A calendar too crowded- Book review
Debutant Author Sagarika Chakraborthy hits the bulls-eye with ‘A calendar too crowded.’ As the title suggests, Sagarika offers her opinion on the various days in the year dedicated to women. She bravely explores issues such as exploitation, sexual abuse and female infanticide, terms that Indian society tries best to avoid. The stories in the book do different things to different people. For the overly sensitive, it can easily make them cry while for people like me, it raises some thought-provoking questions that we do not dare to ask. The powerful language used throughout the book is such that it can bring shame to the most hard-core of male chauvinists. One example from the first chapter is:
“I was lucky because as a foetus ultra violet rays were not allowed to have a peek at my genitals to decide my fate.”
Millions of women who continue to be exploited despite all our modernisation and technological advancement have found a new voice in Sagarika Chakraborthy. The stories are simple, do not appear contrived and appeal to every reader. The depth of each and every character is incredible for a debutante author. It might be wrong to classify the book under the ‘fiction’ genre because the stories in the book are that of a billion anonymous women. The main question that the author tries to ask throughout the book is, “Do we really need these symbolic celebrations of womanhood when we are going to sit back and watch millions of women suffer?” For a traditionally misogynist country like India, Sagarika’s book comes as a reminder to all of us that we have to act fast.
Ultimately, “A calendar too crowded” is more than a book. It is a hard-hitting reminder of the hard-hitting reality.
For the content, language and relevance of the book, I would award the book a 9.5/10.