29 October, 2020

Passion In The Kothas

Two courtesans perform a sensual dance of love in a globalised, pre-colonial Awadh

Passion In The Kothas
outlookindia.com
2020-10-16T13:11:58+05:30

Ruth Vanita’s debut novel Memory of Light has pushed the boundaries of Indian queer literature. A critical addition to this nascent genre, it is an answer to the dearth of lesbian representation in India.

Set in 18th century Awadh, Memory of Light is a love story of two courtesans—Nafis Bai and Chapla Bai. An intelligently crafted meta-narrative reco­unted by Nafis Bai, the novel takes readers on an exciting journey through shifting timelines and the rich courtesan culture of Awadh and Kashi. A product of Vanita’s imagination and her res­earch on rekhti, a genre of Urdu poetry, the novel carefully selects historical figures, rekhti poets like Insha and Rangin, and courtesans mentioned in rekhti poe­try. It instils life in them through a colourful narrative.

Memory of Light explores the themes of time and memory and paints a beautiful, painful picture of changes that the love bet­w­­een Nafis and Chapla und­e­r­­­g­oes over time. The aff­ect­ion bet­ween the...

unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


In this article:

Latest Magazine

November 02, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section