A chronicle of the lives of five generations of women in the author s family, this fascinating story spans over a hundred years in its narrative sweep, from the late nineteenth century to the early years of the twenty-first. It mirrors and critiques the progress of a nation, its society and its women, seamlessly blending biography with social history. Sundar-ma, Bharati Ray s great-grandmother, was married into a conservative household at twelve. Self-educated, because formal education was out of her reach, she was an intelligent, deeply thoughtful woman who witnessed some of the most tumultuous times in India s history and actively participated in India s freedom struggle. Ushabala, the author s grandmother, was the proud wife of a college lecturer and a consummate home-maker, while Kalyani, Bharati Ray s Ma, was the first woman in the family to get a college degree, but gave up her studies and a career to raise her children. Ma is lovingly described as feisty and irrepressible, a keen traveller and always ready for adventure. Kalyani s academic successes heralded the author s own remarkable achievements, first as lecturer in Calcutta University, then as its first woman pro-vice-chancellor and later as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. Bharati Ray s daughters, Khuku and Tista, both extremely bright, lead busy, fulfilling lives as academics. Translated from the Bengali bestseller Ekaal Sekaal, this is a candid, personal and immensely readable account of five generations of remarkable women.
Biographies-Memoirs, Specific-Groups, Women,