What happens when women want more of life than offered to them? A sisterhood across generations takes on the tyranny of unwritten rules and customs. They do what has to be done without announcements of commencement or completion to find their own places in the sun.
Fascinating tales then evolve….. Nirbhaya & others who dared offers stories of hope, to women facing issues at home and outside, covering the gamut of gang rape, marriage, domestic violence, dowry deaths, divorce, incest, inheritance, duties & responsibilities, widowhood etc. Thinking out of the box brings different resolutions in their favor.
Nirbhaya fought against her attackers; those of this nirbhaya are brought to justice and to the shame they deserve; she springs back to humanhood, holding onto her space and her options. the book watches a burnt bride fighting back, to life and to emotional freedom; widows and divorcées grasping their slices of life; a rural female headed household achieving prosperity; pati parmeshwar's monopoly on selecting surrogates stands challenged, along with many more insights into oh womaniya!
Nirbhaya & Others Who Dared is a book that talks about women survivors. It does not matter who they are; rich, poor, middle- class, in their teenage, late 20’s or 50’ – a women’s life is an endless struggle.
The author of the book, Kusum Choppra brings forth the feeling, that it has been enough now! Women need to take the matters in their own hands (just so that we are clear, matters have always been in women’s hand, now it is time to make people realize it) The book talks about the societal, cultural and gender norms forced on women and how the society stops them from following their dreams and ambitions in life. Why is it necessary to put women in chains and not men?
The cover of the book is catchy and beautiful. It conveys the message aptly. The language is simple, inspiring and direct. Readers can find pangs of emotions, pangs of twitching realities hitting on their morals with every story, which mirrored this poignant reality of our social paradox so vividly yet so sensitively.
The book has catered to redefine the social pragmatism, the paradox of our social institutions, gender roles and engraved moral/cultural scrolls intensely. The stories narration is crisp, bold, honest and daring just like the soul of the book, it’s underlying message for woman who have been abused physically, morally, emotively and financially. It raises the glaring questions in a roaring scream with justified moral in the end- “Why do woman have to scream for their basic rights when the duties have entrusted naturally to them via dictated centuries old roles and scrolls? Why not a woman has been empowered even in the educated circle? Are these talks, reasoning & advocacy is just hogwash for something bargained, which is, an ounce for her freedom, her respect & her well being holistically?
I really enjoyed reading few stories very much.
A Survivor’s tale is the heart-wrenching narration of one surviving rape victim with a strong message to follow in the end- “DARE”.
The story Bindiis sweet yet gave its readers thoughtful glances into the depth of woman heart.
Meal Ticket is quirky to read and made me feels amused by the end.
A New story is far from imagination, a great Daring step by the protagonist, not expected in our conventional society.
An officer & A Lady is a story with strong connotations for the social institutions like Marriage, acceptability, and compatibility in relationships other than marriage also. As protagonist try harder & harder to convince her the life she wishes and for that all she had to do was “DARE”.
Carina’s Betrayal is bold story exploring the deep hidden troves of woman heart and her yearnings. The “object” is woman from time immemorial, labeled as an eye-candy till she “Dare” to whet her moral boundaries.
Cons- While reading, at some points, I have to read story again to catch up what’s going in it, as if something was missing or I skipped few sentences or two. It becomes kind of expression- Ah! Something is missing in this story.
Otherwise, overall Nirbhaya is a great book to pick & read. I wish Kusum Choppra best of luck in all her future endeavors.
Nirbhaya, I Hate You
"Snoring in our slumber, we were
Enchanted by the idyll of our dreams
And then you came, oh so loud the hollar
That caught us and shook us by the collar
For showing the demons of our minds,
For removing ignorance's comfortable blinds
Nirbhaya i hate you
Successfully we hid, the whining with the shining
And blocked dissent's disruptive dins
Along you came then, and shook our core
All the hypocrisy within, you brought to the fore.
You brought us pain, you drove us insane
All the rosy pictures we painted,
You took and filled it
With reality's despairing disdain
No longer do the people get trampled and forget
No longer do the persecuted suffer in silence
You gave them strength to face the fight
You gave them will to face our might
Neither we saw, nor heard nor spoke against any evil
But you yanked our hands, and forced us,
To feel the heat that roasts the common man
Forgive you, we'll not, O Nirbhaya, for you
Forced us to face the monster of our making."
No permissions No passwords,
No transactions No romance,
No declarations needed for this coalescing of flesh,
Only a purposeful mood.
I come to you like a martyr
Whenever you want me, in slivers or whole
I am, of course, yours
To do with as you please.
My lips, breasts, thighs belong to you.
You earned them like a dowry when we married,
An applauded silver jubilee ago. But
Since you stopped hearing my voice
Since you stopped meeting my gaze
Since you stopped seeking my heart
Since you took what was 'rightfully' yours
I became a martyr of salaciousness.
There are times when I look treacherously radiant
Those are the days you erase me with your eyes
You want me most when I am weary to my palms
a wisp of myself.
Let me tell you I ache only
for a saturating hug, nothing more.
I sell my sacred soul on nights
when you extract more than that.
My mind daps outside its environment.
My thoughts stoke forbidden treasures of perfect tunes.
My solemnity salivates with droplets of some deep hunger.
My emptiness inherits more births
across sanctimonious loveless deserts called life.
This body you call yours, is a cadaver.
Its poignant convulsions are not yours.
Nor yours its sinful scribes and golden fantasies.
Nor its sullen sweltered yearnings.
A falsely swooning altruistic corpse is your only destiny.