Before I write anything about the book, I would like to draw your attention towards the book’s cover. It’s beautiful, in-depth and just cannot be missed. Another striking thing about the book is, it is dedicated to the spirit of womanhood and you will know it’s true to its sense when you read the book.
I loved the author’s writing style and how she maintained the beauty of it throughout the twenty-six diverse short stories. The characters are so realistically woven that you can easily relate to them. Each story is different and complete in itself. The curated anthology of stories portrays women’s dreams, struggle, desires, strength, determination and independence in its unique way.
The title of the book is also one of the fine stories where the author draws a parallel line between our biological mother and mother Earth, ‘Bhumi’ and how she bears the brunt of our negligence and abuse.
Every story has a message and interesting protagonists, like ‘Amma’ makes you think till the end why it has a male lead. Saira’s ‘Crazy Courage’ helped her shape not just her future but also of her children. Ira in ‘Fat Chance’ is a woman like you and me, every woman is body shamed either for being fat or skinny. ‘Naked Illusions’ deals with the heartbreaking truth of how newborns are thrown away like trash just because they are born as girls. It also touches upon the lives of prostitutes and their struggles.
The secret love notes of ‘Dried Roses,’ the perfect backdrop of ‘Ending,’ the strong older women of ‘Grey,’ the taboo of ‘Hush,’ ‘Instant Gratification,’ ‘Juxtaposition,’ ‘Karma,’ ‘Unbridled’, are all penned artistically. The author touches many lives and their struggles as those of rape victims, women ostracized from society, a bold journalist, physically challenged and ends the stories with positivity and hope.
It is a well-researched collection of stories with varied characters, settings and a strong narrative. It is an eye-opener for many hidden but rampant issues like body shaming, late marriage, menstrual taboos, gender discrimination, eve-teasing, blackmailing, infanticide, slut-shaming, rape and are dealt with immense maturity and sensitivity.
It also depicts the author’s perspective towards women and how she is moved by these issues. Looking forward to reading more from her. Bhumi gets a thumbs-up!