Festivelle #BossLady dinner

Last Saturday, the wonderful duo of Shruti Seth and Gul Panag invited me to a sit down dinner to celebrate Festivelle Boss Ladies. I have a soft corner for Festivelle, I must confess. Back in its first edition way back in 2016, I along with Shunali Khullar Shroff co-curated the wonderful panel discussions that went on through the two days of Festivelle, and it was a positive, energising experience.

The evening at The A Lounge at IndiaBulls was thoughtfully organised and curated, right from the hostesses down at the lobby level to guide us to the venue, which given my navigational abilities would have had me wandering through the premises for the rest of the evening, to the wonderful table arrangements, and the carefully planned seating which we promptly fell to disrupting because we wanted to sit next to each other. The room was full of wonderful, accomplished, high powered women and because I hadn’t worn my glasses (vanity prevents me from the spectacles and dry eye prevents me from the contact lenses), I went across and hugged the wonderful Ruchi Narain mistaking her for an old acquaintance, after which I promptly stayed put in one place didn’t dare wander away from between Shaili Chopra and Shunali Khullar Shroff in case I went over and hugged more people I didn’t know at all, even before the sparkly had hit. The evening’s proceedings opened with Malini Agarwal aka Miss Malini talking about how we needed to expand our circles of solidarity and how she’d managed to create this lovely initiative called Malini’s Girl Tribe. Post which we had to all introduce ourselves in three words or three sentences, I forget which, but at this point I was three glasses deep in wine and I only hope I did not crack some ribald joke which had everyone staring at me in horror and distaste. I was sitting with the very fab Malishka Mendonca, Shunali Khullar Shroff, Shaili Chopra, Naiyya Saggi, Nupur Asthana, Meghna Pant, Ruchi Narain, Shivani Malik and the complete hoot of a conversation we were having made all I ate escape me completely at the moment. The roomful of ladies included television stars, radio jockeys, dietitians, writers, journalists, entrepreneurs, celebrities, business women and more.

We came back home laden with goodies and warm fuzzy feel goods, and the sense of being part of a wonderful sisterhood of women who were there to build you up and not tear you down. More power to the sisterhood of the Festivelle BossLadies.

Interview | By liberating women, we are also liberating men: Author Kiran Manral on feminism

Thanks Shreya Thapliyal for this kind interview in The Statesman.

“In an exclusive interview to thestatesman.com, author Kiran Manral talks on a range of topics including social media influence on life, the perception of women, and #Metoo; she also has some advice for aspiring writers.

“Ever since I was a child, I had a very overactive imagination. I was constantly telling stories,” says Kiran Manral when asked about the reason she decided to write novels. This should, however, come as a surprise. An English graduate from Mithibai College, her blogs—thirtysixandcounting and karmickids — were among the most talked about blogs of the time.

The social media and our over dependency has almost made us delusional. We co-exist—the real world along with the digital bubble that we have created around us, with the lines blurring now more than ever.

Manral agrees, giving an example of how her son’s Instagram has young school girls posing in a “highly sexualised” manner. There is always a pressure to appear a certain way, she says, “but there should also be an awareness that this life is not entirely real”.

As a society, most of us define women on how we look. This pressure is not just for young girls, it can be tiresome for women who are hitting forty or fifty. Manral takes this question lightly and says she has come to accept the reality of not turning heads anymore.

As a woman, says Manral, she has witnessed all of that but what is upsetting is that once you reach that age, they become invisible.”

Read the entire interview here