Book Review: One Part Woman

One Part Woman signifies the God who we call “Ardhnariswar” meaning half man and half woman. It signifies that the world is incomplete without the very existence of both man and woman. And without them the world cannot sustain. One Part Woman is a book written by Perumal Murugan depicting one of the biggest issues of modern day — Infertility. Its a story about a rural couple working as a farmer in Southern Part of India where the woman failed to conceive even after 12 years of nuptial bliss.

The book shows the very pain the couple goes through when they are taunted by almost everyone in the village starting from immediate family members to neighbors and friends to outcasting them in every auspicious occasions just because they failed to produce an heir.  If they retaliate people stop speaking to them. The taunts were provocative enough to cause grief to the already grieved. And they seem to be at fault if anything goes wrong. If the crops doesn’t yield good harvest it is because  a “barren” woman has planted them. Barren or “baaj” as we call in our local language applies to the woman who don’t have a child. The entire book deals with the humiliation and they innumerable offerings to temples to satisfy God and get his blessings. They leave no stone unturned in this process. The ending is not smooth neither does it ends in a happy or positive note.

Ponna and Kali were married for 12 years and from the first month of her marriage she is expecting not to menstruate but everytime she does and cries at the barn. Things doesn’t get change to the slightest even after repeated and numerous offerings to the temples.  And finally Ponna was made to sleep with another man just to see if the problem was with her or Kali. And that thing was considered sacred among the villagers as it was a part of monthly festival.

The book is a good read with a very captivating way of writing but the story loses its sheen at the end. The same humiliation spoken in different ways but doesn’t show any way out. Infertility is no doubt is as grave and as emotionally draining disease where human have absolutely less control. It definitely questions 2 persons their motives of existence. As if you were born to give birth and if you fail you are no human.

Apart from Inertility the book shows the importance of education. At least I believe it to be so. If they were educated they would have consulted a doctor. And not keep doing rounds of temples. Also the people around them would have been considerate on these matters. Lack of education,knowledge adds to their woes.

Personally saying I was disappointed at the end. The end wasn’t half as beautiful as the beginning, The author could have shown how the couple overcame their curse. The word “curse” was used in the book but in general Infertility is not a curse. Its same as Cancer, Heart problems where you can only try to keep things under control but not cure it completely. Probably the author wanted to show that not every couple have kids and that results in the breaking of marriage. The years of trust, love  breaks just because you don’t produce a child. Again would have loved had the couple showed strength of character and dealt with situation firmly and positively.


Some musings continued

A friend of mine happily announced “these bunch of people are not exactly colleagues they are my friends.” I sighed inside fully aware that now I have outgrown all the relationship attachments. Those whom I have counted had let me down many a notable times. And from the day I joined office I got to hear only 1 thing “colleagues can never be friends”.

I smiled a bit not replying anything and wishing that his trust remains intact. Yes we do need friends at every step of life. Someone with whom we should share everything. But again it is the same friends who if needed can be a very big backstabbers. And worst of that is they will have no regrets whatsoever they did and will gladly accept the end of your friendship.

With growing age I have decided not to take any friendship to heart. If they are meant to stay they will, make no effort to hold on to them. Let them free. If they love you they will make all the necessary efforts to remain. And dont be naive when u see their true faces if the situation arises.

Teacher’s day

Whenever we celebrate a special day be it Mother’s or Father’s or Friendship or Valentine we always get a question is 1 day enough to celebrate love, friendship or teachings? Certainly not. But whats the issue if we choose to celebrate it 1 day. We can show the special someone how special they are and our love towards them in d form of celebrations speak volumes.

Teacher’s day is one such day when I choose to be particular whom to wish. To be frank not all teachers have taught me much of a thing except the syllabus. Parents come first but I dont thank them as they are beyond our thanks and wishes. They are indeed our 1st and best teachers. They dont have replacements.

Coming to teachers who made a difference to me are whom I diligently wish every year. When my school organize a reunion with old teachers I dont make it to the venue thinking that most of them dont know me and will not be pleasant enough to appreciate what I have become or what I am doing today. To them it will always be a comparison against the college i have been to, the company I work and d money I make.. Sadly enough figures still decides our success.

