Have you ever paused to appreciate the women around you? Your friend, sister, daughter, aunt, grandmother or even your boss, the maid, the receptionist or the tutor? Have you ever wondered about the story behind those determined eyes and smiling faces?
Whether it is Minal who confronts her stalker, or Purnima who helps her maid Chutki fight for her right to education, Fatima who stands up against her bullies at school, or Amara who takes a tough decision at her wedding, Janvi who refuses to give up her dream of having children, or Prerna who makes everyone look beyond conventional notions of beauty, each of these characters represent the qualities present in the women around you.
These are women of indomitable will. They are soft, yet powerful. Tender, yet fierce. They fell, and then rose up even stronger because they were warriors, not victims of the social injustice. They refused to back down and suffer silently. They refused to lie damaged and scarred for life. They survived through the worst and emerged stronger than ever before. Their determination to live with dignity gives hope to those who are still struggling. This book is a tribute to such women.
Nandita Das, Actor, Director and Human Rights Activist, said, “We need a diversity of storytellers telling the stories that shed light on the deep and abiding prejudices of our society… I hope that efforts by people like Hanadi Falki will take us one step closer to achieving a more equal, just and inclusive society.”
First instincts: one of the many books on women empowerment. I can relate to another book called ‘We, Women, Wonder’ by Inderpreet Paul.
Women Around Us is a book of hope, Struggle, and Injustice.
‘To the little girl in you who
Chat with the stars
Plays with the clouds
Sleeps with the moon
And embraces the sun
The Universe is yours ‘
There are 7 short stories and each story is almost 20 pages.
The cover is beautiful and the blurb is kept crisp! It’s one of the beautiful book written. The narrative is brilliant and character development has been taken care with utmost importance. Just like how a small chutki becomes Asha after realizing the power in her.
Only let down is that there are places where the men are too portrayed too harsh and women are portrayed too supportive. It makes sense to keep the story and subject but still, can one gender be too extreme?
Read it yourself and give your verdict!