This story was a random pick. I had never read the author before, so when he announced his new short story on twitter, I bought this immediately. Last year I had read a full-fledged novel from the point of view of Meenakshi, Ravana’s sister. Not everyone knows her with the name, her more common name being Shurpnakaha. Meenakshi was born into a humble home of a Rishi. The turn of events made her the princess of Lanka and then the ugliest woman in the city.
The story begins with Meenakshi sitting near the steps as she waits for the man who disfigured her.
after the brother of a God had cut off her nose, ears and breasts. She was just so insignificant, much like a worm.
She always felt like a worm in a putrid drain.
She has lost the sense of smell. She keeps wondering how each thing smells.
Do painted flowers have fragrance, she wondered. Everything has fragrance. Meenakshi paid the price of falling in love with a man. Her pest like existence is what she is used to now.
But today was a different day. Today she had come to meet Sita. The woman because of whom Meenakshi had to forgo everything.
The story explores two women in Hindu myth and what they felt when they met each other. Sita is being thrown out of her own house because some random people doubt her fidelity and Meenakshi has lost everything to a man he loved. Both have a minute conversation of patriarchy in the society.
Never tell a man he could have been wrong. I have done so and paid the price. All wars are without reason, Sita. Men fight to satisfy their egos, to secure their property, or to simply grab what belongs to others.
Sita is not so meek her and Meenakshi is not the demoness-like figure. They are just two women in a man’s world.
Anand Neelkantan has a pleasant narrative style unlike the book I had written which was rather provocative. I am excited to pick up more books by the author now that I am familiar with his writing style.
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