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The Dose

Issue #1 // Tying The Not

Tying the Not

“When are you getting married?”

The world may be ending, a pandemic has taken over our lives, unemployment is killing us, but the shaadi question is not going anywhere. Thanks to work and study from home, and living with family 24x7, it seems that almost everyone is suddenly interested in finding their saccha pyaar.

But why? What’s the deal with our IG feeds becoming one big PDA-fest?

One simple answer is loneliness. What none of the end-of-the-world movies really told us was how lonely the apocalypse can get. And in India, even before the apocalypse, we were facing a “loneliness epidemic.” In 2015, the National Mental Health Survey of India reported that depression and anxiety affects nearly ten percent of the population, with children and adolescents being the most vulnerable. 

Living our lives on social media, work burnout, and a taboo around mental health has meant that loneliness is now a young person’s game too. A deadly virus, constant news of deaths and illness and endless doomscrolling has just made everything worse. When Yamraj stops being a funny myth, and starts seeming like a friends friend, who wouldn’t want a soulmate to feel less alone?

Especially, when a soulmate may be lurking at the next swipe! Online dating has been around since we pinged Rahul-naam-toh-suna-hi-hoga from school on Facebook, and prayed for a “poke” back. Now with more dating apps that we can count on our fingers, dating has become everyone’s favourite pandemic pastime. Zoom has replaced cafes as the preferred first-date venue of choice. And if Diljit Dosanjh is also sanitising his hands before shaking a cute girl’s hand, who are we to deny this “new normal” of dating?

Both loneliness and online dating has got us all swiping, but what to do if we do find The One? If you do get past the Zoom-date stage, you and your partner might have to battle the S-word. And no, we don’t mean, sanyaas. Sex in the times of COVID-19 is where things get, well, messy. Spaces for sex in an Indian city outside the home, are anyway like looking for a needle in a haystack. With lockdown-impositions, innovation is the name of the (sex) game. Some couples are going back to their teen years and making out in cars. Others are turning to tech. Sexting, video call sex, sending erotica — after all, communication is always sexy. 🍆🙌🏽

Turns out falling in love in 2020 is as confusing as it was in the “old normal.” Whether you continue to relish your #singlelife, try your luck on a dating app, or finally succumb to parents’ 'ek zoom call mein kya harz hai?' – love, like life, is what you make of it. 

And whether you have a sassy answer to “shaadi kab?”

  1. If you’ve ever wondered exactly how we are getting through the COVID-19 crisis, meet India’s ASHA workers. Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) are a women-only force that is at the forefront of the coronavirus battle. And they’re being ignored! They aren’t being paid and were forced to go on strike in Bengaluru, and worse, only 75 percent of the women are being given masks and gloves! Why aren’t our COVID-19 warriors being protected?

  2. Vishkanya! Sex bait! Drug lord! Every day brings a new keyword in the Sushant Singh Rajput case. Now, the Narcotics Control Bureau has issued summons to Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh in the alleged drugs case related to the actor’s death. Meanwhile, the actor’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty’s bail plea has been rejected. The case has sparked a stormy debate about misogyny in India, in the media and offline, and raised an old question — is this no country for women?

  3. An 82-year-old dadi, and TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020. Shaheen Bagh’s Bilkis became a symbol of hope, defiance and resistance during the anti-CAA protests in 2019. She says, “I will sit here till blood stops flowing in my veins, so the children of this country and the world breathe the air of justice and equality.” She may be old, but is determined to continue her fight.

  4. For many girls in Indian villages, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought early marriage to their doorstep. Unemployment, schools being shut down, and a lack of protection for the girls has meant that their families see a quick marriage as the easiest way to survive the pandemic. It’s what happens when a deadly virus meets poverty, patriarchy, and a weak economy. Who will find a vaccine for this phenomenon?

Vitamin Sass
To Cancel Or Not To Cancel?

What does it mean to “cancel” someone online? Is it a way to call out the, or an online mob? We took a deep-dive into cancel culture, and asked, is it a time we work towards a kinder Internet?

"Rasode mein kaun tha?!”

For a brief moment, the nation was united. After music producer Yash Mukhate remixed a clip from TV show “Saath Nibhana Saathiya,” everyone had “who Rashi thi” stuck in their heads. If you haven’t seen this video, you’re welcome. And we’re sorry.

What We Streecommend

  1. To Watch

    Dolly Kitty ke Chamakte Sitaare on Netflix: Two independent women, one small town, and life ke saare tough decisions! Alankrita Shrivastava’s film takes a look at two women who might be compelled to take decisions which are tough for them. Everyone has insecurities, and the director Alankrita Shrivastava doesn’t shy away from that reality. Sometimes, women just need to live their lives, judgement-free!

  2. To Read

    Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: There are some books that are gripping and tell a great story, and others that change the way you view the world, making you think long after the reading is done. ‘Americanah', by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is a love story set against the backdrop of a country's triumphs, defeats, and conflict. A must-read.

  3. To Binge
    Masaba, Masaba on Netflix: Do you have days when you feel like you just can't get anything right? Turns out fashion designer Masaba Gupta has them too! And, along with her mother and actress Neena Gupta, she's given us a glimpse into her life's mess in a Netflix show where they both play themselves. The show is an honest look into the life of the Gupta mother-daughter duo, and doesn't shy away from showing the warts behind showbiz. But it's Masaba Gupta's dry humour and relatability which makes this a show worthy of a binge-watch! Preferably, with some popcorn.

    Lastly, Two Important Things

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    Vitamin Stree

    Mumbai, India

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