If you were royalty, what would your name be?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: In the state of Kerala in India (where I’m from), there is a specific procedure for naming royalty. Kerala had three or four principal kingdoms but only two major royal families – the royal families of the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin. If I’d been born into the Travancore Royal…

Who are people’s favourite characters in the Mahabharata? Why?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: When anyone mentions the Mahabharata, there are some key characters who are usually hero-worshiped by all fans of the work. Krishna The mastermind behind the whole sequence of events that unfolded. The apple of everyone’s eyes. And one of the few characters who was cordial with almost everyone on both…

Why is colorism so tolerated in India?

Answer by  Raakhee V. Menon: Because in India (and in most South Asian countries, for that matter), fair skin automatically translates to beautiful. It doesn’t matter if the facial features are far from perfect. As long as the person is fair, they are considered as beautiful/handsome. I don’t think this is an age-old system, though….

Why matriarchal society of ancient human could last so many years in the past? According to the ESS, we can see the most stable male to female ratio is 1:1. So, why could this kind of society last for almost 35,000 years?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I belong to a community in India that is still matrilineal. There’s a basic difference between matrilineal and matriarchal. Many people tend to confuse between both or use one as a synonym for the other. They’re both different. A matriarchy is one where the head of the family is always…

What are some common forms of sexism that men face?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Sexism is a social evil… whether directed against men or against women. Although it must also be said that even if I, as a woman, try to equal it out, I have been met with reactions from the opposite sex which has made me think if these guys really want…

Is Vasuki, the Lord of Patala Bhumis, married?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I believe that He is very much married. In all Nair ancestral homes, it was customary to have a serpent grove in the woods around the house. The idols kept for worship in these groves are those of Nagaraja (Vasuki), Nagayakshi and several other smaller idols representing their daughter, Nagakanyaka,…

How do Hindus feel about tattoos?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I think they’re pretty cool! Though I’m too chicken to get one myself Did you know that Hindus sported tattoos way before they go so popular the world over? They were all green in color and made with some natural permanent ink. They didn’t have those fancy guns back then…