Seema and Salma

Seema Sloth, watches over her baby sister, Salma so her mother, Selina can have a session with her therapist, Salim.

Seema loves baby-sitting, and helps her mother out often. Selina needs to visit Salim very often, as she sometimes sees things which no one else can and they frighten her. With Salim and Seema’s help, Selina is able to look after her baby, Salma, despite these frightening things she sees.

Dakshayini Dragonfly

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Dakshayini Dragonfly

Dakshayini Dragonfly is a very brave decoy water-dancer. She lives with a large group of female dragonflies, in their dry meadows, adjacent to a swampy wetland. Dragonflies from her group rarely venture to the adjacent territory which is occupied by a largely male dragonfly swarm, as they risk harassment in doing so. They only visit the wetlands when they feel like mating.
Dakshayini’s job as the lead decoy water-dancer, is to skim the surface of the water, like a dragonfly about to lay her fertilized eggs, and thus distract the majority of the male dragonflies drawing them to the water, so her friends can find their way to the male dragonflies of their choosing, unaccosted by random male dragonflies.

Dakshayini works with a team of eight other dragonflies, at their dangerous and tiring job. They are all exceptionally fast fliers, who train tirelessly everyday to improve their agility. Dakshayini is known to be the best at executing quick turns, at the last minute, just before a following male clasps hold of her. She trains young aspiring decoy water-dancers in her techniques twice a week.

 

This bit of fiction is based off wikipedia’s section on Dragonfly sex ratio:

“The sex ratio of male to female dragonflies varies both temporally and spatially. Adult dragonflies have a high male-biased ratio at breeding habitats. The male-bias ratio has contributed partially to the females using different habitats to avoid male harassment. As seen in Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana), male populations use wetland habitats, while females use dry meadows and marginal breeding habitats, only migrating to the wetlands to lay their eggs or to find mating partners. Unwanted mating is energetically costly for females because it affects the amount of time that they are able to spend foraging.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonfly

Pramada Penguin

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Pramada Penguin with her partner, Patang Penguin (left) and their daughter, Pratibha ‘Pingu’ Penguin (right)

Pramada Penguin was the founder of the maternity incubation movement among her Emperor Penguin colony. She was one of the first female penguins to challenge Emperor Penguin gender norms and demand her equal right to spend time incubating her egg. Patang was a supportive partner to her, and helped her face the stigma while they incubated Pratibha’s egg. Patang himself, was often shunned by members of their colony for insisting on travelling far and hunting with the female penguins on days when Pramada was taking her turn incubating their egg.
As a result of their revolutionary incubating practices, both Pramada and Patang were healthy and well-fed when Pratibha’s egg hatched.

Their lovely daughter, Pratibha alias Pingu plays the bass (a Giant Sea Bass from the North Pacific) and sometimes sings the lead in her four-penguin band Pingu and the Purple Icebergs.

Padma Peacock

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Padma Peacock

 

This is Padma Peacock. She is transitioning and becoming her fabulous self. Padma was initially worried that keeping her plumage would let other pea-fowl read her as male… but she has decided to keep it and make plumage inconsequential to gender.
Padma’s friends are mostly supportive, but her family is often confused by the apparent paradox of her claiming to be female and insisting on keeping her plumage. She hopes they will come to accept her as she is, in time.

 

 

 

 
Made it just in time tonight. Hope to do better tomorrow.

A portrait of the artist as a self-absorbed obsessive with existential angst

This is what happened when I was too anxious to go out all day and the power kept going off so I couldn’t work.

Anxiety day me in colour

The original is more purply than blue. Something happens when I photograph it that distorts the colour. That’s why I like the black and white version better.

Anxiety day me black and white

Donne Redone

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No woman is an island, entire of herself;
Every woman is a piece of the earth, a part of the main,
If a clod be washed away by the sea, India is the less,
As well as if Kaniyakumari were,
As well as any of your friends, your roommate, sister, mother, lover, cousin or aunt were,
Any woman’s rape diminishes me,
Because I am involved in human-kind.
And therefore never troll the internet to know for whom the cameras flash,
They flash for thee.

Barbie-doll

Like nausea
The putrid wave
Makes my hair stand
On end.

Cloying shame
Dilutes my vision
And the pavement stones warp runnily into eachother.

Innocent film songs
Emerge spontaneously
Made lewd and leery
By the congratulatory laughter
That greets the singer
As he passes me
And joins his friends with a grin of triumph.

Anger speeds my feet
In their delicate dance
Weaving in and out of pedestrians
Avoiding bodily contact
Eyes downcast.

Cold eyes
Fill with shared wholesome-healthy laughter
And slide over me in fun
Undressing me in their heads
Like a Barbie doll,
Weighing my breasts in their sweaty mental paws
For ripeness
Like mangoes
Squeezed, smelt and passed around
In the grimy market.

The sickly-sweet smell of decay
Colours the moment a festering gray
As the oh-so-casual hand
Stabs between my legs
Or pinches my breast
Or brushes my behind.

And my father/ friend/ husband/ brother/ lover
Fights for my ‘honour’ in impotent fury.
Asking me not to fight back
And risk the revenge of injured pride.
Haven’t I heard of acid attacks?
Of rape?

My safety is not worth this fight!

Watery frustration fills my eyes
And I cannot dredge up anger.

This is me,
Naked.
A chunk of meat
Dripping obscene drops of red
As a hapless calf sniffs forlornly
At the butcher’s counter.

This is me,
Naked.
In my sunny-yellow kurta
And lime-green salwar and chunni
Haggling with the mango seller.

This is me,
Naked.
In my blue pinafore and black buckle-shoes
Lost in my own head
Playing with the end of my tight plait.

This is me,
Naked.
In my low-cut red dress
And chic cropped hair
Gingerly avoiding puddles
In my high-heeled shoes.

This is me,
Naked.
In my black flowing purdah
A hint of a baby blue churidar at my ankles
My deep black eyes hinting at my mystery.

This is me,
Naked.
In my green cotton sari
And red blouse
Watching my daughter play in the mud
As I carry bricks in a metal pan on my head.

This is me,
Naked.
In my oversize T-shirt and harem pants
Hung with colourful beads and earrings
Carrying my rainbow umbrella.

This is me,
Naked.
Begging for spare change
To feed my hungry baby
And pay off the ones who let me beg
So I can try to feed my child tomorrow, again.

This is me,
Naked.
In my green T-shirt and jeans
Talking to the mechanic about his life
And his sick mother
As he mends my cycle
And his friends snigger
And pass comments I can’t understand.

This is me,
Naked.
Locked in with the others
After six p.m
So that we would not be raped
By our classmates
Who could be out till ten
And who, for some reason,
Could not have raped us
Before six.

This is me,
Naked
To whom strangers feel entitled
To give advice on how to dress
Or how to cover my ‘apples’.

This is me,
Naked.
As authorities,
Ask why I was out walking alone
At two in the afternoon
When I complain about being attacked
By three men.

This is me,
Naked.
In a protest march
For women’s rights
Sneered at for not appreciating what I have
And not being in touch with the virtuous village woman
Or the abused prostitute
Or the oppressed Muslim
Or the rape victim
And thus not having a right to protest
At all.

This is me,
Naked.
Barbie-doll naked
Faceless, featureless,
Naked.

A toy on display
Who should be grateful
That they are only playing with her
In their fetid minds
Or brushing against her in passing.
And learn to dress properly
Stay in after dark
Not stare back at them with hate
Or hit back
Or say ‘no’.

It is, after all, only for my own safety.

Like the cellophane and cardboard
That shields the vapid, smiling
Barbie-doll.