A Word Thrice Uttered: Stories on Life's Realities Paperback – 12 September 2017
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About the Author
In the current volume she has widened her canvas and made it more colorful, with characters from Lucknow and its adjoining towns and villages, playing vibrant roles on a stage shifting through time and space, portraying the rich history of the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. In this book her stories open many unknown pages of history and bring back forgotten memories of folklore, of not only Lucknow but the whole of Awadh. With the bygone era, the present times also come alive.
Parveen Talha belongs to an old family of Awadh. After retiring from the Civil Services as Director General of Customs she was Member of the Union Public Service Commission for five years. She lives now in Lucknow and spends time writing about her beloved city. Parveen Talha is involved with social service which includes working for animal rights. In the year 2000 she was given the President Award for Specially Distinguished Record of Service. In 2014, she was honoured with the Padma Shri for her contribution to the Civil Services.
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- Publisher : Niyogi Books; First edition (12 September 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9385285874
- ISBN-13 : 978-9385285875
- Item Weight : 220 g
- Dimensions : 24 x 18 x 1 cm
- Country of Origin : India
- Best Sellers Rank: #330,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Author bought tears to my eyes when she talked about ‘Gangaji Is Not Far, Bappa…’ .Is a story about a poor boy who wants to complete his Dadiji’s last wish.There are some love stories like ‘A String of Bela Flowers ‘ and ‘The Magic Wand ‘. There is a story about real meaning of sacrifice in ‘ Real Sacrifice ‘.
And there are stories about women that how they have to face bad rituals and so called society of hypocrites in ‘Centipede ‘ and ‘ Virginity Lost ….So What ‘and the title story ‘ A Word Thrice Uttered ‘ which is about Triple Talaq” is a form of divorce practiced in India, whereby a Muslim man can legally divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq three times .
I really liked this book. These lively stories are real, filled with emotions, lessons and are heart touching. As I proceed with the book, I loved each story more than the earlier. Every story has something to tell. It is a very light read but filled with meaning. I would recommend everyone to read this book.
The theme may seem very run-of-the-mill at first glance, but trust me the stories come as a wave of fresh air and leave you invigorated. The best part is that they are short, crisp, fast-paced but not vague or mundane. One can read a couple of stories every day and it will give them enough food for thought. Parveen’s fine writing skills make up for the lack of character appearance details. The setting and the narration are enough to create an image so vivid, it could take hundreds of lines otherwise.
Centred Around Women Characters:
Most of these stories have strong women characters. They may be meek to begin with but they do not give up in the face of unpleasant circumstances. Rather, they pick themselves up and develop into independent personalities who are ready to face any problem for their loved ones, even death. Even in stories with supernatural elements, like ‘A string of Bela Flowers’ and ‘Where Did the Delicacies Come From?’, one can explain the unnatural by claiming them to be a doing of the love and determination of these women.
The story titled ‘Centipede’ compares the life of women from different generations. It is a humorous anecdote of how the changes manifest themselves in form of changing ceremonies and traditions. From when they had no say in their own discomforts, the women today plan each and every detail of their wedding day and participate and enjoy as per their own desires and comforts. Women today are no longer tied down because they had a failed love affair or are not a virgin before marriage.
One other theme I found in many stories was that of being kind to the poor and needy. They portray how providence always treats you in a befitting manner. It can destroy you like the Chaudhary or in ‘Trail and Punishment’ or reward you like it did for ‘Amma’ in ‘Where Did the Delicacies Come From?’
While ‘Real Sacrifice’ uses child innocence to voice concern against Animal Cruelty, ‘Gangaji is Not Far, Bappa’ and ‘Trial and Punishment’ touch upon the subject of child labor. It is not unusual to see young kids working to support their families but these stories insist upon the importance of helping these kids. Once educated and trained, these can carve a better life for themselves and their families than their parents.
Unlike many cultures, the life of individuals in India is well knit with their family. Parveen Talha has brought for us in these stories the nuances of living this way. While Kausar is forsaken by her own husband and other blood relatives in ‘A Word Thrice Uttered’, in ‘Panditayin’, a foster mother gives her best to raise a son and fulfill a promise made to his dying mother. In ‘Amma! Come back’, a young child pines for his mother and his mother’s helplessness which forces her to stay away from him.
In ‘Sona and Tiger’, the love of a family surpasses the border of species. It is not just about the humans who love and keep their pets with utmost care, I fell in love with the affection shared by a cow and a dog as if they were a mother-son duo.
I think all type of readers will love this anthology. True to its title, it will bring you face to face with life’s true realities but I hope will also give you the courage to stand up to them and face them head-on.
The author belongs to the beautiful city of Lucknow, and most of the stories are set in Lucknow. This book includes 16 stories each discovers different emotions.
‘Thanks for ditching me’ is a story of an ambitious girl, who fell in love and already start weaving dreams with her love. But the boy betrays her leaving her in trauma. But she chose to go ahead in life and after many years she faces that boy.
‘Rustam’ and ‘Sona and Tiger’ are the heart touching stories depicting emotion of animals. Rustam, a horse has to part from his owner due to partition and he longs to meet them every day. The new family is very good to him but he is not happy with them. The end of this story is unbelievable. Sona, a cow, and Tiger, a dog shares mother and son’s relationship. Tiger is overprotective towards Sona and one day they parted for forever.
‘Amma! Come back…’ and ‘Panditayin’ are stories of mothers, who sacrificed a lot in her life just for their children. However, it doesn’t matter if the child is their own or the adopted one.
‘A String of Bela flowers’ is an innocent love story which didn’t reach to its destination. However, nature makes certain amendments to reunite the true lovers.
‘Centipede’ is a story where the two generation has been shown. In past, Asiya has to be in purdah for her Manjha ceremony and after many years when she attended modern Manjha ceremony she immediately remembered a story of shy bride and centipede.
‘A word thrice uttered’ shows story of a devastated woman who has to suffer in her whole life from the hands of her husband. At last, those three words set her free from his clutches.
‘Gangaji is not far, Bappa…’ is a lovely story where a poor boy wants to give his grandmother a grand funeral at the bank of sacred Ganga river.
‘Let me have a love affair’ is a story of a married boy who wanted to feel the Bollywood romance in his life and for this, he plays with emotions of a girl.
‘Trial and punishment’ is a story of child trafficking, where the culprit gets punishment in the most severe form.
‘Where did the delicacies come from?’ is a story of a woman whose belief in Allah magically helped to feed her hungry children.
‘Virginity lost…so what’ is a story which is a need of the time. The taboo of virginity still looms on the heads of Indian girls.
‘The magic wands’ is a story of an unsaid feeling which makes two stranger friends forever.
‘Real sacrifice’ tells what is a real sacrifice?
The last story, ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’ is a story of a gentleman who wanted to honestly do his business. In this story, the author has covered many dark aspects which are killing our society.
I am a huge fan of short stories and this book totally won my heart. This book covers human nature, characters, and emotions. With this, the author has focused on the animal emotion which makes it totally worthy to read. The book is designed with utmost care and I simply loved inside design. The stories are set in the pre-independence to post-independence. I have never read a book set in the Lucknow but this book is making me pick another book set in the Lucknow. If you want to read something worthy, beautiful in the shortest time, then do not miss this book.