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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

book: Families at Home by Reeti Gadekar

It is the debut novel by Reeti Gadekar. The book was shortlisted for Manasia literary award. The plot is set in Delhi . There is police, business families, middle class and the rustic rural characters. The paragraphs describing the various localities and the people living there in delhi are quite accurate and hilarious. the main characters include juneja the ACP, who sees the world through the eyes of the privileged class with feudal values in personal life and liberal view on everything else. Joseph is a keralite, totally at sea in Delhi, unable to understand the psyche of a delhiite . There is Sajjan Kumar , the 'thug' in the police team and then NK and RK talwars along with NK bhabhiji and RK bhabhiji of the typical punjabi business family.

The murder plot pans out like a B grade detective novel, the language is of Hindusthan Times and vulgarity generally passes for humour, may be that reflects the NCR culture. Probably the subject calls for such a style of writing. one example "....Nothing like the Delhi Policeman to wax eloquent on the orifices of the female body and what could be best deposited there..."

About editing, the less said the better it is. There are fragments of sentences, spelling mistakes, repeated words, and generally the book seemed to have been published in a hurry, when the deadline was more important than quality.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Book : Difficult Daughters

Read 'difficult daughter ' by manju kapoor. a catchy title really; may be the alliteration or just the contrast between the two words; after all daughters are supposed to be sweet , not difficult in any case. Yeah, when they are difficult, they can be very difficult.

This is not really a book review, but just an account of the impression the book created on this reader.

The theme of the story is 'education' vs 'marriage' ; wife as a 'companion' vs 'housekeeper' ; husband as a 'companion' vs ; 'provider'. One gets an impression that marriage constitutes slavery for women and that freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.

today education and marriage are definitely not mutually exclusive options for a woman, though choosing between career(not a job) and housekeeping (or home making) is still a difficult choice to make.

There is a lot of talk about emancipation of women. It is not the feminists, it is not education , it is not inheritance laws, not even the economic independence that has liberated women. If there is one invention that has made a major contribution to liberating women , it is the pill. As long as their most productive years were spent on reproduction and childrearing, where was the time and energy for anything else? Liberation from kitchen , to a great extent has been brought about by gas stove, pressure cooker, microwave oven and the refrigerator. With years saved by the pill and hours saved by the modern gadgets, there is so much more time to think about "emancipation". (Of course, you can save the entire lifetime for yourself by avoiding marriage altogether)

Now, the question is, what after education, career and economic independence ? will it pave the way for healthy interdependence, synergy and harmony at home ???!! or are we heading for more discords, disharmony and dissonance ?