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Saanvri: When facts inspire fiction

books Updated: Oct 25, 2016 07:45 IST
Nabanita Das
Nabanita Das
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Book cover of Saanvri.

Real life anecdotes and societal changes have always inspired an author’s mind. Similarly, when Rajasthan’s Bhanwari Devi case shook the nation and garnered much media attention, journalist-filmmaker Vinod Pande penned his fictional account, Saanvri — the story of a concubine, receiving much inspiration from the incident.

In a small north-Indian town, on a rainy night, a nurse disappears in the weirdest manner, while on a visit to a patient. While the police suspect abduction, there are no calls received by the family with ransom demand. This mysterious story now unfolds to portray a woman who is used and abused not only by unknown men, but also by people she trusted and loved. The narrative takes a curious turn when she is evolves from a victim to become an exploiter.

The book, questioning morality, human relationships and dilemmas of integrity, is a heavy read and definitely recommended. However, with explicit and descriptions of abuse in the narrative, it is not for the faint-hearted.

Title: Saanvri — the story of a concubine

Author: Vinod Pande

Publisher: Niyogi Books

Price: Rs 250