The Brown Girls | Sakhi | Ch 05
When two girls are seen together, these days they are labeled as Lesbians. Women in Naina’s works are self absorbed and disinterested in societal norms. A woman is always seen as delicate and we compare her with flowers and other soft objects to be true to her set idea of femininity. She is the idol of genuineness, purity, and knowledge. In order to carry on the set legacy by society, to have her feelings and emotions for the same gender is disregarded and disapproved both culturally and socially.
The characters of Naina’s works bring an impression of the past and present. Of course in fantasy land, an analogy can be drawn here with the ladies and their pets. In ancient culture, maybe it would have been very difficult for the ladies to share their sexuality. So, they might be sharing it with their sakhis. But, what if any sakhis would reveal their secret, and what if they have to face the society? What if the community abuses or punishes them? Will they be ashamed in front of their family? If such a thing happens, will they die of guilt? So, maybe the characters here decided to share their ‘Dil ki’ and ‘Mann ki Baat’ with their pet birds and animals. These living beings, they are very sure of, would listen to them and remain loyal by keeping their mysterious secret, without any protest or hurting their feelings by shaming their sexual preference.
In present times, things are a bit easier. The girls can be seen with their lesbian partners though few of them might feel awkward or rather make to believe it. For them, the boundaries are their own family and friends. The confusion of their sexuality, their ideology, and philosophy mixed with unwanted shame and guilt. The yellow and orange in the background seem like depicting their burning desires while the black here is their emotion that tries to dilute their persona to nothing.
But facing and overcoming all the social difficulties, today there are sakhis, who are lesbians and are confidently open about it as they should be. They understand and celebrate it. The girls here seem to be content in their relationship irrespective of their partner’s physical features. The fast, thick and thin lines may denote how society looks at their relationship being amused and confused. But, the hand on her lap suggests her care for her partner, her support and the flower in her hand suggests their growth and happiness in their relationship. It is the society, who limits itself to only seeing it as a mere sexual preference by forgetting the most essential element in a relationship. The emotional quotient, a basic human instinct.
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Text and Narration: Chaitya Dhanvi Shah
Photos and Text © Chaitya Dhanvi Shah