When i first read the name A calender too crowded by Sagarika Chakraborty, I didn't know what to expect.The description given by Blogadda didn't say too much.The name was intriguing, but that was it.When i finally got the book and started reading it.I couldn't stop.
The book is a collection of short stories on womanhood.Every month in the calender has days devoted to woman, mostly real and some made up days as admitted by the author.The book has short stories based on these days.
Every story highlights an issue.Issues which survive behind closed doors and minds, even today.Issues which shatter the very meaning of "emancipated woman".Female infanticide, Dowry, Child prostitution, Eve teasing, Molestation and such other issues and social taboos that are prevalent in the society.The book picks on such and many more issues and weaves stories around it.Some in predictable and some, in very unlikely situations.Some stories end just after describing the plight.Some have happy and hopeful endings.
Can you hear me, Maa made me cry.Its a poem describing the unborn baby girl in her words.The questions move you and you start loving the never seen before child.
Knowledge Beyond the Printed Letters made me want to be like the protagonist.She is everything I see myself as in the years to come.How did you know Sagarika?Its amazing that the character written by you is so relatable that she can be idolised.
Selling a Body to gain a Mind gave me hope that we are moving towards better times.It also taught me that every woman has this inherent strength and that whatever the circumstance there is always a way out.
Naked made me flinch and it made me think about countless such victims who after going thru the violation of rape, has to go thru the mental trauma of not finding a place in the society.Wait, aren’t we all a part of the same society?
Finding an ideal Mother for my unborn Child taught me how not to raise my kids.
Behind those Whispers is a beautiful poem voicing out questions which every little mind raises when it is taught about "Bad Blood".
Some of the stories in the book give an amazing insight into the lives of women in different situations.They take you by surprise and force you to ponder over the happenings.They make you empathize and you can relate to the character, wondering how did the Author manage to capture such a gamut of emotions.How did she know the emotions i feel!
The only shortcoming that I found in the book is that the some stories were a little predictable.Living in times where every small news in a breaking news and every little happening is blogged or tweeted about, some of the stories seemed familiar.The endings predictable.
The book is the Author's first one and the fact that its so offbeat should be appreciated.She does not try to be the torchbearer.Rather she tries to wake us up from the deep dreamy slumber that all of us have fallen into.A dream where no social taboos exist and men and women are at par.
Its a must read for everyone.It could serve as a wake up call to all potential change makers.We need more books like this one! Quoting from the book, written at the end of one of my favorite stories, " If literacy is to sign your name, education is to realize the identity the name bestows upon you !"
Food for thought??
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