Judgement

As the sentient species of this world and conceivers of the idea of religion and culture, we are united more by similarities than alienated by differences. Almost all cultures from all around the globe have this idea of a fiery pit where sinners are flailed and purified of their vices. With variety of torture and range of punishments the evil beings here are presented with what they deserve. The atheists, realists, all the practical thinkers who deny this hell and heaven bullshit are almost certain that this nothing more than a gag concocted by the so called virtuous to scare the Heathen’s miserable and to keep the society stable. The judgement day is a hoax created to soothe the good Samaritans and nag the hustlers of society. The mighty are invincible in the world of living and so they remain after their demise. But what if God actually made a sin bin and souls are recyclable goods. Now folks lean back on your sofa and listen carefully to this modern lore of hell and its inhabitants.

The tale opens with an ashen sky and chilly weather which in an unlikely manner compliments the aimless journey of an unfulfilling life. Unfulfilling lives that often take solace in hedonistic acts to fill their neural cavities faux delight. Our protagonist or antagonist depending on what point of view the audience fancy is named Kevin and is the unsatisfied owner of a buzzing club in a posh area. The club fetches Kevin more than enough currency to live a stellar life but Kevin in his hedonistic pursuit looks for those underhand income sources. His secondary income is obtained by being a purveyor of illegal narcs to adults and pretending to be adults alike. But there is no honour among thieves, Kevin has tried to get his extra earnings by swindling multiple suppliers which has often resulted in him being the lynch pin to start turf wars. Everyone has their comeuppance served sometime or other, in one such attempt to swindle multiple parties, Kevin annoyed someone so much that he ended with three bullets in his body. Profusely bleeding in the dirt of his parking lot, Kevin could barely lift a finger and all he could focus was on endless and excruciating pain. Fading to eternal obsidian, Kevin opened his eyes in an enclosed surrounding with a dim source of light. Sitting face to face with a thin old man with spectacles on his face. Kevin was part terrified and parts perplexed, the old man wearing a vintage spectacle and what seemed like an old suit was the source of his terror but why he sure was pale and unsettling but not frightening. somehow Kevin gathered his wits and asked for a glass of water in his raspy voice. The old man replied your mortal needs are no longer required to be fulfilled. You shall be presented with what you’ve sown all your life son. Kevin was able to figure out where he was and without a change of expression accepted what old man  was about to present. In his unsettling voice the frail elderly gentlemen started with Kevin’s complete name , his address , occupation. Then he started counting Kevin’s sins and with each declaration a whip from out of nowhere stung Kevin right on his back. Every detail the old man presented Kevin equated to another whip. After completion the old man said to a petrified Kevin, some deeds that you’ve committed are appreciated here, all those innocent souls you tainted with poison you sell up there, we applaud your efforts to boost our economy. We now have an intresting proposition for you Kevin what would you accept an eternity of torture here and now or being back to earth and rectify your deeds. A tense looking kevin pleaded  to be taken back and  assured to live his life the right way. A coughing Kevin then woke up from post-surgery trauma in a hospital room. After that what Kevin made of his life depended on his free will.             

Why Should You Go For Vulnerability Assessment?

Flaws and potential risks have been a major factor in determining the productivity as well as the performance of the system. While several risks seem to be difficult to be identified, it is not so. Vulnerability Assessments are specially created for organizations that prioritize guarded systems and simultaneously look forward to methods to eliminate the issues.

19% of flaws are present in the web applications itself

Considering this, a vulnerability assessment is the first step to ensure a secure workflow. Irrespective of the type of establishment, you must go for security enhancement services to achieve a dynamic yet productive system.

What Is Vulnerability Assessment?

Vulnerabilities in any kind of system are considered critical and if not paid any heed, over time these can incur drastic changes in the infrastructure. Vulnerability assessment deals with conducting analysis and identifying the shortfalls in the system, followed by remediation techniques. The process is nowadays fully automated to maintain the standards of Quality Assurance. 

Various assessments in recent years show that 87% of the vulnerabilities are present in application code only. Neglecting such a flawed system can cost you a lot more than just money. 

