There's plenty that women in India must deal with - letching, leering, the denial of basic rights and of course, a smothering patriarchal mindset. But the double standard with which we treat women is exposed most starkly by how we revere our goddesses.
Mumbai-based photographer Victoria Krundysheva noticed this irony in daily incidents around her, which inspired her to conceptualise a photo series called 'Lost Indian Goddesses'.
"What struck me was the hypocrisy of worshiping goddesses yet degrading the women around you. So much power given to women in myths and vedas, yet in life they are frowned upon for taking any decisions for themselves. It hasn’t been a sudden insight – more of a journey towards a boiling point," she says.
Victoria posted pictures from the project on Facebook on September 19. "Those goddesses you worship are walking daily among us, but you choose to humiliate, harass, rape, disrespect or simply discriminate [against] them. It is time you open your eyes to the actual goddesses..." reads the description.
Here are some of the photographs from the series:
Your goddess Kali is naked but you ask your girlfriend to cover up, criticize that woman in crop top, make your daughter conscious of her body. Instead of conquering evil she is fighting herself.
You welcome Laxmi at your home, but frown upon bahu who's making a career and expect your daughter to leave work after marriage.
You praise Saraswati but don't consider that girls can be in a rock-band and art is not a serious enough profession for you.
You worship all-powerful Durga, but tell women to know their place.
You call women who drink indecent yet have a Varuni- goddess of wine in vedas.