Volga's Reunion Short Story

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Re-visioning of Sita in Ambai’s “Forest”, “Direction”, and Volga’s “Reunion” According to Adrienne Rich, “Re-vision- is the act of looking back with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction.”(18)Ambai’s “Forest” and Volga’s “Reunion” show the epics from the perspective of Sita.The stories re-conceptualize and re-envision Sita’s life. The stories emphasize Sita’s claim to her denied space. In the journey of her exile, she attempts to create a voice for herself. The paper attempts to analyze the fresh dimensions added to Sita’s life within the context of the short stories. The motif of journey and writing becomes a means of self-expression and self-assertion. The act of re-writing befits resistance. In Ambai’s “Forest”,…show more content…
The stories narrate the encounter of Sita with Shurpanakha, Ahalya, Renuka, and Urmila. Each of these characters gives an insight into their life that changes Sita’s perception of her own exile and quest for identity. Though in the authoritative telling of Ramayanam, Shurpanakha and Sita are portrayed as opposites, Volga’s “Reunion” shows an imagined encounter between these two characters in friendly terms, who realize that their plight in life is not different from the other’s, “No man loves her. The one who loved me distanced me. Are both the tales same at the end?” (93).Sita’s contemplations reveal both the characters as victims of history. The wars fought use women as a ploy, it almost seems like they are the cause of war and the battle is fought for them, but rare insights are given into what they feel. “Rama humiliated Shurpanakha and Ravana avenged the humiliation by abducting me… Are women there only for men to settle…show more content…
The protagonist in “Direction”is infuriated by the subordinate position forced upon Lakshmi. She uses her story as an expression of anger and as a means to give voice to Sita, who is also an avatar of Lakshmi. The character interchanges the role of Sita and Lakshmi, underliningthe similar patterns of patriarchy working through the legends. Sita defies the concept of ‘dharma’ in war by stating, “They called him rakshasa. Were those who abandoned a pregnant woman on the shores of the Jamuna to be described as humans then?”(Ambai 126)Her justice of war is different from the justice of Ram or Ravanan. The political enters the personal, and writing becomes a political act.As Adrienne Rich suggests, politics of women’s writing is not ‘out there’ but ‘in here’ and it is the essence and experience of female condition (24).Sita’s experience shows her standpoint of war. In “Forest”, Chenthiru through the process of re-writing Sita’s history exercise an agency to define her own selfhood. Sita on the other hand asserts her experience of history through the “Sita’s ayanam”. The creator, Chenthiru, gives the power to her subject to write her own history. Rich says that for women the act of re-visioning is “more than a search for identity: it is part of her refusal of the self-destructiveness of male-dominated society.”(18) The very act of writing is a call for

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