Saturday, 25 July 2015

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mirrorview journal: an international journal of fresh poetry, fiction and literary Criticism

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About mirrorview journal
The journal is an international contemporary journal of fresh poetry, articles and fiction. It strives to publish the best and original in the broad field of literature.

Publisher and Editor in Chief
Prof. (retd.) Baisakhi Panda
P.B College,Midnapur
Pratappur, East Midnapur
West Bengal

Managing Editor
Prof. (Retd.)Kousik Shastri
SBS college,Midnapur
Pratappur, East Midnapur W.B

Honorary Editor
Dean Kritikos
Dean Kritikos, Adjunct professor at St. John’s University

Associate Editors

 Yellowbelle Duaqui
Assistant Professor of Sociology
 Behavioral Sciences Department
 De La Salle University
 Manila, Philippines

Keshab Sigdel
poet and assistant professor
central department of English
Tribhuvan University
(born in 1979 in Bardiya, Nepal) is a poet, editor, academic and a rights activist based in Kathmandu. He teaches at the Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, as an assistant professor of English. His published works include Samaya Bighatan (2007), a collection of poems in Nepali, and Six Strings (2011), a co-authored joint anthology of poems in English. He is also an editor of English literary magazine Of Nepalese Clay. His poems and plays are taught in University and school level courses in Nepal. He is the recipient of literary awards, 'Bhanubhakta Gold Medal' (2014) and 'NLG Kalashree Srijana Puraskar' (2015).

Dr. Ritu Tyagi 
Assistant Professor
Pondicherry University
Department of French, School of Humanities

Steve Klepetar
English Professor Emeritus at Saint Cloud State University
St. Cloud, Minnesota Area. USA

Dr. Narasingha Panda
Professor and Researcher
Panjab University, Chandigarh

Dr. Shoma A. Chatterji
film critic, writer and scholar
kolkata (W.B)

authored 22 published titles in single name by different publishing houses including Rupa, Sage and 

Anju Giri
Professor of English Education
chair person
Englsih and OFL Education Subject Committee
Tribhuvan University, Nepal

 Assistant Professor
 World College of Technology&Management,Gurgaon

Professor of English Literature 
United Arab Emirates University

Dr Srinivas Vooradi 
Professor of English 
Kakatiya University
Andhra Pradesh

Devendra Nath Tiwari
professor of philosophy and religion
faculty of arts
Banaras Hindu University U.P
visiting professor on ICCR Chair, School of Indological Studies,MGI,Moka,Mauritius.

Dr. Amandeep
Assistant Prof in English
DES. MDRC Panjab University Chandigarh
Abeer Ali Okaz
Director of the English Language Center
Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt

mirrorview journal: an international journal of fresh poetry, fiction and literary criticism
Volume 1 Issue 1 
August 2015

Dr. Amandeep
Dalit Autobiography has turned out to be not only a part of the Dalit history but also an important node of Dalit Literature. It is a special act for Dalit writers to achieve a sense of identity and mobilize resistance against different forms of oppression. This study seeks to examine the status and sufferings of dalits for their survival in the Hindu society with the help of K. A. Gunasekaran’s Tamil autobiography Vadu which is available in English Translation as The Scar (2009) by V. Kadambari.  By writing his autobiography Gunasekaran thus challenged the autobiographical tradition accepted and propagated by mainstream writers. It talks about his life upto his graduation. Not only it is a record of his experiences, but it is also a documentation of a certain time. The narrative evokes a mixed culture of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. In this paper we can see how this autobiography shows the curse of untouchability that wounds made of fire might heal but wounds made of untouchability would continue to give trouble and I also examine how these life narratives could be used for our understanding of their challenges against upper caste social order specifically for the Dalits.

When we examine the history of untouchability, it becomes clear that it is originated in different times in different place in India. Dalit, a term which is being used today for the lower castes, came into currency after the rise of Dalit Panthers movement in 1972 in Maharashatra. For all practical purposes it is a post-Ambedkarite term. However it was used for the first time during Ambedkar’s life-time only. Dalit writers however extend its meaning and use it as a signifier of exploitation and oppression in the name of caste-hierarchy. Gopal Guru says in this regard: “The deployment of the category Dalit has the logical insight that contains an element of negation and also the conjunction of categories from the same logical class… the category Dalit is historically arrived at, sociologically presented and discursively constituted”. ( Guru, 76).Among the  Dalit autobiographies that received critical attention are Laxman Mane’s Upara, Prof. P. E. Sonkamble’s Athvaninche Pakshi, Sharankumar Limbale’s Akkarmashi Vasant Moon’s Vasti, Laxman Gaikwad’s Uchchlya etc. and they have been translated into English and European languages. Raj Kumar writes in this Context:  “People belonging to the oppressed sections of Indian Society, especially the Dalits, used the autobiographical mode as a sense of assertion of their hitherto neglected selves. (Kumar, 157).
Tamil Dalit literature has an excess of autobiographies. Critics condemn these literatures of lament, but they too have a central place within the creative core. Tamil Dalit literature is characterized by the call for self-identity and assertion. It tramples all conventions with its intensely personal expression; is concerned with the life of the subaltern, and deals out a stark brutality. This literature should be viewed not as a literature of vengeance or a literature of hatred, but a literature of freedom and greatness. Ravikumar rightly quoted here is: “Tamil Dalit Literature by their use of images and vocabulary, goes beyond the discourse of victimization.it is in this way that Tamil Dalit Literature has maintained its difference from the Dalit writings of other parts of India… and it simultaneously moved in the direction of creative Literature”.( Azhagarasan. R., xxxii).Dalit patriarchy is an important subject of concern in Tamil Dalit literature. Many Tamil Dalit writers draw attention to the dual oppression of Dalit women--on account of their gender and caste, at the hands of the upper caste men as well as Dalit men. For detailed analyses I have selected Tamil Dalit autobiography of Gunasekaran Vadu.The autobiography of Gunasekaran has created a special place for Dalit literature at the global level.Ravikumar writes in this context in the The Scar:
 “Despite the campaign about the death of the author by the post-Structuralists, autobiographies continue to be written. At the national level, Ambedkar and Rettaimalai Srinivasan are the precursors of the Dalit autobiographical form as per research indicators at present” ( Introduction, X).
Gunasekaram says that his early days were closely associated with the people of Islam and he contemplated the horrid experiences he had because of the caste discrimination in his early life. He asserts: I wrote about discrimination practices that I had suffered; sometimes tears flowed. (Preface to The Scar). Not only this is a record of his experiences, but it is also a documentation of a certain time. He writes:“I have related my experiences upto my college days in this account. Theexperiences I have had since the time, my involvement in Marxist movements,my journey down the arts lane, do not figure in this book”. (Preface).Gunasekaram birthplace was Matanai and his mother was born in Keeranoor. He has experienced harassment in the name of caste and has often thought about converting to Islam. But the main problem is that if he converted to Islam, he would not be accepted as a Muslim because the Muslims in India are infected by the caste disease like the caste Hindus too.  He recollects how during his childhood in school headmaster asks to pick the scholarship forms for Paalars caste and how they feel humiliated in front4 of class with shrinking and crying:  “They would reinforce caste identities by labeling us Pallars, Parayars and Chakiliyars in front of our friends who never knew what caste was”. (5). Not only this when they approach them for Signatures on the forms it is horrid the way they display their caste superiority before they sigh anything. He recollects:
       “If they saw us in the village they would ask us to tie up their cattle, dig out ba canal etc, and only then would sign the forms”.( 9). Even though he faced humiliation and insults from both the upper caste teachers and students during his School and College days, he continued his studies. His perseverance and hard work were finally rewarded for he became the the Director of International Institute of Tamil Studies (IITS) and a teacher, folk-artist, singer, dramatist and researcher. He was the Dean of the School of Performing Arts at Pondicherry University. Although Gunasekarn’s father is a teacher and earning some money but it is Insufficient to support his large family (six children- three male and three female) apart from looking after his second wife (Guanasekaran’s cinamma i.e. mother’s sister). All the children of both families are school going and it doubles the expenses of the family. Due to poverty his sisters Kalavathi and Malathi and Jothi did not have the ear- piercing ceremony.  The autobiography describes the bitter and harrowing experiences of ‘untouchability’ and ‘caste discriminations’ various times at various places even at the public places like the Holy temples, schools and village play areas. This is not only faced/experienced by Gunasekaran himself but also by the whole Parayar, Chakiliyar or low-caste people.
 He says: “whichever village we entered, the first question would be   ‘who are you’? and the moment they knew we were Parayars, they would not offer us a drink in a vessel, but would pour it only in the folded palm leaf.”(20).Gunasekaran shows that more than Poverty women in his community suffered from various forms of caste, class and gender oppression both at home and outside. They are recounted how the upper caste men took advantage of their poor conditions and attempted to physically assault them. for them there have been stricter conditions. They have to follow them without fail. The Scar portrayed it: “The cheri women were not allowed to wear blouses as per the caste regulations of the village. Girls my age who came to this village after their marriage too have been subjected to this.”(27). so apart from the control of their parents, these women also suffered from several other social disabilities, which mostly emanated from the practice of Dalit Patriarchy.
 Gunasekaran shows that The curse of ‘untouchability’ is not limited only to the rural areas like Marandai,Thovoor and Keeranoor but also is the same in the town like Tanjavur. When the famous dancer Mallika invites Gunasekaran to see her dance at the temple at Tanjavur, Gunasekaran counters the same problem of untouchability there too. The low caste people are not allowed inside the temple, they are permitted to  beat the drums from outside only..While constructing his self through his narrative he goes to the root of the Indian Caste society questioning its very foundations which are based on a religious order. He condemns the hypocrisy of the Indian upper caste men who for their own convenience follow caste rules but would never mind in exploiting the dignity of the lower caste women. A non-Dalit small child can bluntly address any elderly Dalit person in singular. But no elder Dalit person can address such non-Dalit children in singular.
“Inside the village we had to address the upper caste person as, ‘Ayya’ and ‘Sami’.The women were referred to as ‘Nachiyar’ or ‘Aachi’. One had to call even
 those who were younger in age only thus. No one can call the upper caste boys or girls by their names; we could not touch them. We always had to stand at a distance” (42). Gunasekaran presents the traumatic moments of encounter with upper caste boy who was hacking the branches of a tree that was full of flowers and tender fruits to feed his goats.  Gunasekaran asks him, “Dei! Why are you cutting away the flowers and the tender fruits of our tree?” (51).In a fraction of second the boy slaps Gunasekaran. As he was thinking that did he say something wrong? The boy comes along with some other persons and warns Gunasekaran in front of Karupa (grandfather of Gunasekaran):
Dei! Elayankudy boy, it is because of Karupa that you have escaped today,
Otherwise we would have skinned you alive and rubbed salt on you. Do you
know to whom you have addressed ‘Dei’? We will cut your tongue. Are you
aware of the difference of your caste and ours.(51).After this Thatha caressed my cheek and said I have to show them respect even if they are younger to them. As a direct victim to this heinous practice, he outbursts and puts a volley of doubts related to caste:
Caste arrogance has been increasing as days go by. I don’t know when these
Fellows will realize their folly. The two times that I was slapped across my
face, both in my father’s village and mother’s village, were due to caste issues.
(51-52).The fullness of detail with which they are inscribed suggests how strongly these past events are imprinted in the narrator’s mind. Mainstream Narratives are without any message but in Dalit Narratives the message for identity assertion percolates as Ghanshyam Shah Quotes:
Let us admit that alongside agony and anger, there is in Dalit Literature an urge to overcome these obstacles through mass awakening and conscious rising. There is an appeal in their writings to become conscious of rights and demands. They want Dalits to become brave, shed their diffidence and inferiority complex.  They want them to realize the duplicity and hollowness of the ruling ideas of hegemonic classes including Brahmins and their cultural Stratagems. (237).
In joothan too Valmiki describes how an entire community depends on the scrap food of the upper castes in return of their hard and humiliating work. They had to depend entirely on the mercy of the upper castes who instead of giving them gratitude exploit them. Valmiki goes on to comment on the vulgar behaviour of the school teachers in a very painful way and the treatment meted out by them has not vanished from his memory. He writes, “I was kept out of extracurricular activities. On such occasion I stood on the margins like a spectator. During the annual functions of the school, when rehearsals were on for the play, I too wished for a role. But I always had to stand outside the door”. (Valmiki, 7). What we see in these narratives like the black Indian Dalit too has fallen deep into the pi of depression and has shed blood. He too had perforce to do low and dirty jobs for his superiors. He was not given a place to live in the higher caste locality. He lived on the outskirts of the village; his touch was said to be polluting and so was even his shadow. Indian culture placed him on the lowest rung of social life. The dalit has been living for centuries as a prisoner of the darkness of untouchability.Baburao Bagul rightly asserts: The caste- ridden society and its literature have viewed the Dalit as someone who is mean, despicable, contemptible and sinful due to his deeds in his past life; he is seen as sorrowful in this life, poor, humiliated and without history, one whose ancestors could never hope to acquire respectability in either temples or scriptures. ( Dangle, 289).
Gunasekaran autobiography is constructed in the form of wave upon wave of memories that erupt in his mind when triggered through a stimulus in the present. There is one more incident when he made his journey from Thovoor to Marandai in the night time otherwise he says: “ if only it had been day time all those working in the fields would have asked me, ‘where are you from’ whose house are you going to?.... Any new comer who entered in the village will have to disclose his caste identity before entering the village.”(62). He worked hard against all odds devoting himself to study. Sometimes he attended his classes without food and proper clothes. While he was studying in the Sivaganga Mannar College , he used to be in two minds about going to Elayankudi everytime the college was closed down he said: “At home I cannit expect three meals a day. We had to study with an empty stomach”.( 74) It reminds me Laxman Gaikwad’s autobiography Uchalya where hunger is  an all- pervasiveand the politics of hunger is given in pathetic lines:
But at home we were nearly starving. Sometimes there was no food in the house for four or five days…we used to coarse cheap grain full of worms and insects,but we were so hungry that we greedily drank that hot, insect-ridden gruel without ever bothering to filter out the bugs.( qtd in Limbale, XXII).
After this Gunasekaran bagged the first prize in the music competition and the second prize in monoacting from Madyrai University. He also sang the folk songs and later he released audio albums also. The radio gave him much encouragement and then he got a seat in M.A Tamil. Professor Om Periaswami takes him to Delhi for republic day celebration in 1981. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister, invites all the artists for dinner at her house. Mrs. Ghandi shakes hands with him and enquires in English and advises him to do research in folk arts. He promises to do so and he does it so. The news papers of Madurai are full of photographs of Gunasekaran shaking hands with Mrs Indira Gandhi.once on a stage in Chozhavandan , he sang a folk song and it was well received and he got a lot of gifts. Then he sang folk songs in between movie songs on the stage.  From then onwards he received good response and appreciation. At the end of his autobiography Gunasekaran performed at the Tamil Nadu Progressive writer’s forum at Singanampuri in Sivaganga and he staged a first folk music show. He sang a poet Inquilab’s song:
                               Human Beings! We are human beings,
                                Like you, like him.
                                We too are human beings,
                                Our bones and flesh bake in the fire lit by you,
                                 Your government and court,…
                                   Whose hair,
                                   Did you go to pluck?  (95).
Gunasekaran said this song of Inquilab’s is apt even today. And there is still a need for the performance of his Thanne’s troupe. In these words he closes his narrative.
In this way The Scar is a multivalent text healing the fractured self through narrating, contributing to the archive of Dalit history and it provides a solace as well as frank criticism to his own and upper caste people. In his autobiography, he does not portray himself as a hero instead he brings to our attention a number of events experienced in the slum and its neighborhood which are disturbing, entertaining and at times inspiring. A bigger community is seen through his story. This autobiography bears ample testimony to the fact that wounds made of fire might heal but wounds made of untouchability would continue to give trouble.Caste conflicts have always been disturbed Guunasekaran but he dealt with them with dignity and equanimity. As a follower of Comrade A. Marx philosophy he inspired the Dalit youngsters to realize that they need to fight this caste-ridden society with more energy than others do. Though the author related his experiences up to his college days in this account yet he gave the message to his community to strengthen its bond so as to unite Dalits to fight against the caste oppression.                                    

