When You Can Why Not

When You Can Why Not

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'When You Can Why Not?' is a collection of seventeen short stories which talk about, how many of us are ignorant about the various existing Indian Laws and Acts which are there to protect us from anyone flouting these rules. These stories are a fictional take on our daily life and tell us about our legal rights and the recourse we have towards domestic violence, child marriages, child labour, acid attacks, workplace harassment, maternity leave…

The title really explains the philosophy of the book. 

When you can do something about a situation you are in, then why not do it? Perhaps the biggest obstacle is not knowing that we can do something. And this is where the book comes in.

Kavitha who is by training and profession a Civil Engineer with a Masters in Environmental Science is a writer and a poet by passion. Her love for the environment, technology, health and culture and social media has translated into many essays, articles and short stories on various print and online platforms. 

Perhaps it is her desire to help bring awareness about various Laws and Acts that exist to help and protect us, is that inspired her to write this book. 

The book has seventeen short stories, all fictional though inspired by real-life and articles she read. Each story then explains the Law or Act that can be used to protect or punish as the case may be. And that is what is fabulous about the book. 

Law in itself is dry and boring for us – save for the lawyers – that trying to explain the law will perhaps not get you very far. But weave a story around it and see how many people carry that story within themselves for long periods of time. And, even if it fades from their everyday memory, should they find themselves or people around them in the same situation, these stories will rise up to the surface. 

The laws and subject matter covered are very relevant to present times. There are stories of domestic violence, bullying, sexual harassment, workplace harassment, live-in relation, gay rights, child labour, environmental issues and my favourite story, that of an open prison. I didn’t know about this concept and was pleasantly surprised, just as the author was, with this. And, did you know, that a contractor can be punished for not maintaining the proper plant cover on a road divider. I never even thought about it. But now when I travel next, I will certainly pay attention to this fact. 

The stories are written in straight forward and simple style. The focus is not on the flowery language but the message they are trying to convey. And that they cover such diverse topics is what keeps you going. 

This book can be read in one sitting or seventeen different ones. However, you chose to do it, one thing is for sure, the stories and the laws will stay with you. And if this awareness can help someone out there, I am sure I can safely say that the book has served its purpose. Entertainment plus learning is a great combination. 

 

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