Making a difference…

Khoobh Ladi mardhani woh toh Jhansi waali Rani thi,

Well here we are talking about  Filmwallah Rani hai,

The promo says”meet Shivani Shivaji Roy tough times were made for her. She fought. Against the odd, against the tide. She made a difference. She fought like every woman should. She made every war personal. That’s why we call her Mardaani” – Bull shit, one does not have to become masculine to face odds.—Puke–

Have I met a woman who faced tough times, against odds, against tides and survived with grace? Yes, I have and I have had the honour of living with her, she is my grandmother.

In the early 1900’s British ruled India, and Nalkur is a small princedom in western coast of India. Singeshwar Chekkara was a man of importance there. He had two daughters, the older one died and he was left with younger pretty Singari who was married of the scion of the Neckhar family.

Those days Ram Rao was a lawyer who earned 1000/Rs. a month.

It was an accepted tradition that men of that class went to courtesans, so did Ram Rao, when she matured at the age of 12, Singari came to Udupi the her married home, she put with Rama Rao visiting his mistress for a month. Then one afternoon she locked the house and went away, Rama Rao had to wait for her to return. He was angry and fuming.

Rama Rao raised his hand to hit his young wife, she did the unthinkable she stopped him by holding his wrist. Something changed in the equation from that day my grandfather had only woman in life that was my grandmother Singari. She took a stand for herself, no guns no drama, just a stand.  Though there were few sniggering about how the mighty Rama Rao did not cross the line drawn by his wife, she had won the respect of the society.

Three sons and a daughter later, when Singari was carrying her fourth child Rama Rao died. Tradition wanted her to a Paniyamma and shave her hair off.

She stood firm. Her long stresses lasted till the day died in 1972. It meant her mother refused to drink water that she served.  Her mother tried telling her that the implication of this would be that her daughter would not be married off. Well, Singari stood firm.

She made a difference, but she is not in the least bit Masculine.
She made a difference, but she is not in the least bit Masculine.

The next fight was moving to town. She was particular that all her children received education the kind Rama Rao had in mind; of course the idea was each of them became a lawyer. Those were the days when the moral of women living alone in a rented house was questioned. Again, with dignity she stayed in the town of Udupi, educating her sons and daughter. My aunt Jayalakshmi was one of the early Hindu women to teach in a missionary school. She was not married off until she was 16 another transgression of the existing norms.

To me she is truly a woman, who fought against odds, with each of children becoming social leaders she has won the battle. But calling her Mardaani is an insult to her femininity. She did not tote guns, or turn masculine.

Just pick the soundarya Lahiri and you can see, “It is Shakti has creates, nourishes and destroys, this Shakti is feminine because it is dynamic in its manifestation.

This is written as a part of Mardaani at ” href=”” target=”_blank”>I am Mardaani activity exclusively at” target=”_blank”> for Indian Bloggers

5 Replies to “Making a difference…”

  1. Your grandma is really mardani.. just standing up for their individuality and rejecting simple traditions that oppress their individuality itself is enough for many women to achieve what they want. All the best for the contest parwati 🙂

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