ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Women in a Row

Some of the pioneer women rowers of India can be found in the Madras Boat Club.

My hands are covered with callouses and I have tan lines on my ankles, legs and forearms. The tan lines are stark enough to make the maamis cluck and exclaim, “You’ve become black!” This would, of course, be followed by a stream of advice on skin care and the art of staying lily-white, peppered with the ever-dreaded comments on how one could never hope to snag a husband looking like that.

First it was, “Oh, you’ve put on weight”. Then when one tries to lose said weight by taking up a sport, it is, “Oh, you’ve become black!” That was the standard refrain I heard growing up. After a point, I think they decided I was a lost cause. What does one do with a girl who insists on wearing shorts (shocking!) and rowing in a sewage-filled “river”?

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