After reading the reviews at many sites and many people’s wish to read this book, I was intrigued to try this one. Especially, it was the title, which made me curious. What could be Sita’s curse ?
This is what the book’s brief says:
Trapped for fifteen years in the stranglehold of a dead marriage and soulless household domesticity, the beautiful, full-bodied and passionate Meera Patel depends on her memories and flights of fancy to soothe the aches that wrack her body; to quieten an unquenchable need. Until one cataclysmic day in Mumbai, when she finally breaks free…
Bold, brazen and defiant, Sita’s Curse looks at the hypocrisy of Indian society and tells the compelling story of a middle-class Indian housewife’s urgent need for love, respect, acceptance – and sexual fulfilment.
Ok. I wanted to know how this Meera Patel breaks free from the hypocrisy that surrounds her. I wanted to know about the soulless life she leads, which makes her break out of it. And I also wanted to read about the dead marriage, which can literally kill a person. But, as I came to know more about her life, the sensuous woman seeking liberation from her unhappy marriage disappears and all that remains in my memory is a woman who is able to understand her desires very well but certainly she has not understood herself properly. She is unclear of what she wants in life. Even when she leaves home one fine day, she doesn’t know what to do or what to expect of life or where is she going !!
But there are many other things other than these. Her relationship with her twin brother, her desire for her dance master, the ‘within the four walls-yet everyone knows‘ kind of relationship with that Godman, the steaming relationship with the dancer and of course, another one with the guy from a adult-site.
And then there are her sufferings – when her husband ignores her for one whole year after marriage – when she is not being taken to the in-laws house after marriage, while her younger co-sister Vrinda is being taken immediately – when her husband is kind-hearted to his brother’s wife while he screams at her – when her MIL thinks and talks as though its Meera’s fault that she is not conceiving – when her husband is unable to satisfy her sexually and because of that he treats her with indifference.
But all these sufferings do not justify those lust-filled pages. Her sorrows do not end by giving into such passionate desire with random men and no meaning. Even with sexual affairs with different men, there is a meaning to it or there is some motive. She doesn’t have any meaning or motive, yet high on sexual desires makes her portrayal as a weak woman. Yes, she attends some English speaking course, but did she really benefit out of it is the big question. Instead of depicting her as the strong woman who comes out of her sufferings and holds a place for herself, she has been portrayed as a sex object and everyone views her like one. Even though love is what she yearns, all she gets doing is the lust part. Its sometimes so disgusting, that I had to skip them totally !
And all the men who show some consideration towards her in some form, either die or get arrested or mysteriously vanish – hmmm…its not a situation to look forward to when she finally liberates herself.
Her flights of fantasy are mostly sexual and nothing great about values.
Mostly, a disappointing book for me, except for the fact that one fine day, after 15 years of marriage, she gets out of the web of suffering. But, to where ??
The author, in her acknowledgements has written about the lady she saw standing at a window in the over-crowded Byculla lane and hence the story was born of what a middle-class wife in a crowded Bombay might be. For all Bombay stands for, Meera Patel should have worked at her values and success as a strong woman, instead of stupidly relying on her passionate ventures.
Finally, one more point, Sita’s curse – the title and the co-relation given makes no sense to me. Sita’s curse is her kidnapping by Ravana and here its Meera’s marriage. While Sita came out of it with an Agnipareeksha, Meera’s freedom is less comparable.