The impact of cyber issues is prominent and inevitable, but with timely vulnerability assessments, you can get across better ways to mitigate the network and infrastructure issues.

Benefits Of Vulnerability Assessment

Vulnerability Assessment is a common yet powerful method that helps enterprises to identify the potential threats in their systems. With mountains of data, it goes unsaid that organizations must conduct such assessments to detect the potential risks. Below are some of the, but not limited to benefits of getting a productive vulnerability assessment for enhanced performance. 

  • Real-Time Problem Analysis

Communication is the key, even when you are dealing with machines. Each system has its own vulnerabilities and by successfully decoding the functioning, you can eliminate the flaws. Vulnerability assessments have always proved to be fruitful when it comes to rectifying the issues associated with cloud computing and other system-related services. It deals with real-time problems and suggests the required measures for the same. 

  • Inventoried Records

Vulnerability assessments provide an accessible record of previous security checks, making the system a lot more organized. Inventoried reports are a great way to look out for the previous issues and opt for customized mitigation strategies to put the system into best use. 

Conclusion

Web applications and cloud computing need vulnerability assessments to establish a secure environment. It is always advised to go for Vulnerability Assessments from a legitimate source. 

Be sure to conduct these security checks timely, especially if you are managing mountains of data. For more technical updates, watch this space!

LGBTQ+ – Societies’ integral part

We have always heard love stories like that of Romeo and Juliet,
Cleopatra and Mark Antony or Heer and Ranjha but are you familiar
with the love story of Elio and Oliver or Bram Greenfeld and Simon
Spier? Maybe you are, maybe you are not. The major difference between
the couples mentioned prior to these latter ones is that we have been
very well aware about Romeo and Juliet’s love story for a really long
time but it’s just recently that we got to know about Elio and Oliver’s.
Elio and Oliver are a Gay couple who’s story has been written by Andre
Aciman in a novel form named ‘Call me by your name’. A lot of folks
out there might find it cringy, hearing about a Gay couples love story,
just seeing them being in love per se, despite the fact that we are living
in the 21
st century, which is my opinion is preposterous.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer. Yes, over the past
decade, LGBTQ+ people have gained a lot of tolerance and acceptance
in India, especially in the big cities. But do you think tolerance is an apt
word for somebody as human as us?
People in the LGBTQ+ community are fighting for equal rights and
acceptance. They always have this fear of judgment and discrimination
which they might receive from their families specially in a country like
that of ours, India. In India ‘homosexuality’ is still considered somewhat
a shame. Discrimination still is there in a lot of parts of our country
where the LGBTQ+ people often face rejection from their own family
and are forced opposite-sex marriage. If this is not cruelty? I don’t know what is.
Our prejudice makes us believe that LGBTQ+ people are odd and very
different from the heterosexual group. Today, homosexuality is accepted
in India in a way that it never was accepted, but still it is a constant
struggle for those whose family consider being born as a homosexual is
a sin.
This mindset of the people especially if they are of our family gives us a
feeling of insecurity which eventually makes us feel vulnerable to such
an extent that we think maybe not coming out as who we are to the
world is the right thing to do.
What we tend to forget is, they are as human as us. And being a human,
loving people of the same sex is not a sin. I too have had a greater
realization of this thing once I joined my college, which is a girls one. I
see Lesbian couples around me and being a heterosexual I never felt
weird or thought them having any less status than ours. Love does not
see religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth of a person. Love is love.
And the world would really be a greater place to live if every individual
realized this thing.
Love is pure, love is kind. If hetrosexual men and women have the right
to live in the society with dignity and pride, then so do the people of
LGBTQ+ community. We have to stop using God to justify our
prejudice. It’s not what our religion says, it’s about what humanity says.
We have to be a little upfront about who we really are. Openness may
not completely disarm prejudice but it’s a good place to start. Never
apologise for who you love. Never.

