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With the lockdown one has had no option but to stay indoors, turning the spotlight on homes and interior spaces. We have had plenty of time to think about what is lacking, what is needed, and what to indulge in, considering the home is where all the action is nowadays.
Workaholics have especially felt the need to make changes in order to make their spaces functional and productive. Given the current scenario, our budgets may not be quite as big as our motivations for change. With that said, brands and industries at large are working towards giving consumers premium and top of the line experiences at an affordable price.
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“I firmly believe that it is truly essential to celebrate our lives, our homes, our families, and our friends, now more than ever. It is very important to uplift our immediate surroundings to ensure that we wake up feeling happy and positive every morning and to genuinely transform our spaces to inspire us on a daily basis. Over the past 100 days of the lockdown, inspiration has taken on a new meaning. Inspiration is now up to us and changing the surroundings one lives in has a tremendous impact on how one thinks and feels and that is the first step to create something beautiful and unique that will continue to inspire us. I think that with all of us spending a lot more time at home, we are all struggling to create a workspace and a family space and a space to unwind as well. There are lots of things that are possible within what is available right now, not just in terms of resources, but also in terms of availability of things.” says Devika Narain, celebrity event stylist.
Coming to your rescue are some of the best and budget-friendly ways to make your fall in love with your home all over again. You’re now only a couple of ‘clicks’ away from making our dreams a reality.
Something to liven up your chamber of secrets
You can give a new look to your rooms without having to spend too much money by simply using wallpapers. They instantly create a statement and uplift the feel of a space. Flipkart has a plethora of wallpapers that work as quick and inexpensive makeovers. Ranging from monochrome to 3D print wallpapers which are bound to accent elements of the entire room. You can also add blankets, bedding and throw pillows of the same theme, to form a cohesive look in your bedroom.
Price and Availability:
Brick Vinyl Wallpaper: Rs 1,499
Illusion Matte Poster Photographic Paper: Rs 999
Rev-up your Rec-room
With the aim of bringing a premium OnePlus experience to a more affordable price range, OnePlus has launched the OnePlus TV U Series, a new Smart TV that offers a more connected ecosystem, seamlessly integrating into the home networks of a wider range of users, at a smarter price.
The 55-inch OnePlus TV U Series is the perfect solution for Family movie nights, binge-watching your favorite TV shows, and watching your most-awaited sports leagues. It comes with legendary picture quality in 4K UHD, making your content come to life with breathtaking sharpness, clarity, and vibrant color. It is also equipped with Dolby Vision, a powerful cinematic technology that transforms the TV viewing experience by offering incredible visual detail.
In addition, the OnePlus TV U Series also offers a unique Kids Mode, letting parents easily monitor and manage the content their children view. They can also control viewing hours with a special “watch time limitation” feature to ensure digital wellness for their children.
Price: OnePlus TV U Series 55 inch, Rs 49,999.
Google Nest Mini Smart Speaker
The Google Nest Mini Smart Speaker amps up the look and feel of your recreation space, promising better sound quality along with the familiar Google Assistant-powered experience. The Google Nest Mini features a few design and specification changes such as a hook for easy wall-mounting, and a new power connector port and cable.
Google also claims that the Nest Mini sounds better and performs faster, thanks to a dedicated machine learning chip in the device. It’s available in India in two colours – Chalk and Charcoal – and supports leading music streaming services in India, including YouTube Music, Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, and Wynk Music.
Price: Rs 3,999
Wine and Dine in style!
Devika Narain’s experience on ‘The art of table styling’ that premiered on Airbnb as a part of At Home With Airbnb stems from the design veterans’ belief that every day should be celebrated. Be it small dinners at home, parties, birthdays, anniversaries, and any other reasons one can find celebration is her way of living a happy life. Her online experience on table styling equips you with the tools to not only learn the basics of good table design but also create special occasions using things around the house. From covering basic rules to set a table and their applications to create an inspired setting for your loved ones, this experience will equip you for the next gathering at home!
Price – Rs 2,500
Availability – Airbnb.in
Borosil’s Opalware Dinner set
Picking the right cutlery set has two key challenges: finding a set where each utensil does its prescribed job well and making sure the aesthetic adds to, rather than takes away from, a given meal. Differences are often as meaningful as they are subtle. Odd proportions or too-blunt edges can make working with these slender tools a chore while the right design acts as an effortless extension of you. At the end of the day cutlery is a functional piece that dresses up your table. Borosil’s Opalware Dinner set is the perfect item to compliment your unique taste and awe your guests.
Price: Rs 2,099
Achieve your outdoor goals indoors
In most modern apartments and small houses in India, the balcony is the space that connects you with the outdoors. You can relax in the midst of greenery and get some fresh air while you sip a cup of tea. However, in many homes, balconies lie neglected, because they are considered either too small or too costly to decorate. However, decorating this space is not that heavy on the pocket, as one can beautify their balcony with small elements such as a swing, green carpet, or a rug. You can use hanging pots or install a wall-mounted system to hold your balcony garden plants. Not only do they take minimal space but they also add to the beauty of your balcony.
Flower Pot Hanging Basket: Rs 1,499
Bamboo planter Plant Container Set: Rs 1,599
"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.