I remember meeting an old teacher someday who was so self obsessed with clicking her pictures that she didnot spare 5 mins to ask me how I am doing these days? And guess what she loves clicking pictures in her staffroom with variety of saree and jewellery just to get max likes and comments on facebook. I just want to ask her how many comments has she got from students saying ” u have changed my life for good” or ” u have guided me to be a better student and a better human being” ?

Teaching is akin to parenting and just like parents they are responsible to shape the little mind as a beautiful flower.. Our principal didnot teach us any subject yet was loved for her behavior and personality amongst children and their parents.

Thus to all of them who really made a difference in my life I take a minute to thank them as my schedules havent been so busy had they been not there in my early days.

And lastly to life.. Yes the biggest teacher , most harsh one and the last one.. We cant much thank God for all that happens to us.. Whether u like it or not u are bound to learn till ur bones and eyesight become weak.

Happy Teacher’s Day

When do you say you have grown up

I was watching a Web series which brought tears to my eyes when I heard someone saying ” the day I hold my child in my arms for the first time, I told to myself that I have grown up.”

A beautiful line which holds so much meaning specially for the first time parents. The transformation from a child to spouse and then to a parent though seems scary at times yet it is an experience which seconds none. I remember watching the gleeful face of a friend who was blessed with a baby boy recently. How ecstatic he was that he didn’t want to leave a single moment of the time he was allowed to look at his baby in the hospital. A journey which starts from pregnancy and ends when u die is something beyond explanation.

We might be conscious about the baby,his/her future,monetary problems, responsibilities and what not but the day it arrives u are changed. You change for good, for your child, for your spouse and that change comes automatically.

From a person who doesn’t know how to tidy his/her own room to a doting parent, you indeed grow up in truest form.

There are multiple times when a woman is asked to prove her worth. One out of many would be the prospect of marriage. U have to be beautiful, fair in order to be eligible for all prospective grooms. As if the guy doesnt require to prove his equality or eligibility. Second comes during child birth. The more delay u see in the matter the more you have anxiety as this depicts something is terribly wrong with YOU. Now the question is you can stop everyone but how could you stop yourself? If this is the very question u have to ask yourself how could you merely stop yourself from this?

Late confession

It was raining heavily when Akash entered his house. He has got bail after the court couldnt find substantial proof of his crime. He hated his house now that his mother is no longer alive and with his father he has hardly spoken since birth.

Akash slowly entered the drawing room and was utterly pained to see a big garland on the picture of his mother hanging on the wall. It was hard to believe that she still awaits his son’s homecoming just as before but this time it is her picture and not the real person. Akash loved his mom too dearly and she was the only source of love. Never in his life has he got that love and care from anyone. He had been teased and taunted by all and specially by the girl Rupali. It enraged him to such extent that he had to commit the crime. The crime was done on one but it was as if he was answering everyone. He didnot feel any remorse for that because he felt it to be worth his sufferings. He wanted people to know that he too can be dangerous if not treated properly. His actions will now instil fear in people’s heart and they would at least let him live in peace. And thus the crime was committed. He was clever enough to leave no evidences and thus prove himself innocent in front of the court. It was easy to cook up a story saying the duo were in love and whatever happened was on mutual consent. Akash’s mother who was present on the trial knew the very truth and couldnt bear his son’s actions. She committed suicide. Thats where Akash felt he has lost again.

Akash was thinking all when suddenly a sound from the other room disturbed his tranquillity. He slowly walked towards the room only to find his dad sitting by the window side and crying. He had never seen his father drop a single tear in all his life and now this old man was shedding tears and that too for whom? He didnt have a healthy relationship with his mother. Both hardly talked, hardly socialised together and hardly slept with each other. But somehow Akash’s heart melt at the scene. After all he was his father.

