Women's Day reads: Anthology, ode, stories of forgotten glory

PTI| New Delhi | India

Updated: 08-03-2022 12:02 IST | Created: 08-03-2022 12:02 IST

A number of books have been brought out coinciding with International Women's Day - an ode to inspiring women who changed India, a saga of valiant achievers and an anthology of stories about those who had swum against the current.

''Rising: 30 Women Who Changed India'' by Kiran Manral looks at what shaped them, the challenges they faced, the influences they had, the choices they made and how they negotiated around or broke the boundaries that sought to confine them, either through society or circumstance.

From politics to sport, from the creative and performing arts to cinema and television, from business leaders to scientists, legal luminaries and more, the book, published by Rupa, features the stories of these celebrated, fabulous women.

Those featured in the book include Sushma Swaraj, Sheila Dikshit, Fathima Beevi, Mahasweta Devi, Amrita Sher-Gil, Amrita Pritam, Sonal Mansingh, Lata Mangeshkar, Anita Desai, M S Subbulakshmi, Madhuri Dixit, Bachendri Pal, Rekha, Karnam Malleswari, Hima Das, Shakuntala Devi, P T Usha, P V Sindhu, Kiran Bedi, Mary Kom, Aparna Sen, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Gayatri Devi.

In ''Her-Stories: Indian Women Down The Ages - Thinkers. Workers, Rebels, Queens'', also published by Rupa, Deepti Priya Mehrotra writes about valiant achievers, rebels, warriors and activists who changed the wave of complacent human existence.

The book celebrates the stories of women with forgotten glory, such as philosopher Sulabha, philanthropist Vishakha, justice maker Leima Laisna, astronomer Khona, intrepid Sultan Razia, martial artiste Unniyarcha, poet-saint Janabai, pepper queen Abbakka, fakira Jahanara, Dalit rebel Nangeli and many more.

''Her-Stories'' describe desperate situations, ingenious strategies and brilliant sparks of feminist consciousness.

Cutting across several regions of India and presented in chronological order from second millennium BCE, to the mid-19th century India, these are the stories of women who have been thinkers, doers, movers and shakers who have subverted hierarchies, brought peace out of chaos and survived despite routine devaluation.

Most of the stories in Mohua Chinappa's debut book ''Nautanki Saala and Other Stories'' (OakBridge Publishing) are based on the women and men she met in a span of two decades, from the early 80s to the 2000s.

While the lives of the people are a testament to the cultural-economic shift in these decades, they are also an attempt to strengthen the feminist who hesitates in confiding. ''Nautanki Saala'' started as little writings on Instagram.

''I had to tell the stories of migrants, the crazies, the oddballs and the intellectuals I had met in my life. Instagram word limit reduced them and I had to write the details limitless,'' says Chinappa.

The characters evolved as the author walked back into the meandering Shillong wet roads, the Delhi immigrant's locality and the smaller towns that she had visited.

Chinappa hopes her book changes the way one looks at a bar dancer, a parlour masseuse, women who can't become mothers and people in cities who bravely hide the longing of returning to a place they call home deep inside their heart.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Gayatri DeviSaalaShakuntala DeviHima DasRebelsFathimaAmrita PritamIndiaMohua Chinappa'sMahasweta DeviDeepti Priya MehrotraSulabhaRekhaAbbakkaChinappaSultan RaziaKhonaKarnam MalleswariIndianKiran Mazumdar-Shaw

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