In “A Room of One’s Own (Sridhar)” the woman writer who has at last acquired a room , brilliantly resonates Virginia Woolf’s essay, relishing her cozy independent space : “The walls of my room/ dissolve to let the rivers flow in for my poems…” 

Nadistuti weaves through river symbolism, two separable poetic voices. The first reverberates through characterizations and pithy dialogues, the poet’s resounding roar for women’s rights. The second, a declared autobiographical voice, submits to the grand mandalas of nature, time, experience, and eternity. The humility in attitude in “Picchai” (Tamil word for alms given with blessings”): “I had only asked with my palms folded,/ bhavathi bhikshaam dehi./ The picchai you gave spills over,” is profound. 

Kannan traces with reverence, the historical, geographical and mythical antecedents of India’s rivers, underscoring their civilizational significance, as also the present need to evaluate human activity through an ecological consciousness. The re-emergence of rivers as renewed critical signifiers in fresh social and feminist contexts, secured in narrative and rhythmic diversity, makes Nadistuti a touching and inspiring work. 

Sudha Rai is former Professor and Head, Department of English, and Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. She has been awarded several prestigious national and international research fellowships such as the Senior Fellowship of the Australia-India 

Council; Visiting Research Professor at Paul Valery University, Montpellier III, France; and Senior Research Fellowship of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi. 

She is the author of the works V.S. Naipaul: A Study in Expatriate Sensibility; Homeless by Choice: Naipaul, Jhabvala, Rushdie and India; and co-editor of Films and Feminism: Essays in Indian Cinema