Published by Vishwakarma Publications, Sesh Damerla’s Darpan: Indian Women in Transition, is a collection of short stories that reflect the myriad faces of Indian women.
Over the years, the Indian society has undergone quite a transition and amid all this change, women too have been prompted to fit into and balance diverse roles—such as that at home and in the workplace. Although, a conventional Indian woman is perceived to be the cornerstone, caretaker and the ‘be all and end all’ of the family, today’s woman has evolved to carve out her own identity in the ever-competitive man’s world. Teacher, trainer, feminist and social worker, Sesh Damerla’s, recently launched debut book, titled Darpan: Indian Women in Transition, is a compilation of short stories, each of which convey the different lives that women lead while managing to emerge successful no matter how daunting the situation.
The choices that women of this generation are making today, were not even thought about or entertained by the women of the earlier generations.
“Darpan: Indian Women in Transition delves deep into the predicaments that women go through. The essence that reverberates in each and every story is sincere and will compel the readers to believe that there is more to a woman than what meets the eye,” says Damerla. She further adds, “Women have been evolving over the years. The choices that women of this generation are making today, were not even thought about or entertained by the women of the earlier generations. While we cannot demarcate these change—as success and failures for they can be assessed only individually–this generation is definitely much stronger; they focus on what they want and go ahead and achieve them.”
The debutante writer chose to come up with a collection of short stories instead of a typical novel, as her first book. ” I wanted to test the waters first. (Writing) short stories is the best way of doing that. Although I took a year to write the book, it took me further five years to go back and forth on it,” says Damerla, who intended to name her collection of short stories ‘Pratiksha’ (to wait), but later changed it to Darpan: Indian Women in Transition (reflection), for it ‘reflects’ the inner transforming personalities of both men and women in this ever changing times.
Damerla adds that the book is an excellent mix of reality and fiction, and she has chosen to give some stories an open ending in order to leave a lingering thought in the minds of the readers and propel them to delve deeper and deeper into the stories. “Although the underlying basis of Darpan: Indian Women in Transition are derived from reality, there is definitely a certain bit of hypothesis involved in them. I would say it is in a 60:40 ratio—60 being reality driven and the remaining 40 being a subject of creativity and imagination,” she says.
Although the underlying basis of the book are derived from reality, there is definitely a certain bit of hypothesis involved in them.
Damerla makes it a point to acknowledge her husband, DVR Rao, for the support he gave her throughout her writing endeavour. “If it hadn’t been for his support, I wouldn’t have been able to complete this book. We used to have constructive arguments over how the stories would pan out but throughout the process, he was very encouraging. Even if I would get an idea late at night while sleeping, I would wake him up and share it with him and he would push me to pen it down immediately,” she shares.
All the proceeds received from the sale of Darpan: Indian Women in Transition will go towards the treatment of breast and cervical cancer patients through an NGO Care India Foundation.