A book review:
Shadow of dark god by Indira Goswami
The story is quite simple. It is set in vrindavan and knit closely with the life of radheshamis, young widows who decide to settle in vrindavan. Incidentally, vrindavan hosts the maximum number of hindu widows density in India and serves more like asylum to them.
The story of two young widows, saudamani and shashi and that of a spinster, mrinalini depicts the life of radheshyamis assaulted with poverty and suffering from human wolves and greedy priests and pandas. The background of Saudamini and Shashi are entirely different, the former is supported by her father, Dr.Rai chaudary and well off, whereas the latter is dependent on an ashram and even forced to live with the priest, Alamgadhi against her will. Yet their lives are threaded together and follow more or less the same path.
The feelings of young widows caught in the maze of desires, society and moral policing is captured with utmost clarity, a rare piece among the published literature.
Saudamini lost her husband within a year and later lost her heart to a Christian youth for emotional support. Yes, she loved her late husband. But she hardly could recollect his face. And then she loved the Christian youth also. Loving another man after an untimely and death of her husband at a very young age may not be a sin. But her parents thought so and shifted to vrindavan.
Most of us respect widows and often sympathize with them. But we push them to a raised platform of sainthood and believe that it’s the best one could ever do to protect them. We fail to understand that widows need support just like any other woman and not sainthood. For eg, Shashi did not love the priest, Alamgadhi with whom she was living with in the ashram. However, she lost a great support and social security in the latter’s death. This part of the novel was real finesse.
This novel is a must read for those people who think that feminism is all about respecting women, fighting their ill-treatment and weeping over the miseries detailed by feminist authors in their fiction. Feminism is not about pitying women, but to acknowledge them and accommodate them as they are.
I was wondering , can anyone produce such a master piece without experiencing it first hand (I think such a clarity of reflecting female mind is difficult even for females). Later I googled and found that the author herself is a young widow. She also had spent some part of her widowhood in vrindavan. And that justifies J