Monday, June 1, 2009


Madhavikutti's writings tormented me. They crossed all boundaries. The Women: they wanted "something" that men did not know of. The husband went on reading books, not talking to his wife, just leading a normal, sincere, monotonous life, but the wife, loving and respecting her husband, but with a heart full of love and wanting to be loved back, crossed the boundary, finding a lover for herself. About some girl who didnt want to study and instead wanted to be married off. About extra-marital relations. About love, about sex, about complications and contradictions of life. About the "Feminine", different from the "Masculine". Half way down the short story book, I called myself a callous pig, fell into depression, and locked the book in a suitcase, never to be read again!

The world is not black and white to be compartmentalized easily, it is much more complicated. If it is art that should reflect this complexity, Madhavikutti was a quintessential artist. But what made her stand apart even more is her courage. She was complicated, and she wrote what she felt. Her language reflected this. She did not hesitate when they contradicted with popular ideas and ideals: conservative or progressive. She created storms, and was blacklisted alike by people who read Tolstoy and Marx and those who had never read a book in their entire lives. Because they could not stand the truth, and/or because she was a woman. She is dead now. And I realize, reading her did not corrupt me; and though they never made me happy, they made me a little better person.

I wrote here what I felt about what little I've read of her. Now I want to read again, and read more, of her.