                                  Works Cited:

   Dangle, Arjun.Ed. Poisoned Bread: Translations from Modern Marathi Dalit Literature. Bombay: Orient Longman Ltd, 1992.
Guru,Gopal, Atrophy in Dalit Politics: Series: Intervention1. Vikas Adhyayan Kendra, 2005.
   Gunasekaran, K. A. The Scar. Chennai: Orient Black Swan, 2009.
   Gaikwad, Laxman. The Branded. Trans. PA Kolharkar. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademy, 1998.
Kumar, Raj, Dalit Personal Nrratives: Reading caste, Nation and Identity. Orient BlackSwan, 2010.
Limbale, Sharan Kumar. The Outcaste (Akkarmashi). Trans. Santosh Bhoomkar. New Delhi: OUP, 1984.
Azhagarasan.R.and Ravikumar. The Oxford Indian Anthology of Tamil Dalit Writing. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Shah, Ghanshyam.  Cultural Subordination and the Dalit challenge, Vol. 2, Dalit identity and Politics. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2001.
Valmiki, Om Prakash. Joothan: A Dalit Life. Trans.Arun Prabha Mukherjee, Kolkata Samya and New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

 Dr. Amandeep (Assistant Prof in English)
    DES Panjab University Chandigarh

This Bridge Called Utopia:
Intersectional Feminism and/as Queer Futurity
The danger lies in ranking the oppression.
—Cherrié Moraga

Dean Kritikos
Adjunct Professor
St. John University

Published prior to the nominal theorization of intersectionality[1], Cherrié Moraga’s and Gloria Anzaldúa’s watershed collectionThis Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981) set a stage for the wordthat would invigorate first feminism, then critical theory more broadly, in the years to come.Intersectionality, in the broadest sense, is the notion that no one marker of identity is separate from any other—that one is not just a man or woman, or anything in-between or beyond, for instance, without also being a specific color, having a particular socio-economic-status, and identifying and/or being inscribed into one or more sexualities. Understanding any of these differentiations in isolation is not only inaccurate but also violent. By trailblazing for women of color and indigenous women in the field of feminist inquiry, Bridge critiqued a largely white mainstream feminism to bridge into a future feminism—a queer one that would thrive on plurality and inclusion rather than simplicity and exclusion. In particular, one of Moraga’s own contributions to Bridge, the essay “La Güera,” underscores the collection’s project of hoping for and openingup the possibility of an intersectional, queer Utopia. Although it slightly contradicts its own non-abstraction project, “La Güera” is emblematic of the queer utopian force ofBridge’s intersectional feminism.
Bridge’s futuro-feminism isn’t queer just because much of the writing that populates it expresses or discusses non-hetero-normative sexualities, desires, practices, and/or identities. Instead, the definition of “queer” I employ here hinges on José Esteban Muñoz’s theorization of queer utopianism in Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (2009). Building primarily on the philosophy of Ernst Bloch, and studying vast archives of queer art and literature, Muñoz articulates “Queerness” as “essentially about the rejection of the here and now and an insistence on potentiality…for another world” (1, my emphasis). Queerness is not simply sexuality, but nor is it merely a simplistic nay saying or rejection of the reality. In opposition to reductive pragmatic and anti-relational queer theories,Muñoz argues for a queer futurity that sees futurity, potentiality,as queerness. Citing Giorgio Agamben’s interpretation of Aristotle, Muñoz distinguishes potentiality from possibility thus: unlike a possibility, which throws existence completely into question, potentiality indicates a “certain mode of non being that is eminent, a thing that is present but not actually existing in the present tense” (9). A possible Utopia is not necessarily real, in this formulation; a potential Utopia, however, is always-already real—is a concrete (future) reality.
So utopian queerness is not an outright rejection of reality, per se, but rather a pluralization and aestheticization of reality—a performed preference for a different reality. Queer Utopia is an ontology centered not on the present, the here-and now, but rather on some as-yet-unidentified future. Projecting toward and anticipating that future are queer practices. One pillar of that projection, that “anticipatory illumination,” to invoke the Blochian term Muñoz uses throughout his study, is critique of the present. And this is certainly what Moraga is up to in “La Güera,” in which her mother’s and her own stories of oppressions faced paint a picture of a world in which “light was right” (23). Being “’la güera’:light skinned,” Moraga relates a childhood of “bleaching” and down-playing of her Chicana roots in order to secure stability and the possibility of upward mobility. Her revelation of how “bleaching” and “passing”were necessary is a salient critique on its own; this is only complicated by the fact that Moraga’s light skin, and the privileges it affords, would vanish in the light of her lesbianism (23-24). This second critique, of the ways in which sexual orientation as a marker of difference supercedes potential privilege is intersectional without the terminology. There’s no such thing as a light-, dark-, or any-skinned person who hasn’t claimed or been inscribed in some kind of sexuality, be it a societally sanctioned one or not. And certain sexualities, paired with skin that passes for white, negate what privileges “white is right” would normally afford. Painting a present that polices sexual plurality, Moraga points toward a future that, hopefully, won’t.
The act of pointing, or the form of utopianism, is in itself queer, but here the thing potentiality pointed at, the content, is also queer. As Muñoz asserts, “Queerness is utopian, and there is something queer about the utopian” (26).But there is also something intersectional about the utopian. Moraga qualifies a precaution against “ranking the oppressions” by asserting that “the joys of looking like a white girl ain’t so great since…I could be beaten on the street for being a dyke” (24). Invoking three identities—of color, gender/sex, and sexuality—she points to the ways that privileges afforded by one are nullified by violence that accompanies another. Furthermore, Moragaadds “If my sister’s being beaten because she’s black,” and, as is implied by the omission of sexuality, not (legibly) queer, “it’s pretty much the same principle”  (24). That is, the “same principle” governs violence against queer females’ bodies, regardless of color-privilege, and women-of-colors’ bodies, regardless of privilege based on sexuality. Exposing the reality of this violence critiques the temporal/spatial climate of Moraga’s youth, rejecting it in the face of a potential future in which such intersectional violences, and the “principle” that governs them, is no more.
            Moraga’s exposition and critique of the intersectional violence she and others of plural identity have experienced in the world give way to warnings against overly abstract and hierarchical theorizations of identity and oppression. However, her own musings in the essay seem to violate her injunction against abstraction: after remarking that “in this country, lesbianism is a poverty,” she qualifies the statement by adding “—as is being brown, as is being a woman, as is being just plain poor” (Moraga 24). In effect, this abbreviated litany of identities seems to stand in for all markers of difference. Muñoz does something similar at the close of his chapter on the queer aesthetics of failure and virtuosity. Delineating a third aesthetic, that of waiting, he responds to TaviaNyongo’s question about the blackness of waiting, affirming that
There is something black about waiting. And there is something queer, Latino, and transgender about waiting. Furthermore, there is something disabled, Indigenous, Asian, poor, and so forth about waiting. (182)
As in Moraga’s list cited above, a litany of marginalized identities here seems to represent marginalization in the abstract. The “Furthermore” and the “so forth” are what I’m most interested in: they seem to mark the listing (inclusion) of other marginalized identities as a rhetorical exercise—as a checklist, rather than a heartfelt project.
The listed identities’ short textual lives give the lie to any critical importance Muñoz appears to offer them: sure, he includes other identities besides that of the cisgender (non-raced) homosexual male, but the few he does mention seem like afterthoughts tacked on for good taste.The language that permeates his list sheds light on problems inherent in the practice of listing in general—or, at least, of listing possible parties to whom one’s thinking might apply, but who are not the central focus thereof. Listing, in this way, is one form of the abstraction and ranking Moraga rightly points out as dangerous. Invoking x number of marginalized identities in a list meant to provide evidence for a point—for Muñoz, that “there is something [marginal] about waiting”, and, for Moraga, that “[marginality] is a poverty”—renders each individual identity as a variable.The most obvious question each limited litany raises is: why choose identities a, b, and c instead of d, e, f—all the way through z? The decision to name some identities, but not others, necessarily signifies as hierarchical, regardless of these authors’ intentions—and regardless of the fact that each author is explicitly concerned with the de(con)struction of hierarchies that already exist in the world. I’m not pointing this out to take Muñoz and Moraga to task for what are, ultimately, unavoidable conventions of scholarly publishing. After all, who would read a text that, in every relevant instance, listed every single marginalized identity to which a given concept might apply? Rather, what these linguistic slippages point to is the fact that Utopia has not been reached yet, although Moraga, Muñoz, and others have contributed significantly to the bridge that will, eventually, take us there.
And we are closer to that potentiality, to that future, if not quite there yet—“not yet queer,” as Muñoz puts it right at the start of Cruising Utopia (1). Moraga’s essay, penned in 1979 and published in 1981in the first edition of Bridge, points most powerfully toward a potential, intersectional future when it takes as its starting point the particular identitarian interests closest to its author’s personal project. Amidst the portions of her writing quoted above, Moraga asks “To whose camp…should the lesbian of color retreat? Her very presence violates the ranking and abstraction of oppression” (24). This rhetorical question operates on a few levels. On one, it proclaims that “the lesbian,” as an abstraction, need not “retreat” to any other “camp” or identity. On another level, the question claims that any such retreat would be impossible, anyway, since the lesbian’s “presence violates” the singularity and exclusion of such camps. That is, theoretically, any particular identity that stands outside of the logic of categorization has the potential to overthrow that very logic, that very tablature.What this point amounts to in Moraga’s essay, I think, is a defense and theorization of the narrowed focus of hers and Anzaldúa’s collection, of the isolation of one particular identity—though one that is a compound of a few others—that of the radical woman of color. In Muñoz’s book, by and large, the focus is, instead, the homosexual man.
That Bridge, like Cruising Utopia years later, focuses on one (albeit compound) identity does not mean that itfails on the level of intersectionality. Rather, this narrowing of focus points to a critical, perhaps utopian, engagement with the practice of queer-inflected critique/theory as a whole.Presenting “lesbianism” as “a poverty” in the same breath as “being just plain poor,” Moraga might be hoping not just for potential upward mobility for lesbians, but also an overthrow of the very lack-based economies that would have any identity signify “a poverty”—political economies, cultural economies, and critical economies. Muñoz remarks that “Bloch offers us hope as a hermeneutic” in theorizing Utopia, and builds upon Bloch to emphasize queerness inherent in any brand of utopian thought (4). Twenty-eight years before Cruising Utopia, Bridgeexpounds a hope for a future in which the voices it pulls from the margin to the centerno longer need to be—are no longer marginalized. And six years after Muñoz’s book, Moraga opens the fourth edition of Bridge(2015) with a preface that claims, “The Egyptian revolution is my revolution!” (“Catching Fire” xvi).The Egyptian revolution is not one among many on a list of revolutions that the abstracted theorist of identity might claim. Rather, it is a revolution that resonates with the queer, intersectional hope for a future reality that gives the lie to what we call “reality” here and now.
Endnote [1] Although Kimberle Crenshaw would explicitly coin “intersectionality” in her essay “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics” (1989), the rhetorical forces behind the term animated much work that predates Crenshaw’s article, including Bridge and the scholarship of bell hooks
Works Cited
Crenshaw, Kimberle. "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist
            Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics." The
            University of Chicago Legal Forum
 140 (1989): 139-37. PhilPapers. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
Moraga, Cherrié, “Catching Fire: Preface to the Fourth Edition.” This Bridge Called My Back:
            Writings by Radical Women of Color
. xv-xxvi.
———, “La Güera.” This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. 22-29.
———, and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical
            Women of Color
.4th ed. Albany: SUNY Press, 2015. Print.
Muñoz, José E. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: NYU Press,
            2009. Print.

Girl Versus Monsters

"When being raped, she shouldn't fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they'd have dropped her off after 'doing her', and only hit the boy.” Mukesh Singh, one of five convicted of the raping and killing an Indian student on a moving bus.

