One can beat around the bush as much as one wants, but the fact of the matter remains: Violence against the women and girls is considered to be one of the most prevalent human rights violations worldwide. The United Nations Population Fund, in a 2015 report, states that “one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime”.
I have always been troubled as to why women suffer from domestic violence. Why do they need to stay in such a relationship? Why don’t they just walk out? What holds them back?
Meena Kandasamy, in her novel – When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife – writes a hard-hitting account of a writer’s marriage in an effort to lift the veil on the silence that surrounds domestic violence and marital rape in modern India.
She addresses compelling questions in her lyrical style of writing that is poetic and draws you into it’s prose. The incidents she describes play havoc with your mind, and they are not even a fraction of what the victim would have experienced.
A fictional novel, When I Hit You is inspired by the author’s personal experience. Nonetheless, despite all that she has been through, the narrator does not lose her faith in love. She continues to believe in it, albeit brokenheartedly.
When I Hit You is a lesson to not let your loyalty become slavery. Any relationship, when becomes overbearing, needs to be terminated. One always needs to remember that one can always get out.
And when you have gotten out, then, as Rumi said: “You have escaped the cage. Your wings are stretched out. Now fly.”
To find out more about this book, read my detailed review as published at Writersmelon.com.
Title: When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife
Author: Meena Kandasamy
Publisher: Juggernaut Books
Edition/Year: First Edition 2017
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 Stars
Available on Amazon.
About the Author: Meena Kandasamy has actively sought to combine her love for the written word with the struggle for social justice through poetry, translation, fiction and essays for the last fifteen years. Her debut collection of poems, Touch, was themed around caste and untouchability, and her second, Ms Militancy, was an explosive, feminist retelling/reclaiming of Tamil and Hindu myths. Her critically acclaimed first (anti)novel, The Gypsy Goddess, smudged the line between powerful fiction and fearsome critique in narrating the 1968 massacre of forty-four landless untouchable men, women and children striking for higher wages in the village of Kilvenmani, Tanjore. When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife is her second novel.
She grew up in Chennai, India where she lived most of her life before moving to London in 2016.
She was a fellow of the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa in 2009, and a British Council Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow at the University of Kent in 2011. She holds a PhD in sociolinguistics. Her work has appeared in eighteen languages.
To read more about her, visit https://www.kandasamy.co.uk/ or connect with her on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Picture Source: aquamarineflavours.wordpress.com
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