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lotlikar – STARE Magazine

TEXT Kanika Joshi

Remember when you were a nervous teenager going through body changes that didn’t make sense? Your body doing a 180 degree on you? Facial hair, voice cracks, acne that left you confused? Well, I will not be surprised if you tell me you didn’t know what was happening or that no one around you talked about it. Just like that we know there’s a whole stigma around period talk and reproductive systems. And yes, we know there is so much information online these days, but it just isn’t enough. So, we are here with a little bit of information to keep the conversation going.


Most girls start their period somewhere between 9 and 16 years, with each period’s length 2-8 days. Literally no one told me that I was just going to start bleeding one day and it did not come as a fun surprise on that rainy day at school. Your period has a lot to do with your diet, weight, and your percentage of body fat and vice versa. Your monthly cycles change throughout your life depending on stress, age, weight gain or loss, or having a baby. If you have any concerns regarding this, you should see a doctor, specifically a Gynaecologist as soon as possible.

What if my periods aren’t ‘normal’?

If there are any irregularities with your period, it’s essential to note your symptoms and consult a doctor. The most common menstrual problem faced by women is PCOS. Below is a short description on the same.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition which begins during a girl’s teen year. This problem might be more common than you think, with 1 in 5 Indian women suffering from PCOS, still few people are talking about it. People don’t talk a lot about PCOS because of the stigma around period talk and the unrecognised necessity to address issues around it unless the woman is unable to conceive.

The fear that a woman with PCOS cannot conceive at all leads people to ignoring the conversation as their families fear that it would cause hindrance in them getting married. We can say that this patriarchal system that sees childbearing as a woman’s ‘biological duty’ if awfully flawed. Thus, doctors too many a times focus more on ‘preservation’ of fertility which is makes it hard to find the right diagnosis and treatment. This patriarchal gender bias in healthcare and medical research can harm the woman’s well-being on the longer run. Also, the social stigma attached to having high levels of testosterone leading to facial hair, weight gain, acne associated with PCOS; challenges the expectation of an ‘ideal’ female body. It also leads to different body image and mental health issues.

As we step into the year 2021, it’s high time we stop viewing PCOS as a hindrance to fertility, childbearing and dwelling into the orthodox ideas of femininity. We need to focus on the emotional, physical and mental impact on the women affected, talk about issues, share in confidence and grow together.

Please do write to us for any help/resources at magazine.stare@gmail.com



TEXT Isha Chincholkar

EDITOR Suhani Lotlikar

Have you recently come across any rural issue headlining the front page? Social media users are vaguely informed of the Hathras Case and Farmer’s Tractor Rally but has there been any exclusive print feature covering the same for traditional readers? In the Indian media, there is a clear lack of coverage of happenings in Rural India. According to the Centre for Media Studies (CMS), space given to rural stories that account for almost 69% of the population is about 0.07 percent. Most of the national dailies such as Times of India and Indian Express from the metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore are unable to cover rural India centric topics.

The coverage of rural India is limited to crimes taking place in rural villages and some typical agricultural announcements. Reporters only travel to villages at the time of a ‘crisis’. For instance, when the Hathras rape case got a lot of attention from the people living in ‘centres’, a lot of urban reporters travelled to the village to cover the scene. But the media did not cover the Lakhimpur rape case which took place in rural Uttar Pradesh. Neither did the newspapers included the story on their front page nor did they follow up on that case. Hathras came into the limelight firstly through social media platforms but Lakhimpur rape case was never dissected. In the month of November, the state of Bihar held their Legislative Assembly elections. Newspapers gave large prominence to the promises made by the parties, counter attacks of opposition but none of the national newspaper reporters reached rural Bihar to cover any news during this period. One of the current issues- The Farmer’s Protest too gained momentum on social media first. The feeders of our agricultural country had to travel to the capital city of Delhi as they were unable to gain any media coverage from their villages. Even when they got coverage, some news-channels like Zee News, Republic linked farmer’s protest with ‘Khalistan’ taking away the focus of the issue and failing to provide a platform to farmers.

