A Word Thrice Uttered

Publisher: Niyogi Books
Author: Parveen Talha
Year of Publication: 2017

What was the word that was thrice uttered?

In the recent set of events and the judgement which was passed, the horrendous practice was declared unconstitutional by the court of law.

‘Triple Talaq’ an Islamic practice which gave a married man right to divorce his wife by uttering the word ‘Talaq’ thrice.

The book by a similar title A Word Thrice Uttered becomes topical in light of the judgement which was passed. The stories try to explain different situations in different regional contexts which makes a woman weak and vulnerable, when she is under imposed religion and an expectation whirlpool.

The story by similar title in this anthology depicts how the word which was once feared, became the reason for ultimate release. Was it for good or bad is not the question, the question is why does the authority rests in the male figure, at times poked by an alter ego female figure!

What is intriguing about the book is that rigidity, customs and bondage have spread across religions and cultures. What is worth thinking is in which setting are you reading it!

A lot of stories as I read through, gave me an image of an urban set up where the rural old and odd practices are prevalent in current time, making it a suffocating space for the protagonist to survive.

The story Thanks for Ditching Me  is one such narrative which shares an emotion which is going to remain universal whether the time is past, present or future. The protagonist evolves as an individual and becomes strengthened, much more than what the insult had caused her.

“A modern married woman doesn’t change her name. She has a right to her own name.”

Other stories in the anthology like Virginity Lost … So What, Trial and Punishment  and  Panditayin  are some of the short stories which have larger meanings.

In totality, the anthology is a great way of understanding different psyches, processes and pains of being and achieving what has been denied.