She Seeks is the fifth book of short stories in the “She” series. Written by women around the world from various backgrounds, this book explores the methods people use to “navigate a complex world”.
A desire to revisit the past, or nostalgia, is one aspect of this discovery process. Another is the investigation of a problem and the various solutions available, maybe even gain some self-realization for future growth and capabilities.
The SHE project’s main aim is to provide a creative platform for women’s voices and their reflections from daily lives. None of the authors come from a ‘purely literary’ background – and yet, as scientists, bankers, professors, engineers, managers and homemakers, they all have a story to share.
Kidnapped – by Radhika Singh
This is a personal account by Ms Singh of a time when she was kidnapped and rescued.
The first three paragraphs tell us about the circumstances under which she embarks on her journey. By the fourth paragraph, grave doubts and misgivings arose in my mind at the realization that she is an unaccompanied lady heading off into the decidedly untamed hinterland of India, some time in the past.
Trust is a much abused construct, even as trust is the very foundation of all human relationships. Ms Singh, as a person involved in social work and upliftment of rural and suburban communities, probably needed to have large quantities of faith in the people she met. It lies at the very heart of her work. So I am hesitant to label her trust in this case as naivete.
The story jogs along, clean and clear, with the first alarm fading into a soporofic drive through the countryside, before the terror hits and rises exponentially. The tale is told well and the construction is linear, which actually works very well for such a tale. It helps set the stage, bring up the first layers of apprehension and then a middle of some comfort before the sudden realization of grave danger. The anti-climactic end is needed, very much so, as we travel with the writer. We also need that end.
The writing, is simple, direct and, thus, offers a chillingly dispassionate account of the kidnapping. The tale is built well and the language is simple, clean and devoid of unnecessary adornment, something that is clearly not required for a tale such as this.
At the end of the day, I am left wondering at the trust that is displayed, the trust that is broken and the trust that finally is restored.
But is it fully restored? Can it be restored, in its entirety?
Read this story and answer this question for me, please!