It's wonderful sometimes how we are introduced to some friends. In the age of the internet the coincidences have taken a new meaning. It was by chance that my attention was drawn towards a facebook status update by Dhiren
. He had shared about a group called The Purple Pact
and the description said it is about Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. I clicked the like button and as I was checking the details I got a message in my inbox saying thanks for joining this group.
This girl was telling about how the group is targeted at conditions like Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and spine degeneration, I replied that i knew these terms as my daughter had scoliosis as one of her symptoms. I was in for a huge surprise when this girl said she knew Mithi and that she has been reading my blog and knew everything about me and Mithi. I was dumbstruck as she proceeded to tell me that she has been praying silently, never having the heart to comment on this blog. I was touched. And I was back into the vortex that keep awaiting for me to trip. I am thankful to all those who prayed silently.
This girl is Sagarika Chakraborty and she shared that it took her a lot of time to have the courage to come out in the open with this medical condition of hers. She asked me if I could contribute to this blog called Purple is The Color of The Season
I immediately agreed.We talked about it in detail and I suggested a diet plan for her as well. Which proved beneficial of course. Then I wrote a post on the blog regarding dietary role in combating the symptoms
A few days went by and I stumbled upon a status update again that said this girl had written a book. I pinged her immediately and she giggled in the fb lingo. And then she asked me to read the book as well. That was something I brushed off saying formal things as I was in no mood to read another book by a novice. Honestly.
It was then that I asked her what this book is about. It revealed it was about the women and their sufferings.
Another reason for me to not to go for a book like this. Not that I don't have a heart but I just didn't want any stressful reading as there is enough stress already to tackle. A discussion began as I wanted to know her views on her idea of feminism. She said she is not a feminist and that perked up my ears. Absolutely.
Someone who wrote about the sufferings of women and still is not a feminist is sure something I would approve of. I want an understanding of the social malaise and not a futile hullabaloo over a few issues. A deep understanding will be the right solution in long term and all the symptomatic reactions to immediate happenings would die down as soon as a new girl is raped on the streets. These are my reasons of not being a feminist. I just cannot pick up one cause and segregate it from all the other social issues. Evereything else is interconnected and works in totality.
Some more prodding by Sagarika's side, she wanted my opinion on the book. And I made up my mind to read. Not someone to be convinced so easily, I succumbed to have a look what a young mind had to say about gender issues.
The book is named A Calender Too Crowded. It mocks at the appointed dates for the betterment of women in general. Does so quite well.
I ordered the book and read the first story immediately. About a story a week was my target as I never want to get overwhelmed with poignant tales of misery. There is actually a lot of misery we all have witnessed and the stories in this book are something all of us have seen around. Sagarika is a gifted writer and you completely relate to the stories. We all have witnessed some or the other social malaise, inequality and suppression. Some religious rigidness thrown in for a good measure and the situation becomes even more glum.
A weekend travelling routine gave me another opportunity to read a few more stories. And some more time to ponder upon them.
I liked a particular story called When The Ganges Run Dry. This is something I have witnessed in my own family. Thank God my grandmother (daadi) was not like that but many of her next generation women were the same. As if the Ganges could clean all sins and you are free to go on polluting the river of your own worldly sins...this line is mine :-)
Another story about a prostitute who goes on to educate her daughter in a boarding school is very touching. Selling a Body to Gain a Mind. Questioning the conscience at the right points. Not making a noise.
And that is the thing I liked about this book.Questioning the conscience at the right points. Not making a noise. Not telling others to do what they need to. Just getting up and start walking. No one would stop when you start walking. I applaud when a young mind thinks like this.
Squatting on the societal norms and blaming others is passe. Make your calendar and start marking the days.