Till Death Do Us Part

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Author: Vasanth KannabiranWP_20160324_16_39_38_Pro
Pages: 100
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: Rs 250
978-93-5045-120-5 (9789350451205)

About the Author:
Vasanth Kannabiran graduated in English Literature from Presidency College, Madras, and she taught English to undergraduates for twenty years. She has been an active member of the women’s movement in India, speaking and writing about women’s concerns, and has played a significant role in introducing feminist issues to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Kannabiran has been a consultant for the Central Government of India for evaluations and policy making, bilateral and multilateral agencies, and has prepared studies on gender and human rights, gender and poverty and gender training. She has worked closely with the Women’s Program of the Asian South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education and the National Alliance of Women. A founding member of Asmita Resource Centre for Women, she has co-edited and co-authored publications like Mahilavaranam, De-Eroticizing Assault and E-Kalam. Her most recent publications are A Grief to Bury: Memories of Love, Work and Loss and Minor Key and Other Poems, also published by WRITERS WORKSHOP, India, in 2015. Kannabiran was nominated from India among 1000 women for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.


“Rina sat on the step, hugging her knees. Resting her chin on her knees, she looked out onto the street. It was hot and the dust rose every time one of the boys on the street cycled past. She envied them the freedom with which they rushed off yelling after each other.  Her stomach was tight with anticipation.  Her cell phone would ring any moment now.  Her whole day hung on this moment.  She would wake up after a restless night,  wash her face and start helping her mother filling water, washing the rice and cutting up vegetables before she hurried off to bathe and get ready for school.  Peering into the dimly-lit  mirror she would twist a curl onto her forehead, apply her kajal expertly, adjust her uniform and then swallow her morning meal with difficulty. She didn’t want to eat. She was sick with excitement. Picking up her tiffin box and school bag she would rush off to school. As she got off the bus and turned into the school lane, he would rush past on a TVS, slowing down as he passed her. He would turn and look piercingly into her eyes and her stomach would go into a flutter of excitement. One day he stopped for a moment and gave her a scrap of paper with a number. Giving her an electric smile he sped off. Quickly before her friends could notice she slipped the paper into her bag. The whole day she kept opening the paper hidden in her book till she knew the number by heart. She kept humming through the evening till her mother frowned at her and asked what had gotten into her head. Her mother had given her a cell phone for her birthday. All her friends had one and it was not too expensive. Her mother was mostly kind to her except when she was tired or her brother misbehaved. Her father had died of cancer when she was five.

One day she got to a quiet corner and dialed the number on the slip of paper. Her heart was beating loudly as it rang. The caller tune was her favourite. Soon she heard a “Hullo”. She had never heard his voice before but the gruff, breaking voice scraped her heart telling her it was him.”

[Extract taken from “A Lost Cell Phone”]

Hunger / 9
Till Death Do Us Part / 15
The Hairdresser / 23
Ceremony / 32
A Game of Chess / 38
The Betrayal of Age / 44
A Campaign like Any Other / 48
A Public Grief / 52
Puja Flowers / 56
The Belt / 60
A Diminishing Dignity / 64
A Lost Cell Phone / 69
The Three Lives / 74

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