While Blogadda decided that I should not be given 7-day deadline to review a book by my bestest blog-friend, I was indeed happy. I don’t think I would’ve done justice in just 7 days to read a book like that and review it too. Not that I was a slow reader, but I took my time to read, contemplate and think about each and every aspect Sagarika has spoken about in this book. There were moments when I had to keep the book down to literally think and analyze what that story / poem was talking about.
A Calendar Too Crowded by Sagarika Chakraborty, gives the reader a real, honest and shocking glimpse into our hypocritical society and values, with regard to the women of this society. The illusions, the trauma, the anguish, the doubts, the hope, the smiles, the contradictions, the confusions are all brought alive through the words, as I sit there and visualize myself through every character depicted in each story or poem.
Even though “Finding an ideal mother to my unborn child” was tad lengthier than the other stories, the message was so apt and a must for every mother of today who run to make a machine out of their child, at the same time bringing the child up with a gender inequality at its height and insensitivity towards the parent’s sufferings. Then there is no point in blaming that child during the later years as the mistake has been the upbringing !!!
“Witch without a Broomstick” made me angry at the stupidity of the customs and traditions in regard to widows, but the light at the end of the tunnel lifted my spirits. After all, there are people out there who are courageous enough to get out of these stupid systems of tormenting others.
I had to write this : Sorry Sagarika, if I am outlining each of ur story !!!
“Behind those Whispers” reminded me of my childhood so much. Yes, there was separation, no touching and I cried when the guests to our homes knew what I am going through. All the things I wanted to be kept a secret was not. But all the things I wanted to talk about was banned. Thank God that both my parents and my grandparents were lenient to many of those stupid customs, which really was a breather for me.
While my grand-parents didn’t mind if I ate before them during those whispering days, my mom actually allowed me to pray during those days. I don’t know if I really wanted to pray or not, but I wanted to break that wall of unwanted restrictions on me and considered it a victory in my mind.
And all these has given me the strength and courage to make my daughters understand that it is not bad blood nor deprive them of the comfort of a bed !!! If it’s a natural phenomenon then who are we to name it as dirty ??? If it is God-given, then why are we not allowed to visit a temple during those days ???
A tear or two rolled down my cheeks, as I read through “Selling a body to gain a mind” !!!
And of course, “Sisters by choice and not by chance” is really a favorite one. I just wish there are many more homes who welcome adoption !!!
While the urge is to write a line or two about every story, I don’t want to reveal too much for the “still waiting to read” readers. Every story/poem touches a chord in my heart !!!
Is it the calendar that is too crowded, Sagarika ??? I think it’s the mind that is crowded and that needs to open up with sensitivity and acceptance to the flaws of humanity. It’s the mindset about myths and customs that need to open up and change for the better.
WTG, my friend !!! Hugs.