SeshRao talks to NRI community about their experience growing, working and parenting children in western culture. Tania’s Treasure Trove, a fictional book by Sesh Damerla releases early Oct 2017.
This was a text I received just the other day.
These were also the words that ran through my mind as I turned the pages of this book- reading, mulling over and absorbing each of the 14 stories that, so true to the book’s title, mirror the changing image of the Indian woman- right from her roles and responsibilities as a woman to the rediscovery and redefining of her own identity.
The world around us has changed dramatically over the past two decades- thanks of the advent of information technology that has broken down global walls and encompassed the entire human race into one virtual world. While the ramifications of this new age advancement are manifold, nowhere perhaps has this been a bigger catalyst for change than in the sphere of feminism. The entry of the world into our personal spaces has affected fairly rapid and successful unshackling of the fetters that had suffocated womanhood for far too long and opened up newer horizons- both in terms of opportunities and attitudes, in the physical and mental spheres.
This is especially true perhaps of my generation of women who grew up in fairly conservative environment and found their true liberation in a world they only stepped into years later – and in many cases in step with their children. For the new world today is one that has largely freed the woman from the heaviest burden she had to carry on her shoulders- that of expectations and judgments. The weight very cleverly stacked under a pedestal that the world conspired to put her on to in turn demand of her an unending line of sacrifices and compromises. A pedestal that she reluctantly ascended, for she knew that once on it she dare not rock the balance with the added weight of her own ambitions and aspirations in life.
It is this burden which has now shifted with the times, allowing the women in India to breathe of the freedom they hitherto only learnt of during their childhood through books and stories but which they saw becoming increasingly elusive as they step into adulthood and into the traditional roles laid down by society’s diktats.
Darpan reflects that change in the air. Be it the contrast between the obedient Anju and the rebel Milli and how life evens out the difference in Prateeksha, the miscalculations of Ameeta in How Was She to Know or the hidden strength of Chandra in The Dilemma. The stories talk of how a woman can handle loss (Neela in Merry Wives at a party and Moni in The Baby’s First Step), parental responsibilities (Munni in Rakhee) and a redefined sense of life’s surprises (Kusum in Feelings). Most significantly what leaves a lasting impression on you are that the stories are told at a leisurely pace, devoid of melodrama and are more of narratives from the book called Life rather than stereotyped stories that need to have a structured format and an ending where all the loose ends tie up. In many of the stories in fact the end is left open to interpretation, making this both a compelling read and a thought provoking experience. And if there is anything that does tie it all together it’s the sublime message that the only thing that works as far as liberation of the women is concerned is the right to take their own decisions in life and in that control their destinies. Some may be right, some may be wrong but the power to steer your life in a certain way, sans guilt, is what real freedom is all about. It’s the true Darpan of our ultimate evolution as a specie.
Resident Editor, Indian Express.
“DARPAN” Book Launch
You and your family are Cordially invited to the Book Launch of “Darpan” Indian Women In Transition By Sesh Damerla.
Open house discussion promises to be very exciting!
Crossword ICC Trade Towers, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune, Maharashtra 411016.
Click to view on Google map.
Going through Darpan one tends to connect with it instantly. The stories are so well written that they touch a cord in your heart somewhere makes you relive the moments and a realization sets in. Sesh has very well brought out the changing patterns of one’s behaviour and attitude as you grow in life. The stories are not only related to the elitist in fact it speaks of women from all walks of life right from the rural to the urban. With the simplicity of the language and the free flowing words the realization of the harsh truth faced by women from all walks of life hits you deeply. With her stories Sesh has conveyed a true understanding of the personal and intimate problems that women from different strata of our multifarious society face and how they overcome them. A reading which can inspire many of us and make us realize the strength we all possess within.
An international motivational speaker and Astrologer.
It is often said, that men cannot understand women. It is true to some extent, but if a woman can write so beautifully and express the woman in her, men can at least come close to a woman’s thinking….Sesh has done that with her wonderful work – Darpan (yes a mirror to oneself)
I was born in a Nair family, where a woman is head of the family and more empowered than most Indian communities. But understanding women from different perspectives was also important to me.
Sesh has done a wonderful work by brining this many aspects of a woman in such a simple and profound manner. These stories are not just short and easy to read, but also profound in nature.
