Lamps in the Whirlpool
|Uma Narayanan & Prema Seetharam
|14.00 x 20.00 x 1.30
Lamps in the Whirlpool is a story of the dilemma the modern Indian woman faces – who she should be: a dutiful wife and mother, an obedient daughter-in-law or a woman with a life of dignity. The story is set in Delhi of the 1980s and Girija, the educated housewife, is forced to acknowledge the loveless emptiness of her life, burdened by the archaic Brahminical custom of madi. For seventeen years, she has meekly accepted exploitation by orthodox matriarchy and typical patriarchy, until a visit to Haridwar and the river Ganges opens her eyes to the choice she must make – between servitude to family or an unfettered life and loss of access to her children. This story is considered the first feminist novel in Tamil. The author, Rajam Krishnan, was the first Tamil woman to receive the Sahitya Akademi Award. Krishnan set a trend for women-centric novels in contemporary fiction in Tamil and deftly exposed the brittle bricks on which the much-glorified institution of family stands and how fragile the bonds of marriage can be. The story, thus, serves as beacon for the new woman, independent, self-reliant and strong, cutting across regions and class.