Friday, 6 February 2015

Review of 'Nirbhaya & others who DARED' by Kusum Choppra

Title: Nirbhaya & others who dared
Author: Kusum Choppra
Publisher: Vitasta
Page Count: 274
My Rating: 4/5

Blurb: In a culture described as 'punctuated by question marks', what is the role of women?
Is she a meal ticket? A punching bag? A caretaker for old parents, offspring etc.? A business deal maker? The working partner ? The third wheel?
Or a person in her own right—holding on to her space, her identity while countering intimidation?
Kusum Choppra's hitherto untold stories, tongue-in-cheek or serious, offer insights into the functioning of women's minds:
Of different approaches to life after a divorce;
Of the greedy exploitation of the widows of Kargil's martyrs;
Of a sister fighting for inheritance to protect her mother from
her brother;
Of a burnt bride fighting her way back—to life and emotional
Of a simple village woman protecting her aged in-laws from the
greed of her husband and his new wife;
Of widows grasping at their slices of life. And why not?
Of a challenge to Pati Parmeshwar's right to select surrogates!
The stories are of women surviving their ordeals to move on in life

Verdict: ‘Nirbhaya & others who dared’ is the third book of Kusum Choppra. As the name suggests, this book is obviously on women but the author has a totally different approach.

The name of the book speaks for itself. After getting the book the first thing that grabbed my eyes is the wonderfully designed cover which perfectly goes with the content. I hate those books which have glossy and attractive covers but doesn't have any connection with the content. Nirbhaya, a name that always remains in a corner of our heart, is possibly the best name for a book like this which talks about how strong a girl could be. The tag line ‘the others who dared’ is perfect too because the stories are indeed of those who dared to take a stand against all the wrongs.

This book is a collection of twenty two short stories. All stories are different but only one thing that remains common is a strong woman character. Unlike other books of this genre in the market, which talks about the helplessness of a woman, author Kusum Choppra has chosen to show what should today’s woman do. The author has portrayed through this book that, this is not necessary for a woman to remain silent every time, it is ok to say that a woman is not sexually satisfied, divorce is not all times a woman’s fault, a wife should always take a stand against an alcoholic and abusive husband. The readers will witness how a woman should behave in today’s circumstances and after reading these stories the readers can find a lot of answers of why women are at the wrong end every time.

The narrating style is lucid and simple. There are no unnecessary descriptions which can bore the readers. I loved the way the author has written the end of each stories, it left me speechless. The women of these stories are from different backgrounds, different age groups, different culture which makes all these stories all the more interesting.

Only one thing which I will point out as the flaws of the book, there are few stories which could have been started in a better way. The author has tried to jump into the story straight from the very first line which could confuse a reader. Apart from this I found this book wonderfully edited and framed.

Few of these stories are based on real incidents, few are fictional but I would request each and every one to read this book, especially to those women who are still sitting idle and searching for the push to stand up. Overall a must read.

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