A very persistent woman asked me to review her book. It was hard to ignore her ( :) ) and even harder to ignore the book once you have started it.
A Calendar Too Crowded, a collection of short sketches, attempts to capture the spirit (or the lack of it) of the various "days" set aside in the global calendars for recognition of the women kind and the social evils suppressing them. A very strong theme but a very tough theme too.
Each sketch brings to light a different problem faced by women. Not all external, not all the cliched atrocities against women. At every step, a women's decision is questioned, if not, her powerlessness against a decision.
Sagarika Chakraborty (the author) brought out a great many faces to a woman. However, there are many more and that's how it will always be. Nevertheless, Sagarika tried to show the world the strength and weakness of a woman.
The language and the narrative changes from story to story. Sometimes it seems like there was more than one author. While some rely on the description others rely on the story. While some take their time to unfold, others can't wait till the plot is out. While some bring out the point subtly in a woven story, others are outright preachy. You may not like all. But there will be a voice you will connect to, and there will also be a voice you wish you would never be.
Some of my fav's: When the Ganges Ran Dry, Selling a Body to Gain a Mind, Sister's by Choice and Not by Chance. Especially, When the Ganges Ran Dry. There was something about the story that kept going on even after it's over.
All the best to a budding author !