My Poems Are Not For Your Ad Campaign – Anuradha Sarma Pujari; Tr. Aruni Kashyap (Hardcover)
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In a recently liberated economy characterized by speed, the commodification of women’s bodies and consumerist culture, Bhashwati is an increasingly disillusioned misfit who has, ironically, just started working in an advertising firm. But her life changes one day when she finds out about the mysterious Mohua Roy, a former copywriter with the company, whose desk Bhashwati now uses. The company employees remain tight-lipped about Mohua, who had left abruptly for reasons unknown. On finding a poem written by Mohua, Bhashwati decides to search for her. This takes Bhashwati to Calcutta’s lanes, where she meets people who sacrificed immensely for the same values that she finds eroded in a developing India. Who is Mohua Roy? Why is there a net of silence around her very existence? Will Bhashwati find Mohua? Will she leave her job, just like Mohua?
Hriday Ek Bigyapan, first published in Assamese in 1997, was an instant bestseller, going into tens of reprints in the next two decades. By taking a close look at the newly globalized India of the 1990s from a feminist lens, it poses questions about modern urban life that few Indian novels have been able to-questions that are still relevant today. Aruni Kashyap’s seamless translation from the Assamese makes this book a must-read.
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