October 4, 2016

My Views On " A Forgotten Affair"

“Did you try love?” Kanchana Banerjee’s novel “A Forgotten affair” brings this question to the fore so beautifully and so enigmatically. Isn’t this trial, the very basis of leading a happy life? Trying love than anything else and how that becomes the anchor of your life! The pivot to which you can hold upon when all is gone.

“Sometimes…you need to forget everything to recognize what matters most”, quotes the author.

I really enjoyed reading this book, the setting based in my beloved city Gurgaon and it’s a woman centric story of finding oneself. I liked the end very much which states the choice of a woman and really respect the writer for that ending than having a fairy tale ending of uniting with love. This book, though based on marriage and love offers more than that. There were moments of reflection, self discovery and the purpose of one’s being. Also how it highlights the narcissism of a man and dynamics of marriage. Loved the subtle, poetic scenes weaved beautifully and how it highlights the beauty of rain, flowers and simple precious things. Keep shining Kanchana and I look forward to reading your work more.

September 27, 2016


I was born as an unwanted guest, a failed attempt for a son. Son came after as my little brother but destiny meant it otherwise. We lost him after 17 years. We all learnt our lessons, grew stronger emotionally but still mostly on Rakhi days, I kept waiting for the so called brothers in relation to tie my Rakhi and eventually overcame that wait too but somewhere that void remains.

I got blessed by twin daughters. When they were around 6 months old, one of the old lady saw the pram with two babies and asked, “Congratulations, they are twins?”
“Yes, aunty”.
"A Boy and a girl!"
One of my daughter had less hair and extra chubby at that time.
“No aunty, both girls”.
“Oh!”….she paused. Her spark fizzled out. “Anyways beta, both are Lakshmis”, She said in a tone consoling me.
I was quiet, dumbfounded and extremely angry.
Another day, there was another old lady in neighbour, she just grabbed my hand one day and insistingly said,” I wanted to say something to you. You are like my daughter.”
Yes aunty, I answered with whole heart.
“Beta, you are young, not working now. You must go for a son. After all the sisters would need a brother to tie their rakhis.” She gave me her golden advice.
I lost it then. I told that aunty specifically that we don’t want sons. We wanted daughters only and it’s a celebration and not a consolation.”
And Rakhi. As a mother I took a decision when they turned four. I feel so good to share that every year onwards, my daughters tie Rakhi to each other with complete rituals defying the need of a gender to follow a tradition of love.
I am happy to break this stereotype, this pattern defined by the patriarchical society that only a boy, the brother is meant to be tied Rakhi being capable of saving the sister. Now a sister will become the strength of another. And it feels so empowering. Let the system get stunned.

"समाज नहीं है ये है डर तेरा
तुझे रखे निर्बल यह पिंजरा
तेरी प्रतिभा ही तेरे पंख हैं
अब उड़ जाछू ले आसमाँ
अब तोड़ दे सब बेड़ियाँ
तू द्रौपदी भीऔर खुद कृष्ण भी
तेरा साहस ही तेरा वस्त्र है
तेरी प्रतिभा ही तेरा अस्त्र है"

मीनाक्षी एम सिंह

PINK is a statement, not just a movie. PINK is a mirror to the society, to show the bias to men and women in the society. PINK is not new, but has a fresh way of satire on the men still stuck in gauging the character of a woman through her dress or food/drink habits.PINK is a chapter to educate the boys to understand that “NO” being said by a girl. No means NO, period. NO is a sentence, not just a word.NO also educates girls to not shy away to admit of their likes/desires in public but claim their equal rights to live freely in the society. PINK empowers a woman to lead a lifestyle she wants, the clothes she wears or the drink she chooses.

I must congratulate Mr. Amitabh Bacchan to be the potent medium to bring forward this powerful performance for such a cause. It’s a milestone in his career, his legacy. That special scene wherein he quotes that “Poor boys, who get provoked and excited by the dress choices by girls, we must save the poor boys. If a girl smiles and talks to them in courteous manner, it’s hint for them of her loose character.” It’s a slap with humor and wit on the patriarchal society.

Though it’s just a movie, but if it could change the thinking of even 10 men or empower 10 women, it’s worth it. It’s coming from the same Bollywood where woman gets objectified or songs are made on her and she is just her body parts. This change is commendable and shows a sign of growth.

Most important, what stored and stayed is woman to woman compassion. How the three friends stuck together and stood for each other in the most adverse times. Normally, out of fear, humiliation, it’s difficult to withstand due to taboos in the society.

I really feel that more than men, it’s the women who need to change their consciousness. They don’t need to accept the subjugation instead stand up for each other. This woman to woman sadistic revengeful attitude or unnecessary rivalry is killing our society esxpecially in domestic context. If one woman rejoices for another woman’ freedom and empowerment then things could change for better. In the name of culture, moral values, the senior women fear change in the generation and feel that everything would be harmonius if the pattern is followed. It’s time to change the patterns. It’s time to claim the freedom. It’s time to be a woman and free. It’s time to wear PINK and be PROUD.

January 7, 2016

#1BookRead #100BooksPact2016 #FlightofHilsa

Meenakshi M Singh #1BookRead #100BooksPact2016 #FlightofHilsa

A satiating and beautiful read with the hangover.
Flight of Hilsa evokes the Hilsa within the reader in pursuit of purpose and happiness in one’s life.
Bringing forward the truth about love, be it with a lover, parents, friend or with life, weaved beautifully through the journey of Avantika, the protagonist , reader is compelled to introspect. “It’s easy to be Kabir than Buddha” pushed me to think and the “basis of love is Faith” is so reassuring.
Also it’s a story of an artist who faces the dilemma of choosing the path of heart or what the world preaches, to get tamed, a conflict between the idealism and materialism. Any artist can resonate and relate to the life story of Avantika and it builds the belief on staying true to the heart and earning love than sheer material.
Loved the mystic, romantic and philosophic exchange between the Captain and the woman.
How the story builds the bias strongly about a community and then towards the end breaks it too like a natural phenomenon, very interesting. Like one grows in life with prejudices and then how these melt with experience.
 I started the book on Jan 6, and had to the cancel all the engagements for the day, for the book is an unputdownable one and I kept glued till I journeyed with the protagonist Avantika till 2:00 am. Author’s writing is very descriptive and almost poetic when it comes to describing the splendor and beauty in a context. The most remarkable thing is how a man is able to successfully depict the struggle, the inner turmoil from a girl’s point of view. Amazing ability. Especially the satire and depth in Amit Shankar’s writing is commendable and I have become an admirer all the more of his pen. The poem by Gibran was aptly put and justified the dilemma. A satiating and beautiful read with the hangover. I really look forward to reading more of his work. Thanks.
- Meenakshi M Singh #1BookRead #100BooksPact2016 #FlightofHilsa