Padma Shri Parveen Talha adopts a unique way of women empowerment - warning and educating through storytelling, and her new book portrays the diverse realities of life through the protagonists, including victims of triple talaq. "A Word Thrice Uttered: Stories on Life's Realities" is about ordinary children, women and men and even animals and supernaturals. The characters in the collection have walked through time and shown their willingness and ability to adjust to the demands of a culture, which has not merely evolved but acquired an altogether new face. They have shifted to metros and foreign capitals, faced challenges and difficult times, made success of their lives or lived patiently through failures. In most of the stories, the characters are from Lucknow. The title story "A Word Thrice Uttered" is about triple talaq, how Kausar's two husbands made life impossible for her. One is a downright fraud and the other cruelty personified; one using his right to talaq to get rid of Kausar and their retarded son, while the other keeping his right intact as ammunition to threaten her into submission and slavery, says Talha, a retired member of the UPSC who also won a President's award for specially distinguished record of service. There is also a love story in the collection - "The Magic Wand", which has no black characters.
It is an unusual but a refreshing story of a woman who admits that she had, as a young girl, been swept off her feet by a boy. Talha has also included a number of stories about children in the collection, published by Niyogi Books. "I have seen them suffering not only in poor families but also in educated well-off homes if they are orphans, or if their parents are living as dependents of better-off relatives," she says. Talha also deals with the issue of animal sacrifice in one of her stories.
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