Some books are encounters, as this one by Jyoti Puri. The idea of women, body and desire isn’t as appealing as the context in which Puri sets it. The author’s preface reads a very fine piece in a researcher’s personal ethics, honesty and humility with which the material is presented. She writes,
Despite the personal and cohort-based experiences of middle-class womanhood in post-colonial India that I bring to my work, this book is not about me or a narrowly defined peer group. Specifically, it is about the 54 middle and upper-class women who took the time to speak with me about various aspects of their lives. More broadly, this book delves into the tensions of female bodies, desire, womanhood, and social class, and the kinds of hegemonic codes that regulate these aspects of the 54 women’s lives.
This clarity of motivation appears remarkable for my inexperienced eye. Perhaps this is how it is supposed to be written.