WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
Bijnis Woman: Stories of Uttar Pradesh told by My Mausis, Buas and Chachas is an exquisite recollection of ordinary tales from rural and sub-urban Uttar Pradesh told with extraordinary gusto.
Uttar Pradesh is my home. It runs in my blood and it lives in my memories and hence when Bijnis Woman came along for a review request promising a taste of all that I hold dear about my native land, I simply could not refuse. When I finally sat down to read Bijnis Woman I was extremely excited and I was not to be disappointed. This book delivers what it promises in a most effortless way.
Bijnis Woman: Stories of Uttar Pradesh told by My Mausis, Buas and Chachas is an exquisite recollection of ordinary tales from rural and sub-urban Uttar Pradesh told with extraordinary gusto. The stories reflect the lives of people from a bygone era and would appeal to anyone who wants to remember what life was like back then.
The book tells us 14 stories recounted by real people and recounted as real tales. Almost all the stories seem to be part myth, part gossip, part retelling, part fiction and part true. These are the stories which one comes across at a village gathering. These are the stories which enjoy a kind of local fame that not many people or things can boast of. The stories are about real people who have lived or still live in the dusty lanes or crowded “mohallas” of Uttar Pradesh.
My favorite amongst the bunch was Bijnis Woman for it beautifully portrays the pathos of a daily wage earner and the struggle to make ends meet. Langhi, the lead character of the story was so enterprising and street smart that it was difficult to not like her. and this was probably the reason why the book was also titled after her. I also enjoyed other stories like Tea Stall, Doodhiya, The Young Zamindar and Amrita, and many others.
The most beautiful aspect of this book is that Tanuja has managed to deliver both flavor and entertainment and it is this combination which makes the book such a delightful read. The language uses a lot of vernacular words which appeal to the reader and make the stories more vivid and colorful. The fact that the stories are sourced from multiple towns and villages is also refreshing. As each town has a local myth and story that everyone knows yet no one documents.
From Lucknow to Bulandshahar to Pilibhit, this book will make you experience Uttar Pradesh in a way that only a local can and that is the reason I recommend this book to my readers and rate it four out of five stars in entertainment quotient.
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