Anthology of Women’s Stories

Women and their many lives – Concept Note

It’s a peculiar time for women in India. On one hand, as an educated generation that was better informed about the world around us, we embraced new values, took steps to pursue exciting avenues. Whether it was our career paths, our choices of clothes, the way we did our hair, the language we used, or how much of ourselves we chose to put out into the world. 

But are we able to fully embrace this? How often do we wear a skirt to hide our shorts from family? Dismiss guy friends for fear of judgement? Delete pictures in swimsuits because some aunt or uncle somewhere would see it, and what would they think of you?

Our freedom as women, our agency of our identities has come at a price – the price of keeping parts of it a secret. We live two or more lives, one at home and one outside, reserve parts of ourselves for only those who would accept them, celebrate them. 

This is not always a choice. Living in secret comes with its own fears and anxieties. What if someone finds out? What would the domino effect be? How bad would it get? The exhilaration of being who you are, trampled by the crippling worry and associated shame of feeling exposed.

The necessity of living many lives is a complex thing, and through the stories in this anthology, we want to explore that complexity, peel back the layers, and understand the nuances of these choices. What drives someone to lie about such big chunks of their life? How do they deal with people finding out? Is acceptance always the light at the end of the tunnel? And how far will someone go to keep their identity hidden?

With your stories, we hope to explore this theme further. Fiction or non-fiction or somewhere between the two, the genre does not matter. A good story is a good story, and as long as it illustrates the theme and succeeds in spotlighting the stories of women, we will accept both genres. Your story can be set anywhere in India or the world, but must have at least one south asian woman character. By woman, we mean everyone who identifies themselves as one. Everything else; let your creativity show.