Akash sat beside him and slowly asked “dad, are you ok?” His father looked towards him with moist eyes. He heaved a sigh and said ” I wish beta I had been convicted then your mother would have been alive today. All these years we have been together, I never needed her presence and now when she is gone I am dying to get her back. I wish to bring her back at least for 1 day, for few hours. I have so much to tell her. I have to apologise for everything- for her, for you, for us” and he cried again.

Akash was bewildered. “What is he talking about? Is he mad or drunk?” His father continued “You know beta years ago when I met your mother in our village, she was one of the prettiest girl I have seen. I instantly fall for her. But she rejected me. I couldnt take that and couldnt bear her to be someone else’s wife. I committed the same crime as you did today. Her parents quickly got us married in fear of shame. She gave birth to you. But we were never in talking terms. She had done all her duty and raised you with all her might. She shielded you from me, from anyone who tried to harm you. She wanted you to be different, to be successful in life. The one person who ever could make her smile and forget everything was you. She kept  no relations with her parents, sisters. She never believed in our marriage and I couldnt force her anymore. All these years I thought I have done the right thing as I have got the girl I wanted. How could she say no to me when I loved her so much? How could she be so audacious? But in reality I never got her. Her soul, her spirit was beyond my touch. And on the day she found out that you have repeated the history she couldnt take it anymore. The next morning I found her hanging. I recovered her diary where she had written that she has failed in life as a daughter, as a wife and now as a mother. You turned out to be me – the person whom she had hated all her life. You know beta today I want to tell her that it wasnt she, it was me who is the failure. I failed as a person, as a man, as a husband, as a father. I failed to give her respect, love . I failed to love you, teach you how to be a worthy man. I know beta what you did was out of anguish. And that was because of me. Before I die I wish to confess my crime to your mother and take the punishment whatever she grants. I want her back” and he kept crying inconsolably.

Akash was aghast. It was as if someone has pulled off the ground from underneath. Never even in his wildest dream could he imagine his mother to be such. He had seen her pain, her gloomy face but she never ever told him the reason.

The next morning Akash was found dead in his bedroom, sleeping peacefully clutching his mother’s picture. On the suicide note it was written ” Dad, I am going to meet mother and tell her about your apology. Dont worry she will forgive you and we can unite again in heaven. I dont want Rupali to be like mother. I am convicting myself guilty of the crime and thus leaving this earth for good.”

One unusual love story

I am recently watching a television serial that was off air around a couple of years ago but still holds the same enigma and excitement as before.

The story revolves round a young, dashing and dynamic business tycoon who is arrogant and rude and always believes in own abilities. He has set himself up from rags to riches and set up a chain of hotel business. On the other hand he meets a sweet, charming and full of life girl from a middle class family. Their lives are poles apart but that doesnot stop the cupid to strike.

The twist is their wasnt a love at first sight rather they had love in their eyes but hatred and bitter words in their mouth. The guy never stopped bullying or behave rudely with the girl who on the other hand kept on defeating him at every challenges he threw. The guy would stop the moment he sees his lady crying or getting hurt revealing the fact that people who are tough outside are equally soft inside. And the expression he shows when he sees his lady love crying is just beyond adjective. The pain that he reflects depicts his love.

The girl in turn is very much afraid of the guy and tries to avoid him at every cost but again there are situations when she is mesmerised to see him and often reaches out to him for shelter. She is no less a caring partner and the whole chemistry between them is what makes the story soooo sweet.

On a brighter note the story often left me sad when i see the hate relationship as i somehow can sympathise with the girl and feel sorry for her condition. But again the moment i feel that the guy is always there to protect her i cant but get amazed.

The typical relationship where the man is dominant and the protector and his lady is the homemaker and loved by all.. Their different nature is what brings them close together. I sometimes wish how good had it been if this kind of relationship happens for real life? I mean not for a business tycoon to fall in love with an ordinary girl bit any love hate relationship where the man is loving, caring, possessive and passionate about his love so much that every drop of tear shed from his lady’s eyes will make him pained and he will regret every word spoken and every action taken.

I know this type of things do not happen in real life but at least gives us hope to love beyond condition and be loved equally.