Books – Shame


Once I started reading this book, I found it hard to put down. So a large part of the Sunday went into i-must-finish-the-book mode.


It’s the one word which describes Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera.

Brutally honest yet incredibly sad, as she narrates her escape from a forced marriage as a teenager in Britain.

India is known for its tradition of arranged marriages which have very often been the object of wonder, ridicule, surprise, shock…in many other parts of the world, where the concept is almost alien.

I think arranged marriages come with its own intrinsic value & India boasts of happy marriages that have withstood the storms of life. It is not uncommon to see couples blessed with long life go on to celebrate their 50th, 60th & beyond wedding anniversaries.

A forced marriage is another matter entirely. Especially if it leads to the one in question feeling traumatized & more a victim than a bride to be.

While Jasvinder’s story may be a representation of several others hidden away from society, this is her story. She has been bold & candid in sharing her personal struggle & it really touches a cord.

I have never understood the concept of maintaining family honour, even at the cost of personal trauma & suffering. That family honour must be maintained, the community must always be kept in mind… but honestly when the battles of life rage,  honour will remain just that – a word.

One can’t help but feel her pain,  the tragedy of being ostracized for life by those she held closest & eventually her life which was a series of consequences to the choices she made along the way.

Definitely a book worth reading & passing on.

6 thoughts on “Books – Shame

  1. Thank you for the review Kavi. Have been wanting to read this book for sometime. Agree with you about the fallacy of maintaining family honour at the cost of your children’s happiness.

    • I hope you get a hold of it Madhu…it’s a moving account. To read it is to also come to realise & value the freedom that many of us have been blessed with & take for granted.

    • Same here Naomi. Family honour is second nature for those conditioned to believe it is the most important & in turn they demand it of others (comply or else). Makes no sense at all…it’s sad to think of all those children who for no fault of theirs land up in a set up like this, especially when you don’t conform.

  2. If u wanna know how profoundly the decisions u take today can affect where u may be tommorow then this book is an eye opener and a roadmap to boot . Helped me on one long flight

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