Fractured Psyche
Anidrita Saikia
WHERE MAYFLIES LIVE FOREVER by Anupama Mohan Picador India, 2022, 240 pp., INR 599
September 2023, volume 47, No 9

How does one read rape? For many of us, it reaches us through a few words, condensed into a headline splashed across the news, or bound into a statistic, erasing the gravity of the crime. It is chartered along the site of the victim’s body, which is usually female, and defined through violence, assault, and brutality. News clippings and reports narrate stories of rape starting with the victim’s body and ending with the legal recourse of the perpetrator, who more often than not, escapes punitive justice.  Yet, what are the afterlives of rape, especially violent and public cases of rape, and how does the victim come to terms with reality? In Where Mayflies Live Forever, Anupama Mohan disrupts the statistical nature of rape and explores the layered and deeply personal nature of how a heinous crime tears down any semblance of normalcy.

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