One cannot but associate with each of the characters as if it was one’s own mother, sister, wife or daughter. I felt like a woman, as I was reading through these stories. Maybe, making me a better man.
I suggest let this book be called a family book rather than a women’s book. Let each family read a story and discuss and share those emotions, feelings and learnings. Thus making each other respect and appreciate each other.
Sesh has an amazing way of storytelling, the way it is told in our Indian tradition. Stories are a way to a persons’ heart and feelings. But each story has a different moral for every person.
So read on to find your moral and meaning from each story. Best wishes Sesh for a best seller in making
Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai
Author of the book Corporate Chanakya,
Winner of the 2009 Sardar Patel Award
Leading Management Guru and
The Director of The Chanakya Institute of Public Leadership (CIPL).
In the book, there is a wide diversity of characters of Indian Women that are portrayed by the author Sesh Damerla. They range from poor to the neo-rich, from those that are suppressed and victimized to those that triumph over the adversity showing exceptional courage and character, and also from that merely survive to those that have the urge to succeed. And who do succeed. These characters, be it Amita, Milli, Chandra, Meena, Kusum… all of them come alive because of the interesting ‘story telling’ style of Sesh Damerla.
Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhonda Keshav Karve had made a profound statement ‘Sanskrita Stree Prashakti ‘. Meaning that an enlightened woman is a source of infinite strength. An enlightened and educated woman can achieve ultimate empowerment.
I was the President of India Science Congress in the year 2000. In my Presidential speech in Pune I had proposed a ‘New Panchsheel for New Millennium’. It was all about just five points; Child Centered Education, Woman Centered Society, Human Centered Development, Knowledge Centered Society and Innovation Centered India.
I quote from the points that I had made about creating a woman centered Indian society. Human Development Report 1992 had said, “No County treats its woman as well as its men”. Can the Indian of the next millennium afford to stand on only one of its legs? A woman has to be allowed the full expression of her potential and she has to be empowered to become a dynamic partner in the building of the new India of our dreams.
As Nobel Laureate Aung San Kay had said, “In societies, where men are truly confident of their own worth. Women are not nearly tolerated, but valued”. It is this change of value system. That will lead to the eventual empowerment of woman. In this change of value system, that will lead to the eventual empowerment of woman. In this context, the book beautifully brings out the challenge of empowerment of an Indian woman and what is could mean for our society, and indeed for our nation.
Anais Nin had said, “How wrong is it a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?” As Sesh Damerla points out my stories attempt to reflect a majority of woman for whom transition has been an upward movement from total dependence on a man to survival and further on to empowerment, be it total or partial.’ And she is absolutely right here.
I am sure the readers will find this collection of stories of an ‘Indian woman in transition’ both informative and inspirational.
‘Story telling has always proved to be the finest way of messaging subtly. These stories make the reader aware of how influenced in our attitudes we are by the lenses we have on our eyes. The other half of humanity is about to be released from its traditional status. A subtle change is going on. Bravo to Sesh Damerla!’
Director, Tata Sons Limited.
This is a collection of captivating stories in contemporary Indian setting, narrated in an easy, flowing and charming style of storytelling. Covering a wide array of what seems like real life situations, every reader – of any gender or age – can relate instantly with the characters in the tales. For me, this induced a sense of participation in the events unfolding in the stories; and made it great fun to read them!
Sesh Damerla truly has wonderful expression and an ability to connect with readers through her characters. Her stories reveal that she has an insightful understanding of the transition that is taking place in our societies today; and of the attitudinal ambiguities such changes inevitably bring with them. Are we responding of our free will to such changes? Or are we responding through our traditional conditioning and societal pressures? Her stories hold up an excellent mirror.
R V Krishnan
Founder, BDB India Private Limited.
By Sesh Damerla
Evolution is never static. It is influenced and determined by the existing social, economic and cultural factors. May be, being a woman I was drawn to writing about women from the past and present. Indian woman were my focus because I know most about them as I have lived with them a life time. Transition came to my mind because sweeping changes have been taking place and needed to be written about. D
arpan is a true reflection of the Indian woman and how she has embraced change and faced challenges in all its varied forms and roles of a woman and how she has been handling her challenges as a traditional home maker, a professional and as the custodian of the legacy passed down to her.