 Tala Abu Rahmeh

My body is twenty-three stories circling my belly button.
I am a sky and the moon on a cloudy night, dancing.
I am cake just baked for my own birthday, I am
birds, balloons filled with air, I am a flight
onwards seeking Mars.

I was watching a movie about a man on a boat,
alone with this thoughts, the sound of water filled
my brain, popcorn and butter swam in my stomach.
I was happy sitting on firm ground pretending
not to be lost.

What is it that we dream of on moving buses?
Chinese food, books still sitting on our bed stand
half read, drops of hot water on the floor, the aftermath
of a shower to wash the city away.
I thought about what I’ll wear tomorrow for biology class.

There was nothing inside of me.
No men. No individual loves. No memories of a touch
done well. No map to recount the directions
of your pounding against my thighs. No silence.
No music. No hunger. No poems. No screams.
No light.

You are darkness and the smell of dead fish.

Tala Abu Rahmeh is a translator and a content editor for This Week in Palestine. She holds an MFA in Poetry from The American University in Washington, DC. She is a regular contributor to Mashallah News Magazine in Beirut and Wherever Magazine in New York City. Her poems have been published in a number of magazines and books including Naomi Shihab Nye’s Time to Let me In: 25 under 25.  Parts of her memoir-in-progress were just published in a non-fiction book about Beirut titled “Beirut Re-collected,” published by Tamyras Publishers and available in both French and English. Her poem “Cape Cod,” was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize

An Importance of English Language & Communication in  
Technical & Professional Institute in India
 Deepesh Kumar Thakur
Assistant Professor
World College of Technology&Management.Gurgaon

            We need English speaking in professional life and education, because as we know, English become a global language. Here, I have given the attitudes of English language in India from old period to modern period and use of English language. The two main reasons why English was used for working purposes at the time: first, exports and the search for markets and, second, the establishment of large multinational foreign companies. As Indian market is become a global market, to exist in this market, should be known the global language that is English language. The use of English clearly increases in the more formal domains. Also, the more formal the situation is, the bigger the number of languages possible for each occasion. In the domains of education, government and employment it is, without doubt, the most preferred medium. It is, however, making its way to more informal domains, as well: about 40% of the informants claim to speak English with friends, and people get introduced to each other most often in English. Over half of all personal letters, too, are written in English. In the neighborhood domain English is the most preferred option when people's languages differ. Thus, the usefulness of Hindi as a lingua franca seems to be regionally limited, as Spolsky has claimed. In the domains of education, government and employment English shows itself, without doubt, as the most preferred medium. More so, because the world has become a global village and we can easily transcend borders for employment. Well, even if we are not looking for employment, there is a whole world just waiting for us to explore trekking, sightseeing and more. If we have the money and adventure, then no place is far. English comes in handy when conversing with strangers, getting visa and finding our way around. English has a status of assistant language, but in fact it is the most important language in the world. So it is well known as a global language and the most popular language for the people. It is the most convenient language to communicate around the business pattern as a global basis. In this paper, I have tried to show the different process of English communication as well as keys for effective communication.
Key Words: Professional & Technical Communication, Domains of Language, Received Pronunciation, Communicative Language, Education, Government.

Today, in fact, it is hard, almost impossible to think of English as it is used in India only simply as another foreign language. In the domain of transactions, local language that is regional language is used more often than English at both the market place and in shops and at the railway station.  Today, English has become a link language that helps us to converse with people around the world. English in India is a diglossically high language. The reasons for this lie in the colonial times when the power was attributed to English, From then on, English became a symbol of political power, the position of which it holds, still: English, today, represents the scientific knowledge, modernization and development.  English in India has, indeed, come far from its original uses in the colonial times when it was mostly used as the language of the government. Nowadays, English has spread into many new domains, also the more personal ones, such as the family and friendship. English has, also, acquired new functions, including the self-expressive or innovative function. This is quite natural when one is reminded that English is, really, a language of the educated: quite possibly the people selling goods and food in the market place do not often know a word of English. Attitudes about a language are important, for they more or less determine its place in the multilingualism of a country. English has traditionally been the language of the government and other domains with prestige, and still today it carries more prestige than Hindi in India and it is, too, considered important and an advantage to the country as a whole. People's motives for supporting English are mostly instrumental: the results of the study reveal that English is perceived as a useful language to know mostly because of job opportunities: English is considered necessary would one want to have a job. On the other hand, Hindi is not perceived important when it comes to getting a job: only one informant claimed he/she could not get a job without the knowledge of Hindi. The informants, too, support the role of English as an associate official language, for 62% of them require a person to be able to speak English to be admitted to a public post. Education is an important proof of the status of a language in a society, and if this is true, in the case of English its status seems quite secure: over 90% of the informants are of the opinion that all children should learn English at school. Whereas, English was considered important to India in most of the responses (90%), Hindi is perceived important for the development of the country only by 33% of them. The informants strongly identified themselves with their mother tongue and the group that speaks it; this is important for the maintenance of the native languages of the country: especially in the case of varieties with less official acknowledgement group solidarity becomes very important. The maintenance of a group's language makes one part of it. Integrative motivation seems to be very important for maintaining Hindi as the official language of India. It is, also, beneficial for the maintenance of a language to be associated with positive cultural values; especially when a less prestigious language is in question. Although, as mentioned earlier, English is clearly perceived as a more useful language to know, people on the other hand can identify themselves more easily with Hindi (only 17% said they identified themselves with British and Anglo-American culture, whereas about 67% of the informants feel proud to speak the language and consider it a big part of their culture and identity). Most of the informants would like the use of Hindi to be encouraged in India, as well as they would like to see it as the official language also in future. Most of them thought, too, that they would miss out on many enjoyable parts of culture could they not speak Hindi. Although Spolsky has claimed that people rarely know any other language other than their own, this was clearly not the case in my study: people reported, on average, four different languages. The usefulness of Hindi as a lingua franca, however, appeared to be regionally limited, as in some areas few people know it ­ or they dislike speaking it. Many people do not see any reason why Hindi would be any better as an official language than their mother tongue. Indian English has definitely emerged as a variety of its own in the eyes of the Indian people themselves. Although many acknowledged RP (Received Pronunciation: BBC English; Standard English in Britain) as the best model for Indians to strive for, almost as many supported variety in a language arguing that because of linguistic and cultural reasons, Indian English is naturally different from, say, the British standard variety of English. Some people, though, expressed their view of Indian variety as somehow "deviant" by talking about corrections which should take place in the variety, and also by comparing Indian English to the more standard and orthodox type of standard variety of English as used in Britain. People, indeed, seem to be somewhat ambivalent about Indian English and its features. Some people would even divide the use of English so that RP would be reserved for more formal uses, whereas "Indian English" (whatever one understands with it) is considered suitable for, as one informant puts it, "informal conversation". What gives English its status, therefore, is not so much its utilitarian function as the prestige attached to it and the social role attributed to it. The history of language, however, bears witness to the relevance of such a distinction. There are two hypotheses concerning language power: the intrinsic-power hypothesis and the acquired-power hypothesis. The first one claims that English would intrinsically possess certain linguistic characteristics which would make it a preferred language for international purposes. This position can be seemed similar to claims of racial superiority. The second hypothesis emphasizes the ways in which a language acquires power, and thus it is also easier to understand. Even though English is acquiring new identities in new cultural contexts, such as in India (which in itself should be a natural phenomenon), often the new English’s are considered as deviations of the standard British or American English norm, and Indian people, too, are quite ambivalent about their variety of the language.
Impact of Language:
           The statements related to domains such as family, friendship, neighborhood, transactions, education, government and employment. The informants' duty was to fill in the language he/she most often uses for each occasion (grading the frequency of use from one to four, four indicating the highest frequency). The aim was to analyze the use of English in India in different domains. The domains used in the study could be divided into formal and informal domains: education, employment and government are formal; family, friendship, neighborhood and transactions more informal domains. While the use of English in the fields analysed here is connected with internationalization in its various forms, such use also encroaches in every case on the internal practices of national communities. The degree of encroachment varies with the field and the community. It is particularly significant in northern Europe. Elsewhere English is also identified with what is international and global, but such identification seems to go well beyond its real function as a vehicular language, especially in countries with widely spoken languages. Apart from a genuine role as a lingua franca, it is probable that the use that is said to be made of it does not always correspond to the situation on the ground and that there are cases where its use does not correspond to a real necessity. In India, the state where one comes from is important, for some of the states are more pro-English or pro-Hindi, or pro-regional language than others. Traditionally, the opposition of Hindi has been the most fervent in the south (such as in Tamil Nadu, for instance). One reason to this may be that Hindi belongs to a different language group than the Dravidian languages which are native to the south of India, and it is thought of as unfair to have such an unfamiliar language as an official language. Sometimes, however, the use of Hindi is opposed simply because people do not want to appoint any special role to Hindi. They do not see why Hindi would be more special than any other language.
                          Although some informants seem to be quite polyglots, even in the family domain (such as Ker1, who reported the use of English and mother tongue just as common, Tamil1, Mah1, and few others), all in all, mother tongue was, as could be expected, the most common language used at home (for 87% of the informants). English was the second most common reported language. It was, perhaps surprisingly, most popular (17%) when "discussing a personal matter/problem", although even then L1 was far more popular, with 79%. Discussions with family members at dinner are usually carried out in the mother tongue (90%). Among West Bengalis, local language was reserved, almost exclusively, for the family domain. Tamils, on the other hand, mentioned English most often (even though as a secondary option after the local language) ­ thus, here, too, we can see the preference of the people of Tamil Nadu to English, rather than Hindi. Hindi is mentioned only once in groups other than for which it is a mother tongue, when "commenting on a TV program which is in your mother tongue/Hindi". Probably then, too, the reason was that one of the options given for the medium of the TV program was Hindi; perhaps it feels natural to comment on a TV program in the same language as it is in. It was interesting to note, however, that the use of Hindi did not increase (in general) even though it was the medium of a TV program: mother tongue was also then the most popular option. Hindi was mentioned as an option in very few papers. Hindi does not seem to be very popular among Tamils. The reason to this is fairly obvious, since Hindi has traditionally not been very popular in the south; Hindi is not one of the languages spoken in the area. Tamils, in general, support the use of English. Their reasons for favoring English have been explained earlier on in the study.            Bengalis are not too keen supporters of Hindi, either. They are very proud of their own language; many think that it would have the same right as Hindi has to be the official language of the country (it is surprising, however, that Hindi is reported as the second most common language used at home by a West Bengali (perhaps, for instance, one of the family members of the informant speaks Hindi as his/her mother tongue)). The Bengalis were supporting English for the same reason during the Anglicist-Orientalist controversy in the beginning of the 19th century. Over half of all personal letters are written in English (62%). People are also introduced to each other most often in English (local language 29%, Hindi:6%).  People who have not met before, too, prefer English as the common language of conversation (40%; local language 33%, Hindi 6%). Personal problems are not talked about in English (21%), but usually in local language (31%). On the other hand, many informants report several different languages; combinations such as local language /English (17%) and local language /English/Hindi (14%) are quite common. Maybe this is due to the fact that many have friends and acquaintances with a different language from them (considering how many different languages there are in India). General topics are usually conversed in English (33%), after which come local language (27%) and English/ local language (17%). Hindi is not popular here, either. Neighborhood In 67% of the cases, English is reported as the most commonly used language when conversing with neighbors. Hindi and English/Hindi (both 13%) come next, followed by local language and regional language (both 3%). In case the mother tongues of the neighbors differ, English serves as the link language most of the time (67%). Hindi and H/E are reported second most common languages (13% both). If, however, the mother tongues of the neighbors are same, only one informant claims to resort to English, others report that they would use it together with Hindi (3%) or local language (7%). Language and Hindi are most commonly used languages of transaction in this study. This is not unexpected, for many common Indian people do not speak English much at all (in India English is, as mentioned earlier, the language of the élite and the educated). The informants reported that they most often use language when in shops, at the railway station etc. (29%). Hindi comes next (25%), after which English (18%). In the market place Language is more clearly the most commonly used language (with 50%; Hindi 18%). Language and regional language both 7%. If combinations such languages, English is used at the market place 20% of the time.
Education in Institution:
            In education, English is the most common medium (87% of all the situations). At school, friends who spoke the same language usually talked in local language (45%), although English comes next (25%), and Hindi third (14%). English was considered the best medium of communication in the instances in which the languages of the parties in question differed (75%; Hindi 14%). English dominates in the domain of government, both when it comes to writing letters (93% are written in English) and also as a general language of the domain (70%; Hindi 7%). But, when meeting government officials, there is more division: English is still the most common language (37%), but local language is also used quite often (23%), as well as Hindi (10%) and a regional language (10%). As well as job interviews are without exception carried out in English (100%), so are also business letters written in English. If one's and one's boss's languages differ, the common language will most often (97%) be English. Language comes second (3%). When it comes to talking to one's colleagues who come from different parts of India, 67% of the time one would resort to English (Hindi 17%, Language 17%).
       In this paper, I have tried to show the different process of English communication as well as keys for effective communication. As we can see from the results of the study, English has become more nativized in the Indian environment: it seems that English now belongs to India's linguistic repertoire in a very natural way. English, however, is still clearly languages of “ideas, not of emotions”, as one informant put it.We need English speaking in professional life and education, because as we know, English become a global language. Here, I have given the attitudes of English language in India from old period to modern period and use of English language. The two main reasons why English was used for working purposes at the time: first, exports and the search for markets and, second, the establishment of large multinational foreign companies. As Indian market is become a global market, to exist in this market, should be known the global language that is English language. English language competency is a significant aspect of an engineering student’s academic life and prospective career. Employers give considerable value to graduates acquiring a diverse set of skills in different work environment. Besides analytical and problem solving skills, subject specific knowledge, research and improved decision making ability, management skills, understanding of other culture, confidence and competence to work in international environment are considered the most essential qualities for engineers. However, at the bottom of these lies an effective communication skill. If students fail to see the broader scenario of the corporate world and ignore the communication skills, it can endanger a shallow level of understanding. It is because the main mode of communication used and most of the teaching contents and the sources for information are in English. The present paper deals with the importance of English language competence in every walk of the professional life of an engineer for his bright future and how the teachers and students need to make integrated efforts build their competency in English skills that would enable students successful in studies, campus interviews and their corporate life.

