Saturday, March 22, 2014

Red Skies & Falling Stars by Diti Sen

What is it about?
As personal stories go, this one is filled with nostalgia of a privileged life in an urban Bengali family of the 1960s, with a house in Calcutta and holiday home in Bihar, with servants and care-takers aplenty. When the oldest daughter, Amu, runs away from home to join the Naxal Movement, the parents are heartbroken. Rumi, the youngest daughter and the primary narrator grows up unforgiving of Amu‘s deed for the way it alters personal equations within the family.
Who is it by?
Diti Sen is a freelance writer and has written a book for children, called The Two Friends.
Why should I read it?
Read the book, not for its literary merit or the story itself, but for its portrayal, albeit brief, of what the Naxal Movement of the 1960s and 1970s came to mean, not only for the Naxalites, their families, and the tribals that the Movement sought to emancipate, but also as a foundation for the more recent rise in Maoist activity.

An edited version of the article was published in Culturama's December 2012 Issue.

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