My state right now and a book review too… I MUST begin this post by profusely apologizing to Sags and Harish… Sags because she is such a good friend and whose book I loved that I should have posted this review eons ago and Harish because damn, I think this is the record number of follow ups he would have done for a review with anyone I think… Unless Swaram hasnt still posted it ;) But guys truly my state these days is just as the title of the book in a different manner that’s it… (but what I am upto is a topic of different post altogether and hopefully after this post, I will try to be regular :P)
Now Coming to the book itself, it was a book I was really looking forward too and not just because its been written by a very very dear friend but also because its on a topic very dear to my heart (surprise surprise? I can see the regular readers of my blog, smiling wide enough on this)
For those who don’t know what the book is about, here is the excerpt
Sagarika Chakraborty is a lawyer and student at ISB. Her début book is “a collection of stories and poems woven around the theme of womanhood”. Throughout the year there are a few dozen days set apart for women and issues surrounding gender. As is usual, we hear a lot about these issues on the special days and then go back to routine stories for the rest of the year.
In her introduction Sags goes ahead to explain the intent behind choosing the unique concept for the stories in the book
“The attempt is to delve deeper and analyse whether it is merely enough to rely on statistics and be complacent in the knowledge that the numbers indicate a better society in the making, or whether there is an urgent need to look beneath the covers and realise that despite all such dedicated days, there are 300 odd days when there is nothing special that life has to offer. Where each day is still an unending drudgery and where womanhood is cursed and trampled upon.”
I love the way the stories have been threaded in, the unique approach of picking up dates and how very true it is that its not just dates that matter, its all year through that we have to suffer, does a woman’s day make a difference to me if I see my maid coming home beaten blue by her drunk husband a day after 8th March? Does it hold any significance at that point of time? Standing for woman and improving there plight is a task that has to be done every single day through the year, through the life and that is what the book attempts by bringing to front the numerous stories
that touch you deep inside somewhere.
When I started reading the book, I was heart broken and the eyes were wet, the feelings becoming numb as I moved forward and somewhere in the middle of the book I realised that these are not the stories she wrote, these are the stories so unfortunately we see all around us :( Yes I know there are a lot of people which will say… “oh well the book is too depressing”, “naa you women aren’t so deprived these days” to those people I just have one answer… if the ostrich ducks her head, the problems don’t go away. Just look around yourself, the women in your life, the one that cleans your utensils? the one you have hired as a nanny to take care of your child? May be a distant (and god forbid a close one) who has gone through a divorce and had to listen to taunts from all and sundry, a woman who doesnt want a child or god help her if as a couple they can’t have a child… These are the stories of woman around us that touch you deep inside. Yes its depressing, yes its heartbreaking and that is exactly why its important to read it. To be aware, to be shaken out of our comfort zone and to be able to do something.
The book stands up and questions many things that will trouble us and its amazing to note how the author has gone under the skin of many many women so effortlessly.Another thing which I loved about the book is the how lucid the language is in the book, its hard to believe that its her first book.
The thing that may be could been improved in the book? The names, the names, the names… None of the characters in her books have names and when I started reading it, I found it very disturbing, we are used to of relating to people my name, then why leave such an important thing aside? May be she wanted to shake us out of our comfort zone while reading the book? But yes initially it did disturb me but slowly as I read more, I think it kind of stopped making a difference.
Final Word : A must read book for people in this generation, people who think that the problems of womanhood existed only in the era gone or these problems exist only in remote villages. It opens your eyes wide and clear. And yeah my fav three would be – Naked, Can you Hear me ma?, An equal friendship.. Do share which are yours?
Author : Sagarika Chakraborty
Publisher : Niyogi Books
Rating : 3.5/5
PS: do u like the new look of the blog?