A classic that is recommended to every journalism student to read is a book named Everybody Loves a Good Drought. It is a collection of reports on rural India, written by the renowned journalist P. Sainath. His reports point out the flaws in the healthcare system, education, rural poverty schemes, etc. The book consists of data that was available in the year 1966 but those sore numbers have still not changed in the year 2020. The representation given to rural issues is close to negligible. P. Sainath says the mainstream media is an institution that is defined by ‘excluding the mainstream.’ Sainath is also the founder and editor of PARI (People’s Archive Of Rural India) which is an online alternate media model which focuses on rural India. Other small portals such as CGNET, a voice-based online portal that allows people in the forests of Chhattisgarh to report local news in Gondi by making a phone call. They provide representation to people and communities who do not get any space in the mainstream media. By not giving enough representation to rural India, the practice of good journalism is fading away from the basic ethics of journalism.


TEXT Suhani Lotlikar 

Founded on the island of Mallorca, Studio 666 is a collective curated in part by Pau Mateu Sáez and Piero Molina promoting young artists around the globe. They recently launched a one-of-a-kind virtual exhibition collaborating with 20 different artists. Having met on a fragile crossroad; art, music and publications lovers Pau and Piero put together their experiences and brought another relationship to life. They are here to share with STARE their take on relationships and masculinity in today’s world through their photo series called Réplica.

The artists explain their artwork as- “an exploration of the over-romanticized approach on loyalty and possessiveness, through a dramatized recreation of both artists’ broken relationships.” Through the medium of photography, they are capturing the wave of emotions that run through oneself after a relationship has met its end. Even as they set the tone to be ‘dramatized’ the series distinctly take one to a heartfelt space of relatability. It studies the effect of one individual on another in the space of vulnerability.

“The contact between the subjects spells out the narrative of their relationships with each other and themselves.”

It explored various themes of ‘sexuality, masculinity and fragility’ leaving behind a sense of existence. As the youth culture all over the world explores new definitions of togetherness, artists like Pau and Piero are providing them with platforms to create and showcase.


and we are digging the all brown cast featuring Jameela Jamil and Freida Pinto.

TEXT Suhani Lotlikar 

At the end of the last decade, Disney showed us what they had coming for the new decade. The Juniors announced a new show called ‘Mira, Royal Detective’ set to be released in March 2020. The show is about the adventures of a smart young, brown girl named Mira in the fictional kingdom of Jalpur. Her character is played by the 16-year-old Leela Ladnier. In the show, Mira will be seen solving mysterious for both her royal family and the people of the kingdom for which she earns the title of Royal Detective. The cast of the show extends to Freida Pinto who plays Queen Shanti. And our ever-so-lovely Jameela Jamil will voice the character of Mira’s Auntie Pushpa. The star-studded casting list goes on with Kal Penn and Utkarsh Ambudkar who will voiceover the characters of Mikku and Chikku respectively while Aasif Mandvi will voiceover for Mira’s father.

Each episode will feature two 11-minute stories and many of them will spotlight music, dance and customs that are rooted in Indian heritage and culture. As a 90’s kid, one of the desi animated shows I remember was ‘Chota Bheem’ which was set in a village with a strong boy saving the day for everyone. The female character ‘Chutki’ was designed to be fair, skinny and have pink cheeks- you know the typical. The other shows were mostly based on the old Indian mythologies. This show, however, will represent brown culture not only for South Asian children but worldwide. We are hoping for it to be something that brown kids can relate to their age rather than falling into the sexist, misogynist and itemized hands of Bollywood. And the theme song ‘Mira, Mira, Mira, Mira… Royal Detective’ is catchy too! As an animated series lover at 21 myself, I cannot wait for the release of this all-desi show.