These, Our Bodies Possessed by Light by Dharini Bhaskar – Thoughts

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake

and dress them in warm clothes again

How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running

until they forget that they are horses

It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,

it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,

how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days

were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple

to slice into pieces.

Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means

we’re inconsolable.

Tell me how all this, and how love too, will ruin us.

These, our bodies possessed by light.

Tell me, we’ll never get used to it.

Poem ‘Scheherazade’ by Richard Siken (Crush)

Every once in a while, you stumble across a book, that sings to you. You read many books, some take you on an adventure, some make you fall in love, some make you laugh, some make you cry, some shatter your heart and some are just not worth your time. But then, in your journey through many such beautiful books, you come across those few books, that sing to you. That talk to you, whisper into your mind, telling you, “I know you and I know your heart.”

I love reading books without reading about their reviews or the story. I go in, not expecting anything. And I absolutely love it when a book surprises me so much and in such a great way. I’ve been trying to make my way through the JCB shortlist titles this year, and its no wonder that this was one of the books that has been shortlisted for the JCB Prize. It absolutely deserves it and has become one of my favorite books this year.

In this story, narrated by one of the central characters – Deeya, we travel through the lives, loves, desires and heartbreaks of three generations of women – Deeya’s grandmother Ammama, her mother and the story of the three sisters – Tasha, Ranja and Deeya.

If you liked narration and stories like Circe, this is definitely a book I would recommend. It is like a soothing bed time secret story for women, narrated by women. I felt a pull towards the story and Deeya’s thought process especially because I found so many similarities in the way we think. Throughout the story, there is the constant push and pull that each of the protagonists experience between their personal desires, their inner conflicts and what society expects from women in general.

I have highlighted many passages in the entire book and I can’t stop recommending it enough. I’d recommend this book highly if you’re a woman, and even more if you’re an Indian woman, are married or somewhere in between, are lost between what you want and what others want you to want. The book doesn’t give you any answers as such, but it gives you friendship. When you read it, you feel, through these characters, that you’re not alone, in the way you feel 🙂

Have you read this book or any of the other JCB Prize shortlists this year? Which have been your favorite and what were your thoughts regarding this book and especially the ending? 🙂

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