I don’t know if it is the ideal world, but Escape
by Manjula Padmanabhan is set in a world or rather a country of Men. By Men, I mean men, only men, nobody else and not even a single soul of the other gender.
Let me digress a bit.
I don’t know how this is remotely possible. It beats the only thing on a guys mind – “women”… and progeny. Ok, agreed that the book is set in future and the process of cloning is more than stabilized but still…
The main plot of the book is to save a girl, from the clutches of the dictator and transfer her safely to the outside nations where the existence of female gender has not been banned, yet.
The three uncles, upbring their niece away from the eyes of the evil dictator. And how? The palace they reside in, is beautifully described. Attention has been given to each and every molecule that constitutes the book. The lessons, the way she is brought to sense about her situation, the longing of the youngest uncle for her, and her emotions are brilliantly elucidated.
The stage is set when the uncles decide to take her to the outer peripheries of the nation where she can be safe till she is deported to another nation. The youngest uncle accompanies her and the travel adventures are brilliantly spun. The help they get, the people they meet, the drones and the desert dogs are all explained stupendously.
Let me digress again. The drones are genetically modified humans and have features much akin to a robot. They have one orifice, the mouth but they don’t speak or feed. They don’t have any other orifice. Reason: Why need one when they don’t eat at all. Point! They are designed to work and obey whatever is uttered by the master. May sound inhumane but sounded apt to me, especially in such an advanced future community.
The niece safely reaches the outer boundaries of the nation disguised as a guy but her features are already in the bloom. To a casual onlooker, she looks much like a eunuch, a common concubine of a landlord in that area. And she experiences love, betrayal, trust and mistrust in a matter of 5 days in that place.
The book ends here, leaving us in an uncertainty. What happens after that? Is she safe? Does the uncle return back to his land? What happens?
But oh well, it is left to us readers to decide i guess….
Rat’s Rating: 3/5
Two Cents: Must read. If you are a feminist, you will be frothing in anger by the end of it, for sure. If you are a chauvinist, read it for plain pleasure of what the possibilities may there be in the absence of a female..
Either ways, just read…