River of Flesh and other stories – Book Review


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Publisher Speaking Tiger
ISBN-10 9385755587
Edition 1
Number of Pages 272 Pages
Publication Year 2016
Language English
ISBN-13 9789385755583
Binding Paperback

When I got a mail from Vivek Flipkart on two different books for review, it appealed to me in a way that this has got to be different probably, changing the way I would start looking at society.

I replied stating this must be a different perspective given the topic and how they have been seen in the way the society draws a line. So when the Sunny Leone interview happened the same time, it showed how deep those lines run in our mind rather than on the roads where these unprivileged women make the ends meet.

And to put together some of the most acclaimed writers in a collection must have been a task and getting to the topic on hand must have been a great decision by itself. I see this as a big and bold step simply because that was what ultimately got me to read this book. And the editor Ruchira Gupta has done a fabulous job on this front.

And when you read those stories you get to read those innocence writ on their lives and how those innocence has been tarnished and trampled to a state of prostitution.

It took sometime to realise the gravity of the context in each of these stories which come to life with words from some of the classic writers as Kamla Das, Indira Goswami to Mushi Premchand.

Poignant sometimes, rebellious sometimes,  meek and mild and varied the expressions are myriad in more ways than one.

This book also opens up to the regional intricacies and the thoughts that pervade through the countryside. Some the endings are sure to give you goose pumps and some make you sit up and almost have a stuck throat. Quite often the end is a dark twist of fate if you may call that. How would you rationalise the woman going to bed with another man in the darkness to feed a hungry, ailing husband a mouth full of gruel.

The characters will live with you for sometime and sometimes you will feel the bitterness of the words. I am amazed by the fact that some of the works are recreated in the sense translated and I could sense the emotion when I could connect with the original language and the author. (eg. Ponnagaram)

It’s not just the woman’s plight that is portrayed here but the whole of the society which gets the whiplashes from the authors through the characters.

Pick this book and you will be led to a neighborhood you didn’t want to walk through. Gripping stories narrated so intensely and with appeal that makes you think.

Check out and buy the book here

Senthilkumar