Author – Freny Manecksha
Rating – 5/5 stars
Number of Pages – 184
Publisher – Rupa Publications
‘Behold, I Shine’ showcase the struggle of women and children of Valley of Kashmir. The book is an attempt to give a voice to the forgotten struggle of half of the population; women and their equal contribution in bringing the peace in the valley. The book also brings to focus on the childhood of the Kashmiri children bound to confined in four walls and grow in between gunfire and curfews and seeing a security force check-post on every corner.
The book narrates some of the incidents which shaken the valley and still fresh in the mind of the people. They are still trying to cope with the life and move on with the days. There are stories of once an ordinary homemaker who have taken on the judiciary in the name of justice and now fighting for other women having a similar story.
The women once confined to the four walls of the house and considered bad if she dares to raise a voice are bound to visit the Police Stations in search of her missing son, husband, and father. They are not educated enough because they were never considered as a bread earner but circumstances made them take odd jobs to support their families and give a better future to their children in spite of taking rounds of visits to trace missing family members and bring justice to their unreasonable and unjustified killing.
The stories of these women are not of grief and pain, they are stories of their struggle to get the right to live in peace which they are entitled to. The stories of these women need to be told which the author did very meticulously and must reach to the people.
I congratulate the author for painstakingly bringing the real stories of Kashmiri women after years of visiting, talking, listening and researching and sometimes get herself in trouble to get the stories out of the land of Kashmir. ‘Behold, I Shine’ celebrates the mighty spirit of the Valley.
Freny Manecksha is an independent journalist, published in Himal Southasian and The Times of India: Crest Edition, among other publications, who has reported extensively from Kashmir, covering human rights and development issues. She has also worked with The times of India and The Indian Express. Freny lives in Mumbai.
You can reach to her at Twitter@Evilsickularist
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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’