“Write down two achievements of students' movements in Kerala”. (2 marks)

Ten years back,I blinked at this question and calculated how the loss of two marks will affect my total marks in the social science end term examination. I wondered what sort of a question this is and what the point of such a question is in a social science paper. Why could they not ask me about Salt Satyagraha or Poona Pact? They could have asked me about Boston Tea Party or the various dates of French Revolution. Stupid examiners!

Ever since my childhood days, I have been grappling with the idea of ‘gender.’ Why was my ‘coming of age’ celebrated with so much pomp and show when in reality it brought only embarrassment to me as a little girl? Why did my grandma ask me to speak softly when my brother was granted all rights to shrill and rejoice? Why did she ask me to dress modestly to avert ‘unwanted looks from men’?