The first novel by Himanjali Sankar “adult”, Ms C Memorial, is described as an “exploration advancing the limits of presentation, disease and disruption, and unfathomable power of the human spirit.”
This novel includes many aspects of contemporary urban life in India, but Sankar subtly, instead of drilling, shows of them is the inevitable failure of each family.
On a simple level, Mrs. C recalls speaking to Anita Chatterjee and her daughter Sohini, navigating life as part of the Kolkata elite.
Mrs. C., whose name almost always belongs with the prefix attached (unless simply as “Ma”) is subject to the many social relations that prevent it.
I say that the novel is subtle because it is only in retrospect that Mrs. C. descent to madness seems inevitable. This is not what he remembers, as the title suggests, ironically, but he forgets that tradition imposes Bengali restrictions.
And what is the exhausting efficiency. Mrs. C and Sohini take turns telling the story of their lives. As well draped sari – based Ms. C holds – appearances should be maintained, preserved social relations, diplomacy exercised.
All this under the watchful eye of the abusive mother of her husband, who seems to grow long after his death at the beginning of the book.
For Sohini, whose journey from early childhood to motherhood was not as simple as Mrs. C. reconcile her mother’s compulsive need to please everyone with her future, it becomes a shared battle over a period of several subplots and 14 , While in the middle ages.
Mrs. C remember is simply written, with a prose that sticks to the goal. Sankar raises difficult questions from people who lead everyday life: can you be your mother’s best friend, even if she has told you that they are less of your brother?
Can the love of her husband, even if he remains silent when his mother insults him? Do not say “yes” to any of these conditions would make a woman weak? What constitutes a strong woman?
The characters try to relate to the political movements of our time – the Godhra Nirbhaya riots to stop Kanhaiya Kumar.
Although widely discussed – in a Bengali manual, left liberal form – it never fully penetrates the family, nor in the life of each character, not even in the novel itself. Despite the need to be aware and have a political position, ultimately, the characters are concerned about their own lives.
Even Sanchita, Naxal’s comforting feminist sister C Sohini said, “I thought about how our lives would end if something happened to you. Nothing else seems important when this thought comes into your head.
The only thing you want your child to be alive and healthy. “And Mr. C’s growing apathy for Muslims becomes a factor that the family must negotiate not because of major ethical problems, but because partner Omar Sohini is Muslim.
Instead, Sankar investigate India’s family policy. It degrades, is a history of fulfillment, the roles that family relationships seem to produce firmly, housewives, obedient jealous stepmother, insensitive husband, apathetic son, rebellious daughter.
While Mrs. C has spent her life playing – and adapting – these functions, she can, as she grows old, her forgetfulness becomes the ideal tool for denial, allowing her to reject everything expected all these years.