Book description via Amazon: A courageous voyage through destitution, intrigue and murder. Manasa is abandoned by the man she should marry. He marries her sister instead. Meanwhile Manasa finds herself pregnant with his child. She flees her Bengali village wondering where to go. Eventually, she finds herself wandering the streets of Calcutta. Without money or food, life is a daily struggle. Finally, she is taken on by a brothel. She is desperately unhappy until she meets a different sort of man. This man she marries in secret and together they plan her escape from the brothel.
So, let's get started I am so anxious to talk to my guest. Manasa please have a seat.Feel free to be as comfortable as you want. First of all let me tell you, I was really surprised at the many things you went through in your life. Totally shocked at the ease in which you let yourself be drawn into the brothel. Your total acceptance of domination bothered me and I just wanted to fight someone for you. I guess because your lot in life is so different from mine in America. By the end of the book I totally understood your behavior. My first question for you is:
What do you like about your situation in your book? When I look back at all that's happened I'm amazed. I was terrified at the beginning of the book. Terrified but hurt, deeply wounded, and once I'd given birth...I'm sorry the tears came so suddenly with those memories.
Oh, don't worry about it I totally understand how easy tears can fall. I've been through a little drama myself. I'll try to focus on your questions. My situation back then was desperate. I did my best with what little I had.
For a little bit through the book I wanted to punch people for you. It was hard to sit and watch you go through some of the situations. What do you dislike about your situation in your book? It would be easy to say I dislike everything. It was painful and humiliating. After a little consideration, I would say that I would never be without my darling daughter Lipika; Dinesh, my husband; Supriya, my dear friend; and the other children. They sustain me and my sanity. Love is a simple word that exacts a demanding currency.
If you had a chance to rewrite your 'story', what would you change? Perhaps, I would be more accepting of Dinesh, but looking back gives the kind of perspective that my emotions would not allow at the time of events as they occurred.
What would you keep? Lipika, always Lipika. I would keep all I'd lost, but then there would be no story, or at least it would be much different. I shall keep the thought of how courageous I became, and the courage and faithfulness of my friends.
Believe me I understand that feeling. Once I had my child, I realized I would do anything for him. I don't know if I could be as brave and forgiving as you are. My family life was horrible before the death of my parents. Where it was your dad who rejected you, for me it was my mother. I don't know if I can ever get over that. How is your family life now?
My family, oh my family - the cause of my undoing. Maybe I shall see mummy and Kajal again one day. My family now are those with me here in Darjeeling: Dinesh, Supriya, Lipika and the other children. These are the ones who are important to me. I wonder sometimes about my father. I hope he treats mummy better these days. I still don't trust him.
I have thought about her with him, also. After all is said and done what do you hope people will learn/enjoy about your story? I hope they will learn about women like Mona, and how they deceive families and destroy children. When they learn about my story, I hope they will try to understand how hard I tried to help the children. I just couldn't do more. It was too dangerous for me and for them. I have nightmares about it still. Maybe one day the bad dreams will stop.
What do you really think about your author? My author became so involved with our story we decided to ask her to stay until the end. She asked many questions. It irked us at first, but she was patient as well as persistent. We knew she sympathized, because of the huge amount of time, energy and interest she showed in us. Our motivations, likes, dislikes, our backgrounds, and our living conditions and surroundings all seemed to matter intensely to her. She even wanted to know about the water, the electricity supply, and whether or not there was street lighting. Of course, the electricity is often unreliable, but we manage. She did sometimes come a little too close. We saw her tears while she wrote everything down and we forgave her curiosity then. She's our sister, and we know now how much she cares for us. Eventually, she had to say goodbye. There is always a place at our table for her, should she come to visit us again.
That is so sweet. I think Ms. Catherine Kirby did an awesome job in telling your story. I know you have to leave and I want to thank you for coming and visiting with me, Manasa and sharing your story with the readers of IN THE CHAIR . I really learned a lot reading Sari Caste so much so I have reviewed it here.
Thanks for inviting me [and Manasa] to your blog, Ey. I've had a lifelong interest in reading and writing. I love the classics as well as modern literature. I think it's important to read a lot. At the moment, there are a lot of free books on Amazon to choose from, so finding something appealing to read is quite easy. If you discover an author of a free book you can then go and read some of that author's other works. It's a good way to develop new tastes and sample other genres.
For me, reading seems a way to share ideas and experiences that may not be possible to know about so intimately in any other way. It also creates a sort of interaction because you need to use your imagination to become involved in the story. Theatre and cinema are completely different media, of course, and very enjoyable. However, while you don't need your imagination to help create the scenes, you don't get to know the characters' thoughts in the same way as you do in books either.
I try to think of these things when I write. I've always loved creating stories even though some of them were abandoned mid way to begin with. It's so wonderful to become absorbed in the characters I'm getting to know, and their reaction to their situations I've landed them in. I like to explore relationships between family members and between friends and colleagues with the characters I create. I think it's important to make them rounded so that the drama is occasionally off-set with humour and vice versa.
Sari Caste required a lot of research, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It helped in directing and creating the story. See Through was entirely different. The research was minimal. How do you research invisibility anyway? I've found that the characters are the most important part of my stories and so these days that's where the research will be centered if necessary.
My present novel is typical of this. It focuses on four women and the way in which their lives impinge on each other, their reactions to this and the results of those reactions. I'm enjoying writing this. I don't have a great deal of time for writing, so I also do a lot of thinking about the story in between times. Writing is not always easy and there are times when it just doesn't flow, at all, but over all it is a wonderful process and I couldn't be happier doing anything else.See Through (UK) http://dld.bz/aHwyM (US) http://amzn.to/AxB7dC
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