This photo-essay is a euphemistic play on the life of a mother as viewed by her daughter. Apurva always perceived her mother as a strong woman, someone capable of guarding off the storms that raged within herself and her daughter. However, as she grew up and educated herself she began to see the many ways in which women make themselves smaller, constantly pushing the limits of their tolerance to sustain what is traditionally viewed as a “normal, happy life for a woman”.
My aai's name is Minakshi. Woman with eyes the shape of a fish.
Aai has always believed that I am going to bring the change she's
been waiting for all this time. The anchor to her world.
I've always believed she's the strongest.
So for the first time I saw her crying in the kitchen.
And I asked her.
She said that my 4 year old self wouldn't understand
what a woman feels when her dreams
are slashed with a sharp blade,
all across the wall of her pride.
I only wanted her to stop making Chai and cry all she wanted in the bedroom.
For a woman who's eyes resemble the fish in the water, hers looked too dark for me to believe it.
Aai never speaks about what hurts her.
Aai never tells me if she ever feels like she can't get up in the morning, even if she still does. Everyday.
Aai calls it compassion.
So tell me aai, when I don't do the same. Would I not be compassionate? She said that she would call it independence.
So is my aai not independent?
For a woman whose eyes are like the fish, she's too trapped.
She says she's going to live her dream through mine.
And when I asked her what happened to hers.
She says women aren't allowed to ask questions.
For a woman whose eyes are like the fish, she sure was choking.
She's made me question everyone.
She's made me worthy.
She's made me believe that the blood that runs down
my vagina every month is the epitome of fire that
runs in my blood everytime I think of my dreams.
For a woman who was too red, who's blood is almost black,
SHE SURE HAS EYES LIKE THE FISH.
Apurva contemplates how our mothers and grandmothers pass down feminism and femininity to us, and yet leave us to pick up the pieces from here and carry them forward in hopes of a better future. The following is a reflection on a moment in Apurva’s feminist exploration, as she observes the chaos around and within her.
"We shouldn't have to fight for the bare minimum."
Apurva Korde, 23
Apurva Korde (she/her) works as an architect but spends most of her time studying the works of Eugene Delacroix, Juan Luna and Fujishima Takeji. Her interest lies in observing the exoticism in history; mainly the glorification of everyday emotions that people experience, as perceived by 18th century artists. These days she has been working towards becoming a better version of herself as a woman and as a member of the queer community, with the intention using her privileges for good. Apurva daydreams about adopting and living with at least 2 dogs and a kitten.