MASH Mixer#22 – Gender & Sexuality

The moments awaited for a long time have a tendency to leave you elevated for days to come with a continuous knocking on your prefrontal cortex urging you to take a step in a direction never explored before. Such was the effect of MASH Mixer #22 on the theme of Gender and Sexuality that made everyone challenge their basic assumptions and step out of their comfort zone to realise that there is a thin line present between how we percieve a notion and how we rather should.
The format in which Mixer is designed by default caprivates you to think and ask yourself about how different these things can look from a slightly different angle. Under the night sky absorbed in the spirit of Cannaught Place, all 45 of the attendees were set to have an experience they have never had. With an amazing speaker line up that culminated with the very stirring keynote address we were ready to kick off the Mixer with our trademark Balloon Activity that eases the crowd and spreads a light shred of laughter in the room. Introductions were never more fun and as everyone got seated after the Introduction, Emcee took the center stage and called the first speaker in what is arguably the most diverse line up we have managed to pull off.
Tara Alturi brought her academic expertise from years of teaching at Ambedkar University into picture and showed how different movements in the world are driven by the issue of Gender and how this is Integrated in different religious beliefs.
An emotional and driving talk by Mona Yadav on how the most horrific incident of Dec 2012 gang rape gave birth to an energy never seen before uniting this city into an iconic bond charged up by our urge to demand and craft a change in system and how it all cumulated to everything that Sahas stands for today.
Age is never a barrier. Its just a medium that allows the flow of energy at a rate that is highest when channeled through young and energetic minds. Vanika and Shireen from Gender Pages described how an amalgam of passion and talent sprinkled with the right cause can create ripples that are felt over a wide range.
Aisha from hidden pockets illustrated how our pleasure points work and in the end it’s all about the atmosphere we have created for ourselves that define the way our stimulus react when subjected to certain circumstances.
Your thoughts your words can all point in the right direction but the actual change occurs only when we put a step forward and organize ourselves to craft an action. This is what Sukhmani from Haiyya portrayed in a lively and energetic talk.
The much awaited climax of the speaker session was all apt as the experienced Pramada Menon took the center stage and none of the eyeballs deviated for the next 20 minutes. She began by challenging the very notion we cater to so proudly and asked us to call Jyoti Pandya by her name and not the media distinction of ‘Nirbhaya’ that made it an household name. It’s these backgrounds and perspectives programmed into our system that influences the way we form our thoughts. Thus its onto us to accept the challenge and understand the grey areas in our life. Terms like Gender and Sexuality have to be defined in a way that bisects the construct we have created around ourselves. We need to understand the history and efforts we have made in our past. The hard work put in by generations after generations that has led to this social space where we are able to talk about these issues and can pen down such blogs.
After such powerful words and such an engaging session of networking, one of the key take aways from this Friday the 23 will be these words from Pramada mam that asks us to Argue to challenge to Move forward and to work together.!!
Mixer #22 was indeed a golden feather in our hat and will be inked down as one of the best we have ever had.

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