“Was she thinking of me when she drew this?”
“No, wait. All us, women, are exactly the same. Isn’t it or is it?”
They were exactly my thoughts when I was asked to go through this New-York based designer, Samyukta Madhu’s Instagram posts. They are not just relatable, they are a reflection of me, you and us!
That’d be me when I’m home alone!
Me as the rebellious Bob Marley-influenced teenager!
Me vs How my parents want to see me!
Samyukta, fondly known as Sam, represents the new age Indian women who are fighting for feminism, sexual independence and self-expression in the public forum. She draws women who resemble her personality and in the process, has attracted many who feel the same way!
“I think art is meant to spark discussion, so I appreciate all comments – positive and negative. My parents, however, are super scared of the controversial nature of my art. They think people will show up outside my house and try to throw acid on my face? That is actually pretty scary and it would suck if that happened,” told Sam to ScoopWhoop.
So, does that mean that her work has not been accepted by the Bharatiya Janta? Not exactly. While some really appreciated her work, a lot of them feel that she’s trying “too hard” to westernise the Indian culture, insulting Hinduism and feel “disgusted” by her work.
“They think I’m trying to say that you can only be a feminist if you wear tiny clothes and smoke cigarettes. I think it’s hilarious. I never said anything, I just drew a picture. They’re the ones spinning a whole drama. Oh, then there are those who think I’m disrespecting Hinduism. I have no idea how they came to that conclusion – I think Hindu goddesses are divine and gorgeous, and I want to depict them as symbols of empowerment. If you have a problem with that, maybe you should reconsider your hatred,” said Sam.
Me and my phone- Pyar ka Bandhan!
“A lot of people also think my art sends a poor message by telling Indians that they have to lose their culture and Westernize themselves to move forward – that’s actually the total opposite of my message – I’m saying respect all the cool stuff your culture has given you and take it with you, at the same time, don’t be afraid to move past societal norms,” she added.
My life summed up in one word!
All apart, Sam is happy with what her work has achieved and is making a lot of us happier! Her work is currently available only on her Instagram account. However, since her followers have requested her, she might make a print series of these illustrations. Now, isn’t that brilliant? At least I can’t wait to get a few of these illustrations framed and hung in my room!
Me on every goddamn weekend!
You go, girl!
You can follow Sam here: https://www.instagram.com/sam_madhu/