The Breast Giver- A tribute to Mahashweta Devi
The tool of male attention and gaze, and ultimately the national gaze, breasts are the sign of motherliness, the source of food and warmth to the new born. Still remember the days of ‘Choli ke peeche kya hai’ which started a national debate on obscenity. M.F.Hussain had to face the national wrath for the materialistic depiction of his subconscious lady charm. Bay Watch would not have been so popular chart-buster world wide except this tool. The eroticism of Khuswant Singh in his novel The Company of Women was the master depiction and is still popular among the lovers of this lady part. It fed many other than the new born.
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Jashoda, a poor lady has to carry out the livelihood of her family. She finds the easiest source of money through selling her milk. She is paid to breast feed the several children of her master and mistress. Her abundant milk helps her feed her own crippled husband and children.
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Draupadi, is a young tribal Bengali woman who revolts against the oppressive government policies. The government uses all oppressive tactics including kidnapping, days of rape and deprived food. ‘‘A billion moon pass, a billion lunar years! Opening her eyes after a million light years, Draupadi strangely enough sees sky and moon. Slowly, the bloodied nailheads shift from her brain. Trying to move, she feels her arms and legs still tied to four posts. Something sticky under her ass and waist. Her own blood! Only the gag has been removed. Incredible thirst! In case she says- ‘water ’she catches her lower lip in her teeth. She senses that her vagina is bleeding. How many came to make her’’. The story ends with the magnificent scene when she rises, although naked and bloodied, but fiercely strong and faces her abuser.
We will always miss you Mahasweta! You had the charm to convert an anaemic white paper into a rain forest or a blooming garden in spring with an army of butterflies.