Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Thanks to the varied composition of the Bookclub we have interesting book selections - this is a 2007 collection of short stories written by women mainly from Bangladesh and a few from India. The men from the sub-continent fared very badly - it is a misandrous collection that I couldn't read all in one sitting. Granted that the men in that part of the world are pretty chauvinistic I felt the book lacked balance - there MUST be a few good ones at least.
Having said that, it was interesting to read about the Convent-educated woman with a philandering husband who chooses not to leave him for the sake of her children/society and who grow old and apart; as I am meeting quite a few people apparently unhappily married for 50yrs who can't stand the sight of each other! So much for my romantic view of older couples happily and contently enjoying each others' company towards the end of their days! ( Reminds me of my favourite joke: George and Martha in the twilight of their years were rocking contemplatively in their chairs on the Porch after a Lifetime of One-Upmanship. George says to Martha: Well Old Girl if you die before me I'll have them mark on your Gravestone: 'Here lies Martha - Finally silent and at Peace at last.'
After a few moments of rocking, Martha spits her Wad of Tobacco (American of course cos they are both Clowns) and says: Well George, if You die before me, I'll have them mark on Your gravestone: Here lies George - Stiff at last!)
The unsavoury topic of rape featured quite a bit but then a recent study reckoned that 1 out every 3 women in the world experiences some form of sexual violence (http://www.stabroeknews.com/2012/news/stories/02/28/sexual-violence-rates-in-the-caribbean-highest-in-the-world-report/)
In the story 'Yellow is the Colour of Longing' the writer made some sweeping generalizations about men and women: 'When after many years, a woman is sought out by a man's eyes, and when she's sure that they were indeed seeking her and her alone, she will find her heart a-brim.'  and 'That's the problem with men. They can see women only as bodies. They keep worrying how this woman would judge them in bed. In short, it's terrible for men too, after a certain age.' I tried to get a man's opinion about the first two lines about men and was summarily dismissed (Summarily dismissed means that you are not going have a chance to discuss it.) that that was just a prejudiced feminist's opinion.

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