Around the Web

This ad asks for inclusion of all women in a Durga Puja ritual (which is less exclusionary now)

‘Let’s change the tradition of division.’


On the face of it, this advertisement is a call for inclusiveness. Timed with the celebration of Durga Puja, the Bengali spot presents a little tale of “outsiders” among women – the lesbian, the trans person, the woman whose husband left her because of cysts in her ovary, the lonely widow – who are supposed to be excluded from the traditional custom of “sindoor khela”.

It is true that till recently, this ritual – carried out on the morning of Bijoya Dashami, the day on which the idols of Durga and her family are immersed to signify their return home – was confined to married women and related to a blissful conjugal life. And people such as the ones depicted in the advertisement (portrayed by actors) were left out.

However, that original practice has been largely abandoned, especially at community celebrations, and all women – and even men – irrespective of marital status or age, take part in what is one of the last moments of merry-making.

The ad, put out by a newspaper – and somewhat overacted with slightly melodramatic lines – builds its narrative around women without husbands who declare that they will also participate in the ritual. While the statement, asserting freedom and equality, is a timely one, the insinuation of exclusion from “sindoor khela” may not be in-sync with the times.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.


To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.