Picture Above: Cornelia Sorabji
Dear Diary, Nagpur,
March, 1917 Midnight, 2 am.
All of my hopes are dashed! Grandfather Mistry was UNMISTAKEABLY right about Cyrus. Seated on this cloyed railway seat, Calcutta’s disdainful filth is still clinging on to my saree that is now torn to smithereens by the pallu. I was thrusted onto the floor and punched on the face by the man who promised me the moon! I am stripped of my dignity, the hollow bluish stain coating my eye is as numb as I feel from the inside at this moment. If I were given an alternative to either get locked in that twelve by eight feet room shielded with iron screens for seven whole days every month OR discover Cyrus committing adultery, I would have chosen the FORMER! The stringent smell of bull’s urine that I refused to bathe in, the stained menstrual towels that I was to clean myself with, those iron screens shutting me off from the rest of the world and all the other trauma that I had to go through in the name of this antiquated custom of Binamazi would be just as bearable if I had known what was to befall on me!! How will Mummy and Pappa respond to my decision of eloping from that purgatory? Will they ever forgive me for choosing a life partner myself now that I regret my decision within six months of marriage? This being my second self-made flawed decision alike my first one of abandoning law degree at Elphinstone College. By now, they must have had received my tersely worded telegram. The Cyrus they met had warm hazel eyes and an appearance of a Yazata! How will I be able to acquaint them with the fact that HE is that devious creature who caused their daughter a venereal disease that is too ignominious to be even revealed! Diary, whatever it TAKES, I will have to confront them with the fact that PARVEEN JAMSHEDJI MISTRY is no more PARVEEN CYRUS SODAWALLA.
Binamazi: All bodily discharges are regarded by Zoroastrians as violations of the wholeness of the person, Menstruation ,specially , is regarded as a periodic illness. The bīnamāz wears old, plain clothes and removes all adornments as soon as her period begins, lest they become permanently impure. She is allowed less food than usual. In Bombay, pious Parsi Zoroastrian used to sleep on a metal cot apart from the family when menstruating; they would eat out of metal vessels, sit on a special metal stool, and do not go to work.
The Widows of Malabar Hills by Sujata Massey is set in 1920s, Bombay and revolves around the life of Parveen Mistry, one of the pioneering female lawyers of British India equipped with a law degree from Oxford. A diary entry is genuinely an effective medium that conveys most personal and raw encounters of day to day happenings in the writer’s life. Neither fabricated nor elaborated with concoctions, it delivers the most tender emotions that bind humans in an unusually unconventional soul-level way. Hence, ahead of her time, Parveen’s knotty life involving phallocentric norms and ostracised treatment of women at both professional and personal front, which she fought against deserves to be narrated to the susceptible modern women who occasionally find themselves in a crippling state due to conservative traditions and injustice at play that bars them from achieving dreams.
Read More About Women : https://mymillennialjournal.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/her-four-walled-cage/