Night Owl Diner

It’s the usual night in the city, dogs howling and whimpering because of cold, hunger, maybe loneliness, who knows maybe boredom. Cruising across these lonely streets was a beat cop, driving his issued station wagon. The night was cold and still, anyone and everyone who had a roof was deep in slumber. For the officer, it was his usual shift, along with his usual sorrows. An ageing career that hardly saw any peaks of success followed by a weak pension, not enough for his medical bills. The wagon passed by stores, closed at the midnight hours, these joints bustling with run of the mill consumers shelling bucks right, left and centre at anything advertised. Officer liked it old school, bucks for needs and dreams for wants. At this point, the officer felt the need for a cup of warm coffee. He remembered a nice cosy late-night diner on his route. He liked diners, they were as old school as it gets. He had never been to this diner for as long as he could remember. By the time, he processed this information, his wagon stood in front of the diner. The old rusty board read “Night Owl Diner”, written in bright red colour with a little owl painted next to it. The board had been through many rains, it was tough to distinguish between the rust and paint. He pushed the door ajar, to enter the place. As he stepped into the diner, the wafting fragrance of coffee and tear-jerking nostalgia hit him. He politely greeted the owner, who stood behind a vintage metallic counter, wrapped in a white apron. The owner asked him,” What can I get you, officer”. The officer replied,” A nice cup of Coffee”. The owner asked, ” would you fancy something accompanying your coffee, perhaps some sweet confectionary item”. The officer thought for a moment and said, ” Add two doughnuts with the coffee”. The owner replied very well and turned towards the retro coffee maker. Officer glanced all around him and saw the pleasant antiquated decor. The decor, complete with a row of bar stools, adjacent to the rexine padded parlour sofa seats facing each other. As he turned towards his server, a smoking cup of coffee along with two chocolate-dipped doughnuts lay in his wait. He did like the look of his meal even though he knew cops get mocked for having doughnuts, he did appreciate the high on sugar and cholesterol dessert once in a while. While having these satisfying edibles, he stroked a conversation with the owner. Carefully wiping the corners of his mouth he asked,” How’s the business going?”. The owner replied briefly,” It’s going mild, I used to have a stampede back in the day”. The officer further asked in a casual way, ” you must have seen quite a few first dates right here, lads and missiles, all prim and prom trying to woo each other”. The owner said,” Sure”, while the Officer continued,” You see I met my missus in one such fine diner, 23 years back”. The owner spoke in reply, ” I’m sure some couples can claim the same for my joint”, while the officer nodded in acceptance. After taking another sip and a bite, the officer asked, ” the black and white photos on the wall, did the Hollywood folk actually dined at your establishment?” The owner proudly replied,” Back in the heyday, every one of them came here after the shoots”. The owner now inquired, ” you solving some case at this hour, inspector”. Officer answered with slight hesitation,” pal, beat cops don’t catch criminals, we catch colds and misery”. The officer sat slouching, enjoying a warm mug and chocolate-coated loaf, he turned his head around and something irked him. He saw a big wooden door, varnished black as the devil itself. The door did not match the joints appearance, it felt jarring and incoherent with the nostalgic tone. He asked the owner, ” Pal, whys there this ugly door here”. The owner said,” Nothing officer, just the restroom”. The officer frowned and said,” Is it open, I’d like to use the restroom”. The owner swiftly brushed the question aside, “It’s clogged and jammed, officer”. Officer got irritated and said, ” Pal, open the door, I’ll see for myself what’s in there and maybe do you a favour by plumbing it”. The owner answered back, ” office, would you be kind enough to unlock it yourself while I wash the plates here”. Officer mumbled sure and picked the keys, the owner placed on the counter. The officer stood, turned and marched towards the door, carelessly. A loud crack was heard and a shotgun shell had entered officer’s skull, obliterating its backside completely open. The owner stood behind the counter with a shotgun smoking just like a hot cup of coffee. He pressed a button just below his side of the counter and two men dressed in black came out of the hideous, almost ominous door and dragged the corpse inside. While the owner moved towards the bloody mess with a mop and bucket. Now what was behind the door, my guess is as good as anyone else. Drug den, the lair of evil, exquisite yet illegal club or the inferno hell itself, nobody knows. Just as this happened, dogs outside the diner were howling and whimpering, because of cold, hunger, maybe loneliness, who knows maybe they had witnessed something.

