Rituparna Mahapatra in conversation with Tishani Doshi
“Girls are coming out of the woods,/ wrapped in cloaks and hoods,/ carrying iron bars and candles/ and a multitude of scars.”
“Even those girls / found naked in ditches and wells, / those forgotten in neglected attics, / and buried in riverbeds like sediments / from a different century”.
These lines from the title poem of Tishani Doshi’s book, ‘Girls are coming out of the woods‘ in 2017, came at a time when the world, India, in particular was waiting to explode & rage at the heinousness towards the ‘female’. Doshi painted an imagery about what it meant to be a woman; the dangers of being one, on a larger canvas, talking about women brutalised and murdered ; their stories refusing to be forgotten. It touched the nerve of a society attuned to not ‘speaking out’. This book went on to be shortlisted for the Ted Hughes prize in 2018.