Title: Women And Their World: Tales of love, loss, and survival
Author: Varunika Rajput
Publisher : Evincepub Publishing (August 2022)
Formate Available: Paperback, Hardcover and eBook.
Women play significant roles at home and in Indian society and it is to acknowledge these roles and positions of women in Indian society that this book has been written by a woman who dons many hats, is a multi- talented lady and a brilliant and beautiful example of woman power. It is with the intention to celebrate womanhood that this book draws the characters of different women in varied situations through 7 unique short stories. As a collection, it is an odd and eclectic motley of emotional tales that highlights the struggles of women to survive and assert their importance in a largely patriarchal social and domestic sphere. The central question of this book is: What is like to be a woman in this world? Characterisation remains central to this book as different women characters are drawn and developed to showcase the plight of women at different stages in life.
Sometimes she is a young girl who lives next door, at times a full time mother who is overworked and undervalued, at other times she is an experienced grandmother who dotes on her grandchildren but also a woman who wishes to explore more of the world that remains unseen to her. It is not only through the roles that women play but also the multifaceted roles that a single woman plays in her lifetime as a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend and so on that bring out the strength and wisdom that women have garnered over time in their lives. Since all the stories are set in India, they are highly relatable while the characters are all shown to be middle class individuals. So, along with gender the issue of class plays in the background that reflects on the struggles of women and helps to highlight their difficulties and challenges that they have to face. On one hand, financial issues restrain them further as they become more othered and restrict their freedom.
On the other, financial freedom is something that is liberating as it provides financial independence but then again there are challenges in the world outside of the domestic spheres that also tend to marginalise and exploit women. The plots of these short stories have multiple twists that are enriched with revelations that are bound to leave readers on the edge and keep them asking for more. It is clearly not a book by a woman for a woman readership only. The book deals with sentiments and emotions of women characters with the intention of sensitising the audience that comprises of both men and women. This is the unique selling point of the book as it stands on the correct notion of feminism that is not about male bashing or playing the victim card but about equality and more so about equity between the sexes. A sophisticated writing style with the use of a rich vocabulary, catchy phrases and realistic plots all reflect the importance, significance and relatability of the book to contemporary Indian readers.
The fact that these women characters are shown to win and remain grounded and lose but rise again shows their humane side that does not portray them as perfect ideals or damsels in distress but true to their nature, it shows them as individuals of flesh and blood who falter, succeed, cry, laugh and go through the ups and downs of life with courage. Passionately relayed, the book is a gem of a collection that startles, mesmerises and even haunts. Getting to know these characters is a humbling experience and reading this collection is sort of cathartic. Its emotional experience purifies and gives readers ideas that provide them with a sense of direction. The struggles and the manner in which these women face these struggles gives readers hope, instigates in them the fire to fight back with force and helps them to overcome the guilt of taking out time for themselves and giving room for self-love to grow. It resonates with the words of Maya Angelou that are cast in bold at the beginning of the book: “I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.” At a little over 114 pages, the book is a short read and a must read for those who enjoy women centric books, lovers of fictional short stories and just everyone in general.