To touch is to give Life

“Nothing eases suffering like human touch.”

-Shivangi Kumar 

It’s not uncommon that a lot of humans have never been hugged their whole life, or barely remember when was the last time that somebody hugged them or held their hands when they were feeling gloomy or lonely. Of course during infancy we all have been hugged, kissed and had numerous physical contacts by our loved ones. But what about today? 

A pat on the back, a caress of the arm, a hug or a kiss on the forehead by our parents, siblings, or partners-these are some important gestures that we usually take for granted. 

From the time we are in the womb of our mother to our elderly years, touch plays a primary role in our development of physical and mental well-being.

In recent years psychological studies tells us that touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health. Physical contact inspires positive thinking and expands trust. Physical contact increases the Oxytocin and the Dopamine level, Oxytocin known as the “feel good” hormone, helps us to maintain an optimistic outlook and Dopamine is known to regulate the feeling of pleasure in our brain which is good to counter the feelings of anxiety. Twenty seconds of affection in the form of physical touch by our loved ones (hugging, back rubs, gentle stroking) is enough to trigger the release of oxytocin. Is enough to make somebody smile. Is enough to make somebody feel wanted. 

“A human touch is explosive. It’s so warm that it melts away everything, including our ego” says author Uday Mukerji. But what if one person can’t touch the other? The one who they love unconditionally? 

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine but most importantly, it affects lungs. It  causes many complications with breathing, and coughing up a substance called mucus, which is like a regular happening for people who suffer from CF. As sad as it may sound it is a life threatening disease with a very less life expectancy. Patients with CF have to be kept apart from one another, in order to lower the risk of cross infection. From the book by authors and screenwriter Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis now on which a movie has been made called ‘Five feet apart’ gives us a vivid description of how important human touch is, and how we should not neglect it or take it for granted. Five Feet Apart  is basically a story of two teenagers. Stella spends most of her time in the hospital as a Cystic Fibrosis patient, living a life full of routine. Being a patient of such a disease she still tries her best and fulfils her bucket list, tries living her life to the fullest. Will, another patient comes along, who is also suffering from the same disease. Their first encounter was not a perfect one, It was not love at first sight, but opposites do attract, right? As time goes by and they eventually begin to understand each other, they realise they like each other and gradually start falling in love.

Tragically they cannot be like every couple out there, Will and Stella can never kiss, hug or even hold hands, they cannot touch one another considering that they both are CF patients, the fear of hurting one another by their own bacteria was always there. Will not even in his dreams want to hurt Stella so he thinks drifting apart maybe is the plausible thing to do despite the fact that they’re so much in love, but Stella does not want to give up just yet, so they make this five feet apart rule so that they could be together. Yes, a hospital is one of the most unexpected places where one could find romance and fall in love with the other person, but at the end Love is Love. Stella shed  his “I don’t care” attitude and teaches Will how to enjoy every little moment in life. This book/movie spreads awareness about cystic fibrosis and the people that have it. It shows that this disease does not define them as a person and there is so much more about them to know and understand. 

“Human touch. Our first form of communication. Safety, security, comfort, all in the gentle caress of a finger.  Or the brush of lips on a soft cheek. It connects us when we’re happy, bolsters us in time of fear, excites us in times of passion and love. We need that touch from the one we love, almost as much as we need air to breathe. But I never understood the importance of touch. His touch. Until I couldn’t have it”. Says Stella. 

After an incident where Stellas’ life was at the stake, Will realises how important she really is to him. He realises that despite the fact that they are so much in love, for each other’s good they are better off without one another, with which Stella, with a heavy heart agrees. Because we all know love requires sacrifice too. 

Five feet apart is more than just a love story between two teenagers, Stella and Will. It teaches us a lot of beautiful things. It teaches us how important it is to live. Why to always worry about the what-ifs? ‘If I am going to die, I’d like to actually live first’. It teaches us how love can conquer everything but at the same time it teaches us that love requires sacrifice. And last but not the least it teaches us how important human touch is. That human touch should not be disregarded. 

