I would embrace her and tell her how beautiful she looked
INVC NEWS Kolkata ,
Popular Bengali actress, Gargee RoyChowdhury, known for her character roles in cinema and television soaps was overjoyed with the Durga Puja celebrations this year. The leading lady from Kolkata has been actively involved in The Times of India’s critically acclaimed campaign #NoConditionsApply Sindoor Khela that raises a pertinent question on social inclusion during celebrations. The campaign was applauded across all national and international platforms, including winning the prestigious Gold Glass at Cannes Lions amongst many more.[caption id="attachment_284260" align="aligncenter" width="591"] Gargee RoyChowdhury - This year, Sindoor Khela becomes a carnival in its true sense[/caption]
ReveLing in the success of an all-inclusive Sindoor Khela this year, in a recent Facebook post, Gargee was seen sharing a personal account about a close relative who was a victim of discriminatory traditions, “For years, my Dulu pisi (aunt) has been kept out of Sindoor Khela as she doesn’t have a husband. This year, I brought her along with me for Sindoor Khela. While she geared up to come with me, I could see many like her not being able to take part because they are unmarried, transsexual or because they are widowed. Sindoor khela is a festival. It cannot be subjected to any condition. This year, let’s make it a carnival in its true sense.”
Thinking about her childhood memories of Durga Puja she recalls, “I remember, on one particular day of Pujo, my mother used to look gorgeous. I would embrace her and tell her how beautiful she looked, with her face and the parting in her hair covered in sindoor, wearing her red bordered saree. My mother would hug me back and laugh, “One day, when you grow up, you’ll also get to dress up and participate like this.” I was so young back then, I couldn't really understand what she meant. I would only keep asking her why my aunt Dulu and grandmother don’t participate. She would go quiet and then softly tell me that they won’t be allowed to. As I grew up, I realised the complexities involved in the traditional celebrations.“ While covering the same aunt in sacred sindoor, she hugs her and continues, “My question remains, festivals are meant to bring people closer, and sindoor khela is not a tradition of division, but one of inclusion. It is meant for everyone, right? This pujo we will all unite to celebrate sindoor khela together.”
Alongside Gargee were other notable women from Bengal; Rituparna Sengupta, Manobi Bandyopadhyay and Sohini Sengupta, Imon Chakraborty and Sudeshna Roy pushing everyone to celebrate an inclusive sindoor khela irrespective of caste, creed, childbearing capability, sexual orientation, marital status or profession. The inclusive Pujo celebrations took place across the country and internationally across Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Kenya among others.