[1] Raman Meenakshi & Sangeeta Sharma. (2004). Technical Communication Principles and Practice. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
[2] Pal Rajendra & Korlahalli, J.S. (2007). Essentials of Business Communication (10th edn). Sultan Chand Sons Publishers, New Delhi.
[3] Parikh, J.P, Anshu Surve, Swranabharati & Asma Bahrainwala. (2011). Business Communication: Basic Concepts and Skills. Orient Black Swan, New Delhi.
[4] Rizvi Ashraf. (2005). Effective Technical Communication. Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi

[5] Lakshminarayanan, K.R. (2007). English for technical Communication (Vol 1 & 2 combined ed) Scitech Publications Pvt. Ltd., Chennai.

Reflections on Human Relationships and Female Bonding in Shashi Deshpande’s Shadow Play

Dr. Nazneen Khan
Associate Professor
Department of English and
Modern European Languages
University of Lucknow,
Lucknow (U.P.)

            Shashi Deshpande, winner of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1990 and the Padma Shri in 2009, has carved a niche for herself in the literary domain for her understanding and capturing the minuteness, intricacies and intrigues of familial relationships in Indian society. With twelve novels, six collections of short-stories, four children’s books, a book of essays and numerous articles to her credit, she has emerged as one of the mainstream contemporary women writers in Indian English fiction. While love , relationships, family and home are some of the recurrent themes imbibed in Deshpande’s narratives, feminine sensibility too forms a perennial context of her fictional corpus. She is best known for her close studies of middle-class female characters in domestic settings. Her concerns are social but she chooses to work from within the psyche of a woman, articulate female silences and work on relationships. Josna Rege rightly observes :
Typically, the married protagonist of her novels, faced with a personal crisis, withdraws from her workaday routine to reflect on her self and her situation. In the process she excavates a painful past, confronting the tragic loss of a family member such as a child or sibling and seeking to understand anew a failed or dysfunctional relationships with a parent or spouse. The resolution generally involves her return with a new attitude towards the seemingly intractable situation, after she has realized what it will take to implement her new and difficult understanding . . . In the end, it is this change in her perspective that is important, rather than any material change in her situation (Rege 54).
Shashi Deshpande’s latest novel, Shadow Play (2013), draws from her previous novel, A Matter of Time (1996), published almost two decades ago. In an interview to Manjula Sen, she observes :
Like all my novels, it has a very strong link to the previous novel. I had no idea of writing a sequal when I wrote A Matter of Time in the 1990s. It came out in early 1996. Shadow Play is based in Bangalore . . . soon after Gujarat (riots) and the World Trade Centre (attack), the original characters have changed completely in that time. (Sen  24 ).
At another instance, she remarks, “I never plan my stories. This sequel had to be written. The characters haunted me and I had to get it out. I could not wait any longer”. (Venkataraman 14).
The blurb on the cover page of the novel reads :
In Shadow Play, one of India’s most respected and accomplished novelists has produced a work that is deeply humane and contemplative as much about the ephemeral nature of human life as it is about the enduring relationships that give it meaning. (Cover page, Shadow Play)
Shadow Play is a novel about ordinary people going about their lives in a city in Karnataka. Like most of Shashi Deshpande’s books this one too is about women. The story details three generations of a family and how even when one generation has passed on, they continue to throw shadows on the lives of those still living. Commenting on her more than three decades of fiction writing, charting the lives of different characters and their travels through space and time, Shashi Deshpande observes :
In the forty years of writing stories and novels, I have done something one normally does not do: I have thought about people and relationships, about how we live our lives and what it is all about. As I wrote, I stumbled into serendipitous discoveries, but much still remains a mystery. Which is what makes me want to go on. (Dutta e-mail interview)
Shadow Play is an inter-generational novel which explores many of Deshpande’s central themes of family, relationships, societal attitudes, gender discrimination and friendships, with women as protagonists. It also revisits the theme of rape, a familiar leitmotif in Deshpande’s narratives. In the words of Amrita Dutta:
The reader of A Matter of Time , Shashi Deshpande’s 1996 novel, steps into a forbidding house, “built by a man for his sons and their sons”, where no birds sing, where Kalyani and her daughter, Sumi, both abandoned by their husbands, live with the wrecks of their marriage, and Sumi’s three daughters. Like other novels by Shashi Deshpande, it is full of people who are moored in the dense web of human relationships, but who strain beyond it. In Shadow Play , her tenth novel, she returns to those characters- Aru, Sumi’s daughter, and her father, Gopal, who once stopped “believing in the untruth of life”. ( Dutta e-mail interview)
 In Deshpande’s earlier novel A Matter of Time we were introduced to Sumi and Gopal, and their three daughters Aru, Charu and Seema. Gopal had walked out on his family, for reasons not fully explained, leaving his wife and daughters struggling to come to terms with his humiliating betrayal and the societal scorn that they suffered as a result of it. Then tragedy struck a second time, and Sumi and her father were killed in an accident.
Shadow Play starts here with Sumi, the central character in A Matter of Time, dead and her daughters all grown up. Aru, a lawyer, is married, and is slowly coming to terms with her father’s decision to leave them in her childhood. He is now back in their lives, and Aru must deal with the residual bitterness that his earlier desertion has left her with. At the same time, she deals with her inability to conceive, her ambivalence towards adoption, and her relationships with mostly the women around her; her sisters- Charu and Seema, her aunts, her boss, Surekha and colleagues, Nagma and Tressa.
Shadow Play is a masterful meditation on kinship, marriage, ambition and the changing face of urban India. Filled with a memorable cast of characters, it also tells the story of Kasturi, trying to find understanding and peace after enduring extreme cruelty and heartbreak; Kalyani, who atones for the wrong deals of the society towards its women by an act of generosity in her death, and Gracy, Tressa and Ramu, a family torn asunder by a senseless act of violence. Alternate chapters of the novel are written from Gopal’s perspective presenting the male point of view fairly. The character of Kasturi, a woman who, like Gopal, has abandoned her family, albeit for much more sympathetic reasons, provides an interesting foil to his character and motivations.
One of the central conflicts in the story is between Aru, the strident feminist, strong elder daughter who shoulders her family’s burdens at an early age and takes care of everyone round her, as opposed to Gopal, her father, whom she describes as “Stithaprajna” - detached from worldly things.
The novel opens with the scene of Aru’s marriage :
Traditionally, a wedding comes at the end of a story, a story with a happy ending, that is; in fact, the wedding is the happy ending. However, it is not the end but the beginning: the beginning of a new life for the couple, the creation of a new family - in fact, the beginning of life itself . . . This is a rather unusual wedding, a quiet and modest affair taking place not in a lavish wedding hall, but at home. (Deshpande 2013)
Kalyani, the grandmother, is suffering from cancer and can die any moment. Her last wish is to see Aru married to Rohit which Aru readily agrees to fulfil. Immediately after the marriage, Aru goes to the ailing Kalyani and asks her, “Are you happy, Amma?” (11) and Kalyani replies in the affirmative, “Yes, child. Very happy”. (11) Kalyani also wants a promise from Gopal, whom she has always treated more like a son than a son-in-law, that he would always stay with his daughters. She asks Gopal, “Promise me one thing. Gopala. Promise you will be with your girls, promise me you wont go away” (20) and Gopal assures her saying, “I will be here as long as they need me, Amma”. (26) Gopal knows that Kalyani’s death, which appears quite imminent, would be a great loss to his three daughters, particularly to Aru, and he needs to be with them when this tragedy occurs. He says :
For my daughters, Kalyani’s death will be like losing their mother all over again and Aru will lose her greatest pillar of support. Yes, a great sorrow is coming our way. I have to be here with my daughters when it comes. (22)
After Kalyani’s death the old house is demolished and as per her wishes, a new house is built for her three grand-daughters! “A new life for these children, she had said. They must forget the past.” (25)
While Aru is happily married to Rohit, an architect, Charu, who is now a doctor settled in U.S., is married to Hrishi and is blessed with a baby boy. Charu and Hrishi come for a brief holiday for their first visit to home since their son was born. Seema, the youngest of the three daughters of Sumi and Gopal, opts for a career in modelling and soon becomes a famous model in the world of advertising.
Aru, though happily married, suffers from a void in her life on account of her inability to conceive. She suffers from “a terrible sense of deprivation” (42) and all the time experiences an “aching need for a child”. (42). Rohit wants to go for adoption but Aru disagrees to it. Aru suffers from a condition called endometriosis which greatly reduces her chance of conception and almost creates ‘a blank space’ in her relationship with Rohit. Aru longs for motherhood and the very sight of children with their mothers gives an ache in her heart and makes her feel an ‘exile’ from the beautiful world of parents and children :
When she went to the park she saw children playing, toddlers on a leash being held back from rushing away, mothers with babies strapped to them, babies in strollers. She watched them almost furtively, like a voyeur, and she thought that the complete, total dependence of infants on parents, their complete faith in them was the most beautiful thing in the world . . . But her childlessness kept her out of the whole world of parents and children. I am an exile from that world, she thought. (96)
Aru’s inability to bear a child seems to make a ‘mockery’ of her sexual act with Rohit and she feels herself withdrawing from Rohit. Their moments of love-making appear futile to Aru :
What was it for? Only pleasure in the act itself? . . . She could feel herself withdrawing from Rohit when she sensed his desire. Rohit, conscious of her reluctance, became wary of approaching her. And the doubt she had repudiated so emphatically before marriage now came between them in a different form. Doubt, that great destroyer of the erotic mood, the great detumescencer for a man, lay like a sword between them, like a blade of grass. (97)
Aru is against adoption as she feels that it is a very poor substitute for the joys and pains of carrying a child for nine months in one’s womb and then delivering it. Giving birth to a new life in blood and pain creates a bond between a mother and her child that can never be achieved through adopting a child overnight. While thinking about adoption, Aru says :
The nine months of waiting while the baby grows inside her prepares a woman both emotionally and physically for motherhood. Can I bond with a child overnight? . . . I want a baby of my own, I want to carry my child within my body, I want to feel it kicking, moving, impatient to be born, I want my baby to come out of my body, I want to give birth to my child in blood and pain like Charu did. I want to play my allotted role in the world, to have my place in it, knotted into it, linked to the future by my child, as I am linked to the past through my mother. (174-175)
However, the chance finding of an old letter written by Yamunabai - a village school teacher who was a child widow, to one of her students - Manorama i.e., Kalyani’s mother, brings about a change in Aru’s perspective on motherhood. Aru found this letter among Kalyani’s papers while they were clearing up the old house before its demolition. Manorama had obviously written to Yamunabai about her disappointment at not having a son and Yamunabai, a childless woman, had written :
What we really want is that we should not be forgotten. That our lives should not be completely wiped out as if we have never been. Very few of us can do great deeds which will be remembered for all time. But most of us will live in our children. Does it make a difference whether it’s a son or a daughter who remembers you, Manu? You will live in your daughter, as much as you would in a son. The family name is something we have created ourselves, it has no meaning. Look at me, I have no children, but all of you, my students, are like my daughters, no, you are my daughters .   (216)
This letter, along with Kalyani’s will, becomes a magic mantra for Aru providing her courage and strength whenever she falters. Aru now realizes that : “Girl or boy, adopted or natural child - what does it matter? The child will be mine, she will be ours, Rohit’s and mine” (216-217) and Aru is suddenly impatient to adopt the girl child Rohit had earlier talked about.
While Aru yearns for a child she could never have, Kasturi longs for her son whom she was compelled to leave, when he was just a small child, due to her husband’s tyranny. Kasturi was ill-treated and abused by her husband and when one day, he locked Kasturi into a room refusing to let her feed her baby, she ran away from the house to escape further torture at the hands of an utterly callous and cruel husband. Years later while taking to Gopal, Kasturi lays her heart bare and speaks about her desire to have her son, Krishna, back in her life. She says :
Kalyani, who had lived under the tyranny of silence almost all her married life, through her will, seeks to rectify the wrongs done to her - to put an end to injustice. Kalyani’s will is like a triumphant ending to her story :
Mistress of all the property, she had distributed it between her ‘surviving daughter Premalata and the three daughters of my deceased daughter Sumitra - Arundhati, Charulata, Seema’. The will was a recital of a litany of female names: her daughter and granddaughters, her ‘more-than-a-sister’ Goda and Devaki, Goda’s daugher, who has been ‘like my own daughter’, each name mentioned with great love. Nikhil, the only grandson, got only her blessings ‘because I know that everything that his mother has will be his one day.’ (112)
To Surekha, Kalyani’s will appears to be “a triumphant flaunting of the female line, a doucment to set things right, to erase the injustice of the past. To change as much as it is possible for one person to change the ways of the world”. (112).
In Shadow Play, through the tender moments of gentle love and caring between Gopal and Kasturi, a middle-aged woman living as Charu’s tenant, the novelist hints at the possibility of finding love even when the prime of one’s life is over. Pondering over his relationship with Kasturi and their mutual liking for each other, Gopal says :
At our ages, Kasturi’s and mine, there can no longer be thunder and lightning, no more a rush of blood to the head, no sudden savage arousal. And yet I have a sense of excitement when I am with Kasturi. She has awakened something in me. (122)
However, Gopal knows that the joy he and Kasturi find in each other’s company has to wait as both of them have to resolve their individual dilemmas.
 A horrifying tragedy strikes Gopal’s family when Seema, the youngest daughter who was all set to become a great model, is gang raped .Expressing dissatisfaction over the manner in which a horrifying incident like rape of one of the central characters of the novel has been handled by the novelist, a reviewer observes :
The word ‘rape’ . . . makes . . . it appearance early on in the novel, when Aru watches a TV programme and waits for a minister to apologise over an insensitive comment that he has made towards a victim of rape. As a result, there is a sense of being let down over the way the issue is handled in the novel. One keeps wondering where the story is leading up to, and is almost taken by surprise when the rape actually occurs and is summarily dealt with. The indirect involvement of a family member seems too tame a reason to not want to see justice done. Aru is a professed feminist, and yet she agrees to go along with the raped victim’s desire to put the whole incident behind her. Result - the rapists go scot-free . . . But for this, Shadow Play is a story told in Deshpande’s inimitable style and definitely worth reading for the many deep insights about life in its myriad avatars. (Kumar 24).
Shashi Deshpande, however maintains :
I see the violation of the woman’s self as a culmination of cruelty in the relationship between the man and woman. Thirty years ago nobody would even have thought about the topic. Including them in my books is simply my way of inducing discussion. (Venkataraman 14)
The novel ends on a note of optimism, faith and hope with Aru and Rohit happy with their adopted child, a girl whom they name Kalyani Gauri, Kasturi waiting for the right time to approach her son after her ex-husband’s death, Seema overcoming the traumatic experience of her gang-rape and Gopal discovering a new face of love with Kasturi. The novel ends with these words : “The truth is that it is only hope, hope even more than love, which can lighten the burden of parentage, it is hope, much more than love, which makes it possible for us to live, to go on living”. (303)
In Shadow Play, as in her earlier novels, Shashi Deshpande delves deep into the emotions of each of her characters, as she gradually goes into the complexities of daily living. The story covers the entire gamut of familial relationships, the misunderstandings, marriage, career ambitions, the frustrations of bringing up children and also that of not being able to have them. Interestingly, the author brings in the male perspective too, as some of the chapters are narrated by Gopal, the father of Aru and her two sisters. Gopal’s abandonment of his family at a crucial juncture is the cause of much heartache. But the author’s decision to give him a voice helps to convey his point of view and perhaps redeems him to the readers and, eventually, his daughters.
In Shadow Play (2013) Deshpande sensitively touches upon the issue of childlessness and the agony of a woman from were the author gently moves onto the topic of adoption and its possibilities. Terrorism rears its ugly head in this novel with a bomb explosion and the death of Aru’s colleague, Tressa ,that shatters Aru’s peace and those of the people she is connected to. Deshpande uses this novel to make political observations about the underworld, shooting encounters and wonders whether terrorists “are also trained to lose their humanity the way they are trained to make explosives?” (161) The author’s clear understanding of life in its many manifestations shines throughout the book, as when she speaks of a profession like modelling where faith is reposed on “something as impermanent, as evanescent as the body, a body which ages each day, so many cells dying each minute.” (52) Shashi Deshpande uses Aru, the lawyer, as the lens, to reflect on feminism. Aru, in the course of her work, has seen so much injustice meted out to women that her “convictions about the exploitation of women remains. She has always hated the falseness, the tall claims of ads, the seducing of women into having an unreal image of themselves which the advertising world promotes”. (51)
The sub-plots in the novel dwell on issues like living together, the possibilities of finding love in one’s sunset years and the complications that can derive from a Hindu-Christian marriage, especially with regard to the religion of the child of such a union. At times, there is a feeling that some threads have been left hanging because of the crowding of characters and sub-plots.
In the words of a reviewer :
In Shadow Play, Shashi Deshpande is at her serene best with no laboured descriptions of landscapes or the outsides of people, no details of food, or spice or even complicated thoughts. It comes as a gentle flow which pulls the readers in. The story is about relationships – the characters’ thoughts about each other, a little about themselves and lives unfolding. (Zachariah  22)
What Shashi Deshpande has been doing in her novels is “charting the inner landscapes of women” where she provides her women characters a context to understand themselves. Through her novels, Shashi Deshpande consistently explores the nature of the “female world and outlook” and  their bonding with each other, and reconstructs “the lost or suppressed records of female experience”. She identifies femaleness as a thematic base and traces the subtle shifts of focus in feminine goals and aspirations. Her attempt to echo “the loneliness of the gendered subaltern” and give voice to the silenced voices constitutes part of the decolonizing feminist project.
Shadow Play (2013) has all the elements that Shashi Deshpande is known for - rape, loss and abandonment. However, she maintains that she writes, not about issues and problems, but the lives of people entangled in a complex web of human relationships and familial bonding. Shadow Play is about human relationships and the bonding between women in a family and how important these strands are to hold the family together. It is about women who battle a hundred internal confusions but carry on bravely.

