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December 30, 2010 / subramanyam


               Was reading MahaShweta the other day, another excellent work by Sudha Murty . As it happens with SudhaMurty’s books I finished MahaShweta in a single sitting. Though the book does have a little feministic tone . I still loved the book for the discussion it brings out. 
               MahaShweta  deals with the  troubles and the social stigma a married lady undergoes just because she gets affected by leucoderma .Her in-laws  wish to get away with her and her husband turns a blind eye. How this lady faces all that and whether she bounces back or not ? what will finally happen to her ? for answers to all these questions  I recommend you read the book. 
              Well now let’s see what leucoderma really is ?  This acquired skin disorder makes the skin white due to the loss of the melanin pigment.  


this disease ,though non-contagious affects  cosmetic l appearance of the person and takes a toll on the confidence of the person , most of the times people suffering with leucoderma  are ashamed of facing the public. The consistent depigmentation  brings up white patches and spreads across the body . However , the effect of this does not penetrate beyond the epidermis layer, hence the other functionalities of the skin such as hair growth, thermostat functions sweat will remain normal .Unfortunately there is no cure available for this . Just Google for leucoderma and you’ll get wonderful articles about the disease.  
                The social stigma attached to this disease  is humongous , the people who get affected by this disease are ostracized by the society. Many people think the disease is contagious ,the truth is its non-contagious. People think it is hereditary ,again it is not hereditary. We need to dispel the myths and the half-truths  about this disease and should not ostracize the ones affected by it. One more thing we observe in the society is the way married women are treated when they get affected by this disease in the early part of their lives. Society does not have any qualms if her husband deserts her and the in-laws  disown her . We keep seeing such cases , this should go .One more interesting thing if you observe is that , we allow husband to disown a  wife suffers from leucoderma ,the same is not the case when husband gets infected by the disease , in this case the wife is expected to be loyal and she is expected to take good care of her ailing husband. All this should be done away with. When you enter a relationship you are expected to stand by the person through the thick and thin , come what may you should stand and give support.  

                The book was a real eye opener for me and it made me read about leucoderma and helped me dispel some of the myths and wrong notions I harboured about leucoderma. I also liked the title MahaShweta, Sudha Murty with her Sanskrit prowess could not have got a better title,  maha meaning big and Shweta meaning white aptly convey the sense of the book .  


One Comment

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  1. Siddhartha Joshi / Jan 20 2011 5:32 pm

    Hmmm…this is an interesting story, I had often heard about it but never actually read it. I guess its time to brush up my Hindi 🙂


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