In the Shadow and Light of History
Neelakshi Singh
GANDHI AUR SARALADEVI CHAUDHRANI: BARAH ADHYAY by Alka Saraogi Vani Prakashan, Delhi, 2023, 216 pp., ₹299.00
May 2023, volume 47, No 5

Sarala boarded the train from Ahmedabad. Her body seemed to burn. As if she was in the grips of a fever. She craned her neck to the sills of the window, to breath in a little fresher air. She perhaps went to sleep without intending to. When her eyes opened, her neck was stiff. Half of her face blackened by fine particles of coal flying from the rail engine looked at her from her hand held mirror. She shrank to the core. What if someone saw her like this, what would they make of it?’

Who would have seen her? And what would they have seen? There are so many eyes that are always present in Sarala’s mind to watch her, especially to decode the secret places of her mind. But it is the magic of the novelist’s pen that by looking at the other’s view, Sarala actually learns to see herself, and also to look at the whole of sky…

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