A Tribute to Lost Voices
Semeen Ali
STILLBORN SEASON: A Novel by Radhika Oberoi Speaking Tiger, 2019, 204 pp., Rs.350
January 2020, volume 44, No 1

‘The spirit of blind revenge coalesced with the lure of brigandage and vast stretches of the country gave the impression of a community slaughter house set aside for human species.’

An excerpt from an article published in the Economic and Political Weekly, November 3, 1984 sums up the aftermath when the Prime Minister was shot dead on October 31, 1984. As someone who was born just a day before this happened, I have no memories of the monstrosities that unfolded for days to come.

Radhika Oberoi opens up that closed box of horrors in her book Stillborn Season for people like me to understand the level of pain that one went through across the capital in those days. The cover photo of the book speaks volumes, an Ambassador taxi in flames with a sky tinged with hues of red. The black smoke that fills the book cover makes its way inside the pages in the form of incidents that concentrate on Delhi in this book. It is 1984 once again.

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