Deshpande, Shashi.        Shadow Play. New Delhi : Aleph Book Company, 2013. Print.
Dutta, Amrita. “Shashi Deshpande on Writing, Feminism and Her New Novel”. e-mail Interview. 13 Oct, 2013. Print.
Kumar, Melaine P. “Insights on Life - Review of Shadow Play”. Deccan Herald. 10 Nov, 2013. Print.
Rege, Josna (ed.). South Asian Novelists in English : An A To Z Guide. Westport, Connecticut, London : Greenwood Press, 2005. Print.
Sen, Manjula. “I See Women Have Changed, Men Haven’t - Interview with Shashi Deshpande”. The Hindu. 23 Sept., 2013. Print.
Zachariah, Peeti.  “Shadow Play – Book Review”. Book Geeks. 25 Oct. 2013.
Venkataraman, Janane. “The Intricacies of Human Relationships at Play – Review of Shadow Play”. Indian Express. 21 Nov., 2013


Prem Krishneel Singh
Poet, Fiji

Lately, I've been dreaming
Dreaming about you
You keep creeping back into my thoughts
And my heart changes hue

It gets more difficult to express
A bit harder to ignore
When I've tried all methods
Even those lost in lore

I've started bargaining with myself
to let myself feel
But my conscience won't let me
It knows that I won't heal

I want to get in
I want to find you
But in the process, I lose myself
Gone somewhere, no map, no clue
This sting will go away one day
Because I've been through this before
It's just a bit hard to take out something
that has shaken your core

Recently I've been dreaming,dreaming about you.

The Impossibility of Knowing the “Other” and Intercultural Interaction in Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats
Humberto Gonzalez Nunez
Villanova University, Graduate Student

