A Foetus is not a Person by Caroline Lund

Abortion in India is legal only up to twenty weeks of pregnancy under specific conditions and situations which are broadly defined as:

  • the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury of physical or mental health, or
  • there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

(via Wikipedia)

Recently, the Supreme Court permitted a rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy at 24 weeks, which is beyond the permissible 20 weeks limit prescribed under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

Abortion is a topic that is not as hot a debate in India, as it has been in the US. The basic difference being that in the US, the fight for abortion rights is at the point of consent of a woman of not having a baby. While in India, the legalities in abortion are focused on severe health risks for the woman or the baby, and that if the woman is a rape survivor where abortion is legally permissible before 15 weeks. There are obvious risks in the process of abortion due to sex-determination. But the point of consent of a woman is always missing.  Continue reading “A Foetus is not a Person by Caroline Lund”

Jan-Feb-Mar: Top 6 Books So Far

 

Reading is a solitary space which gives you as much as you are ready to receive. Every book you read, there’s a risk that you are missing out on another. But I try and not regret it. Regret makes you suffer twice.

I believe it isn’t enough to read. It is a reader’s responsibility to spread the goodness as far and wide as possible. So here am I. Here are my recommendations for the books I read in the first three months of the year (March is almost gone!):

 

A Long Way HomeA Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I decided to read this one before watching the oscar nominated movie based on this book, ‘Lion’. The movie was amazing too. This book is such a beautiful story of hope and what it makes it classic is the fact that it is so real. No one is going to tell me that, ‘ah! this is just a story. The reality is much worse.’

I feel so heartened. It was just a 5 hour read, like an emotional super fast train journey to the past!

Continue reading “Jan-Feb-Mar: Top 6 Books So Far”

The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai

The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai

The last trip I made to Mumbai, it was focused on bookstores. The idea wasn’t to buy too many books (that is never the idea, but it always happens). It was like you know how people want to go to Siddhi Vinayak, Haji Ali, Mahalakshmi, all of which I have already seen; for a book lover, bookstores become one of those sense of attractions. I looked up whatever information that was available on Google (especially Quora) and made a curated list. Mumbai is such a big city that you cannot finish everything of anything. I was determined to make the best out of two days- Sunday and Monday, that I had in hands.

Of course, this trip included other interesting places (apart from bookstores) such as the walk around Colaba, Kalaghoda, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mani Bhavan and Starbucks (because coffee is an essential ingredient for stimulated literary and philosophical conversations).

This piece is not just about the bookstores but the experience that goes within while you explore them. If you don’t like spoilers, please don’t read further (disclaimer).  If you are not going to ever see these places or want to have a literary tour irrespectively while you still plan to go and discover these and more places yourself, you are the right person to read this one.

The BookStores that were on My List:

  • Kitab Khana, MG Road
  • Strand Book Stall, Horniman Circle Gardens (definitely sounds like horny men but luckily found not a single one)
  • Smokers corner, Kala Ghoda  (Found no smokers here, and Kala Ghoda is a street statue of a black horse made in the memory of Prince of Whales’ horse)
  • Oxford Bookstore, Marine Drive
  • Mani Bhavan, Laburnum Road
  • Trilogy, Worli
  • Victoria Book Center and Library, Mahim 
  • N Bookstore, Bandra
  • Crossword, Bandra 

Continue reading “The Other Angle: Top Best (Interesting) Bookstores in Mumbai”

Serendipity: Even the Earliest Traces of English Literature Had Strong Female Characters

Why reading is blissful is because it has the ability to transport you from one place to another, one time to another. If you had money, you could travel wherever you want. But how would you travel through time? With books, nothing is impossible. Time travel is a reality. That’s what struck me when I saw this book called ‘The Short History of English Literature’ by Ifor Evans at an invaluable second-hand bookshop/circulating library in Mahim, Mumbai- The Victoria Book Centre (since 1948).

Judith poem

Do you know what was the first piece of English Literature?

In the Anglo-Saxon period, the story of ‘Beowulf’ was brought to England and interestingly it was not English, it was about Scandinavians, dated 700 A.D. (OLD!). Only three hundred years later, about the year 1000, the manuscript was written down. What happened to it in the next seven hundred years is unknown. But it reappeared in 1706 at a library. It can be said that the manuscript had magically managed to save itself from getting destroyed in a fire during the same period. Interestingly, the author of Beowulf remains unknown.

 

Judith (Poem)

The story of Judith is the most exciting narrative of Anglo-Saxon poetry, and why not! It tells a fictionized story of how an ordinary woman named Judith kills a tyrant Holofernes, whose terror knows no bounds. Its dramatic quality and its sense of genuine human characterization set it apart from all the works in the same age. It was found in the same manuscript with Beowulf. Judith was written byÆlfric of Eynsham.

judith

Continue reading “Serendipity: Even the Earliest Traces of English Literature Had Strong Female Characters”

Ambedkar’s Message to Women Needs To Be Revisited Now

History always has something to learn from. For India, BR Ambedkar is that gold mine, which never disappoints. A man who wanted no fame or bhakts, whose life motto was to just get people, to think clearly. He is a man who must be re-read for his scientific temperament, knowledge and fierceness but unfortunately, he has been slowly going extinct from our textbooks. Also what is unfortunate is that the vices that he had pointed out in his time, are still relevant. If you thought of him just as the ‘Father of Indian Constitution’, read the below text to visualise this fierce feminist in him, each and every word as if gold plated.

Ambedkar’s Message to Women

From Bhalchandra Mungekar’s ‘The Essential Ambedkar’

Continue reading “Ambedkar’s Message to Women Needs To Be Revisited Now”

The Book That Made ‘Lion’: Dev Patel’s Oscar Nominated Movie

A Long Way HomeA Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is such a beautiful story of hope and what it makes it classic is the fact that it is so real. No one is going to tell me that, ‘ah! this is just a story. Reality is much worse.’

I feel so heartened. It was just a 5 hour read, like an emotional super fast train journey to the past!

View all my reviews

This film releases on 27th Feb in India. The trailer looks amazing already!

Book Review: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That HappenedHyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautiful graphics, amazing pictures. This one is a light-hearted hilarious read for all the crackpots out there: Clumsy, imperfect, forgetful, amazing, crazy, sensitive, emotional. In spite of dealing with a kid’s context, it is absolutely suited to adults and is definitely relatable. This is a good book to read when you are going through some rough times and want to distract your mind. Interestingly, the author herself was going through depression and it led her to this beautiful creation.

I wanted the Paperback (Costs Rs. 1085) but I found it to be a little costly, not compared to the content but just in general. Then I looked at the Kindle version for my Kindle Fire HD (mentioning the version because some people complain problems in certain Kindle devices) (Costs Rs. 359). And then, coincidently, I got an Amazon Gift Voucher from a friend and bought it through that. But loved it to the core when I read it. I still read it. You don’t have to read it fully from start to end. Take up any chapter and read from wherever you wish to read it. I was with a friend when I read this book. Together we enjoyed the co-reading experience- the graphics and the funny situations and had laughter riot!

View all my reviews