A space of her own: personal narratives of twelve women by Leela Gulati, Jasodhara Bagchi

By Leela Gulati, Jasodhara Bagchi

Concentrating on relationships among ladies of other generations in India, this booklet contains of narratives demonstrating how every one contributor tested her personal personhood via engagement with a much broader family crew. Did the ladies portrayed within the narratives locate area for themselves inside orthodox constructions? Or, have been they so limited by way of the social roles of the best value to their households - as other halves and moms - that finishing those roles intended a few form of demise? How did their lives mildew these of the narrators of those existence histories? displaying that girls needn't constantly be visible as sufferers, those are tales of ladies who chanced on energy, good fortune and independence from the inspiring lives in their moms and grandmothers.

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The rest of the family, of course, was not like my grandfather. The uncles and aunts all shouted at Pramada. There were threats of tying her up and sending her back. She had lost her mother when she was only 6 years old and the aunts had prevented her from becoming close to her stepmother. The oldest aunt who loved my father and the baby, Romesh, like her own sons, unfortunately had no love to spare for the female child. I suppose my grandfather and her brothers, very conscious of all this, tried to compensate for this lack.

I had started writing prose and had an adoring readership. I was enjoying the recognition. I wanted it to grow. I worked very hard. The girls needed me. And I had many friends. Life was treating me well and I had no time to feel lonely. Here we were, three generations of single women living under one roof. A widow, a divorcee and two unmarried girls. But the oppressive shadow of Narayani was not over us. Mother, incidentally, had become bedridden after her nervous breakdown, and never quite recovered from it.

I had lost all faith in myself. Nor did my mother show any confidence in me as a dependable adult. She did not disclose her bank accounts to me, for example, even though I was her only heir, was earning enough, and had no abusive addictions like gambling, romancing or drugs. I had a hard time after her death trying to locate her accounts. And this is not a winning combination, either in a marriage or in a profession. Had I been less overpowered by my mother, I would probably have been a different person.

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