Book: Thicker Than Blood
Author: Munmun Ghosh
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Thicker than Blood is essentially a book about a typical Indian housewife’s struggle to experience the joys of motherhood. When everyone in cities is acutely aware of how many working women are intentionally delaying marriage and motherhood, this book comes as a whiff of fresh air. So women whose ultimate goal in life is to become a mother — a successful mother — still exist.
Munmun Ghosh’s story is about one such young woman, Mayuri Mehta, who feels her true calling is in being a doting mother. She is in her mid-20s and coaxes her reluctant husband into starting a family. However, nature is not so benevolent to Mayuri, who has to struggle through multiple doctor visits and tests because she cannot conceive naturally.
It just makes her life less difficult when she finds out that she and her husband both have minor biological shortcomings that are adding up to this problem. Women in India are aware of the torture they undergo when people blindly pin the blame on them alone — the bitter truth remains that they are considered baby-making machines.
Mayuri takes the help of technology, and baba, tantric, homeopath, alternative medicine, and almost everything under the sun that is suggested by her friends and relatives. Years pass on, and a now 30-year-old Mayuri seems to have accepted the fact that it will take a super human effort to get pregnant. Needless to say, it takes a toll on the husband-wife relationship as well.
The author has touched a subject that is increasingly becoming common among urban women. The complexities of life in a joint family, the predicament every bahu faces, the battle of sexes in which the wife is blamed for everything that goes wrong and the male ego refusing to acknowledge the fault in their stars has been beautifully brought out by Ghosh.
Full credit to her for writing a book about this turbulent phase in a woman’s life. It was long due. We can tell you the story in 25 minutes, but it would be rather enriching to read the 250 pages of this book filled with pure human emotions and love of motherhood.
A little more effort into the cover page would have helped. Overall, a good read to sensitise men and women about this issue.
The review was first published in Sakal Times, Pune edition, dated April 24, 2016.