This is no collection for the weak-hearted. Aruna Chakravarti’s short stories, spanning characters from different strata of society, tell the bleakest stories, in the most compelling narrative. Set in West Bengal, the first story,
, is about self-proclaimed priestess who claims to have
on her speed dial and the ability to help any woman have a child.
As 29-year-old Tillottama comes to
for “help” a gory story of rape and abuse in the name of God begins to emerge. Houses are primary characters in the book too. In Suralakshmi Villa — a lovingly built home watches as incest tears it apart, while in
we see a brothel through the eyes of a young girl.
The stories are powerful, even as they bare sexuality, love and happiness of social trappings. Thankfully, the author’s words have a lyrical quality that lend pace to gut wrenching tales.