Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Review-Just Me, The Sink & The Pot

Sudesna Ghosh


Meet Pamela, an overweight girl who's looking back at her school days. From longing for a Valentine to dealing with a sibling who hates her, Pamela has a lot to deal with. She even has a special bunch of friends at home who she can turn to - but they aren't the kind of friends you'd expect. Life sucks when you're fat. Can Pamela ever be happy?

Read an excerpt of the book here...

One day a classmate asked me, “Where is your lunch?” I told her that I had already had it and went back to my fake laughter and smiles. The others chatted and laughed while they ate from their tiffin boxes. Some brought samosas or ice cream from outside the gate. My hunger pangs got worse as I saw all the food and smelt the delicious odours around me.

The ice cream cart was run by a sweet old man who knew me since I’d started school. He would ask me some days, “Child, you don’t want your favourite orange stick?” I would say no thank you and smile before running away from him and his cart. One day he seemed to be desperate to make me have an ice cream. “Child! Come here and have an ice cream. You don’t have to pay me,” he called out. I smiled, turned around and went to hide in an empty classroom. Two minutes later, I shrieked; the old man had found me. He was carrying a dripping ice cream for me. I started laughing. Then I started running away from him. The old man started running after me!

My classmates were shocked. The sports teacher was happy to see me run for the first time – I had never run before because fat moves when you run. Everybody would laugh. The lunch break ended with me accepting the mostly melted orange stick from the kind ice cream man. We were too tired to talk about the whole event. But it did make me a bit popular that year, with the school Yearbook including the story and a picture of me running away from a 6 feet tall man holding an ice cream.

            My Honest Review:

In India, people have a peculiar mindset when it comes to girl’s physique. She should be fair, neither dark nor wheatish, she should have average height neither tall nor short. She should have a normal slim figure if not size zero and if by mistake you are plump then all the hell breaks loose.

            We all have a stereotype image especially for girls and if they don’t fit into that mould then the girl never hears the end of it.
Just me, The Sink and The Pot is the story of a cute girl who is half Bengali and half American and also plump. And instead of accepting her and providing necessary support and making her feel at ease, her mother and sister make it a point to mention her weight, ridicule it and make her feel worse. Only relief for her is her American father, who supports her and tries to make her feel better and also her extended family (her stuffed toys).

The book is a first person narrative by the protagonist Pamela, who faces ridicule at home, at school, everywhere just because she is plump. So instead of real world she tries to find solace by ranting and venting her anger and frustrations, sharing her feelings, her dreams and crushes with her extended family and by writing short stories.

Just me, The Sink and The Pot is collection of Pamela’s day-to-day instances, her experiences which she faces from since she can remember till adolescence.

We often tend to judge people by their physical appearance. But we seldom look at what that person really is. And when such a person is constantly exposed to such ridicule on one’s appearance, the child or for any instance, anyone loses one’s self confidence and becomes an introvert or retracts into his/her shell.

This is perfectly expressed in Just me, The Sink and The Pot by author Sudesna Ghosh. I applaud Sudesna for dealing with such delicate issue in such an innovative yet simple manner.

By use of simple day-to-day happenings of a normal school/college going girl, makes the reader connect and if you had experienced or have seen anyone close going through such difficult stage at any certain point of life, you instantly relate to Pamela and her emotions.

Just me, The Sink and The Pot is an easy and light read but with some thought provoking and emotional stories in an easy and simple language.

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About the author

Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is a writer based in Kolkata. She was born in the United States and moved to India when she was 9. After completing high school there, she went back to the US for her higher education at the University of Rochester. She has also penned What Would I Tell Her @ 13 and News Now, along with several short stories. When Sudesna isn’t writing, she tries to do her bit for animal welfare.


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