Dance to My Tunes by Tanvi Sinha
Book Title: Dance to My Tunes
Author: Tanvi Sinha
Genre: A collection of Short Stories
Publisher: Cyscoprime Publishers
Length: 221 pages
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“Women have been fooled by fairy tales and Bollywood for a very long time. It is time to rewrite the stories. We are no longer the hero’s love interest. Neither do we believe in happily ever after. We do not wish to dance to anybody else’s tunes. We choose our path. We make mistakes. We learn from them. We love. We lose. We age. We evolve.”- The preface itself sets the tone of the book. It’s so vibrant and eloquent in its approach by breaking the myth and exhibiting the truth, the truth that shatters the mirage of brittle dolls arranged in a glass cage to fulfil the interest of patriarchal pageantry.
It’s my habit to write a book review of whatever book I read if it punches me at my thought. I want to store my feelings associated with the book in my language. Every book infuses new experiences and new perceptions within me. It shows me different ways of presentation as well as enriches my thought.
Today I wish to share a blissful purgation of my thought as a result of my proximity with a book that inculcates its messages on every page. It is a short story collection “Dance to My Tunes” by Tanvi Sinha. Every story is succinct and punchy in its way of presentation and language formation. There is no braggadocio of verbose or storm of farfetched feverish emotion. They touch the heart with their direct appeal to basic human feelings and emotions that circulates under the variable social scenario.
Ramya of The Antithesis, Jyotsna of Just Another Day, and Reva in Must you Finish your Rotten Tea, all are effigies of real-life women with whom we can feel attached. They make me cry, smile, sad, dumb, and desperate in a way that I can identify myself with every one of them. All the traits of a short story are blended exclusively- the tension, the open ending, the collision of suspense and repost, and the dialogue, all are just perfect. They are not the propaganda of feminism they speak for the female voice. As Ramya realized when her son smacked her daughter-in-law,
” She remembered to instil a feminist streak in her daughter, but she forgot to delete the inherent chauvinistic mentality embedded in the psyche of her son, possibly the curse of the Indian man. But the imbalance that has been created is far more disastrous. She has inflicted another antiquated, chauvinist with a skewed sense of masculinity in the already wretched society in the form of her son.”
Through Ramya we can feel the devastating disparity of our society, “The anxious nights that she spent worrying about Jiya returning home safe from clubbing, Rehan hung out with friends leeching at women’s legs and cleavage, judging them for their clothes, calling them sluts. While she taught a 9-year-old Jiya to fight for her rights and to voice her opinion and speak up, she forgot to teach an 11-year-old Rehan to accept women’s opinions. That he should not scream at a woman. She is another human, an equal with choices, and not his slave. While she praised her son-in-law among relatives and friends as ideal for helping out her daughter in the kitchen, she failed to notice that her working daughter-in-law struggled to find support as she returned home every night, exhausted mentally and physically, only to hear Rehan scream at her for not eating his food and offering it to him on his couch.” If it is possible I wish to quote all the lines in my review they are boosted with veracity.
Every female character has her voice as Jyoti speaks out to her husband who can do nothing except play badminton and complain to his mom about his wife and anticipate her to be a perfect beauty after all her outdoor drudgery and single-handed household chores, “Live a damn day in my life! Do the chores that I do. Manage housework in the office! Listen to the taunts of an interfering and controlling mother-in-law! Come home to an unattractive husband! Yes, the feeling is mutual! If you get judged the way we do, you would not be able to survive!”
Ananti discarding the perfect woman tag proudly wears the flawed badge with pride most to the discomfort of her husband and mother-in-law.
Ashish, in I Never Promised to Marry You, gets ditched by his would-be wife whom he chooses after much speculation “a young, innocent, pretty traditional small-town girl” whom he can bend and mould as per his wish. He dates another woman, a divorcee, with a little girl but throws her away when he plans to marry. He gets his lesson. Every story revolves around a unique plot.
Chanda an elderly woman of 59 years changes herself when she realizes her daughters-in-law and sons are avoiding her just because of her old attitude and histrionic attitude.
Even women figures sparkle out in the macabre stories, such as Kavya in the murder case of D.M.Amarkanth ( Because It Was Real), as well as Saira with her myriads of clashing emotions after the murder of her 36 years IT Techie husband.
Vanshika’s voice is suppressed by her family as she is a lesbian and later she is married to a man that turns into utter futility. Al last she acknowledges her identity with her friend’s help.
There are such emotional and moral stories whose appeals are universal, like Once Upon a Love Story, Not by Blood and Two Mothers- One lesson.
Unique Style And Captivating Storytelling:
Tanvi Sinha with her independent style reminds me of Shashi Despande. I feel that no other short stories turmoil my passion in such a way that these do after Shashi Despande. The characters are so lively that I can feel them, touch them, can fancy their dialogues on my lips. Their fuming rage, their frustrations, their challenge, and their mishaps all are mine also. How can it be impossible for a reader, when the writer strikes her brush so valiantly without any hesitation or mawkishness? Every story is unique, in its clear-cut message and attitude. They are so powerful; I think how I should appreciate the owner of them.
Every story is worth re-reading, and saving in the sd card of memory for long as each of them heralds divergent voices and messages.
We have to change our attitude to bring up the next generation with the same principles and attitudes, whether man or woman the moral division of right or wrong will not fluctuate. As Mr. Sharma speaks out “Do you know why generation after generation men are getting away with this behaviour? Because women are tolerating it. They are to be blamed equally, and their parents too!” And Reva who was dithering on her divorce from her husband finally acknowledges, “ …even if there was no more tea, it is better to not drink anything than the force that horrible garbage down my throat! Not worth it!”
In chorus with the authors’ voice:
“These are stories of women. Different women. For we cannot and should not stereotype women. These stories are of relationships. These stories touch upon social issues. These stories may inspire you. These stories make you feel like you are not alone. These stories may surprise you. These stories may entertain you. I hope everybody would be able to pick something they like.” What the author dawned in her preface proves its worth with the completion of the book surmounted by further introspection of readers.
This book has inspired me a lot as a reader and lover of short stories. I read the book on Kindle Unlimited. But I wish to buy it and keep it as a treasure trove on my bookshelf.
Hi, I’m Munmun here and welcome to my book blog. I’m an English Teacher. But more than that I love to read books and write down my thoughts. I feel we can change the world by circulating the introspections of great columnists throughout the world. You are free to contact me at email@example.com.