Someone Else's Garden: A Novelby Dipika Rai
The eldest of seven children,born low-caste and female in rural India,Mamta is abused and rejected by a father whocan see no reason to “water someone else’s garden” until ahusband is found for her. Seeking escape in matrimony, Mamta beginsher wedded life with hope—but is soon forced to flee her village and thehorrors of her arranged marriage… See more details below
The eldest of seven children,born low-caste and female in rural India,Mamta is abused and rejected by a father whocan see no reason to “water someone else’s garden” until ahusband is found for her. Seeking escape in matrimony, Mamta beginsher wedded life with hope—but is soon forced to flee her village and thehorrors of her arranged marriage to the bustle of a small city. Saved from becomingone of the nameless and faceless millions of rejected humanity by thesalvation of sublime love, Mamta struggles to find a precarious state ofacceptance and make peace with her past.
Powerfully affecting and uplifting, set against a vivid and colorful backgroundof Eastern life, Dipika Rai’s Someone Else’s Garden transcends geographicaldivides and cultural chasms to brilliantly expose the commonalityof the human condition, compelling us to seek answerswithin ourselves to humanity’s eternalquestions: Is life random?Do we have a destiny?
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In the rural part of India where family tradition is strictly observed, Mamta is sold by her family in marriage. Soon afterward, her depraved husband sells her kidney to pay for his hookers. When that money runs out he plans to sell her other kidney. Mamta learns of his deadly plan so she flees. With no place else to go she returns home where her father and brother help her escape to another part of India. Mamta finds employment and sends money home, but her mother considers her dead for leaving her husband as that is an unacceptable breach of custom and religion. Her brother-in-law Lokend arrives trying to win a public office election, but a worker of his rival severely batters him. Mamta nurses Lokend back to health. They fall in love before returning together to their village. This is not an easy read as Dipika Rai displays a dark gruesomeness in rural India. Not only are female rights ignored as Mamta is sold into marriage and her kidneys and other organs owned by her spouse, but her mother and son-on-law accept that as a husband's right. A late spin to bring some hope into the gloomy plot feels like an unneeded Americanized addition to an otherwise strong grim look at the ugly side of humanity. Timely with today's headlines as the House of Representatives Republicans and nine Democrats who voted against the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010 would change their vote if they read Someone Else's Garden. Harriet Klausner