So go live your life to the fullest, do things that you always wanted to do. Put a tick mark while you succeed in doing things that you mentioned in your bucket list. Go give a hug to your mom, your dad or even your sibling. Kiss your little brother or sister’s forehead, remind them how much you love them. And of course do fall in love, spread love. Because, you always gain by giving Love.

DIABETES

By – Dr Jyotsana Anand Suri

Diabetes , Types , Symptoms , Risk factors , Prevention , Treatment

High blood sugar in the body in simple terms is called Diabetes. When the body doesn’t use the hormone insulin properly, it causes an increase in sugar level.Following simple rules can prevent both Diabetes . Engage in Physical exercise on day to day basis, Maintain a healthy weight, Indulge yourself in a low carbohydrate rich fiber diet, Consume more fruits and vegetables rich diet, Avoid processed food rich in artificial sugar and salt, Avoid alcohol and smoking .

TYPES

Type 1 diabetes also called Diabetes Insipidus occurs mostly in young children, teenagers but can be seen in adults too. In this type of diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin at all.

Type 2 Diabetes also called Diabetes Mellitus occurs when the body doesn’t use the insulin produced. It can be seen among children, young age group people, and older adults too.

Pre-diabetes in this the sugar level going slightly higher than can lead to Diabetes. However by reducing weight if obese and changing lifestyle at this stage one can prevent the development of diabetes.

SYMPTOMS

Though in the early stage of diabetes you may or may not experience symptoms it may start damaging various organs of the body including eyes, kidneys, heart.

  • Hunger increased more than normal
  • Thirst increases more than normal
  • More visits to the bathroom due to frequent urination
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Delayed healing of bruises, ulcers
  • Tingling sensation in hands and feet
  • Frequent infections including skin, gums

RISK FACTORS

Obesity – Overweight is the most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight you must take extra care of yourself by regular checkup of sugar readings.

Family history – It is the second most important factor if diabetes runs into your family history than you are at a higher risk of developing it at an early or later age.

Pregnancy – A kind of diabetes called Gestational Diabetes occurs only during pregnancy and gets away after pregnancy. But women should always take care to prevent themselves from getting gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

Lifestyle – Improper lifestyle like inadequate high-calorie diet, excessive alcohol misuse, Tobacco, or smoking habits increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

No physical activity – Sedentary lifestyle with no exercise can double the risk of type 2 diabetes especially in obese.

PREVENTION

Diabetes can be prevented at the pre-diabetic stage only but for that, you need to talk to your doctor for exact guidance.

Regular exercise is important to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of diabetes. Try to exercise for at least 20-25 minutes for at least 5 days a week.

Diet rich in cholesterol, fat, carbohydrates increases the risk of diabetes. So you must always try to have a healthy diet rich in fiber, low salt, low fat, and sugar.

You must get your HbA1C checked every 3 months and should have a glucometer at home to monitor your sugar levels.

TREATMENT

Diabetes control by eating right, exercising, maintain a healthy weight, and if required medication is an ideal way to have the best control.

Diet – Low carbohydrate diet by looking at the portion size is important. Diet should include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. You must avoid alcohol, smoking as much as possible.

Exercise – Regular exercise maintains blood sugar in the best way. You must always try to indulge in exercise for at least 6 days a week. Brisk walking for at least 30 minutes is highly beneficial. Exercise is good for the heart, bones, and good overall health of the body.

Control Obesity – Obese people are more at risk of diabetes so maintaining a healthy weight is important to control the risk of diabetes.

Medication – If your diabetes is not controlled by the above ways you must always talk to your doctor and start with oral medication according to the prescription given by the doctor. Oral medication work mostly in type 2 diabetes only. For Type 1 diabetes your doctor may prescribe you Insulin injections according to requirement.

LIVING WITH DIABETES

Once you are diabetic you can live a normal life then also by having well-controlled diabetes. If blood glucose levels are not controlled on time it can lead to organ damage and serious health issues. The longer the blood glucose levels are not controlled more damage it can cause.

