Readings by Jahnavi Barua , Shinie Antony and Samhita Arni sparked off vociferous discussions

As part of their tenth-year celebrations and to celebrate Women's Day early, an evening with three women authors from the city — Jahnavi Barua , Shinie Antony and Samhita Arni — was held at EasyLib in Koramangala.

“Jahnavi Barua's book ‘Rebirth' has been shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Asia 2012,” announced Vanishree Mahesh, founder of the library. “Shinie Antony is a renowned short story writer who has come out with a new novel this year, ‘When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied', and Samhita Arni's ‘Sita's Ramayana' was listed for two weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List for Graphic Novels.”

Vandana Pandit, the MC, welcomed a packed library full of enthusiastic readers including homemakers, IT professionals, and students, who had their various takes on the protagonists.

Talking about her graphic novel, Samhita said she found her muse and inspiration for Sita's voice from traditional rural women. They sing songs about Sita as they work in the fields and live difficult lives where they are abused and face physical violence. Sita gives them strength in their hour of need. The concept of Sita being tested also appeals to the modern city woman, who juggles several roles in her everyday life. The discussion threw up the point that, when it comes to stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, whoever tells you the story first colours your imagination.

Mother's monologue

Jahnavi read out the first chapter of her book and described her story as a mother's monologue addressed to the unborn child she is carrying. Jahnavi is originally from Assam, but many parts of her book feature Bangalore and parts of Richmond Town, where she lived. When questioned about her protagonist being the demure, perfect wife in relation to women who juggle both career and home and are not handmaidens to their husbands, Jahnavi said women today have not come to a place where they will forsake everything for a career.

Shinie said her book “When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied” dealt mostly with closure in relationships. It is difficult for those who do not want the closure. As Jahnavi said, under Shinie's racy style many serious issues are revealed. A short story writer as well, Shinie feels she is intense while writing her short stories, so her novels are written with a wry and causal humour that is unconventional. An animated discussion followed each author's reading and sharing. In fact, there were loud requests that endings should not be given away, especially by those keen on borrowing the book. To check out EasyLib log on to: http://www.easylib.com/