‘…Take the example of her story, Wild Pigeon, where the silent rebellion of the central character, Abida, against the adultery of her husband bestows on her a quiet dignity as well as a stature that breaks the conventional stereotypes of a submissive woman. Her silence, obstinacy and equipoise through the long painful aftermath of the discovery of her husband Majid’s extra-marital affair, leaves her in a dominant position compared to her cringing and repentant husband who craves for the past when they loved each other so passionately. He is finally reduced to the realisation that he is a ‘stupid, third class, deficient creature.’ In the face of overwhelming odds, she gains through her subversion of masculinity, thus establishing the basic fact that women in such despondent situations are really not dependent or vulnerable. The story of Abida and Majid exposes the deeply entrenched two-facedness and insincerity of a way of life that characterises our social behaviour.
‘Writing about the lives and deprivation of women, Ismat Chughtai’s collection of stories, novels and novellas as well as her essays have helped women to transform despair and apathy in the face of overwhelming social and gender inequality, into heroic rebellion and constructive transformation, thereby bringing a new way of considering the world and freeing it from the assumptions and social outlook that threaten the rightful position of women in our society…’
Do you have Writer’s Phobia?
It’s much worse than writer’s block
Two illustrations from a group discussion:
“I had deep scars about writing for years because of school (I would get a A for content and style and then my mark would drop to passing grade because of grammar and spelling, no matter how hard I worked, I just couldn’t get those right). At some point I even had panic attack just putting words on paper…”
“I, too, have scars from the ONE creative writing class I took in college for my degree. The professor not only hated everything I wrote, but used my writing week after week as an example to the class of how NOT to write. Eventually I confronted him about singling me out.
“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over it, and I think his words really stifle me today. And that was almost 15 years ago.”