+2 UNIT 1 LESSON 3 MATCHBOX Ashapurna Debi

MATCHBOX Ashapurna Debi

Throughout history, the space occupied by women has undergone a dramatic change. The attitudes of the society towards her role in the family were shaped mostly by the different religious texts. The first pairs of couples – Adam and Eve and Siva and Parvathy introduced by the three religions – Christianity, Islam and Hinduism throw light on the fact that Man and Woman together make one and the whole. Hence religions present woman’s role neither lesser nor inferior, but her role is to complete the other half. But what later history relates is the deterioration of her role in a patriarchal society. Woman was confined within the four walls of the house. Child bearing and rearing became her sole responsibility. Her voice could not be heard even about the matters related to her future. She became the victim of many atrocities. Thanks to the efforts of many reformers, gradually women could break the walls.

Education liberated them and gave them dignity. They began to assume the role of bread winner and family head. She started finding a space in the public too. This public space won her worthy position in the private also.The twenty first century witnesses a redefinition of woman’s role in the family. From the traditional roles of housewife and mother she has marched ahead. Her voice is heard in matters regarding marriage, procreation and so on. The disintegration of joint family and formation of nuclear families resulted in the crumbling of family as an institution.

Now woman enjoys rights regarding when she should marry, whether she should marry, when she should have children, how to plan in favour of career etc. Side by side we can see that premarital and extramarital relations are on the rise. This results in the erosion of values of love and compassion. Children became the worst sufferers. The broken families have generated crimes and violence.

It is high time man and woman extended their hands in mutual support and mutual respect to hold family safe and secure. At a time when woman finds a space even in space, her role rolled from submission to autonomy. Still, in some quarters, she is tarnished, while in some other quarters, she forgets what she can do in shaping a generation. Love is the noblest feeling one can cherish and it can be profusely found in the set up of a family only. Only a woman can restore the family within the bondage of love. Therefore, her space within in the family has become all the more vital.


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Matchbox” written by Ashapurna Debi tells the story of a married couple. It unveils the unhealthy man-woman relationship existing in most Indian families. She compares women to matchboxes. Matchboxes have the potential to light up everything into fire. But in appearance, they are meek and harmless. It is the same with women in their outlook. They also appear to be meek and harmless, but they can set everything into fire within no time.

The central character of the story is Nomita. Her married life really reveals the above truth in a simple and touching manner. Her husband Ajit has the habit of opening his wife’s mail and reading it. He argues that it his right to screen her mail to confirm any case of lovers. He doesn’t pay any attention to Nomita’s protest. Whenever she protests him, she is treated badly. Besides her poor family background makes her suffer everything in silence.

The readers become very much empathetic with Nomita as they understand the poverty and other miserable conditions of her mother. Her mother has the habit of begging money from her daughter and son-in-law. The other members of the family too pinch her with sharp words. Really the letters she received were from her loving mother. Mother used to write about her misfortunes and the miserable conditions of their house. She asks for money to find a solution. She is afraid of dying under the weight of a collapsed roof.

When we come to the climax of the story we see a woman who gets angry and goes out of control. She even threatens him that she would teach him a lesson. But he is making humorous comments at her raging phrases. In the end she frightens him by setting fire the anchol of her own sari. This story really describes the consequences of her rage at the misbehavior of her husband. It is really interesting to see the husband’s efforts to make her calm and normal.



The short story “Matchbox” is a vivid record of the feminist struggle for their empowerment. The central character of the story is Nomita. She is from a poor family. But she is married to a rich person named Ajit. Nomita his wife doesn’t like his habit of opening her letter. She often becomes angry at him. But he never tries to stop this habit. She also gets insulting comments about her mother. Nomita reacts in a different way. She loves her husband and does all the chores of the house. She is an ordinary woman. We can say she is really a bride daughter, wife or mother of our own surroundings.  But Nomita is different in her own way. Though she is the daughter of a poor dung-picker, she is a woman with dignity.Her fights are not personal. She fights against the cruel world of men. Though she is compared to a matchbox, she won’t burn anybody.

SPEECH WELCOMING THE PANELLISTS AND INTRODUCING THEM ( “Indian women- finding a space in the socio-cultural mileu”.)

Good morning…

On this auspices day, I am extremely happy to invite all of you to this panel discussion. I feel very much excited to announce the topic of today’s panel discussion. The topic is “Indian women-finding a space in the socio-cultural mileu”. The Indian women are not enjoying freedom in the fullest sense. They suffer inequality and other problems. We have some experts to enrich our discussion.

First I welcome Smt. Sugatha Kumari, the famous environmentalist and a former member of Women’s commission, Kerala. As an environmentalist, we all know her. There is no need of any introduction. I cordially welcome her to this panel discussion. Next I welcome Film Actress Smt. Manju Warrier. As you all know she is working for the green movement. She is the brand ambassador of. All these people are working hard for the women empowerment. Let’s wait patiently to get their viewpoints on women empowerment. So let’s us listen them. I hope this discussion will find some solution for all the problems and inequalities.  Finally I welcome all of you to this wonderful event. Welcome all…… Gandhiji said, “Women will enjoy the same right as men………….This is the India of my dreams”

What can we do to empower the women of our nation? Express your views in the form of an essay.


Introduction:  Women empowerment is a great issue that has achieved importance recent times. A world in which women enjoy the same right as men is a far reaching dream for us today. The main reason behind this is the increasing cruelties against women.

Women have a central role to play in the development process, but their particular needs and rights are often not reflected in development policies and practices. Women have been considered as the second citizens in our society. Our constitution allows equal rights for men and women, but they are not implemented properly. It is a fact that women are reaching heights even in the adversities. But the question is how can we ensure the rights and needs of women?

Women have a great role in the development of a nation. The new generations spring from them. They are said to be the backbone of the nation. It is said that there is woman behind every success of man. Women possess great talents and potentials. Still they are not well recognized.

If we analyze the case of women, we can understand that they are neglected from all spheres of life, even in their family. Men are not treating them as human beings and behave very cruelly.  Even in this 21st century, all the girls are not getting equal opportunity for education and they are getting married at an early age. If this is the condition our country is sure to become a derelict nation. Women have to do the world’s agricultural work, producing food for their families, but often they cannot own or inherit  the land they work or live in. The situation of women is often hard and dangerous in developing countries. The reason behind this situation is poverty,  inequality, social attitudes, illiteracy and violent conflict.

At this situation we have to do something to empower the women. As students it should be our responsibility to respect women. It is high time to ensure measures for ensuring safety for women. Women empowerment should start from the family itself as it is the basic structure of the society. The males should also be involved in household duties like cooking, cleaning etc. As students we should visit our neighbours to study the situations and take adequate awareness to solve women’s problems. Women should be able to go for education and do some jobs even after their marriage. Strict measures should be taken against child-marriage.  We should ensure education for all women of our village.

Gandhiji, our Father of Nation dreamed of an India where women will enjoy the same rights as men. As students we should try our best to eradicate the discrimination women suffer from society. Education is the only thing by which women can be well educated. From the evidence gathered over 30 years show that educating women is the single most powerful weapon against malnutrition.

It is very important that the society must change their attitude towards women. Women should be considered as the most powerful resource of any nation. They should get an opportunity to express themselves and show their talents. All these measures would ensure drastic change in the women-empowerment.

So let’s not forget the fact that women are the greatest gift of God. Women empowerment is an essential factor which should be done so earnestly in our nation than anything else. Only then we can say that our country is really a well-devloped one. Let’s together work for this noble cause.

Prepared by Joy Peter

HSST English St.Joseph’s HSS Pavaratty, Thrissur


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