A Calendar Too Crowded by Sagarika Chakraborty

I used to never read the introductions of any book unless I happen to read one by chance. And I must say, the introduction to this book sets the mood perfectly for the facts and semi-fictionalized tales  that will follow. The format chosen for the chapters is quie interesting as it highlights the days in each month marked for fairer sex and then portraying how the society is anything but fair to them.

Sagarika has a unique way of stating the obvious facts and events. And it is evident from the very first story of a born rebel and her questions throughout :

"I was lucky because I had met my husband and knew about his skills in bed much before I was married."

"Finding an Ideal Mother .." is a story which raises some valid questions on the set trends and thoughts of mothers across the nation. It made me realize how my mother would have felt not following such norms but working to make a better person out of me and my siblings.

"Witch with a broomstick " and "Barren yet ploughed" are the tales we hear often but do nothing further. Maybe we do  not know how and when such ideologies were formed , but do we even now think of the consequences on the victim ?

On similar lines is a letter from Paanchali - "An equal friendship". Love it when she says -

"The little that I have witnessed of thw ways of this world has convinced me that the notion of women's equality is the biggest misconception they live by here"

The words in italics are repeated over and over with detials of different scenarios. This repitition of key dialogues and sentences is done in each story and each of these sentences in themselves are the backbone and underlying message to each story.

It was heart  breaking to read of a raped girl and all the conversations that happened around her as she lies hurt and motionless on roadside. Have we really become so heartless and judgemental I am ashamed to ask .

My favorite story from the book is "the Homecoming" that talks of a lady coming face to face again with her boyfriend 28 years back and how the years with her husband finally give her an understanding of true love and belonging.

The book talks of females of different age , occupation and status in society , but the voices sound similar. The questions hurt and haunt, the compalints burn certain notions in your head, and yet each of the chapter brings you a better understanding of your self , your freedom and the price many others pay for it. The book also contains two poems , both of which I liked for the simplicity and style of presentation.

The book has been written with great understanding and sensitivity towards each character and situation.  A heart-touching book that I would cherish as much for the language as for the content. The books doesn't always fill you with sorrow at the turn of fate for these chanracters but more with hope and prayer that many more of us learn the importance of our position and stability in life. and may that be used to help others breath freely.

Ratings  : 4.5/5

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Arpita's Review for the same book.


  1. It sounds like a nice book, which covers a whole host of emotions that the women portrayed in this book have had to deal with.

  2. Great review Nimue,am glad you liked it as well :)

  3. reviewed with a lot of heart, appreciable work again from ur end


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