Less than 12hrs after announcing the release of the Kindle edition of ShhhARK WEEK, we have our first (and very detailed) review!

India link to the book/

UK link.

US link.

We, the authors, would like to express how much your words mean to us, Sudeshna. We wanted to start a conversation – you read the book as an ongoing conversation. We wanted to encourage women to open up to each other – you and Binati did today. We wanted to share the male perspective – you appreciated that. But, most of all, you resonated with us as friends, welcome around your table. This is why it was non-negotiable to keep our writing styles, so our true voices were heard, so the stories had personal meaning for the reader.

Thank you for your heartwarming review, and we hope we get to meet you some day and have a face to face chat on the sofa, feet up on the coffee table, spilling the tea, sipping the Merlot and whiskey instead. (No rocks for me though. ~ Mel)

I don’t know you, but I know you.

I know you because I read your book.

But it actually wasn’t a book. It was a conversation — the kind of conversation that pairs well with a glass of Merlot or whiskey on the rocks.

I know you because I sat on your couch, puffed  up your fancy cushion, and used it to support my neck. My feet rested on your precious coffee table. But I am not sorry. Because when you visit friends, it is acceptable to be so comfortable.

Mel, your quirkiness makes me laugh, snort with my mouth wide open for a few seconds of silent laugh. It ends with a couple of squeaks until I burst into laughter again. By the way, I have tried trimming the string from my tampon. I was at an airport bathroom. I was wearing a fancy jumpsuit and the little accident served me right. I had to stand and dry the jumpsuit from the bidet accident while women gave me questionable looks. You have explored some uncharted territories with your story. Mel, I just want you to know that I have immense respect for you.

Shaanti, the newspaper and the pad story is practically every woman in the Indian subcontinent. I purposely scared a brat from school by asking to hand me a pack of Whisper Ultra. He was clueless and his father was stunned when I handed him the piece of newspaper. I didn’t have to get married to understand the rules and regulations of a different household. My aunt wouldn’t let me steal tamarind or pickles from her stash anymore. That’s how I knew I grew up. Your story is not very different from my mum. She struggled for 11 years. Until I read what you had to say, I couldn’t understand the pain and suffering that you feel internally. It always felt like the world gets in your head. With your story, you have made me see that there’s a much deeper reason for the sense of insecurity that a woman faces in such situations. You have helped me respect my mother’s perseverance and my father’s patience during a time when I did not exist. I will forever be indebted to you.

SB, you are a curious case of every kind and considerate man I have ever known on earth. You have the superpower of remaining observant even though you didn’t know much. You’re witty AF brother! Just FYI IceHouse has an Indian cousin. His name is Hayward’s 5000. Please stay away from it when you are in India. Trust me, it tastes exactly like bottled cow urine. You have given me perspective into a man’s mind who doesn’t know how to deal with something he can never experience. The funny part is no one in this world will know which one is more painful: getting kicked in the nuts or experiencing the cramps! Somehow I wish, most men displayed this sense of confusion instead of “bye, I will text you after 8-10 days.”

Ana, we have got quite a few things in common. I get the same hipster vibes from you. From the constant pit stops to puke, to spending the last bits of your pocket money on something as simple as a sandwich, I was totally that person. As someone who has guided someone to use a tampon for the first time in a public bathroom as well, that sh*t is tough but the giggles and the private jokes are R.E.A.L.

Binati, I have a habit. I leave the tastiest item on the menu for the last. I wait for everyone to leave and then I sit and savour it. I saved you for the last so you have to scroll… and scroll… and then scroll some more to read this. (Now I am adding this analogy to drag things further.) I am just deeply grateful to have you in my sanctimonious inner circle. You make me way less guilty for the combination of bunny teeth and fangs, the thigh gap that will never exist, the thirst to know more weird facts and the fact that it’s okay to be whoever and whatever without worrying too much. If it hadn’t been for you, I wouldn’t know Shhhark Week!

I am absolutely no one to comment on writing techniques, structure or any technical aspect. However, what I can tell you is how you have empowered me with your words and your personal experiences.

I am a creature of habit and because this is for a very noble cause, I want to help you out by spreading the word as much as I can.

I will be dropping my reviews on Amazon, GoodReads and other social media platforms. Other than that, we (me and the founder of Buzz, Aniesha Brahma) would love to host you all on Buzz Magazine’s podcast. Ana, S.B., please feel free to switch off your video. I assure you that your anonymity would be completely respected.

Please do let me know. We are tiptoeing anxiously and checking our phones for your response.

Meanwhile, thank you for hosting me and letting me in on this intimate conversation. Above all, thank you being okay with my initial silence and then following through a super long note till the very end. I haven’t had such warm hosts in a long time.

-Sudeshna

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