Breaking gender barriers is never easy and this all-women rock music band is going the extra mile by trendsetting both through their style and music. Saree-clad and armed with both meaningful lyrics and symbolic attire, Meri Zindagi from Lucknow is attempting to be the voice of change bringing to light social issues, about women and children. Contrary to the bands seen in mainstream rock and rap music culture, these women are not dressed in punk or risqué or glam attire but in simple cotton sarees that make them very relatable rock stars.
The band is led by Jaya Tiwari, a former radio jockey, and it comprises women from all walks of life. Started in 2010 with the aim to bring about change, the band recollects testimonies and experiences from real-life women and their problems faced at home, work or relationships in their songs. In a conversation with NDTV Swirlster, Jaya Tiwari mentioned that the band's attempt to deglamorize their stage presence has garnered a large fanbase of the common woman. The band began with the simple salwar kameez as their costume but soon swapped it for uniformly-patterned maroon sarees and that made all the difference. "We do not want to dress in flashy clothes and come across to our audience as distant personalities. On the contrary, we want to become the voice of those who have been suppressed, wronged, or just neglected. When we perform in sarees, regular homemakers identify with us," she said. Jaya shared that while they occasionally met with snide remarks about their attire, these women didn't let those or any other gender-based discrimination or stereotypes get in the way, proving that they were unstoppable in their larger purpose.
The mission rock band with performances across 50 cities, and many more lined up, write music to bring about change not for financial comfort but to increase their outreach to women who identify with these issues. Shared history is at the core of many songs written by the band. Often associated with mainstream entertainment, Meri Zindagi changed the general perspective with songs about the true stories of real women written in simple and commonly-used language giving them a wider reach. Songs on marriage, workplace harassment and job opportunities among others are some of the tunes that most resonate with their fan base.
Turns out, not only women but also many men have often shown appreciation for the band's music. Jaya Tiwari says, "husbands, brothers, fathers, sons and every other man of the house have gone on to support the women in their lives ever since important social issues have been highlighted."Comments
Meri Zindagi is a simple passion project that goes the distance to reflect through its art, attire and lyrics the real experience of women in India. They attempt to be the change they want to see in the world and their style screams that from a mile away.