Desire. The subject that often raise eyebrows. Especially when used as a topic in literary works. Don’t know why but people tend to believe literature can’t be based on that one thing. That forbidden lane everyone fear of walking from. And when someone walks through it, showing mirror, people tend to criticize like anything. Personally, I don’t think Erotica, works depicting desire, are bad. (and no, I haven’t read Gray series yet, but if I get some time, surely I am interested in that). Sreemoyee Piu Kundu’s second novel – Sita’s Curse, travels the same lane. Exploring sexuality, especially women’s sexuality.
Sita’s Curse – is about Meera. A village belle, beautiful, living in her dreamy world as all girls of her age are. Married of at age of nineteen, she finds herself trapped in a dead marriage and soulless relationship. Both, physically and mentally. How she go through her days pass bringing memories along with her. Searching answer for her desires. searching for soul-mate, trying, to get free.
What I liked in the book is how exquisitely detailing it has describing characters. Describing how beautiful Meera is. How the males around her, are so desirable. It is the first time for me , where one get a chance to peep in women’s mind, her intimate thoughts. What she actually is going through while struggling with daily chores. Its interesting how the story movies the timeline. From the times of late 70s when Amitabh Bachchan was a favorite of all, to the modern ones when Salman Khan is a heartthrob of all. From the times of telephones in neighborhood, to the times of dial up internet connection. Sreemoyee quite neatly weaves the things together. Add to that, description of Byculla’s chawls and even, the flooding tragedy – wonderfully written. And let me add some words about the erotica part – its steamy. Detailing each moves, not being vulgar, yet being hot, she pens down interesting encounters. That too, by the woman protagonist, now that is something I never have read before. Also, the part when Meera gets free, gets to hangout with 20 something kids and enjoys her life their way, is a nice surprise. Though somewhere that whole scenario reminded of the movie English Vinglish.
What got me confused (say disliked) was the constant mention of Kartik. (You will know who he is after reading the story). Yes, he is one important character, but how Meera sees him in everyone seems more fictional and unreal. Because anyone, in such long time, can move on without such trauma. This is me perhaps. Other thing that bugged me that at a few places, the erotic encounters seem repeated, monotonous. Not frequent, such parts are, and that’s good that it doesn’t hinder the overall story.
The cover actually took me by surprise. So well it is designed, I checked twice if it is printed in India itself. ;) The darkness is captured beautifully on cover photo. The printing is quite good too. Overall, if I were to summarize the book in a few words, it should be : Hot, engrossing & honest. Would recommend for those who like it hot. Read if you don’t get offended by that important part of your life.