This year, we have been featuring the best writers from our writer community for their committed contribution to FII, making it what it is today. FII would not exist if not for the passionate and loyal feminist writer community that we have steadily been building over the last three years. This month, we feature Kavita Sarmah.
Kavita writes poignantly on a diverse variety of topics. She’s written about her mental health issues, on self-care, on coming out as a bisexual woman in India, and on travelling solo. Her writing is musical, and arises a deeply personal space, and that intimacy comes through in the experience of reading it, making the reader feel a kindred connection with her. Kavita has written 10 pieces for our magazine, and you can find all of them here.
So without further ado, let’s meet the writer herself!
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
KS: I am a bisexual artist, feminist and a tea-person. I often spend my days creating art; sometimes it’s a freelance article, a pastel drawing, rambles for social media or making boats out of tissues at quiet cafés.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
KS: I vaguely remember watching a film about the discrimination subjected to women in society and how important feminism is to coexist. And I recall feeling very passionate and compelled to write something ― anything, to add to the good, awareness-pile on the internet. So, after a bit of googling I found FII and it was just the thing that I was searching for!
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
KS: I think from reading and educating myself, when I recognized the internalized misogyny in me ― I felt the need to work on myself, and in turn empower other women to rightfully occupy the space in society, that’s supposed to be ours. I have been brought up by an abusive, misogynistic father and growing up, I have only seen women mistreated, used and stripped of any self worth. I realized soon, that my father’s abusive nature was due to the abuse that his father subjected him to. I think patriarchy encourages men to be these stoic, emotionless, apathetic people that really are traits of an abusive person. The cycle of abuse will never end if the patriarchy isn’t diminished. I really just want to play my part in creating a healthy society around me.
FII: What is your favourite piece on this site that you have written, and your favourite piece on this site that you have read? Why did they strike you?
KS: I think one of my favorite pieces that I have written for FII is titled, “What to do when your ex is considering marriage and you’re living alone eating takeout for one.” One night, I came across an Instagram post of an ex and suddenly started to feel bummed about being single. Because you know, according to the movies, happiness is impossible without my Prince Charming! Just that moment, the bell rang, and it was the delivery guy with the dumplings I had ordered for dinner ― the third night in a row. And I thought, “No, Kavita. You’re going to eat these hot dumplings, drink your spiked coffee and rationalize your thoughts!” And I wrote that fun piece!
Oh, I have so many favorite articles on here! One of them that I absolutely love is “I’m that fat girl wearing shorts” by Saumya Baijal. GOD, SO good!!
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
KS: I spend most of my time in life writing. But when I don’t, I love to travel! I think traveling is one the best things, even if it’s to a local market in your city that you’ve heard about but never visited! I also like very much, to spend time and drink wine with these three, magnificent women that I’m thankful to call my friends. If I had all the money and time in the world, I would do nothing else but just travel to near and far places with these three, empowering ladies who make my world so much better.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
KS: Sigh. I am just really glad that FII exists. It’s so remarkable that this wonderful girl, just one day felt compelled enough to take this little step towards awareness, that then snowballed into something so beautiful and powerful. I would love to see just more women and men continuing to talk about things that matter. It really does make a difference.
FII thanks Kavita for lending her enthusiasm and insight to our magazine and infusing it with her beautifully-written words. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook. To become a part of our writer community, click here.