Women aren’t able to step out of Tradition’

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Lakshmi menon, Model

What’s your earliest memory?
I have a vague recollection of going for a walk with my grandfather when I was two or three years old. I remember being stung by bees all over my face and ears. But it’s really hazy. I’m not very sure of it. Lately, all my memories seem to be of airplanes. I’ve been traveling so much, that’s all I can ever remember.

What’s your take on love and marriage?
The best thing about life is to be able to fall in love. It makes the world a better place, given all the hatred that’s consuming us lately. Marriage, on the other hand, is not something I endorse. I think it’s a redundant institution. You don’t need a piece of paper to sanction your commitment to another person. There are so many alternatives.

What does freedom mean to you?
To be able to dress how you want, do what you want and act how you feel, more than anything else. It’s about rebelling against authority and being able to make your own choices. As long as they don’t involve murder, rape or anything against another human being, I think one should be able to live the way one wants to.

What does feminism mean to you?
That’s pretty tricky. I don’t know what it’s about anymore. It’s not like the 1960s and 1970s, when there was a definite goal. It’s not something anyone talks about anymore. It’s a confusing stage. Women don’t think about it and they’re not sure about what they want to do. They’re out there working and still dealing with so-called traditional roles and expectations. They’re not able to really come out of these traditional constraints and that’s a difficult fight.

Who do you turn to in a moment of despair?
My mother. I never hesitate to pick up the phone and call her when I’m in trouble.

How has your family influenced you?
A lot. We had a pretty good childhood, my brother and I. Our father was in the army and I think I’ve been traveling from the day I was born. We led a sort of nomadic lifestyle, in the sense that we moved a lot. I’m modeling and I’m still traveling extensively. I think the way we grew up has helped me deal with that a lot. Change of scenery, change of air – I can handle it all, thanks to my childhood.

What inspires you?
Life and the fact that it’s completely capable of going on without you.

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