The Last Suttee
Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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“You must come at once if you want to stop the suttee from happening again.” A phone call summons Kumud Kuthiyala back to Neela Nagar, the town of her youth that she had vowed never to return and the shackled life she thought she had left behind forever.
As a nine-year-old, Kumud witnesses the brutal and horrifying suttee ritual when her beloved aunt immolates herself on the burning pyre of her dead husband. Years later, Kumud summons the courage to escape the isolated and primitive blue town to start a new life in Ambayu, a metropolitan city. She begins as an office help at Save Girls Soul Orphanage Center and progresses to become its director. At SGSO center she becomes warrior for women’s education and equal rights. She teaches young women to protect themselves from outmoded practices and rituals that victimize women.
The phone call informs Kumud that a suttee of a sixteen-year-old is inevitable. She has vowed that she will never let it happen again. Still haunted by her aunt’s suttee, she leaves everything behind, including her love, Shekhar Roy, to end the barbaric custom that scarred her for life, and to save the young bride from committing suttee.
As Kumud travels back to the town of her youth, long-buried memories resurface and force her to remember the life from which she fled. The town that greets her is full of contradictions. It has electricity and clean water and a new school is about to open to girls and low castes yet superstition and prejudice abound. How can she convince the town that their centuries-old tradition is cruel and barbaric, that a widowed young woman deserves the right to live? Can she change the minds of the townspeople and the Five Elders before it’s too late?
- Category: Fiction & Literature
- Published: Aug 17, 2017
- Publisher: Madhu Bazaz Wangu
- Seller: Smashwords, Inc.
- Print Length: 317 Pages
- Language: English