Read an exclusive excerpt from Pankaja by Vasanth Kannabiran (Published by Speaking Tiger Books, 2023)
Life went on smoothly in a manner of speaking. Pankaja focused on her family and the fields they owned. Her preoccupation with the freedom struggle also helped her to put her marriage behind. One day, she received a telegram from Secunderabad. Her husband had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital. She suffered greatly when she heard the news. The thing she valued most in life was her marital status. After living in a house of three widows and hearing the insults that her widowed sisters-in-law had faced, she had prayed she would never be widowed. Bhagya’s desperation to grab another woman’s husband to escape widowhood too had affected her deeply.