As we Connect to various bloggers and writer’s to write some inspirational and motivational articles for us. We came across this awesome blogger/writer Sonalika Aroraand requested her to write something for us.
So here it is, One of the best articles by her. This is not just a book review but a vision to see life from a different perspective.
Volga’s ‘Vimukta’, translated as ‘The Liberation of Sita’, is an amazing collection of five short stories, each drawn from Ramayana, and having Sita as the principal character.
Although ‘Ramayana’, India’s most popular tale of morality, choice, and sacrifice has been retold by various authors since ages but scarcely did anyone imagined or explored Sita’s journey of self-realization.
“After writing the story, I felt great affection for Sita’s character” quotes the Volga. She believes that more than love, malice, and anger bind people to each other rather than liberate them.
Therefore, Sita must have left Rama with a matured mind. However, how she attained this maturity and liberation is what the author has tried to explore in her stories.
Further, in the stories based on the ancient Indian mythology, we can see the vivid picture of our modern Indian society and the questions, trials, and struggles that women have continued to face since ages.
Given below are some of the excerpts from the book that make it universally relevant to modern Indian society:
1. On Women’s Identity!
“Most often women don’t realize that they are a part of the wider world. They limit themselves to an individual, to a household, to a family’s honor” says Ahalya.
True indeed! A woman often ends up making this mistake in her life. In the quest of becoming a perfect daughter, a perfect wife, and a perfect mother, she sometimes forgets herself.
Further, a working woman’s life always revolves around striking a balance between her own aspirations and her conventional duties. A woman must understand that sometimes it is okay to be an average mother, or a partner or a daughter. Her identity is not solely her relationships.
2. On fidelity!
“If they understand that their paativratyam and fidelity are like these sandpots, they will be able to live in peace,” says Renuka.
Renuka, tells Sita how a women’s fidelity is as fragile as a sandpot. A fleeting feeling of desire for a gandharva makes her an adulteress in the eyes of her husband who then orders her son to behead her. Their conversation raises the question that whether ‘pollution, cleanliness, purity, impurity, honor, dishonor’, are these words just meant for women? Is there no distinction between them for truth and untruth? No one ever questions a man.
3. On Chastity and women’s self-authority!
“It is difficult to bear with women who talk like me, Sita. It becomes easier if I accept that I have made a mistake. Then there is atonement for every sin. If I argue that I have not made any mistake, they will take pity on me. They will take my side, seeingme as the victim of an unjust allegation. But if I say, “Right or wrong, it’s my business, what has it to do with you? Who gave you the right or authority to judge,” then nobody will be able to tolerate it” says Ahalya.
Not only fidelity, her chastity as well is as fragile as a sandpot. For in our society, if a woman is outside her home at late night, if she is wearing western clothes or short dresses, if she is choosing to have her own life, be independent, then she is definitely doing it wrong. Just like Ahalya says, “nobody will be able to tolerate it”. Her right to self-authority has always been questioned since ages. And so has been her chastity.
The Volga has definitely made us view Ramayana from a different angle and reminded us that women have always read the Ramayana differently from men. The way she portrayed Sita’s pain, dilemmas, and eventually, her liberation is indeed commendable. She quotes, “I believe that the Sita of these stories does not need to plead with anyone – she herself can save us”.
And I hope that these stories endow strength, courage, and wisdom in my fellow women.
About the Author – Sonalika Arora!
“A software tester by profession, but a writer at heart”, that’s how I like to describe myself. I try to seek happiness through my writing. I am an avid reader, a blogger, and I like to write about books and my reflections on life.