Novels have historically influenced the way we think about interactions with the ‘Other’ through the creation of ‘possible worlds’ within a narrative. In my paper, I would like to focus on Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats and her suggestion for interacting with the ‘Other’. Specifically, I would like to focus on Ozeki’s main character, Jane, and a few of her interactions with ‘Others’. I argue that Ozeki offers a highly suggestive portrayal of interacting with the ‘Other’ that responds to some theoretical considerations of the ‘Other’ as unknowable. One of the key thoughts that she develops is the importance of not assuming that the ‘Other’s’ identity is closed and fixed in the ‘virtual’ projection of the ‘Other’. In so doing, Ruth Ozeki attempts to expose both the risks of the unchecked effects of virtually projecting the ‘Other’ and offers an opening as to how we are to proceed in our interactions with the ‘Other’.
            I would like to begin by presenting a quote in which Jane describes the nature of My American Wife! —  the TV show she is directing:
“Part of the success was due to the marketing angle that the Network chose. My American Wife!, they assured the Japanese audiences, was produced “virtually entirely” by a real American crew, so the America conveyed was authentic, not one distorted by the preconceptions of jaded Japanese TV producers. But of course it wasn’t real at all.” (Ozeki 28; original italics)
In this passage, we already receive a suggestion of how intercultural interactions with the ‘Other’ are developed. The marketing angle of My American Wife!is of a crew that is “virtually entirely” American so as to not distort the authenticity of the image of America, which is what the producers of the TV show assume Japanese audiences desire. But Jane knows that this is false. In fact, the crew was “virtually entirely” Japanese and the trip to America for the shooting of My American Wife! constituted their first ‘real’ exposure to America. Following this observation, the deeper question arises: even if the whole crew was composed Americans, would the image of America not be distorted? Before being able to elaborate a response, it is necessary to present some theoretical considerations concerning the notion of the ‘Other’ in order to offer a theory of the ‘Other’ that can serve as a frame of focus for this question.
            Slavoj Žižek, an influential cultural theorist, is well known for developing a notion of the ‘Other’ that, in our particular case, proves to be an important interlocutor. Despite introducing what I identify as Žižek’s two main conceptualizations of the ‘Other’, I argue that one can extract from both notions a robust synthesis that can account for Žižek’s idea of the ‘Other’ that will be able to reply to the question we posed concerning intercultural interaction with the ‘Other’ in Ozeki’sMy Year of Meats. Thus, the two ways Žižek formulations of the ‘Other’ can be described are in either Lacanian orDeleuzian terms. Thus, I will first present the view Žižek describes in Lacanian terms followed by the view he develops through an engagement with Deleuze in order to extract a synthesis that will account for Žižek’s notion of the ‘Other’.
            In discussing the ‘Other’ in Lacanian terms, Žižek describes the ‘Borromean knot’ that ties Lacan’s multiple formulations of the ‘Other’ together:
“ First, there is the imaginary other — other people ‘like me’, my fellow human beings with whom I am engaged in the mirror-like relationships of competition, mutual recognition, and so on. Then, there is the symbolic ‘big Other’ — the ‘substance’ of our social existence, the impersonal set of rules that co-ordinate our coexistence. Finally, there is the Otherqua Real, the impossible Thing, the ‘inhuman partner’, the Other with whom no symmetrical dialogue, mediated by the symbolic Order, is possible.” (Žižek 2001, 163)
This quote elucidates the process in which we arrive at a notion of the ‘Other’ (I am deliberately suspending whether this is a construction or invention): first, an acknowledgment of the ‘Other’ as equal to myself (‘I’); second, the understanding of the ‘Other’ in terms of a ‘big Other’ that is based on social/cultural norms and exchanges; finally, the utter incomprehensibility of the ‘Other’ as different and asymmetrical. Accordingly, despite our attempts to catalogue and impose an essence onto the ‘Other’, we always fall into the abyss that constitutes the ‘Other’s’ other-ness or alterity. It is at this point where Žižek describes the abyss by drawing our attention to Lacan’s borrowing of Heidegger’s notion of das Ding (the Thing), that is to say, “the Thing is the neighbour [der Nebenmensch] in his or her abyssal dimension of irreducible Otherness; for this reason, our relationship to the neighbour can never be reduced to the symmetry of the mutual recognition of the Subject and his Other” (Žižek 2001, 160).Therefore, our construction (invention?) of the ‘Other’ in essential and fixed terms is always incomplete or lacking a fundamental aspectif we do not recognize the importance of the ambiguous character of the ‘Other’ quaDing.
            Although similar to his Lacanian formulation, Žižek’s engagement with Deleuze is distinct because itallows us to focus on an issue that I deliberately suspended when discussing the previous conception of the ‘Other’. The question I suspended was: are we constructing or inventing the ‘Other’ when we try to supply him/her with a fixed essence? Although I am unaware if Žižek thinks this question is relevant or not, we receive an interesting suggestion when he describes our interaction with the ‘Other’ as analogous to an interaction with a ‘virtual’ subject, as shown in his example of the tamagochi:
“The game…involves acting as if there is a real, living creature behind the screen — we get excited, cry for it, although we know very well that there is nothing behind, just a meaningless digital network. If we take seriously what we just said, we cannot avoid the conclusion that the Other Person with whom we communicate is ultimately also a kind of tamagochi. When we communicate with another subject, we get signals from him, we observe his face as a screen, but, not only do we, partners in communication, never get to know what is “behind he screen”; the same goes for the concerned subject himself.” (Žižek 2004, 118)
The ‘Other’, in this Deleuzian sense, is a sort of tamagochi qua ‘virtual’ presence because there exists a screen of the ‘Other’ — one that hides a great deal of ambiguity — that we cannot penetrate. It is interesting to note two things: the use of the word “screen” as metaphoric for that which does not allow us to penetrate the presence of the ‘Other’ and the ‘doubling’ of the impossibility of knowing the ‘Other’. By using the metaphor of the “screen” of the ‘Other’, Žižek not only affirms that there is an opaque screen that block us from ‘truly’ knowing the ‘Other’, one is able to develop the notion that the “screen” also functions as the receptor for the ‘virtual’ projection of the ‘Other’ through our pre-conceived notions such as stereotypes, prejudices, and so on. In this sense, the screen would not refer to the ‘Other’ that inhabits an exteriority to us since it would address the “close” ‘Other’ — the one that inhabits us. If we follow this point, then we are able to clearly grasp what Žižek means by the ‘doubling’ of the impossibility of knowing the ‘Other’. This notion of ‘doubling’ plays out as the ‘Other’s’ impenetrability both from the perspective of the addressing andresponding subject — he/she who engages the subject and he/she who is the ‘Other’, respectively.The consequence of this ‘doubling’ is that neither the addressing nor responding subject have access to each ‘Other’s’ ‘Other-ness’.
            If we synthesize both of Žižek’s notions of the ‘Other’, we arrive at a (quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’ that asserts two fundamental characteristics: our interactions with the ‘Other’ are always ‘virtual’ projections (i.e. stereotypes, prejudices, and so on) and the fundamental impossibility of knowing the ‘Other’ qua Ding (it is worth mentioning the infamous Derridean/Levinasian phrase ‘tout autre est tout autre’ — every other is wholly other — since it relates to our notion of the ‘Other’ qua Ding since every ‘Other’ is as much Ding, that is, ambiguous, as any ‘Other’). Now that we have identified the two main components of Žižek’s(quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’, I will directly engage with Ozeki’s My Year of Meats in order to show how Žižek’s (quasi-) theoryhighlights specific issues concerning the character Jane’s intercultural interactions with the ‘Other’.
            In order to move forward, I would like to return to the quote presented earlier in this paper. However, in this second analysis, I will make use of Žižek’s (quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’ in order to reply to the question that was formulated and left suspended when I first introduced the passage. Thus, the question comes back to haunt us: would the image of America not be distorted by an ‘all-American’ crew? If we take into consideration the fact that our interactions with the ‘Other’ are mediated by a ‘virtual’ projection of the ‘Other’, then it seems we can confidently respond that the image of America would be distorted by an ‘all-American’ crew. Upon this second analysis of the passage, we are able to identify the issue that Jane has with the Network by appealing to this market strategy, namely, the remaining distortion of the ‘Other’ as a consequence of our ‘virtual’ projections of the ‘Other’. Some will object to this reading by arguing that Americans are not necessarily ‘Other’ to each other because they share a culture that unifies them, which, in turn, ultimately guides their projection of the image of the ‘Other’ (qua ‘American’) as homogeneous (i.e. similar to themselves). However, let us recall the fact that every ‘Other’ is Ding as much as any ‘Other’. If this statement is true, that is to say, that there is an impenetrable ambiguity to every ‘Other’s’ other-ness, then the attempt at projecting a sense of homogeneity (through culture, religion, language, and so on) as not-‘Other’ would be assuming that the ‘Other’ always has to be an exotic ‘Other’. If we assume that homogeneity will dismiss the ambiguity of the ‘Other’, then we are incurring into the invention of the ‘Other’, but this point will become more apparent in the concrete interactions that take place in the novel.
            Throughout the novel,My Year of Meats, we are presented with several scenes in which Ozeki’s characters understand ‘Other-ness’ solely through the lens of an exotic ‘Other’ (primarily through American-Japanese interactions like the one between Miss Helen’s family and Jane and her crew). An example of this type of thought would be Miss Helen’s statement, “We never met no Japanese people before and we didn’t know what kind of folks you’d turn out to be” (Ozeki 118).Through this quote, it is clear (to most) that an African American constitutes an ‘Other’ to a Japanese (or to a Japanese American, such as Jane, or even to a Caucasian American, and so on). However, if we are too quickly drawn into this ‘familiar’ way of interacting with the ‘Other’, then we overlook the fact that our encounter with the ‘Other’ is not solely an exotic ‘Other’ but, as Žižek notes in his reading of Lacan, even our neighbour family members are ‘Other’ insofar as they are different from us in our singularity — qua Ding.
            By presenting the example of intercultural interaction between Miss Helen’s family and Jane and her crew, we are able to elucidate the relevance of Žižek’s (quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’. By focusing on the irreducible ambiguity that is present in the ‘Other’ qua Ding, we were able to complicate the ‘familiar’ ways of perceiving the ‘Other’ to be complicated. In addition, by acknowledging the ‘Other’s’ otherness, we are able to hint at the questions that surge as to how to proceed in the face of this ambiguity. In order to show that Miss Helen’s interaction is not the only one portrayed in My Year of Meats, I will proceed to describe other specific examples of Jane’s interactions with ‘Others’ that emphasize the invention of the ‘Other’ while also displaying the limitations of this attempt to invent the ‘Other’, which will further demonstrate the relevance of the (quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’.
            In Jane’s interaction with Miss Helen, we see an apparent invention of the ‘Other’ when Jane interviews Miss Helen about her recipe and Jane thinks that “it was a guessing game…[based off] my preconceived notion of Southern cooking” (Ozeki 117). By admitting her guilt, Jane also admits to Miss Helen’s (the ‘Other’s’) otherness that she cannot access since Jane has to invent a Miss Helen according to her stereotypes and preconceived notions of what it ‘is’ to be a Southerner.In fact, immediately after admitting that she was inventing the ‘Other’ (Miss Helen), Jane readily recognizes the limitations of her invention of the ‘Other’ when she realizes that her stereotypes were “limited by what was available on the menus of country-style, home-cooking restaurants in SoHo, and I was running out of suggestions” (Ozeki 117).Therefore, we see how, even in Jane’s interaction with Miss Helen (that is, both as ‘American’ — albeit different ethnicities), the presence of the ‘Other’ is not limited to an exotic ‘Other’. Rather, Miss Helen (as a compatriot of Jane)remains as ‘Other’ as any ‘Other’ to Jane’s attempts to invent her ‘Other-ness’ in stereotypical notions.
            In order to further explore the contours of our (quasi-)theory of the ‘Other’, we see that Jane’s interaction with Miss Helen as ‘Other’ also displays the effect of the ‘doubling’ of the impossibility of knowing the ‘Other’. After Jane does not establish any further contact with Miss Helen and her family, Miss Helen states,“I guess we just weren’t the right sort…What would all them people in Japan be interested in us for, anyway?” (Ozeki 127).Miss Helen’s statement reveals the ‘doubling’ of the impossibility of knowing the ‘Other’ as Japanese (since she believes that they would not be interested in their lives)and the impossibility of knowing the ‘Other’ as herself (because she believes that their lives are not worthy of being interesting to an (exotic) ‘Other’). Once again, the ‘doubling’ effect not only shows the impossibility of knowing the (exotic) ‘Other’, but also shows how there is a double impossibility — knowing the ‘Other’ in their other-ness and knowing the ‘Other’ in one’s self. Thus, we see how this ‘doubling’ effect, in its double impossibility, displays the tension that tends to constrict intercultural interactions with the ‘Other’ since we are unable to know the other-ness in the ‘Other’ and we do not locate the ‘Other’ that is located in our selves.
            In another example of the invention of the ‘Other’, we see how the ‘doubling’ effect leads to a tension that tends to make the possibility for intercultural interactions dissipate. In this case,we see how “John” (who is another invention since his real name is Joichi — “John” invents his own ‘Other’), Jane’s supervisor, cannot understand Jane’s attempt of presenting an exotic ‘Other’ to a Japanese audience.In response to his wife, Akiko, giving a high rating to an episode of My American Wife!, “John” asks, “How could a Japanese house-wife relate to a poor black family with nine children?”(Ozeki 130).It is interesting to note that that John’s inability to see his invention of the Japanese housewife as ‘Other’ as a mere projection is due to him assuming a homogeneous notion of what it means to Japanese and female. As if to highlight the irony that goes into the invention of the ‘Other’, Akiko ends up relating with many of the ‘strange’ characters that Jane chooses for the show. Thus, this example of intercultural interaction stresses the point that, even within a culture, the ‘Other’ is invented and projected because there is a “screen” that shields the ‘Other’s’ other-ness, which cannot be penetrated by even those who are closest to those individuals.
            The final example that I would like to use in order to display the relevance of Žižek’s (quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’ takes place when Jane receives a fax from Akiko. In this exchange, Akiko tells Jane that the show has changed her life and she is achieving a degree of autonomy and self-identification of desires that she previously did not have. Jane’s response is one of shock because she was unable to know any characteristics of her audience in Japan. It is in this vein that Jane describes Akiko as an:
“abstract concept: at most a stereotypical housewife, limited in experience but eager to learn, to be inspired by my programs and my American wives; at the very least, a demographic statistic, a percentage point I’d hungered after, to rub in a pesky executive’s face.” (Ozeki 231)
This description of Akiko as a ‘mere number’ seems to highlight the indifference and callousness that is involved in the invention of the ‘Other’ and how we discard the ‘Other’ when they do not reach the projected ideal we invented for them. However, I would not like to focus on this point since it diverges from the purpose of this paper. The point I would like to focus on is that Jane’s description of Akiko is a reductive invention of the ‘Other’ based on merely adaequatio (that is, merely perceiving if our invention corresponds to a ‘true’ or ‘false’ projection of the ‘Other’). Jane’s immediate response shows how reductive this notion can be since she realizes that her invention and dismissal of the ‘Other’ (Akiko) was “an arrogant and chauvinistic attitude” (Ozeki 231). By acknowledging this, Jane comprehends that she “worried [more] about the well-being of the American women I filmed as subjects” than the ‘Other’ (Japanese audience) she was attempting to reach in her program (Ozeki 231). Jane’s worries correspond to the ‘doubling’ effect of the impossibility of knowing the ‘Other’ since she realizes that it was doubly impossible to penetrate the abyss or screen of the American women she filmed or the Japanese audience she was attempting to contact. Thus, through Jane’s awareness of the impossibility of knowing the ‘Other’, we can suggesta possible emergence of an ‘Other’qua Subject, or, to put it in Jane’s words, an “audience, embodied in Akiko, with a name and a vulnerable identity” (Ozeki 231).
            In conclusion, I argued that Ozeki’s different examples of intercultural interaction with the ‘Other’ in My Year of Meats could be understood through Žižek’s (quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’. In the sketch of our (quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’, we identified two main qualities: the invention of the ‘Other’through a ‘virtual’ projection that cannot define the ‘Other’ in his/her entirety (other-ness) and the interaction with the ‘Other’ as asymmetrical without the possibility of having a mutual recognition (of either the other-ness in the ‘Other’ or in our selves). By pointing out to several examples in Ozeki’s novel, especially Jane’s interaction with ‘Others’, we were able to illustrate the relevance of this (quasi-) theory of the ‘Other’ to respond to the tensions that arose in Ozeki’s intercultural interactions with the ‘Other’.In the final example, the interaction between Jane and Akiko, we saw a glimpse of a possibility for establishing a proximal relationship with the ‘Other’ that is not mediated by a process of invention through ‘virtual’ projection (e.g. stereotypes, prejudices, and so on) and that acknowledges the other-ness in oneself and in the ‘Other’. Through this acknowledgment, we are able to create the conditions for the bare and proximal exposure towards the ‘Other’ without any reductive measure to try and capture the ‘Other’ and his/her other-ness. Through this bare and proximal exposure towards the ‘Other’, we are able to open ourselves up to the radical other-ness of the ‘Other’ — a radical hospitality, if you will.

Ozeki, Ruth L. My Year of Meats. New York: Penguin, 1998. Print.
Žižek, Slavoj. Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism? London: Verso, 2001. Print.
Žižek, Slavoj.Organs without Bodies: Deleuze and Consequences. New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.

Replication of Dalit Critique in Narendra Jadhav’s Outcaste: A   Memoir
Dr Shiv Govind Puri, Dept. of English and MEL, University of Lucknow
Outcaste: A Memoir is a multi-layered personalized saga of the social metamorphosis of Dalits in India. It can be investigated at the different levels of its appraisal. At one level, it is a loving tribute from son to his father. At another, it gives us an idea of India’s fabric of caste system and another level reflects the aspirations of millions of Dalits in India. Now, my present paper focuses attentions of the critique on deprive society. (Blurb)
            Dalit is not a particular caste but a matter of realization and is related to the experiences, joys and sorrows, and struggles of those in the lowest stratum of society. The first time such category of literature was established in Maharashtra in 1975. Dr. Ambedkar pioneered the Dalit literature movement and tried to make them realize their self-respect which they had not achieved over the decades. Caste plays an important role in deciding the category of literature. There is clear evidence with literature that most of the writers who have written / portrayed Dalit problems / Dalit literature related to them, they come from the Dalit caste and communities. Because, they really went through the existing problems of their respective society in which they lived.
            Dalit has been put on the marginal section of the society including the field of politics, education and communication etc. There are many other books which have been written on the issue of ‘dalit’ in different languages, Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi and most of the Indian Languages and further translated into English for  a wide readership as well as aesthetic sensibility of the people at the different levels. Narendra Jadhav’s Outcaste: A Memoir is one of the milestones in the saga of Dalit literature which presents the aesthetic sensibility and truthfulness of the society. It presents the real scenario of the preceding day’s life and trauma of the downtrodden people as well as post-independence days with commitment and sincerity. Narendra Jadhav’s Outcaste: A Memoir portrays the personal experiences of the narrator. They are the real problems of the underdeveloped people which have been raised as well as analysed by the writer. The writer has been witness to them. There are a number of branches of career for development and excellence and people can choose any one of them out of their wishes. But, Jadhav relocates his views with the real incidents happened in the different fields of life. He believes that dalit are not given their due respect which they deserve over the period of years and they should have taken with the same honour and respect which we want for everyone people of this country.
I would like to present a few viewpoints of a journalist, Jason Overdorf, who believes that caste plays an important role in most of the areas of expression, i.e., politics, mass communication and so on. Dalits are being behaved and treated as untouchables in these fields. He states:
Twice as likely to live in poverty than other Indians and still bound to face powerful discrimination at every turn, India’s untouchables-now known as Dalits-remain (except in politics) virtually silent and invisible. No major newspaper or magazine employs Dalit editor, and reporters are a few and far between Bollywood, where many Muslims have found fame, have no Dalit directors and no Dalit stars. And Dalit Authors-already few in number-rarely find publishers eager to translate their works into English. (Jason Overdorf,)
Mulkraj Anand has also given/portrayed the atrocities of Bakha, Lakha, Rakha, Sohani and Pt. Kalinath about the treatment of high castes towards Dalits / untouchables.  Jadhav quotes here that Gandhi ji suggested Dalits ‘to go towards villages’ and establish themselves there while Dr. Ambedkar asked them ‘to go towards cities’ for getting a new hub of awakening to their mind and heart. With this evidence it has come true that only Dalit writers realized the existing problems of the people and their future. Here Jadhav puts forth his ideas:
Please recall when Gandhi Ji was telling people to “Go to the villages”, Ambedkar was advising his followers to do just the opposite- “Go to the Cities”. Ambedkar believed that moving out of the confines of Caste-ridden villages to the anonymity provided by the cities would offer Dalits a better chance of realizing their potential. (Narendra  Jadhav: Outcaste)
There are also other novels written on the partial subject of Dalit sensibility and the exploitation in which Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things does not justify the plight of character Velutha (the coolie), the coolie is killed. The problem arises with the character’s motivation which was never properly explored and depicted. Hence, the critical inputs in it seem highly improbable.
            Besides Roy other writers also did not place justice with the Dalit characters however some of the writers have written literature on Dalit community. And now they are listed in the canon of Dalit literature. So that we may say that there is a problem lying still ahead with the Indian writers to present the Dalit characters in a real way. There is a problem occur in the sense that these Dalit/lower caste characters are narrated from the upper caste viewpoint. In the writing of upper-caste writer’s, Dalit characters are portrayed as helpless and childlike people who cannot live and express their voice independently. These characters have been depicted in dehumanised forms. So, there is no justice could be detected from these analyses.
Narendra Jadhav’s Outcaste can be traced out as a Dalit text caused by the autobiography of a Dalit as writer himself. It is a kind of self- realization and experiences of his life jotted down in the form of this writing, Outcaste. Secondly, the text has a distinct identity regarding the sketches and pictures of the people who are related to the down-trodden society. There are some of the other writers also who have written their autobiographies include Daya Pawar’s Baluta, Shankarrao Kharat’s Taral Antaraal, Shankar Kumar Limbale’s  Akkarmashi and Kumud Pawde’s  Antasphot etc. to categorize Outcaste as a Dalit text has enough reason to justify it, in which the story is of a Dalit family and it is also authored by a Dalit with self-realization and experiences of Dalit life. Secondly, it touches entirely the story of Dalit family that is very different from other traditional stories of our past-days. Thirdly, narrative of Outcaste is based on India’s untouchables and their life who were forced and badly treated to live like down-trodden and underdog people.
Outcaste has a story of Damu as a protagonist of this novel and Narendra Jadhav depicts that there was a stratified society to which downtrodden used to behave like untouchables. Dalits had no right to refuse the comments of high-caste of high-bred people. Damu was beaten up by the fauzdar for refusing to obey his orders. But, Damu was controlled by self –respect. Damu was recalled to retrieve the traditional job/work given by the society and he had no right to violate the rules of the society. Damu speaks out:
‘I spit on these inhuman traditions. I am not going to abide by such traditions. I am a man of dignity and I will not go from house to house begging for Baluta. What are all of you going to do? Kill me?’ (10)
The above quoted lines confirm that there was a concern of change/awakening in the mind of character that is the positive in the case of Dalit to transform them. It unlocks the set pattern of the society to accept the change of time with self-respect and dignity. There is another example traced out here when Damu decided to go abroad and he decides that he will not be cowed at the feet of so called high class/caste people. He did not compromise with the odds of life. He was an exemplary person from Dalit in his society. He asserts himself as a man of his own will to go and move anywhere without any interruption. Jadhav asserts:
If others look down on me in their belief that my caste is low, it is their problem, not mine. I certainly don’t need to torment myself over it. I pity them, for they are the Victims of their own obsolete prejudices. (214)

