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Travails of a Woman Writer

Garima Srivastava

By Mannu Bhandari
Radhakrishna Prakashan, New Delhi, pp. 228, Rs. 250.00


Mannu Bhandari is a wellknown author whose autobiography presents the masculine aspect of womens conscience. This can play an important role in understanding the contradictions of feminist discourse. This discourse is created as an outcome of the crisis of the woman writer, her ambitions, her contradictions in society and the domination of patriacharchy, as well as fear of social insecurity, and all this still in the initial stage where the woman tries to change the patriarchal mentality, ruins and even ends her own life. Although Mannu is economically independent and enjoys a strong recognition in society as an author she still cant sustain any relationship with her male counterparts on her own terms and conditions. She herself faced gender discrimination and got conditioned. She rebelled against her own father and society and married a creative writer and talented critic with a hope: .Everybody thinks and so did I that same profession, same tastes, same field really would make life easy. I shall get a golden path to write and get published. Its true that living with somebody who is in the same profession brings together many facilities, but brings along a pile of problems as well. I experienced it first hand. The whole autobiography rotates around Mannu Bhandari s married life, describing her childhood very briefly. Dissatisfaction with her creativity can be smelt in each of her descriptions. I had to perform all the duties of a housewife, in between these duties I had to out the space for writing...but not at the cost of my daughter and my home. Earlier at every stage I used to face crisis, my life was full of sufferings but my creative writing was not discontinued...but now most of the problems are solved but my writing also has come to an end. Does it mean that a life full of crisis is necessary for a creative writer? A critical and problematic life, facing loneliness during sickness, depressions and tensions provoked Mannu to write, inspired the creative writer in her and gave strength to flow against the current and explore new horizons. She wrote not only novels and stories but scripted for films, dramas and television serials. She searches the space for writing in her busy schedule. Sometimes she goes and stays in girls hostel for a month and sometimes when she is unable to find time or space of her own she ...

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