Sunday, April 01, 2012

Book Review: A Calendar too crowded- by Sagarika Chakraborty

Just finished reading a book, "A calendar too crowded", written by Sagarika Chakraborty.

When I first heard about the title, I mistook it to be story of a busy corporate executive whose calendar must be too crowded with meetings and travel plans.  I was wrong. The book is about women- their various phases in life and challenges faced.

Book is laid out in about 12 chapters, each representing a month of the year. Begins with a yet to be born girl child narrating from her mother's womb in January to the an elderly lady who'd to stay at senior citizen facility despite having children.

The book is not a fiction and the chapters have different characters, independent of other chapters.

What's important is that the book brings out several facets related to women, most of us never cared to understand or worry about.

First few chapters talk about family's desire for male child, difference in treatments offered to a girl child vs boy child.

Another chapter talks about treatment given to a war widow, who is kept in forced isolation to keep family honor intact.

Another chapter narrates the harassment at work, in a modern world of designing and modelling. One more illustrates society's nature of criticizing the character of a young women, who's been drugged, raped and abandoned by the roadside, without any intention of catching the culprits or providing her with some treatment

One chapter (April) talks about a women whose forced into flesh trade, who is determined to keep her daughter away from the mess and get her educated.

Then there're illustration of rich families- their crave for male child, and other internal family matters, including treatments given to mother in law and daughter in law. Suddenly there's a conversation between Krishna and Panchali, discussing how women were empowered way back in pre-historical ages.

Book is also useful on few other aspects- it lists several important days of each month, has occasional statistics related to child deaths and other topics being discussed in the book.

Book ends with story of a girl who's subjected to human trafficking

There were few poems, which I've skipped.

Only statement in the book that related to menfolk is this: "The centre for Social Research indicates that 98% of the cases filed under Section 498 A are false and more than 5 % of men commit suicide unable to bear the harassment of dowry cases"

We're so absorbed in our lives that newspaper reports of dowry related deaths, girl child abuses, human trafficking etc doesn't make us think on these issues. "A calendar too crowded" makes us take a serious note of these every day incidents. It is important to take a break from reading fiction, romances and read books like this once a while-they help us get whole new perspective to life.

An audio trailer below, if interested
"A calendar too crowded" is published by Niyogi Books and is priced at Rs 295

Author is currently working her second book and also leading an initiative called The Purple Project, a health research society which aims to address lesser known diseases in India

Other book reviews: Fate, Fraud and Friday Wedding *  Topgear magazine * Comical Saga Fate, Fraud and Friday Wedding * I am Number 4 * It happened in India * Raga Chintamani * 2 States by Chetan Bhagat* Not a penny more, not a penny less * Zero percentile -Neeraj Chibba* Colours of life by Ravi Sidula * The 3 mistakes of my life by CB * Bala Takes the Plunge-Melvin Durai * The Incredible Banker * She's a jolly good fellow * Songbird on my shoulder * 


Anonymous said...

Title check maadappa...Book hogi bok aagidhe..

Shrinidhi Hande said...


endowedwithmetis said...

"It is important to take a break from reading fiction, romances and read books like this once a while-they help us get whole new perspective to life."
One of the best review lines I have read, am feeling blessed!

thank you so much for this1 :)

Shamsud said...

This is a fine review....I am thinking of getting hold of this book. Should be an interesting read.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Endowedwithmetis and Shamsud: thanks. do read