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May 19, 2014 / subramanyam

Sita’s Curse :: My take


          I did not know what I was getting into when I signed up to review the book, “Sita’s Curse”. While I did read the blurb and the description the Readers Cosmos provided me, I never imagined that the book would be what it is !!!

          Before I get into the what I liked and disliked in the book, Here is the blurb of the book.

The Cover page of the book

The Cover page of the book

Somewhere, behind closed doors, in her solitary world;

somewhere, under the sheets with an indifferent lover;

Somewhere, is a woman who will not be denied.

Trapped for fifteen years in the stranglehold of a dead marriage and soulless household domesticity, the beautiful, full-

bodied and passionate Meera Patel depends on her memories and her flights of fancy to soothe the aches that wrack her body; to quieten an unquenchable need.

 Until one cataclysmic day in Mumbai, when she finally breaks free… Bold, brazen and defiant, Sitas Curse looks at the hypocrisy of Indian society and tells the compelling story of a middle-class Indian housewifes urgent need for love, respect, acceptance and sexual fulfillment

          Looking at the blurb, I somehow felt that this will be a description of an unhappy marriage, multiple issues with the

husband, a possible divorce, denial of the pleasures of a marriage and a woman crossing the line because of all this stuff in her life. But then, my goodness, I was in a for a complete surprise as I got into the book.

          Sita’s Curse is an attempt to ask a few questions that often are either neglected or brushed aside in our society. What if a marriage does not satisfy the bodily wants of a woman, what if her desires remain unfulfilled? How should she react when her husband cannot give her children? How should she react to all these circumstances and handle her own desires that unsettle her? Tough questions aren’t they? The author Sreemoyee Piu Kundu challenges the readers to think about these questions in her book “Sita’s Curse”.

          This book is about Meera Patel, a woman from the rural heartlands of Gujarat, It is about her dreams since her childhood, her needs, her marriage to a wealthy man, the short comings of her marriage, her belief system, the people she encounters in her life and finally the big step she takes.

What did I like in the book ?

          I liked the questions that were raised, I also liked the way she shows the consequences when important questions are brushed aside and a woman’s needs are not taken care of. When there are short comings and such things are ignored in a marriage, we might end up seeing a result that might bring pain to everyone involved. This particular thing was portrayed very well.

Things I did not like :

          The amount of sex in this book, it was really too much. It’s there everywhere, you cannot flip a few pages before running into a scene, a fantasy or something. I was feeling uncomfortable very often while reading the book.

          The book starts off with a steamy scene where the protagonist goes to her fantasy world and extracts some self pleasure, everything there is described to the microscopic detail. I was like already uncomfortable, its not just that one place where the author does a deep dive but every few pages you see something of this sort. I understand it is a book that speaks about the desires of a woman but every few pages you get to speak about sex and describe it in microscopic detail, it unsettles the person who is reading it. “Ati sarvatra varjayet”.

          The link between the title and the story doesn’t come out well. I somehow did not find the connect.

          I understand the demands of the body do play an important role in one’s life, while I am not the right person to speak about the importance of these aspects in the life of a woman, I am really astonished at the way the carnal pleasures become central to the existence of the protagonist. I see a disconnect here, isn’t the life of a 20th or a 21st century woman more tied to her goals, her career, her kids and other vocations of her. I felt really sad that the protagonist’s sole purpose of life seems to be getting the carnal pleasures and quenching the thirst.

          No doubt fantastic questions were asked in the book, but where are solutions? Giving a solution to the problems mentioned would have made the book even better. Giving hope and saying that mistakes could be corrected would have definitely taken the book to the next level.

          References to Gods and Goddesses could have been avoided, the mention of Goddess Lakshmi in the first few pages of the book is in sour taste.

Conclusion

          To sum it up, Sita’s curse is not regular stereotype you see in the market, it is a book that asks tough questions to the Indian Society. On the flip side it has too much erotic content that might really make it a tough read. The questions and the good things of the book get pygmied in front of all that sexual and erotic content. For a person with a conservative mindset it might be a tough book to read.

“This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program” . To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com.

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