What reviewers say
Each writer has uniquely brought to life their own take on the book’s theme – reaching down to the depths of despair where hope is born. Not the cock-eyed optimism of fairy tales but the determined placement of one foot ahead of another on the path to freedom.
Defiant Dreams is a beautiful collection of 24 short stories, edited by Rhiti Bose who runs the Incredible Women of India blog and Lopa Banerjee who is making a name for herself as a translator, poet, memoir or non-fiction writer and here as a debut editor. The collection has already been covered a bit extensively by Iha Magazeen and in an interview given by Rhiti and Lopa to ISSE (Indian Short Stories in English).
What is the story about
Defiant Dreams:Tales of Everyday Divas is a collection of twenty-four stories handpicked through a nationwide contest. It is a collage of love and patience, courage and determination. Between the covers is a chronicle of dreams that refuse to be crushed by the heel of Life’s injustices. The tales are portraits of everyday women rising to extraordinary challenges; women who transformed themselves into mistresses of their own destinies. From the lanes of Banaras to the hills of Assam, from the high rises of Delhi to the household courtyards down south, across urban landscapes and rural settings, these incredible women are here to inspire.
1. Built From The Ashes – Radhika Maira Tabrez – Life brings widowed Nikita at the doorsteps of her estranged in laws where she finds a new meaning to life.
2. It’s Not The End – Kirthi Jayakumar – A fresh start changes the foundation of what might have been the beginning of a bright future. But it’s not the end.
3. She Chose To Live – Debosmita Nandy – She shines even when she is betrayed by love, uprooted from home and misunderstood by all.
4. Bidisha – Paulami DuttaGupta – Insurgency tore her life apart, will Bidisha be able to forget her past?
5. The Drug Addict – Santosh Bakaya – A 19 year old turns to drugs after her parents death in a Mine blast, this story shows how she turns over a new leaf
6. Safe Passage – Sanghamitra Bose – She survives extreme betrayal and is determined not to let it happen again.
7. The Bride – Esha Chakraborty – ‘The Bride’ toasts to a new beginning!
8. Dear Rangama– Sutapa Basu – An 18 year old bereft of family and friends, navigates her and her unborn child’s life defying all malignant forces.
9. Unfound: Searching For Home – Vasudha Chandna Gulati – Can a child with two sets of parents still feel alone? It is Riddhi’s search for a place to belong.
10. The Journey of Two women – Deepti Menon – Two Divas on divergent paths dare to dream, defy the world and carveout their entwined destinies!
11. A Second Chance – Arpita Banerjee – A girl pays for her innocence once, but becomes strong enough to avenge a betrayal, second time around.
12. Dharmambhal – Bhuvaneswari Shivakumar Shankar – Can one ever recover from the trauma of domestic violence? A namesake finds courage from an inspirational story.
13. The 40s – Ramaa Sonti – Story of a woman craving for love and attention, one who falters, yet takes the situation in her stride with the virtue of her wit and determination.
14. Amlanation – Anirban Nanda – An acid attack, a play of fate, the emotional trauma of both the attacker and the victim.
15. Please Leave Your Sex Outside – Aashisha Chakraborty – What made a woman a top automobile entrepreneur of the country?
16. Tara – Geeta Negi – A simple girl from a remote hilly village discovers her womanhood while standing firmly against patriarchy.
17. Anjali Chakraborty – Tanushree Ghosh Dhall – A woman who is neither a mother nor a wife epitomises love, sacrifice and support.
18. Yamuna Maa’s Hand – Mahesh Sowani – Two patrons, one rich another poor, use their funds to support poor women to be independent.
19. Once, For a Change – Moinak Dutta – A fashion designer proves her mettle by taking up a challenge.
20. Pregnant Dreams – Sridevi Datta – A woman’s dreams and desires faces trials in the real world.
21. Second Innings of Ma – Namrata Chauhan – An exceptional bond between a mother in law and a daughter in law, proving women are soft but never weak.
22. Here I Come Benaras – Avanti Sopory – Is marriage the only identity of a woman? A widow in Banaras finds her identity amidst strangers.
23. To Be Or Not To Be – Paromita Mukherjee Ojha – An act of crime, a betrayal rips her life apart, now she must rise up to the test and face the realities of life.
24. Some Porridge and an Education – Sreesha Divakaran – Shanta leaves behind her village and her drunken husband to earn a livelihood for herself and provide education for her son.
Meet the editors
Rhiti Bose is a writer/blogger/reviewer who is also the founder and Chief Editor of the e-zine Incredible Women of India. She has a first class Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Madras. She has done her Teacher’s Training, PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and holds a Child Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling Post-Graduate Diploma from The School of Natural Health and Science, London, UK. She has 6 years of experience in Education/Training. She has spent two years working with The Refugee Council, Sheffield, UK mentoring and counseling Bangladeshi and Liberian refugee children.
Her works have been published in Femina, feminafastfiction.com, learningandcreativity.com, redomania.com and she is also a part of short story collection, An Atlas of love, published by Rupa. Her poems are a part of poetry collections Kaafiyaana and Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered.
When not reading, writing or curating stories for IWI, you can find Rhiti watching Bollywood masala movies, baking or playing with her children. She believes in kindness and love and hopes to spread the same through IWI. She currently resides in Bhubaneswar with her husband, daughter and son.
Rhiti also blogs at The Scattered thoughts of Mrs.Bose.
Lopamudra Banerjee is a writer and translator, currently based in Dallas, USA. She has a Master’s degree in English with a thesis in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her unpublished memoir Thwarted Escape has been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews. She is an editor of Learning and Creativity, an e-zine for the literary and creative souls.
Her poetry, stories and essays have appeared at many print and online literary journals and anthologies both in India and the US. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Significant Anthology, Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered and Kaafiyana, published by Readomania. Her English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s novella The Broken Home is being serially published at Café Dissensus. She has received the Critics’ Award at Destiny Poets International Community of Poets, UK and also a Certificate of Merit as part of the Reuel International Prize 2015 for Writing and Literature. Her husband is an IT professional and they have two beautiful daughters, Srobona and Sharanya.
Lopa blogs at Mistressandhermuse.com