I’ve always taken myself as a non-reader. I cannot simply read just any book I want – it takes too much of my effort and many times, I feel the effort was not put to the right use. A piece of writing has to be very engaging and enticing for me to fall in love with it. In other words, I’m not an easy-to-please book audience. But come to think of it, how closed must one be to be fond of cooking food, but not a foodie? So, the essence here remains, that one can still know various ingredients and spices, and use their own natural flair for creating recipes that do not follow a certain chef’s method. But we are here to talk more about “The Woman That I Am” by Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul, who fondly address themselves as RRxMM and I love that aspect. All the pages of their eBook have this gorgeous signature abbreviation and add a lovely kick to the book’s persona!
The Woman That I am – About the book
The book is an anthology combining poems, stories – fiction and nonfiction, tied together in this eBook. Most chapters are in English; however, some Hindi articles have also been included in the compilation. The anthology combines multiple authors, with just one chapter by each author. Just before the chapter, the author’s bio is mentioned. The book tells tales & poems of what makes the character, the woman that she is.
My Review of the book
The book opens with a poem from Rashi Roy. In my opinion, there couldn’t have been a better way of opening it! The poem “The Woman that I am” by Rashi Roy, talks about how from an everyday woman, the character finds her skills. The people who are her own tend to say mean things, and they tend to say nice things too. The poem talks about how she has pretty much been the same person, but the perspective of people around her keep changing, but that does not change who she is. It is a very well written poem, something which comes in good rhyme, straight from the heart.
There are many chapters, where most of the stories focus on 2 aspects – how women are giving, succumbing and tolerating; and how everyday women overcome little & big obstacles and become extraordinary by ordinary actions. The concept seemed to be repeated many times, as I personally feel that many more flavors of being a woman could be included. A dramatic story of rebellion, a woman who knows she isn’t the softest or kindest of women but still lives her life, are some aspects where we could see more shades of the women that we are. Not all women are giving, forgiving, tortured, or sophisticated.
My utmost favorite story from the anthology has to be “I-Am a Woman” by Deepika Sharma. The character in this story uses limited language yet describes intense and rattling bits of information one by one. The story takes you by surprise when you don’t expect one at all and that is the most beautiful aspect of Deepika Sharma’s writing.
The story “Sanity in Sanitary Pad” by Meera V talks about PMS-ing, periods, and ultimately sex and conception. It is a topic that is very close to a lot of women’s hearts, including mine. However, I think the approach to the narration is haywire. There is the use of wit and sarcasm that does not seem to move in sync with the narration and comes across as humor that wasn’t quite timed right. It gives the feeling that this story could have received better writing treatment. It was a story I could not relate much to, despite having gone through quite the same experience.
“The Turmoil within” by Noor Anand Chawla is another beautiful piece, where she beautifully highlights that one can rebel without a drama. The character of the story tends to be a woman who has given her all through many decades of marriage, but when she asks for a favor, it isn’t even for her own self. The character takes a commanding and instructing approach to the “request”, without crossing boundaries in a typical Indian Husband-wife set up. It’s a beautifully narrated story and takes you to the character’s home just as you reach a couple of lines into the story.
Also, a special mention to Nidhi Rawal Gautam’s Poem – “The Wo(man) That I Am”. Her lines “I was not a tomboy, just a girl with equality!” touched me deep within. She does not let go of her feminism, even when she was doing so many “boyish” things.
Final Words for “The Woman That I Am”
I applaud the effort from RRxMM for collating stories from women of all backgrounds and social spaces. The book brings about beautiful stories and interesting reads, that bring many a character to life! The pages miss a minute bit of formatting here and there, but overall, the book is definitely, every bit worthy of your reading time!
Do download the book here: The Woman that I Am by Rashi Roy & Manas Mukul
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Blogchatter for building, developing and practicing methodologies & strategies that not just bring enthusiastic readers and authors together, but also builds a platform that creates various encouraging opportunities for growth – both – career & emotional! 65 talented, amazing eBook writers have come together in the eBook carnival by Blogchatter and narrated tales from the world over.
Visit the entire library here: Blogchatter eBook Library
While you are at the Library, do check out my eBook as well: The Cheeseburst Arranged Marriage