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OF KITCHENS AND GODDESSES
- Shashi Deshpande

This essay basically talks about the space what a woman has in kitchen. It throws light on the importance she has relating to cooking and the status of being called as ‘ANNAPURNA’, the goddesses of food and fertility. Shashi Deshpande expresses how her point of view of a kitchen shifts as she grows up n gets married. The kitchen no longer seems a safe and secure world for her as it did when she was a little girl. She uses instances from her life to explain how rigidly confined the space in the kitchen becomes. After getting married, she is given a statue of Annapurna which meant that she had to prove herself of excelling at cooking, taking care of the house and following all the rules. It shows how a woman is tested at every step, as if every day was an exam for her. A kitchen not just signifies cooking and serving, but also the oppression, the suppression, the testing, the hard work the suffering, the tedious labour and the pain which a woman undergoes monotonously. It is as if her entire world revolves only around the kitchen. The women submit their life completely to their house. Even when they are fasting, they aren’t exempted from cooking for the rest of the house. They work tirelessly just to give their best and all they want is just little appreciation and respect for themselves and their work. But this just remains as a dream as most of the times their work is not recognized. There is a common thing among women, that is, self-denial. There is a notion in their head that if they prove themselves in the kitchen and in managing the house, they are fit to be called Annapurna. But they don’t realize the fact that it is the external forces and ages old superstitions and beliefs which is making them do so.It is basically the traditional and emotional trap which they are trapped into. It isn’t what a woman sees herself as but it is what the world sees her as.The writer shows how women are trapped between tradition...
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