Beyond the Courtyard

Beyond the Courtyard

Product ID: 12349

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Author: Anees Jung
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 160
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670057770


A story comes to mind of a woman who came to the prophet, seeking a way out of her entrapped existence. He gave her a loaf of bread and a rose. And why these two, she dared to ask, to which he replied: Bread to give nourishment to your life and the rose to give it meaning. I was seeking that rose once more in the lives of India's young women…What has happened to the daughters of the women in whose lives I had discovered a resonance and a faith?

Nineteen years ago, Anees Jung embarked on a journey that resulted in the best-selling book Unveiling India, a poignant and revealing look at the women of India. In this sequel, she returns to investigate what, if anything, has altered for their daughters.

Have the changes in the social scene in the wake of liberalization, cable TV and a general opening up of society made any fundamental difference to their lives? Do they possess the resilience of their mothers, or is this a generation hovering between two worlds-unwilling to be fettered by tradition and yet lacking the courage to break free?

As before, she finds stories of suffering and fortitude, despair and hope: a young Rajput woman in Kutch defies the veil- and her husband's command-to take up a job; Ameena in Hyderabad, rescued form an ageing Arab sheikh in 1992 when barely twelve, is finally married off to another man more than twice her age; young mothers in Punjab are forced to kill their unborn daughters; a young prostitute in Mumbai fights drug addiction and hate, determined to live with dignity.

Journeying across forgotten landscapes, both human and geographic, Anees Jung paints yet another unforgettable and, at times, harrowing portrait of women in India at the dawn of the new millennium.


This is a remarkably interesting book on the women of India, with beautiful narratives and a grand overarching vision. Anees Jung has the wonderful gift of giving the reader an insight into the lives of deprived women across the country, and an understanding of their problems and adversities as well as their hopes and aspirations and their indomitable determination.
-Professor Amartya Sen