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Showing posts from February, 2019

Jasmine Days By Benyamin: Book Review

WINNER of the JCB PRIZE FOR LITERATURE 2018 An Excerpt I sat again in front of the microphone for my beloved live programme, Rush Hour. It had been three months since I was in the studio. No one had expected me to go live as soon as I returned, or for that matter, even return. Maybe that is why our programme manager, Imthiaz sir, told me, ‘You don’t have to go live if you are not up for it, just record something.’ He was trying to be kind, but it made me sadder. To not go live? Is that why I returned to the studio even though Taya and my chachas told me not to? Is that why I asked the studio to announce my return even when they were hesitant? Does Sameera give in that easily? About the Book Young Radio Jockey Sameera Parvin from Pakistan immigrates to an unnamed city in the Middle East where she tells the story of the Arab Spring of 2011 in Benyamin’s new novel. Sameera moves to an unnamed Middle Eastern city to live with her father and her relatives. She thri

The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Book Review

About the Book The Ramayana, one of the world’s greatest epics, is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita’s version. The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity, and honor, it is also about women’s struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. While the Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever, in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, ‘Enough!’ My Take on the Book “In my kingdom, every man will have a voice, no matter how humble he is,” Sita wa