Journeys–Physical, Mental, Geographical
Jennifer Monteiro
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT HER by Krupa Ge Context, an imprint of Westland Publications, 2021, 190 pp., 499.00
September 2021, volume 45, No 9

Krupa Ge’s debut novel is about making journeys. The journey of unravelling the truth, the journey is in time too, from the past to the present and back, especially through the letters written by the protagonist—Yamuna’s grandmother to her grandfather. It is a journey even in terms of geography, particularly between the two cities which have their own character in the novel—Chennai and Banaras. She depicts the journey of the struggles of the women of her house belonging to three generations, and the significance of the ancestral home. Consequently, it also becomes a journey of the self.

The ancestral house in Chengalpet, which Yamuna loves, lives in and desires to possess, depicts the struggles of the women, their stories of repression and  survival. Ge depicts women also as agents of patriarchy and in doing so, they inevitably betray the sisterhood that weaves all women together. For instance, Subbu—Yamuna’s grandmother decided to write to Lalitha’s tormenting husband because she thought she had ruined her by taking her away from her house and family but later kept wondering, ‘Did I send my sister, yet again, into the inferno, knowingly?’ (p. 166).

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