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When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy (Book Review- Day 11)

And this was the book I was reading at my workplace! I simply couldn’t part with this until I was done with the book.

STORYLINE

This is a story about a young writer who found herself stuck in an abusive marriage. The physical and mental torture wasn’t enough that she was also a victim to marital rape! The story is about how she faced it all and lived through the darkness, without giving up on hope until she raised from her own ashes like a phoenix bird and sored towards her sunrise!

The writing style of this book is very different from what I have usually read. The words were deeper than the story itself. There was this part in the book where Meena, the Protagonist, is thinking about what to cook for her husband (or the monster) while it rains outside. She speaks about the raindrops pattering on her windows and the thoughts that run through her mind. God, I can’t put it in words, that part of the book is so captivating. She speaks exactly like how a caged bird would, if it could!

Abusive relationship is one of those subtle monsters of the society that nobody cares to address. If you were foolish enough to fall into that relationship, then you deserve to face the consequences as well, right? WRONG! We are mere humans and humans make mistakes. No one deserves to face so much of physical, mental and emotional torture just because they made a mistake in their judgment! But all is well that ends well. She somehow escapes out of this abusive relationship and now doing well. So cheers to her strength and perseverance.

Excerpts from the book

“Let me tell you something that goes against popular wisdom. Love is not blind; it just looks in the wrong places.”

Meena Kandasamy

“Hope – as the cliché goes – is the last thing to disappear. I sometimes wish it had abandoned me first, with no farewell note or goodbye hug, and forced me to act.”

Meena Kandasamy

“Men are insecure about beauty. They will want to hide it in you, and then, they will take their crippled minds to town and eye-fuck every girl they see.”

Meena Kandasamy

This book was so damn relatable for me for three reasons.

  1. The narrator, Meena is a Tamilian and so am I. The whole of India is crippled by its so called culture and traditions. It is all about the society and what people would think of us. The worst of such societal tortures is faced by Tamilians. The Male chauvinism and misogyny is simply too high over here compared to rest of India (Except maybe in Bihar side!)
  2. The narrator’s parents and how they reacted to her plight. Especially her father! Well, I don’t know if my father would ever ask me to stick it out if I told him that I am being physically abused. But it also goes on to prove that, even parents need proof. “I am going through mental abuse in my marriage!” is simply not a good enough reason. Do you have any proof to show? Like a black eye, a broken nose or a twisted arm, then we can discuss about it!
  3. I have lived in Mangalore and loved this small town for all the reasons that the narrator hated it for! This coastal town is an absolute beauty and the best part of my entire childhood. But I also could relate with her point of view.

Lesson– Writing can be this mesmerizing, I didn’t know it before! I felt her love, I felt her pain, I felt her hope, I felt her agony and I felt her freedom. I actually felt it all.

Buy your copy of this book-

When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife

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