On a final note, I would like to add keeping the blood sugar levels at ideal can prevent the various health problems diabetes can cause.

The ‘Work From Home’ Culture- From Being a Fad to the Need of the Hour

The Work From Home culture has gained a lot of momentum lately. With just a few types of equipment, an internet connection, and a quiet room, you are all set to work from your home. 

The idea of working from the comfort of your home is something that we long for. If we go by the study conducted by Economic Times, Indians spend at least 7% of their day commuting only. Eradicating the need for commuting in public transports or private vehicle, we have established ourself into this culture quite efficiently. But is it the right culture? Let’s see!

  1. Boosts Productivity

Several reports show that WFH boosts your productivity. When you are working under low pressure and on your own terms, you are more likely to enjoy the work. A report by Poverty Action Lab mentions that remote workers made 13% more calls than in-house employees, thereby increasing the engagement. 

Besides, you have steady emotional support from your family or closed ones, making it a lot better option than working as an in-house professional. 

  1. Supports Good Mental Health

Did I tell you about taking timely breaks to help you increase your working speed and efficiency? Yes, this is indeed the case! Timely breaks go under better mental health. 

When you are scheduling work for the following day, never forget to include mini-breaks. Such breaks are essential to keep you going. You can even resort to applications like TimeOut, Pomodoro, Break Timer, etc which reminds you to take breaks accordingly. Just set a reminder and you are good to go!

  1. Better Networking

Not going to the office doesn’t mean you have to stay in the shell. Get yourself a day free and set up an engagement session with your colleagues where you all can e-meet and share your lives. On weekdays, it is equally important to make small talk but make sure you are not invading their privacy. 

Building up a network has always been a part of the corporate world, and WFH culture should not hamper this process. Remote catch-ups always help you take one step forward and build emotional connections. And never underestimate the power of an emotional bond. 

Many Works From Home tools and software are nowadays available to get detailed reports and analysis of your performance. This includes not only the number of hours you worked but also how productive you have been on a particular day. Apart from the regular remote monitoring system incorporated by your firm, you can also send these reports to your boss/manager to making their work easy. 

Work From Home is a suitable option for all those who believe in being organized. Life has always been more than merely working and earning. While money keeps your soul together, it is the art and creativity that keeps you going. Work From Home culture promotes spending some time with yourself and discovering your inner self. If we go by the trend, it is very likely that by 2050s most of the firms would have employees work from home 4 days a week. 

So get yourself ready for the much-awaited healthy culture! Watch this space for more!

Being alone

I’m reminded again of how it feels to be alone. Even though I consider myself to be fairly introverted, feelings of loneliness can be quite overwhelming for me. I suspect it’s largely a biological behavior. Some kind of a feedback loop to keep me from venturing off too far from loved ones.

I had forgotten what this was like for a few months. It’s a painfully sharp feeling and quite depressing. Contact with friends and family doesn’t seem to quench it for me, it seems only a romantic interest takes it away. And not necessarily intimacy, but having such a person around in close proximity seems to make this feeling go away. More than a few hours of an absense and the feeling comes back.

It’s very strange to me. Even though I know I’m okay alone and not in peril, something in my brain tells me that things are very wrong. Perhaps it’s a loyalty gene in some indirect way.

I thought this was worth writing about in case you felt the same way. I think it can be alienating to feel this way and think no one else goes through quite the same thing. Being alone feels miserable, even though I think it shouldn’t be miserable. 

Lying Through Eyes

Lying through sad eyes
Manipulation it’s easy
Smiling through sad eyes
Your surface fades away
The smile doesn’t stay, society runs
Peering through the curtains
Tap, Tap , Tap on the window pane
Emotions cascading through
A storm of deception, description
The rain will come.
Observing the world through tired eyes
Resistance is weakness
The windows open
The rain pours in
Am I drowning?
Gasping for air or simply gasping for attention
Contradiction,the downpour turns to dust
The windows shut.
Closing these eyes that aren’t mine
The rain is now outside
Dripping down my window pain
Yearning for sunshine
The curtains closed
I only hear the Tap, Tap , Tap

A Saga Of Partitioned Women

Book review-difficult daughters.
“The tradition that refuses to entertain doubt, or remains impervious to new thoughts and ideas, becomes a prison rather than a sustaining life force.”

