Author: Nirupama Devi
Translator: Alo Shome
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Nirupama Devi’s “Didi” is a captivating portrayal of Surama, a woman of remarkable strength and determination, navigating the complexities of her life at a time when societal norms constrained her choices. Surama’s ability to shoulder responsibilities rivals that of a corporate CEO, yet she finds herself relegated to the role of a co-wife in a marriage where divorce is not an option.
What makes “Didi” stand out is its absence of villains; even Amar, who introduces a second wife into the equation, is depicted as a victim of circumstances. Charu, the second wife, forms a deep and unexpected bond with Surama, adding a unique layer of complexity to the story.
Within this narrative, the novel delves into strong sub-plots, particularly the poignant journey of a young widow navigating the societal limitations of her time. Her struggle to find purpose and submission to societal expectations is a powerful testament to the need for societal change.
Nirupama Devi’s storytelling skillfully captures the essence of the era and the resilience of its female characters. “Didi” is a poignant reminder of the necessity for societal transformation to grant women the dignity and freedom they deserve. A thought-provoking and engaging read that resonates with the struggles and triumphs of women in a bygone era.
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