversing the unconscious and subconscious layers of our minds and gradually creeping into the conscious, thereby spilling out snippets of barbarism.
One has to pull the plug on the parochial ideologies, generally, borne by individuals and strive to refurbish the same. Cracking down upon the root cause propelling inhumanity might bring forth a relevant change, thus putting an end to any form of violence.
Some tweets on marital rape, people mooting their point on social media
— kadambari asthana ❤❤ (@sonikudikad) July 21, 2015
— Deepika Bhardwaj (@DeepikaBhardwaj) July 14, 2015
India is known for its pickles, popularly called 'Achaar', even across the world. But who thought about the idea of pickles in the first place? Apparently, the idea of making pickles first came from the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia, where archaeologists have found evidence of cucumbers being soaked in vinegar. This was done to preserve it, but the practice has spread all over the world today, that pickles mean so much more than just preserved vegetables.
In India, the idea of pickle has nothing to do with preservation, rather pickle is a side dish that adds flavour and taste to almost anything. In Punjab, parathas are served with pickle; in the south, pickle and curd rice is a household favourite, and in Andhra, it is a staple, eaten with everything. The flavour profile of pickles in each state is naturally different, suited to each cuisine's taste. Pickles are soaked in oil and salt for at least a month, mixed with spices and stored all year round. Mango season is often synonymous with pickle season as a majority of Indians love mango pickle. In the coastal cities, pickles are even made out of fish and prawns.
The Indian Achaar Image credit: Photo by Rahat Hossen on Unsplash
In other cultures, the pickling process has more to do with preservation. Cold countries, where temperatures drop to very low levels, pickle their vegetables in brine, vinegar, or salt. Sweden is famous for pickled herring, because fishing all year round is hard with all the snow and ice. The German Sauerkraut, originally composed of rice, cabbage, and wine, is now made using salt instead of wine. This gives it a sour flavour that is characteristic of the beloved German delicacy.
In Korea, kimchi is the national delicacy. It is a pickle that is made from pickled cabbages with a distinct mix of spices. Kimchi is made with various core ingredients, and is gaining popularity these days with the Korean Wave hitting the globe. It is a practice that represents the Korean winters, which are too harsh to grow anything. The Kimchi business is one of the largest in Korea, while the individual family recipes are also well-preserved as it is believed that each is unique in its own way.
The pickles made from dill and vinegar are most famous in America. It was introduced to the Americans by the Jewish immigrants. Dill pickles are best paired with sandwiches.
Keywords: Pickles, Culture, Brine, Vinegar, Preserves
It is impossible to detail the history of bookbinding without understanding the need for it. A very useful, and yet simple invention, spiral coils that hold books together and allow mobile access to the user came about just before WWII, but much before that, paper underwent a massive change in production technique.
Beginning in China, paper was made of bamboo sticks slit open and flattened. In Egypt, papyrus was made from the reeds that grew in the Nile. In India, long, rectangular strips of palm leaves were stitched together to form legible documents. When monasteries were established, scrolls came into being. Parchment paper, or animal hide, also known as vellum, were used to copy out texts periodically to preserve them. Prior to all this, clay tablets were used to record important events, and in some cases, rock edicts were made.
But all this changed with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg. Paper became the medium by which inscriptions, announcements, and almost everything was made. Once paper became so accessible, printing began in full scale. Newspapers and the Bible were printed every day.
Metal coils were used before the world war Image credit: Photo by Dan Bucko on Unsplash
With wads of paper, something had to be done about keeping them together. Bookbinding began as a booming business. First, the pages were just sewn together. A special sewing machine was invented just for books. When this did not suit all book types, the process of punching and binding began. Holes were punched in books, and they were tied together.
Much later, an adhesive thermoplastic strip became available by which book pages were stuck together. They sold in this format for a long time. Ideas began to flow in for notebooks when people discovered that they could attach pieces of paper together. A machine was invented that drew lines. This made it easier for people who wrote a lot.
After a while, when people got used to having their books a certain way, The Spiral Binding Company opened in 1932, which changed the way bookbinding was done. Books could now be bound by coil and this was not only economical, but also convenient, because pages could easily be turned without breaking the bind. The original spiral bind coil was made of metal, but when supplies were rationed during WWII, they were made from plastic. This trend has remained to the present day, where spiral bound books are preferred to the other kinds of binding except in cases of publishing and official documentation.
Keywords: Spiral Binding, WWII, Paper, Books, Printing
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
To keep the value and quality of what you offer, whether it's a romantic breakfast in bed or a royal wedding gift that will be remembered for years. The concept of gift-giving has taken on a number of shapes in today's society. Devina Singhania, the Founder of 'LE JAHAAN', a local home and decor accessories company, explains how the gifting paradigm has shifted.
Q: What do consumers expect from the gifting business and packaging designers these days?
A: Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. They are now more conscious about how their purchase affects the environment. Considering this shift in consumer buying, it's extremely important for companies to increase their commitments to responsible business practices and design products that are meant to be reused or recycled.
Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. | Photo by Superkitina on Unsplash
Q: The practice of self-gifting is being driven by millennials. What are your thoughts on the subject?
A: I absolutely agree with this. Millennials are so creative and expressive. They are more into personalized products with which they can tell the world something about themselves. We are often hired by millennials to monogram and personalize products for them. They truly believe it's the best way to stand out from the crowd and establish a signature style and we couldn't agree more.
We are often hired by millennials to monogram and personalize products for them. | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Q: What impact do colour trends have on gift designs and packaging?
A: 'Le Jahaan' has always been very influenced by colour and trends and we hope to continue this association with colour even while we break through to more sustainable products and collections.
'Le Jahaan' has always been very influenced by colour and trends | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Q: What has changed as a result of the pandemic in terms of how we commemorate special occasions and the gift-giving tradition?
A: It's smaller in quantity but more luxurious and thought through.
Q: What giving trends should one keep an eye on in 2022?
A: Consumers, including millennials and members of Generation Z, are especially concerned with sustainability. So, the trend is definitely to go green with eco-friendly.
Q: How does Le Jahaan keep its clients coming back?
A: Our products speak for themselves. We make small batches with exceptional quality with a personal touch.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: gifts, le jahaan, festive, millennials, sustainable, gen z, paradigm, gifting