Some books are friends, others teachers. This one came as a life-changing experience.

The hauntingly beautiful portrayal of women’s anguish and sufferings in the pre-independence period has left my thinking revitalized.
Amritsar born Manju Kapur is an Indian novelist, whose first novel, “Difficult Daughters” had won the 1999 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, best first book, Europe and South Asia. She has studied M.A from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada (in 1972) and an M. Phil from Delhi University. Now, she teaches English at Delhi University under the name Manjul Kapur Dalmia.

Difficult Daughters is about educating daughters, who, after they learn to think for themselves, begin questioning the basic values and hypocrisy of the society. The story moves between the demands of modernity and set traditions. The novel is set in an straight, high-minded, middle-class Punjabi family in the outset of 1930s and ’40s during partition. It throws light on the conservatism prevailing in Amritsar. The climax is centered around Virmati, who seeks something beyond wedlock.

The tale starts with narrator, Ida, traveling back to her hometown to get answers of her mother, Virmati’s past that have been nagging her ever since her mother’s death.  From friends and family she finds that Virmati was the eldest of eleven children,  born to a respectable family in Amritsar.
She had no meaning to her life except taking care of her siblings ,untill a charming , charismatic and respected professor (Harish) moves in as a tenant with wife and a daughter and starts teaching in Virmati’s college.

It was rather beautiful; the way Harish put her insecurities to sleep ,the way he looked into her eyes and starved all the fears and metamorphosed Virmati from a lifeless robot to a visionary and independent woman. Virmati finally married professor against the will of her family.

She soon finds herself abandoned and boycotted by her own family and living as a second isolated wife in Harish’s home. She becomes conscious of the fact that she has wasted all her education and flair.
She realizes that going against her mother was not worth it, and fate soon puts her in her mother’s shoes when Ida marries someone without asking for Virmati’s consent.


The title , ‘Difficult Daughters’ has a hidden question mark in it if you ask me, which makes me apprehend that was it really the daughters that were difficult or was it the society that choked her aspirations everyday and made her the bearer of patriarchal constraints and expectations for coming generation of daughters.

Manju Kapur, truly tries to convey how far we have come as a society and how far we still have to go. She sets up Strum und Drang of events that eventually lead to a bitter-sweet ending.

This story really promises to remain engraved in your memory for a long time!

On the other hand I felt the frustration of being forced to observe siblings, to mother them once you never had the selection.

Choice is something many people take for granted.

Disobedient Daughters could alright be the title, and when our main character Virmati falls crazy with a temptation (married man) you recognize it’s getting to go sour.


For many readers with the liberty to stupidly love where we chose, and blaze a trail anywhere we please it’s often hard to imagine the suppression of the self. I find with this novel, the treasure isn’t so much in love as it is in the struggle to chose your own way.

Tradition are often a gorgeous thing, but it also can murder the soul. It’s not just in Indian culture that ladies were kept from furthering their learning (I will note that today, often Indian families I even have known in America push their daughters to be educated) if you check out history women were often seen because the weaker sex and ‘not clever enough to learn’.

It’s hard to imagine it had been ‘shocking’ when a lady wanted to further her education in comparison today’s standards. Then again, maybe not. Women still have trails to blaze… I could feel the hearth during this novel, the hearth for more.


Virmati’s mother’s life is confining to her, a life where the aim is to please one’s spouse and family. Her mother knew that within the end, it had been only necessary to marry and forget one’s own desires.

Virmati wanted escape and freedom and in fact , her own daughter Ida doesn’t wish to be like her mother either. Her mother who fell prey to a person who was a special kind of trap. Three generations of girls trying to flee the destiny of every other. I enjoyed this novel, it was thought provoking and full of suffering. I think it will be something book clubs can really bite into.