The Lives of Women

Working on a very interesting project right up my alley. The first part of a series of 4 books on the History of Women's Movement for an NGO based in Ahmedabad. The books talk about several issues; based on a play format, and the audiences range from rural to semi-urban to urban. The books will be published in both Gujarati and HIndi and the attempt is to try and not resort to any stereotypes, keeping the characters generic.

Its been fun evolving these characters. These women meet and talk about their lives, societal norms, patriarchy and some the arguments presented in the book had me sit up!

For instance, in one segment, the women are talking about Ram, Ram is historically presented as the ideal man who was always righteous. The women question how he could have subjected Sita to the trial by fire? They say that if Ram was all that righteous he should have gone away with Sita, when her chastity was questioned, he should have forsaken his kingdom, as she had done when he was sent into exile. That was the right thing to do.

There can be several counters to this... but the idea somehow seems so simple and logical. I like the fact that the writer of the book has presented interesting and even somewhat radical ideas like this... it heartens me further that somewhere, there will be this woman, or women who will read this text and choose to look at their lives differently.