Unbothered, Moisturised, Flourishing
Prasanthi and I, after we conducted a fiction workshop for Writing the City, July 2019.
It was only about five years ago that I was sitting in libraries and cafes with Prasanthi Ram, both of us creative writing postgraduate students working on our respective theses of short stories. I knew back then that Prasanthi’s early drafts of stories would eventually be out in the world and would find homes on the internet and on people’s shelves. I did not know then though, that I would have the privilege of being the editor who would journey with the characters of Nine Yard Sarees, watch them grow on the page, and witness up close how my luminous friend would build an epic narrative arc across 11 short stories.
The first story Prasanthi let me read was “Before the Rooster Calls”. Through its transformations over the years, this is still my favourite story and it never fails to make me cry. It is a story about the cycle of grief and tribulation that is often borne by women living under patriarchal systems, but what I love about all of Prasanthi’s heroines is that they always find hope and resilience in the darkest places. I am deeply moved by the strength of a protagonist’s will to live differently, how a simple act of tenderness can be a radical act of resistance.
Nine Yard Sarees is a family drama that examines what it means to carve a life for yourself outside of societal pressures while staying true to your roots and who you are. It is about solidarity and sisterhood, intergenerational wounds and breaking free from painful cycles. And most importantly, it is about women who I like to think are unbothered, moisturised, happy, in their own lane, focused, flourishing. Just the kind of woman Prasanthi is, and the kind of woman I want to be.
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