Shagun says it’s time for women to stop being politely angry !

Shagun Agarwal – Author, Tales of Toil and Triumph: In Search of Women’s Age and Wages

“Culture does not make people. People make culture. I did my graduation in English(hons.) from Graphic Era Hill University. After studying for 3 years about feminism, I realized that India is ranked 105 amongst 128 countries in its Education for All Development Index. Among SAARC nations, India stands third behind Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. But the female literacy stands at 65.46% compared to 82.14% of males. Estimates show that for every 100 girls in rural India, only a single one reaches class 12 and almost 40% of girls leave school even before reaching the fifth standard.

Not only education, but domestic violence also remains as culturally accepted because of cultural and religious reasons. In a survey with young men and women in India, 57% of boys and 53% of girls accept women beaten by husbands is justified. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better. That this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquillity will return once again.

Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of a better advice. If you’re different, you will stand out. Raise your voice, it amplifies, directs, and changes the conversation. Don’t sit silently in meetings or conversations with friends when you have something to contribute to the conversation. So I decided to write. All I needed was a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I could turn the world upside down. I started writing. This was something sudden for me. Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of job: It’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. I introduced my debut book, ‘Tales of Toil and Triumph: In Search of Women’s Age and Wages‘.

This poetic series is a dedication by a woman to all the women out there. It speaks about the struggles of females in general and the way they are moving forward, towards the transformation of the society wherein, if a man could be one then a woman is surely not the other. The series is divided into two sections, prior, talks about female oppression and internalization of subjugation, and how this acts as an exploiting factor for a submissive female. Later, talks about the woman as a heroine, bold, strong, independent, and fearless to take her own decisions without any external help and support.

It is a journey of the transformation of women from a traditional orthodox society to a Post-Modern Era which is yet incomplete and women have to accomplish a lot more than what is written in the book, in the upcoming time. I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified. We are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t. I would thank my parents, teachers, and friends who supported me in the journey of writing this book.

Writing is my hobby; it is one of the best hobbies in the world. It costs almost nothing and keeps your mind alive and active. You get to create the world, how cool is that? And in the digital age, you can share that writing with lots of people. If you decide that for now, your goal is to remain a hobbyist, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a brilliant writer or that you can’t be published.

If I could inspire even a single reader then I think its a win win situation on both the sides. I believe in the theory of ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. Life has lots to offer and it’s just the beginning. Its just that challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes it meaningful. Life is more exciting when things are uncertain. Uncertainty teaches resilience, and resilience gives me the awareness that I need to become my best self. There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world. First, those who are afraid to try, and second, those who are afraid that you will succeed. So never give up on things, be the woman of value. Work hard and be proud of what you achieve.”


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