This text has a positive scenario, self-considered identity and opposes negative sighs of Dalits:
‘We will attain self-elevation only if we learn self-help, regain our self-respect and gain self-knowledge’, Babasaheb said. (22)
Damu decides to go to Mumbai/Bombay and participates in the Dalit movement led by B.R. Ambedkar and will not be disciplined by the set-patterned system of the society. He was intended to get a change in the life of himself and his community. Though he takes every initiative to put the change in the system at the very beginning yet he was illiterate. He advised his children to achieve their targets with honesty and hard-work. These two things are very powerful that could change the life of any one. Jadhav as a writer asserts it in his writing truly,
Damu was not a leader… but he refused to define himself by circumstances and aimed at shaping his own identity. Damu had no formal education… yet he steered his children to educational heights and inculcated in them the spirit of excellence. Damu was not a guru… but he taught his children to believe in themselves and reclaim human dignity. (XI-XII)
The novel, Outcaste:A Memoir is written in the global perspective and has a purpose to go beyond the caste, class-based boundary of the society. It requires a universal culture without having any Labels. People should be treated as a man of the world not of a particular community. It limits us. Division of work should not be thrown upon any one. One has freedom to choose one’s best. One has freedom to get enjoy in own way without any interruption of the social norms. So that there is a need to reconstruct the set ideology of the people in the perspective of global culture where every citizen has a right to embrace each –other, love and respect.(Anand)
            Now, there is a dire need to change the ideology of privilege class towards the people of deprived society as they are the part of the same system which we enjoy. We should do justice with every one’s personality for the purpose of giving them an impetus to go forward to express them independently. They should be treated marginless, casteless, creedless and without having any labels but in the great sense, Indian people.  

  Works Cited
Anand, S. Touchable Tale :Publishing and Reading Dalit Literature. Pondicherry: Navayana, 2003. Print.
Dangle,  Arjun. Ed. Poisoned Bread: Translations from Modern Marathi Dalit Literature. Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 1992. Print.
Jadhav,  Narendra. Outcaste: A Memoir. New Delhi: Viking, 2003. Print.
Jadhav, Narendra. “Dalit Dreams”, An Interview in The Times of India.www.1.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-425683.prtpage.l.cms./jan.16,2004.
Overdorf, Jason. “An Oppressed Voice Heard”. http://www. atimes/ south Asia/E120df02.html



              Portrayal of Indian Muslim Women in Ismat Chugtai’s Dil Ki Duniya 

Dr. Krati Sharma
Dept. of English
JECRC UDML College of Engg.


Dil Ki Duniya , a novel by Ismat Chugtai published in  1962 is a candid presentation of the  trials & tribulations , gender related issues , especially of women in Muslim community.
In the present paper an effort has been made to study both the submissive and 
revolutionary nature of women through their character portrayals of Khundisya and Bua 
respectively .They depict the dichotomous character of woman- supportive and oppressive. Woman can  both be a friend and a foe of her own fellow women .How under the indomitable pressure of patriarchy a woman's natural propensity dwindle into routinized domesticity and how she struggles, and sometimes even counter to her woman-being to come into her own independent being. A good woman Khundisya feeling immensely submissive under patriarchy finally revolts against it to liberate herself from the inane code
of conduct imposed by the community, while Bua who lost her husband on the wedding 
day itself declares Prophet Gaazi Miya her husband thus making a place for herself in the 
patriarchy in the name of religion. This decision which is patently counter to her 
woman-being makes her abnormal. What damage the super structure can do to the 
essential being of a woman is  treated well by Ismat Chugtai in Dil Ki Duniya  . 
She turns eccentric in the name of her love to Prophet and acts like his bride. Religious people accepted her status.
Keywords : Gender, Society, Patriarchal  & Relationship.

Ismat Chugtai born in Uttar Pradesh in 1915. She gets an atmosphere of reading and writing by her father and brother. It is very interesting to know that she was so good at English language that at times she found it too difficult to write in Urdu. Her Urdu writing is that’s why is a spoken language or one can say a living language.Dil Ki Duniya  published in 1966 is a master piece. Dil Ki Duniya where Ismat once again prove that she is a keen observer of women and understand their pathos and agony.

 The story revolves round a Muslim family of small village living in the outskirts of Uttar Pradesh border. The family of Nani has conveyed the trends of Muslim joint family. Chugtai beautifully conveys the rigid social rule through the character of Nani who wants her daughter to learn her ways and follow them in her in-laws family. Two female character has been introduced and they both represent the two faces of women ‘good woman’ Kundisya Khala and a ‘bad woman’ a distant Bua or paternal aunt. The conventional Indian society is the backdrop of the work. Jasbir Jain in Gender and Narrative: An Introduction writes about the writing “forms were now being employed to articulate the suppressed voices of society , introduce subversive thought and even to define the self’(IX)

 Kundisya Khala is a young woman in her twenties. She is beautiful and charming. In her teens married to Hussain Bankre a prosperous educated Muslim young boy on the condition that after marriage he will leave for London to acquire higher studies. He left India to acquire a higher degree in Law from aboard that is London. It is one of the colonial traits where education from then West is considered to be matter of pride and honour. The degree of Law is one of the remarkable feature .Khudisya a young bride of fifteen is left in India to wait for him.
mudh “kknh dks nl cjl gksus dks vk, FksA “kknh ds ckn nwYgk dks QkSju gh ukuk  tku us foyk;r Hkst fn;k Fkk fd ;gh “krsZ&”kknh FkhA”(10 DKD )
   For two three years their relationship continues through letters .That is the only source of communication available for them.  Here one thing is remarkable that she is educated and likes to read and write. At the time of her marriage she was a young girl of fifteen. She is in her ‘teen age’. She dreamt a lot about her new relationship. She was in love with him. They love evaporates soon when first the communication stopped between them and then he never returned back to her.
With the passage of time the change in the relationship occurs when the correspondence from London stopped. Out of sight out of mind turn true in this case. Khudisya a young girl has to wait to see what fate has store for her. Bankre came with a British bride. Here, he is considered to be man of knowledge and respect because he is able to get an English Mam a talk about thing in the family. “ogkW ls og ml tekus ds nLrwj ds eqrkfcd ,d vnn ese yVdk yk, vkSj esuiqjh esa   izfDVl djrs FksA blhfy, dqnfl;k [kkyk othQs i<+rha fpYys [ksaprha vkSj tc og ukdke lkfcr gksrs rks nkWarh Hkhap ds nkSjs Mky ysrhaA vkSj xjhc D;k dj ldrh FkhaA mUgksaus ^ljrkts&eu lyker* ds uke ntZuksa [kr HkstsA”(10 DKD ) Ismat conveys that how this the concept of second marriage ruin the life of Muslim women. Through this Ismat targeted the orthodoxical   Muslim society. She clearly hinted that for getting a good groom is not guarantee of happy life. She describes how Khudisya Khala mother Nani Biwi bribed Allah and took help of black magic so that the estranged husband should come back to her. These all are the means to build psychological pressures so that the girl remain silent .These are the means to suppress them In order to get attention and sympathy in the family Khudisya , when ever there is family get together or function gets fainted because of fits. She became the centre of attraction and talk in the gathering. Though being Muslim Hussain Bankre could keep Kudisya his first wife with him, but he discarded her from his Elite life .He left him without any reason. Even he does not think of her life. He does not divorce her. Divorce means she has option of remarriage. She can lead her new life a second lease of life. These things shows being patriarch he can do what he wishes. He can go for a second marriage but his wife cannot. Ismat staires on this aspect she writes, “
      “ mudh lkSr gfdeksaa dh csVh FkhA D;k vtc ckn”kkg lyker ls nwj&njkt dk ukrk Hkh gksA gj     dksbZ esj FkksM+h Mky ldrk gSA ,d rjg ls fe;kWa us esu lkSru yk dj mudh bTtr&vQtkbZ dh Fkh] dksbZ /kkscu] pekju Hkh Mky ldrs FksA”(11 DKD )

Khudisya has only way out to lead a life of pure woman. She is neither married nor widow. She is left woman. She has to be ideal in her nature. She keeps on reading books to pass her time. She falls in that category of middle class women where everything is ‘Shauhar’ or husband, life is meant for them. She has no husband, ultimately no life. Gradually the respect and love for this imagery so called soon disappeared by Khudisya. She felt nothing for him. Even she felt like an object of honor. dqnfl;k [kkyk NCchl cjl dh mez esa Hkwyh gqbZ ckr cuh flld jgha Fkh”(26 DKD ). For living the honour of both the families she has to sacrifice. She has to lead a life of simple woman with no desires and aims.
 Bankre is settled in his new life. What about her? Why she has to suffer? She is getting punished or suffer because he has to enjoy his life? Veena Singh in her article “ Questioning Patriarchal Norms: echoes from the Past” expressed , “ The patriarchal structure refuses to understand the real woman: her desires, dreams, aspirations,expectations, Physical and emotional needs(219).

Khudisya is annoyed with the questions being asked to her. Everywhere she goes people sympathetic towards her. Talk about her fate, deception by her husband and loneliness in her life. All these things prick her. She has no identity of her own even she has no life with out husband. Above all her status is also not clear neither she is widow, nor divorcee. Who is she? And how long she led this kind of life? What will be her fate? In order to overcome all these questions she pretends to faint Tc gh rks mlZ ij dOokyh gksrh rks dqnfl;k [kkyk dks nkSjk iM+ tkrkA vklikl dgha “kknh gksrh rks mudh nkWrh fHkap tkrhA dksbZ nwj dgha jkr ds lUukVs es fcjg xkrk] mu ds eqWg esa Qsu vk tkrsA [kkl rkSj ij iqj&vl~jkj vkokt tc Hkh mUgsa lqukbZ nsrh] csdy gksdj Vgyus yxrha] maxfy;kW pV[kkrha] vkWpy ejksM+rh vkSj nkSjk Mky ysrhaA”(12 DKD ) All these were the means to escape from the questions of the society and to gain sympathy

The only solace in her life is the visit of Shabbir Miya his distant brother-in-law, a young meek educated fellow. The revolutionary  tendencies of  young male members is well conveyed through the character of Miju Miya , who gets defamed because of his illicit relationships and outspoken and frank nature in the family. Both of them were friends and well wisher of Khudisya. They wanted to make her out of this vivacious circle. “lcdks ekywe Fkk fd “kCchj ekewWa dks dqnfl;k [kkyk ls mal Fkk] exj D;k ejf/kYyk mW/krk gqvk b”d FkkA ?kj dh vkSj l;kuh yM+fd;ksa yM+dksa dk Hkh b”d Fkk] D;k nunukrk] tdns ekjrkA”(16 DKD )

Khudisya by reading the poet like Mir, Ghalib other highlights her heart desire to get love in her life. On the other hand, she is fond of Meera bhajan’s which express her inert desire to revolt against the set norms of society. As Meera is considered to be a unconventional woman in the male dominated world.
Khuidisya’s  only one weapon to fight against the society that is reading. Shabbir Miya visits her every day and read out couplets for her. Even sometime she asked him to read.

