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review 2016-08-05 03:51
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya

For this month's Indies Unlimited Reading Challenge, I'm reading a book from another culture than my own. I've chosen a book that I have been meaning to get around to reading for several years: Tell a Thousand Lies by Rasana Atreya.

The book is set in rural India, where a grandmother has taken on the task of raising three sisters: Malli, the eldest; and fraternal twins Lata and Pullamma. In this traditional village, the most a girl can hope for is a good marriage, and these girls have no dowry. But it's worse for Pullamma, as her skin is darker than the other girls', and she grows up hearing -- and internalizing the message -- that her future is hopeless. But then, a local strongman sees a political angle. He pays the village soothsayer to claim that Pullamma is a goddess reborn, and suddenly the girl is the center of a lot of unwanted attention. Eventually, she escapes -- but the corrupt politician still has his hooks in Pullamma and her family, and her life will be ruined many times over before she has an opportunity to triumph.

Atreya champions the rights of Indian women in this book. Pullamma's twin sister Lata wants nothing more than to get an education and become a doctor -- which her traditional grandmother considers to be madness. And too, the whole book is quite a send-up of the idea that women should only aspire to make a good match, and then be obedient wives -- nothing more than that.

My only quibble is that the plot gets quite melodramatic -- very much like a soap opera, with one horrible thing after another happening to Pullamma, her husband, and Lata. I've only seen one or two Bollywood movies, but the plot here is very much like one of those.

If you like Bollywood flicks, I'd highly recommend Tell a Thousand Lies.

Source: www.rursdayreads.com/2016/08/tell-thousand-lies-rasana-atreya.html
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review 2015-08-27 20:20
28 Years A Bachelor - Rasana Atreya

I really love this kind of books!, the ones that take me somewhere else completly different from what i know.
The book is about the inner issues a 28 year old man has about marriage, traditions,and family.

What I like the most is that he is a FEMISNIST!.He steps up for the women around his life, and defy a heavy patriarcal society, and those conservative traditions that brings injustice and unhappines for women, and leds to the married ones a rather repressive life.
Mostly and specially in the country side -It's very upsetting and sad that pretty much the value of a woman is how much money they can provide to the groom if they marry, and the ultimate realizatiion for a woman is to get marry and be a good wife. 
He also struggles,with deciding what environment is best for him, the city life or the relaxed life he left behind in the village where is grandaparents live when he started to pursue a better future- pressured by his parents.The relationship between the three of them was unstructured and it's the one that is deveoped the most, they were very alike to me but complemented well!

There are a lot of themes the book touches, like arranged marriages,the importance of money in these alliances,widows, what is expected for Indian girls and sons when it comes to parents,family life...all of this written smoothly, and so is the story.

The book and the story of Madhav allowed me to take a peek at a lot of indian costumes, which i really enjoyed, it was an every day life story, simple but full of things to be learned and inevitably makes you thhink. A good good read!

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review 2014-12-03 13:45
The Tenacity of Unworthy Old Traditions in Modern India: The Temple Is Not My Father by Rasana Atreya
The Temple Is Not My Father: A Story Set in India - Rasana Atreya,Sheila M Clark,Manoj Vijayan

It was the Indian author Rasana Atreya herself who offered me her novella The Temple Is Not My Father for review. Usually I refuse, but this time I accepted for reasons unknown even to myself. Probably it was meant to be. At any rate, it was a good decision since it’s an important work shedding light on women on the margins of society whom we tend to neglect or to even overlook deliberately. In addition it’s a well-written and interesting story from rural India.


The protagonists of The Temple Is Not My Father are a young Indian woman called Godavari and her eight-year-old daughter Sreeja. They live in a small village way-off Hyderabad which would make for a Bollywood idyll, if the two weren’t outcasts. When Godavari was eight years old her adored father dedicated her to Goddess Yellamma, but only when she reached puberty, the full scope of her father’s deal with the Temple became clear to her: he had made her a devdasi which in modern times has become a synonym for prostitute. Godavari was luckier than others. Her courageous mother stood by her side and eventually sacrificed her own life to provide for her daughter and grand-daughter, so they wouldn’t be at the mercy of men. One day the sisters Neeraja and Vanaja, fourteen and fifteen, break the isolation of Godavari and Sreeja. They have grown up in the USA and don’t care that the house is forbidden them. Their presence launches a series of events that will drive Godavari to give up Sreeja and to take life into her own hands trusting in her daughter’s well-being with the other family… alas things aren’t always the way you want to believe.


The Temple Is Not My Father is a touching story from Indian society that in many ways is modern in the Western style and at the same time remains deeply rooted in its old traditions although their meaning has in some cases been lost or perverted. Especially the situation of the majority of women seems to be lamentable, not least because of poverty combined with high birth rates and due to their still low status in the strongly patriarchal society. The cruel fate of the devdasi is only one example for the abuse of girls and women in the name of tradition. In fact, their existence hasn’t been entirely new to me, but it makes a difference if you just read or hear about them or if you are drawn into the tragic fate of one, be it through a true or a fictitious story. It’s the author’s merit to have put a spotlight on one of those women who use to suffer in the shadows of a male world.


Other works of the author are Tell A Thousand Lies, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award and included in Glam magazine’s list of Five Favourite Tales from India in June 2014, and Twenty-Eight Years A Bachelor.

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text 2013-11-10 15:05
up in giveaway section
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya

So this book is currently being offered in the giveaway section.  The author had sent me a copy to review a while ago.  I found it to be a very good book.  It is well worth entering the giveaway.

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review 2012-05-21 00:00
Tell A Thousand Lies
Tell a Thousand Lies - Rasana Atreya I had not yet come across a book of really high standards from a naive author. I congratulate Rasana to have come up with a story so touching, yet imaginative plot.

The story of the book rests in rural India where a girl child is said to be burdensome. Things become even harder when the family has no steady income, and no male to support them. Adversity brightens when they become a toy of orthotics, superstitions and, filthy politics. While the dark sky has tinkling stars, the family has the true supporter in their dark times.

The book is well classified into small, quick-read chapters. The language is simple. Although names, and few sentences are in Tamil (i guess!), still reader doesn't find any lacunae in the story. If asked, I would like to classify my review as -- Story - 3.5/5, Linguistics - 4.5/5, Reader's gripping - 4/5.

Looking forward to more work from Rasana Atreya.
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