Book Review : A calender too crowded – By Sagarika Chakraborty


An interactive review is being attempted for the first time, Writersmelon concludes the month long feature for the book - A calender too crowded , by Sagarika with some candid expressions from the reviewer and the author. 

Dhruv:  This book is a collection of short stories and poems based on the issues of modern day feminism. The book takes on a probing, questioning and critiquing role towards the issues that have often been put aside, covered or discussed in hushed voices.  At times the author is ruthlessly honest which frees the book from stereotype feminist expressions which put women on either of the extremes.
There are two major aspects of this book which command an attention at the outset. First is the depth in the content, insights and research on the issues involved and the perspective developed by reasoning and understanding of complex phenomena.  Second is the fiction side of it, the presentation of all the things mentioned in ahead in a sound, easy to read and lyrical prose.
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Sagarika: "Overdose of feminism all around ....and the same gets beyond me and definately beyond my book too"

I am human when I present my views but my book gets “wrongly” tagged as a feminist book. I have cried hoarse time and again that I am not a feminist in writing or in thought and my book is all about woman and womanhood. It’s not that I have anything against feminism – I cannot afford to have when it’s a label that no matter how much I have shrugged it off, has found its way to stick to my name!
However, saying that, I stand clear on the fact that I am not a feminist. Why you ask, mainly because I don’t think standing up for issues related to women always necessarily means putting the male folk in  low and bad light. I can remove that aspect and still talk about rights – if that part gets intertwined in the process I have no problem.
 I really want a space where I can breathe free and giggle – not one where each word is hair split and people are ready to point and pounce on how your statement is derogatory to the entire clan of women! I am a woman and a very proud one – I can proudly say that the amount of gender studies work I have done surpasses what my peers have indulged in (of those I know), but still I feel that standing up for womanhood is not being feminist.
But I shall make no hue and cry, snickering or clicking my tongue over ..
Talks in jest where I talk of pouts and smiles helping me get my way!
Cuddling a teddy and loving Barbie in a little girly fashion.
Sharing accounts or asking him before I spend on a thing
Being daddy’s little princess and still relying on him
Despite writing for World Bank and penning down books, wanting to serve my family food cooked by me for dinner
Giving up work for children and not expecting a role reversal with my partner
Wanting to live in with my in-laws and not really agreeing to the issue of “space”
Despite supporting various causes and defending rape cases in courts wearing the lawyer tag, refusing to give into male bashing at each instance
Giving a lady the advice of trying to repair a relationship with egos being dropped, hers being first and not thinking that I am asking her to give up her self-worth
Not being able to control my tears in public – strong women don’t break down!!!
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Dhruv :  "The strongest part of the book is the command of author over the issues discussed. The honesty in the description is evident of sound research and analysis. At times the author is ruthlessly honest which frees the book from stereotype feminist expressions which put women on either of the extremes.  Moreover the range of expressions, issues and insights covered are also indicative of the depth and thought that have gone into making of these short stories and poems. References to the traditions and some of the characters of ancient epics also draw a useful and elaborative parallel between the social conditions of women across different times.  
Author also stays away from being didactive and too authoritative on these issues. Each story ends more in questions than in instructions which is a good thing and allows readers the freedom to interact with the book”.
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And hence the verdict –
The prose is quite easy to read, however the gravity of the issues discussed make the reading a little heavy, but this is how its meant to be, after all. There are places where one can observe the clear intervention of the author in making things happen through the prose. This is the only limitation on the part of the fiction part of this book.
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---- Reviewed by Dhruv Joshi 
    A voracious reader, aspiring unbridled author and a occasional blogger here
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 - An initiative to feature notable authors. 
A calender too crowded -- By Sagarika Chakraborthy is the book "In focus" 

2 comments:

Sudam Panigrahi said...

I've received the book today only. I'm sure I'll be reading a different book.

thanks.

endowedwithmetis said...

Thanks Sudam, I am indeed looking forward to how you liked it :)