She is from a village. She is angry at her conservative mother. She is a flawed activist. She is being judged. She makes compromises. She cannot die, even if she wills it. She chooses to command. Her children want to do away with her. She looks for friendships online. She craves for fame. She musters the courage to pursue her lover. What binds her through all these is her strength; she is indomitable.
Arya and Other Stories is a collection of twelve short stories by Chandrika Balan, known in the Malayalam literary world as Chandramati. Balan brings to the reader a glimpse into the world of the woman in a village where feminism has reached. Here men know what feminism is; women know they can be independent; and children know that their mother is not a caring-bearing machine. Balan’s exploration is into the kind of questions a woman here goes through.
Accompanied by K. Satchidanandan’s scholarly introduction that traces women’s writing tradition in Kerala, this collection of poignant and incisive short stories is bound to interest every reader of fiction and translation.
Chandrika Balan is a winner of two awards by the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. She has written over 22 books in Malayalam under the pen-name Chandramati.
Each story has a glossary with meanings of non-English words at the end.