Keeping Corner—Kashmira Sheth
Set in a small Indian village amidst the fight for Indian Independence from British rule, Keeping Corner is the fascinating story of Leela, a young Brahman Caste girl on the verge of womanhood. Married to a young boy named Ramanlal, Leela is very quickly approaching the time of her anu, a ceremony performed for a young bride before she goes to live with her husband. Tragically, however, Ramanlal is bitten by a snake and dies dooming Leela to life as a child widow who by societal tradition are seen as bringers of bad luck and who are, therefore, destined to live lives ignored and shunned by all others in the tiny village that is her home.
Keeping Corner chronicles Leela’s year as a widow in mourning when she is expected to “keep corner,” never leaving her home, wearing the clothing of mourning, and living with her head shaved—designating her as a widow to all who may not know. As the fight for Indian Independence, led by Mahatma Gandhi, marches on, so does Leela’s battle to break free from the bonds of societal traditions and attitudes that could doom her to a life Keeping Corner.