“Once I imbibed his name, I was a person.”
So It Was Foretold, by Mimi Mondal.
If you are familiar with Fireside Magazine–which you may be, especially if you enjoyed my previous review of Caroline Yoachim’s An Army of Bees–you may already be familiar with this story, as it was released last month. Edited by Julia Rios, Mimi Mondal’s So It Was Foretold can be found here, free for you to read.
This particular piece is about a woman who has been othered, a woman who knows that she is seen as hardly a woman at all, as a blight rather than a blessing. In a country where women like her have been and are persecuted for their existence, she escaped, as she married quickly to a man more privileged than she. And while she is treated with some amount of respect, for a time, this is only the start of the story. In another country, things are different and the same all at once.
I have strong, yet delicate feelings about this story. It’s a sensitive subject to write about, but one that must be written about all the same. The author is Dalit, which I confess I knew very little about before reading this. Still, as someone whose Ojibwe grandfather was forced into Christian schools when he was a child, I found my very spirit aching as I read along. It was all too familiar of a tale. It’s something that shouldn’t be relatable, but is clearly still a major struggle for many, many people. Given Mondal’s background, it’s clearly an issue she feels strongly about, and I’m glad she wrote on it. It made for a powerful story.
The writing itself, the language used, was concise, clear, cohesive, controlled. There’s a lot of emotion behind it–the fiery soul is there, passionate and strong, but just like the protagonist in this tale, it holds back right until the very end.
One aspect I strongly enjoyed was perhaps how little detail the readers are actually given. Because of its ambiguity, it is more identifiable to more people, or so I’d like to believe. Actually, I can’t think of any part of this story that I didn’t enjoy. The ending was, perhaps neither wondrous nor amazing, but it was most certainly fitting. It was good. Like the rest of the story, it was earnest.
Overall, I think this one is a 5 out of 5. Perhaps it’s less fiction and more fact, but that doesn’t stop it from pulling at the heartstrings. It’s less focused on the narrative, but more on the message, which some people mind I’m sure, but I’m not one of them. I think it’s important to write these kinds of stories on occasion, to remind us that not all stories are ones we can escape with. Sometimes, they’re mirrors back into our own reality.
It there a social issue you feel so strongly about that it impacts what you do? If so, what is it?