Author: Sandhya Bachche & Sweta Chakraborty
Cover : 2.5/5
Title : 3/5
Blurb : 3/5
Theme : 3.5/5
Characters : 4/5
Value for money: 3/5
Overall : 3/5
“Aasha – the Inspiration is the journey of Jyoti Priya Malvankar, a Marathi girl born and educated in some B grade towns of India whose birth and upbringing hover around a middle class family with lots of dos and don’ts to follow; Like in 90 percent Indian families, she faced negligence and felt unimportant being a girl child. Luck strikes her door when she has the opportunity to travel abroad with her husband, see the world and serve at an NGO. She publishes a book ‘Aasha – the Inspiration’ which is about the struggle and journey of a girl from orthodox society to the ultimate of success and fame. This book was written and published as a fund raising initiative for the NGO she was working for. Her literary work got appreciated all over the world and she gets identified as an iconic symbol who uplifts the stature of common woman. She admits in a felicitation program that that the motivation in life comes from her mother. This was an appeal to the masses of India, a message not to ignore a girl child, but instead to give her equal opportunity and help her bloom like a flower amongst the society.”
Aasha by Sandhya Bachche is a narrative of the author through the character of Jyoti, a young girl born and brought-up in one of the rural villages of India. Being a girl child, the restrictions that were put on her compel her to be a rebel when required along with being the obedient and perfect daughter of her parents. Jyoti, who is currently in Atlanta, is provoked by a mere incidence on women empowerment to be greatful of her current life and also considers it the need of the hour to pen down her thoughts. She begins writings about how the various incidences from her childhood shaped her as a person. The memory of these incidences is triggered by trivial actions or conversations with family.
Although the narration takes the form of a story, it would have been much more effective had this been written as a pure narration of a girl’s life. So instead of narrating the incidences randomly, it could have taken the shape of a biography or a fictional story inspired from real life.
A great effort by debutante Sandhya & co-author Sweta in portraying the image of Indian women and the current scenario in rural India. The authors have used decent vocabulary to keep the narration simple and easy to decipher. It was a delight to read the book. The authors have also raised questions at the end of a few chapters — questions which made me think about my own existence as a girl and about my status and importance in the society alongside making me feel proud of the empowerment that we have received as part of the urban culture and how much that has led to the progress of our country on the whole. Kudos to the writers for an influential and provoking narration!
A light read on women empowerment and current scenario in rural India (3/5)
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Click here to read Sweta’s interview by me.
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