Gradually she falls in love with Shabir Miya who also loves her. She is walking on the untrodden path of love. This will bring shame to her family. “iPphlokW [kRe gksdj NCchlokWa lky yxk Fkk fd ekax esa iDds cky pydus yxsA lc gh pkgrs Fks] tYnh ls cw<+h gks tk,W fd fdLlk [kRe gksA”  (17 DKD )  The love between her and Shabbir Hussain is now pricking everyone in the family. She is not divorced so could not get married to him. This is the time when Khula bill was not passed that bill means that a Muslim woman can take divorce from her husband. Khula’ means the separation of the wife in return for a payment; the husband takes the payment and lets his wife go, whether this payment is the Mahr which he gave to her, or more or less than that.;g ml oDr dh ckr gS tc [kqy~v fcy ikl ugha gqvk FkkA igys rks [kkunku dh ukd dVus ds Mj ls rykd dk [k;ky Hkh fdlh us u fd;k] fQj tc [kkunku ds dqN ckxh yksxksa us ukuh choh dks jkth fd;k rks dqnfl;k [kkyk ds nwYgk dks ftn~n lokj gks xbZA(39 DKD )
Nani mother of Khudisya in very polite manner asked him not to visit Khudisya. He being coward accept it. Khudisya became violent in nature because of his absence. She has a terrible fight with her mother and for the very first time in her life she blurted out what she wants in her life. ^^gS&gS ukeqjkt] yksx D;k dgsaxsA ekuk fd “kCchj cM+k “kjhQ cPpk gSA xSj ugha fj”rs esa nsoj gksrk gSA exj ;g nqfu;k cM+h /kqM+fnyh gSA ckr dk craxM+ curs nsj ugha yxrh esjh cUuksA**
^^twrh is ok:W bl nqfu;k dksA nl cjl ls tks tokukexZ eq>s :yk jgk gSA mls nqfu;k dqN ugha dgrhA **
^^lp gS yM+fd;ksa dks myVh&lqyVh fdrkcsa ugha i<+uh pkfg,WA tekus Hkj dk fcl Hkjk gksrk gSA csVh og enZ tkr gSA mldk dksbZ D;k fcxkM+ ldrk gSA ,d nQk cky iM+ x;k rks lkjh mez dh eqWg Vs<+k gh fn[kkbZ nsxkA**( 72 DKD )
 She wants love and hinted that she can not remain in the four ‘Wall’. The argument between Nani and her continues  to such a stretch that she hit her mother and warn everyone that nobody dare to touch her. Everyone became stunned with her this attitude and felt that she is victim of any ghost or something airy. The situation is handled by Shabbir carefully he holds her and put her in the cot with the concern for her. For the very first time shabbier realizes their helpless ^^yks HkbZ ;g iM+h gSa dqnfl;k ckuks] bl oDr csgks”k gSaA vPNk ekSdk gS] pqids ls dksbZ vkvks vkSj xyk ?kksaV nks] fja>k&fja>k ds u ekjksA**(85 DKD )
With her revolt and change in her nature, she gets the love and care from everybody in the family. Shabbir frequent meetings with her improve her mentally.
 Finally, one day she left her home and eloped with Shabbir to begin  her new life.  They settled in the West so that no body gets hold of them. They got registered married with the help of Mijju Miya in court .The way is escapism there is no other alternate for her. After this  in  Nani’s family it has been declared that she is dead and nobody dare to talk about her. Ismat writes, “dqN Hkh gks dqnfl;k [kkyk dk uke ysuk ml fnu ls xqukg gks x;kA tc rd ukuh choh ftUnk jgha] muds Mj ls dksbZ ftdz u djrkA fQj lc Hkwy&Hkky x,A
fd Hkwy tkus esa cM+s Qk;ns gSaA tehj eyker ugha djrk! ( 103 DKD )

There is another woman in the village known as Bua (Paternal Aunt) for her eccentric nature. Her story is also an interesting affair. She was survived when her marriage party drowned in the river, she is found after three days of the accident. She states that it is Gazi Miya  her lover, who saves her and drowned his groom and party. He is the Prophet, who has taken revenge from the groom and his party. He is her lover, her protector. exj tc rd cqvk vius [okcksa dh nqfu;k esa igqWap pqdh FkhaA mUgksusa lqgkx dh pwfM+;ksa BaMh djus ls budkj dj fn;kA og lqgkxu Fkha vksj ckys fe;kW muds nwYgk FksA ckys fe;kWa ls my>us dh fdlh esa fgEer u FkhA (35 DKD )
  There are two or three incidents in the lieu which proves that she is safe by some spirit. The contrast is beautifully drawn by Ismat who express that for her there is  no restriction, she can stroll in night, can sit with men and listen Kawalli, she gets all the  right to be free and spirited. She is considered to be a mad woman, who is in love with Prophet Gazi Miya. Due to his patronage to her nobody dare to touch or talk about her. Once a religious sanction is there the life of a woman is save.
So, the status of both Khudsiya and Bua are different. Bua gets all the rights which does not hinder her freedom. enksZa dh rekX gdwd mUgsa gkfly FksA jkt&fcjkr vdsyh tgkWa pkgrha] mWpZ vkokt ls ,ykus&b”d dk nsrhaA mWaph vkokt ls vykirha] vkokts dlrha] /kM+ ls xkyh cd nsrhaA enksZa ds lkFk cSBdj dOokyh lqurha vkSj NukNu :Ik, QsadrhaA (36 DKD )Due to her declaration of love to  bade Miya she  saves her life from the trauma o being widow. Bua chooses a life where she is not questioned. She is one who is free bird. She is good in verse and always singing the hymns, and poems. Ismat  narrates how Bua talks about Bade Miya as he is standing in front of her. She writes, “,sls “kkSd ls cqvk xkth fe;kW dh “kjkjrksa ds fdLls lqukrha fd “kd djus dh xqatkb”k u jg tkrhA njxkg ds ikl jg dj gj ckr ;dhu vkus yxrh gSA fe;kW cM+s ftn~nh vkSj gBhys FksA gj oDr NsM+[kkfu;kWa fd;k djrsA dHkh vkWpy idM+ ds [ksap jgs gSa] dHkh pwfM+;kWa eqjdk, nsrs gSaA” (33 DKD )
Ismat has mentioned the women who also blamed for their declaration of love and breaking the set pattern like Radha beloved of Krishna and Meera another devotee of Krishna. All these references hinted her idea that if a woman falls in love she is considered a ‘bad woman’. Manjula Negi writes, “Characters are ‘autonomous individual’ with their intrinsic personalities in place”. (51)
With this change in her life. She has stopped moving out or talking to people. She also succumbs to patriarchal society where she has no space of her own.
The contrast is remarkable Bua lead life in her own terms. She enjoyed her widowhood without hampering the patriarchal norms and suffers in fag end of her life. On the other hand, Khudisya suffers because of the patriarchal society and her religion which does not permit her to get rid of her estranged husband. Khudisya speaks her heart out . She says, “bulku gwW iRFkj ughaA iUnzg cjl dh mez esa eq>s HkkM+ esa >ksad fn;kA lqgkx dh esgWnh Hkh Qhdh u iM+h Fkh fd lkr leUnj ikj pyk x;kA ogkW mls lQsn ukfxu Ml xbZA ij ;g rks crkvks] eSusa D;k dqlwj fd;k FkkA”(81 DKD). Khudisya finally left her home to start her new life.      
Bua is a woman, who denounces the patriarchal world in her own strategical manner. She has lost her husband on her wedding day. She declares herself the bride of Prophet Bale Miya. Due to this declaration she saves from the code and conduct to be followed by widow Muslim woman. She does not want to lead a life of trauma and torture of widowhood. In the name of religion she seems to be safe from the clutches of the society. Bua is not confined to the four walls of the home like Khudisya. She takes her own decision and not responsible to anyone. Even married Muslim women envious of her life style. These lines aptly convey their awe for her, ^^HkbZ deky gS mls enqZ, NsM+rs ughaA dksbZ vkSj ljh dh gksrh rks frDdk&cksVh gks tkrhA ukeqjkn cuh&Buh lksyg fla?kkj fd, jkt&fcjkr taxyksa esa ?kwerh gSA Mj ugha yxrk \* ( DKD). They feel scared that how she moves out in the dark. For Bua her power lays in Bale Miya.
Bua is welcomed by everyone. Nobody dare to trouble her. As everyone feels that she is being rescued by Prophet. So she makes her own stand by taking shield of religion.
Bua is livelihood is also running became of him. Devotes sent fruits, clothes and other things of daily necessities to her. Bua has a charm in herself. She wears clear and bright clothes. She sings beautiful hyms, folklores and songs to occupy her loneliness. Ismat Chugtai describes about Meera Bai a princess who denounce the world and her married life for her love to Lord Krishna. Meerabai had broken the set pattern of Hindu married woman , she did not accepted Rana as her husband.  She faces criticism from the society. Similarly, Bua also accepted Bale Miya her husband faces the humiliation done by the people. Vimmie manoj writes,” The Indian women writers have advocated this issue through their writings and have enunciated the unheard voices of women” (124).

Krishna Chandra aptly expresses, “ Ismat has convincingly portrayed the spirit of un urban middle class Muslim households by exploring the fame and fortune of various persons who are integral part of the joint family structure”(155)

     Ismat  writes the code and conduct to be followed by a widow woman, “v/keqbZ iM+h jgk djrh Fkha] dbZ&dbZ fnu da?kh u djrha] diM+s fpDdV gks tkrs] cnyus dk [k;ky u vkrkA ftldk ns[kus okyk gh vkW[ksa Qsj ys rks og lqgkxu fQj fdl ds fy, fla?kkj djsA lqgkx dh eqjOor esa nks&nks dkWap dh pwfM;kWa t:j Mkys jgrh FkhaA yksx muds lcz vkSj oQk ds fdLls egfQyksa esa lquk&lquk dj >wek djrs FksA
exj lksyg fla?kkj djds gkj&Qwy iguuk ml vkSjr dks tsc ugha nsrk ftldk [kqnk&,&etkth ml ls :B pqdk gksA vc rks cl vYykg dk “kqdz djds tks QVk&iqjkuk feys ru <kWd fy;k tk, vkSj :[kh&lw[kh ls isV dh nkst[k cq>kbZ tk,A”(63-64DKD )
 Bua with passage of time became clam. Nani is the instrumental in it. She has forced her to drink medical syrup. As a result she come back to her senses and forgets everything about him. Nani feels happy with her victory over her. Bua when bring back to her senses, forgets to be alive and kicking . She is no other then ordinary women. Ismat writes , ^^dgkW pyh xbZ cqvk \** ge dHkh&dHkh lksprsA og vdM+rh gqbZ ejk:j cqvkA cPpksa ds lkFk tkequsa >kM+rh] [ksrksa ls [kjcwts vkSj ddfM+;kWa pqjkrh] gekjh ikxy cqvkA vYykg us mUgsa vDy D;ksa okil ns nhA og gWluk Hkh Hkwy xbZA (60 DKD ). She left the world .
Both the women in the Ismat’s novel challenged the patriarchal society and take their own stand in their own situational manner.

Khula :The basic principle concerning this is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 
“And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of your Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) which you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allaah (e.g. to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allaah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it) for her Al-Khul‘ (divorce)”
[al-Baqarah 2:229]

Chugtai,Ismat.Dil Ki Duniya.Trans.Shabnam Rizvi.NewDelhi:Rajkamal Prakashan,2009.Print.

Jain,Jasbir and Supriya Agarwal.Ed.Gender and Narrative.Jaipur:Rawat Publications,2002. Print.

Jain,Jasbir.Introduction. Gender and Narrative.ByJasbir Jain and Supriya Agarwal. Jaipur:Rawat Publications,2002.IX-XXIV. Print.

Manoj,Vimmie. “Postmodern Feminism in the Fiction of Indian Women Writers: Enunciating the Unheard Voices”.Feminine Fragrance Reflections on Women’s Writing in English.Ed.Arvind.M.Nawale.New Delhi:GNOSIS Publications,2012.123-130. Print.

Negi,Manjulaa.Ismat Chugtai A Fearless Voice.New Delhi:RupaPublications,2003. Print.

Rathore,Krishna. “Evolving Feminist Perspectives”.Gender and Narrative.Ed.JasbirJain and Supriya Agarwal. Jaipur:Rawat Publications,2002.232-244. Print.

Singh,Veena. “Questioning Patriarchal Norms:Echoes from the Past”. Gender and Narrative.Ed.JasbirJain and Supriya Agarwal. Jaipur: Rawat Publications,2002.  213-222. Print.

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Disclaimer: all opinions and viewpoints rest with individual author.


Fiction and Poetry and Article:  Our mission is to publish the finest fiction (up to 10,000 words), with special attention to character-driven stories that examine the depths and heights of emotions and motivation from a broad variety of cultural and social perspectives. We are also interested in more experimental narratives as well as well-written flash fiction (1,500 words or less). Surprise us with your writing. There are no restrictions on subjects and themes. For poetry, we aim to publish challenging and engaging works by both established and emerging poets. Articles are invited on any theme related to arts, humanities and social science with broader aspects of literature within 3000 words.
Please note:
            Fiction and Article: Submit one piece at one time. Poetry: Submit up to three poems at one time.  Include a short third-person biographical note in your submission in single attachment.  Only previously unpublished works are considered.
Copyright: The journal is entitled to publish submitted work in any form (online or in print). The editor-in-chief can also reproduce the submission in any form (book/ anthology) and authors will be reported about the publication in other form.

Submission Guidelines
  1. Submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word attachments (.doc) via email to editormirrorviewjournal@gmail.com
  2. Please make the editor’s job easy: Each submission must be a new email thread, attach only one submission per email, use an appropriate email subject: “Submission: Short Fiction:<piece name>”.
  3. Please give the document an appropriate title. Best would be <author> – <piece title>.

  1. For short fiction, we encourage stories which are between 1000-2500 words. In case it exceeds the word limit, we might just consider it if it is exceptionally good.
  2. We accept poetry of any length, bur preferably within 50 lines, articles within 3000 words, referencing MLA 7th edition style.
  3. please send a short third person bionote with your submission
  4. Mention your contact details, email id etc in your submitted work

Plagiarism Policy: By submitting paper for publication to the journal, you as contributor/ author/ co-author state that:
You are fully aware that plagiarism is wrong and you know that plagiarism is the use of another person’s idea or published work and pretend that it is one’s own.
You declare that each contribution to your work from other people published or unpublished sources have been acknowledged and the sources of information have been referenced.
You certify that you are solely responsible for any incomplete reference that may remain in your work

Publication Fees: The journal has to maintain website and pay technical persons, editorial costs, publication costs etc and not getting fund from any organization or agency. Therefore each published work has to pay Rs. 700 only upon acceptance for publication. The publication fees for persons from outside India is 40 USD. The fee is to be deposited in the bank account that details will be informed upon acceptance for publication.

Call for SubmissionSubmission is accepted throughout the year, there is not specific bound date. It publishes quarterly in March, June, September and December tentatively. For each issue the last date of submission is 15th of previous month, that is for March issue the last date is 15th of February and for December issue, the last date is 15th November, etc. The author will be informed about the outcome of submission within 10 days of his/her submission. Any submission after the date will be rolled for the next issue.

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