ON OCTOBER 16, 8 PM EST, Raksha, Inc will host a Book Spotlight & Author Dialogue event in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Veena Rao’s debut novel, ‘Purple Lotus’ covers so many intersectional themes in a contemporary setting – ranging from cultural conditioning to relationship power dynamics, while painting a vivid picture of the protagonist’s journey toward self-discovery.
Kiran Bhat, author, polyglot traveller will moderate the session. Joining information will be shared soon on the main event page on Raksha’s Facebook page. Link: https://fb.me/e/7kpptxaLa
An overview of Purple Lotus:
Purple Lotus by Veena Roa is an inspiring novel that follows a woman’s journey to self-awareness. This novel emphasizes how important it is to fight stigmas associated with domestic abuse, marriage, and remarriage within the South Asian communities.
Purple Lotus tells a story about a young woman, Tara, who is in an abusive marriage and she tries her best to stay within the marriage. Tara’s family believes in the rich Indian traditions so they insist on her to make her marriage work. In the beginning, Tara gives in to her family’s pressure, but soon after she realizes that she cannot be with her husband any longer.
Tara finally moves on from her abusive relationship and tries to rebuild her life. She remarries her childhood love but there is a fear of getting shunned by her community. Ultimately, Tara realizes that she has to face her fears to save her relationship and confront the victim-shaming culture that she grew up in.
Veena Roa does a phenomenal job of bringing this literature to life. The empowerment and individualism demonstrated in Tara are absolutely intelligent. This novel not only talks about the sigmas within Indian marriages but Roa also touches on issues such as mental illness, dowries, interfaith relationships, inter-caste/inter-community relationships, and more.
More books that discuss issues on domestic violence within South Asian culture by South Asian authors:
Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy
Climbing The Broken Stairs, A Memoir by Frieda Annette Adkins
Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah
Be sure to follow the event page on Facebook and Instagram #rakshapurplelotus for the event tonight! Do send us your questions or thoughts on what you’d like the authors to discuss!
Quotes from Purple Lotus (p 299- 302):
- “I walked out of an abusive, loveless marriage.”
- “ When I landed in America, the land of dreams, I already felt like a zero, my sense of self-worth crushed by my own people.”
- “Forcing people to get back together does not magically breed love. My ex and I both knew that. There was nothing to bind us together: not love, not affection, not shared interests, not shared dreams.”
- “Then something magical happened to me. One day, five years into a meaningless, miserable marriage, I realized that I deserve better. When I walked out into the unknown, strangely, I wasn’t dying. My spirit was only then finding rebirth. My life in the months that followed was filled with the love and kindness of friends, which was driven by my own courage. I was finally a person with dreams, desires, and many reasons to live. I had finally taken control of my life. Sadly, this basic right is denied to many of us.”’
- “I was expected to exist for society. I chose to live. I take heart in the knowledge that the monsters around me do not sully me, because the names they have for me are not the names I give myself ”
- “ I fear censure, for it is but a form of rejection. I have feared rejection all my life. And yet, I had to tell my version of my story, for this is not my story alone. It is the story of countless other women like me”