I normally don’t pick up short stories. Somehow, I never had an inclination for them—I think it’s something to with cliffhangers which most short stories tend to be. And, I prefer definite ends! After having invested so much time and emotions in the characters and stories, closure is what my heart needs. But, somehow, ‘We, The Women Of India’ a collection of five short stories, has somewhat changed my perception of them.
Written by 17-year-old Riddhima Saraf, these short stories are heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time. Though the stories aren’t exactly new in terms of concept or the themes, they still make you sit up and leave you with thoughts that stay with you even after you’ve finished reading the book.
Whether it is Kunti’s story seeking forgiveness from her eldest son, Karna’s, forgiveness, or a young college girl coming to terms with casting couch and Bollywood aspirations, or a young Muslim bride struggling with the challenge of producing a heir, or a young village girl’s dream of attending school or a devdasi who has has resigned to her life and lost all hope of change—all of these make you smile and also sad.
With just 78 pages, the book can be finished in one sitting and in an hour or so—they are that simply written with no heavy innuendos or unnecessary jargon-laden language. For her first published book, Riddhima has managed to conjure up feminists tales of triumph, acceptance and loss.
I would say read these tales when one looking for a quick read.
Book: We, the Women of India
Author: Riddhima Saraf
Publisher: Notion Press
Pages: 78; Price: 199