Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Bridal Pyre by Avantika Debnath


The Bridal Pyre
– Avantika Debnath

Book Synopsis
It was indeed a beautiful twilight that Meera had lived in a long time. The sky appeared like someone scattered a box of vermillion on it. But this vermillion had nothing as scary, as haunting, as suffocating as the vermillion she has just washed off her head, the vermillion that washed down her face like a jet of blood, similar to the blood that flushed out, in between of her legs just a couple of months ago.
‘Don’t touch me anymore, Abhi. I will be sullied, I will be stained, I will be dirty…” No, she didn’t say this to a rapist. She shivered as her husband extended his arms towards her to offer help. Her fatigued body had no strength to clean itself again. She had just washed his child out of her body.
Avantika Debnath, brings out the story of Meera in her debut novel, The Bridal Pyre – Nainam Dahati Pawakah. While most of the authors of her age concentrate on romantic sagas, she turned towards the agonies an average Indian woman faces in this society. Through the story of Meera, Avantika sketches out the failure of the 21st Century’s modern India in paving the way for the modern Indian woman. When the country’s judicial system introduces a new law for the benefit of the womenfolk, they all prove to be vain eyewashes when a tormented woman knocks at the doors of the judiciary system.
No, Meera is not a saree clad innocent girl that occupies the TV screen when you tune in to your favorite soap opera every evening. In fact she is everything, the girl in the soap opera is not. Meera is reality. She is you and she is me. Just like us Meera was just another contemporary woman in Kolkata, studying, working, and dreaming of a beautiful home. She was talented and bright. She wanted a career, an identity, some success and of course like any other girl one dotting husband-that’s all. Meera was married off to an NRI Software engineer, but soon she realized that this marriage was her destitute. There was no job that her husband was seated on in the United States of America. All he had was a degree from a US university and an education loan of 16 lacs, and all she was married to was to pay off this debt. Soon this harassment turned into mental and physical torture to fish out money from her retired father’s bank account to provide for the U.S returned son-in-law’s education, fashion, and lifestyle. Meera, as advised by her mother – girls need to adjust a little after marriage – adjusted to every turn life took. Something that every girl in this country is told by her mother and abiding by this theory is the one mistake a majority of them do. Meera adjusted too, in the hope that things will soon change for the betterment. The only turn she couldn’t adjust was the turn of two staircases where she lied helpless while her child fled out of her womb as thick blood drenching her yellow cotton saree red. This was the turning point of her life. This was the first time in her entire matrimony that she asked her husband a question. A question that deserved an answer.
“How on Earth did I conceive? How did I conceive staying with an impotent bastard like you?”
She stood up. One against all. She wanted justice for the child she never saw, and the humiliation her parents faced throughout the course of the eleven months of her matrimony. But she was ambushed by all those who were supposed to rescue the ones in despair. All those in whom the women of this nation rest their trusts. The police department, the lawyers, the judges, politicians, big businessmen, media houses either waylaid her or proved utterly futile in serving justice.
“I have seen such strong men cry like babies while getting a broken bone fixed. How are you bearing with this pain so tranquilly?” asked the doctor.
“May be I am not a man, but what made you think that I am not strong?” she thought.
She was not meant to stop. She could not be broken or be burnt….And they said even the holy Ganga would refuse to immerse her… She was no more a body with a soul. She was a soul with a body. And the soul doesn’t get torn, doesn’t get drowned, and doesn’t get burnt.
She sat on her pyre and set it ablaze….The Bridal Pyre….but, Nainam Dahati Pawakah
Grab your copy of The Bridal Pyre: Nainam Dahati Pawakah today to know how Meera fought back, how she strived to bring justice to her side, or whether she at all got it. Mind it, this is not a Bollywood movie where the end is always happy, this is not a Shakespearean play where the end is always tragic. The Bridal Pyre is life, and what turns life will take, we can only guess.
Book Details : 
Language : English
Publisher : Omji Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.
Number Of Pages : 256
Publication Year : 2015
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About The Author
10406438_10153390502282948_2706757687873522356_nAvantika Debnath is a writer at heart and dancer at soul but to earn a living she works as an HR professional in a multinational company. She hails from the City of Joy: Kolkata, West Bengal and stays in the City of Nizams: Hyderabad, Telengana. She has done her Bachelor’s from Calcutta University with Major in English and has an MBA degree from The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI).

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