I Want to Destroy Myself: A Memoir

Malika Amar Shaikh



Malika Amar Shaikh was born to Communist-activist parents—her father, Shahir Amar Shaikh, was a trade-union leader and legendary Marathi folk singer. Brought up amidst the hurly-burly of Maharashtrian politics of the 1960s and exposed to the best and the brightest in Bombay’s cultural scene, Malika was a cosseted child, drawn to poetry and dance. She was barely out of school when she married Namdeo Dhasal, co-founder of the radical Dalit Panthers and celebrated ‘poet of the underground’ who transformed Marathi poetry with his incendiary verse.
After the initial days of love and the birth of their son, the marriage crumbled. Namdeo was an absent husband and father—given to drink, womanizing and violence—and uninterested in his family. And while he would repent his actions and his negligence and they would make up, he never stopped or reformed. I Want to Destroy Myself is Malika’s searing, angry account of her life with Dhasal. The unvarnished story of a marriage and of a woman and a writer seeking her space in a man’s world, Malika Amar Shaikh’s autobiography is also a portrait of the Bombay of poets, activists, prostitutes and fighters. There isn’t another memoir in Indian writing as honest and pitiless as this. Published originally in Marathi, it quickly became a sensation and vanished as quickly. Jerry Pinto’s superb translation revives this lost classic and makes it available for the first time in any language other than Marathi.



‘The issue Malika raises through her book is how even ‘progressive’ husbands treat their wife’s badly. The patriarchal attitude becomes visible within the four walls of the house. For social and gender equality patriarchal values need to go. The book is a must read for the women and Dalit activists, students, researchers and those who believe in the gender equality’. - Free Press Journal

‘This translation from Marathi by Jerry Pinto is tender and unobtrusive’. - Outlook

‘Malika Amar Shaikh’s forthright self-portrait—and Jerry Pinto’s translation that opens it to non-Marathi readers—is a disturbing yet luminous read’. - Open Magazine

‘Malika Amar Shaikh looks back at a life closely entwined with the Left and the Dalit movements, the souring of her marriage with Marathi poet Namdeo Dhasal and why she put the personal before the political.’—The Indian Express

‘I Want to Destroy Myself is a raw portrait of scattered dreams, love defeated, self-respect crushed, and a story of the valour to survive and live a life of meaning. Malika does keep her poetry alive.’—Kitaab.org
‘I Want To Destroy Myself’ is the angry, searing account of the Dalit Panther poet’s wife’s life with him’.—Scroll.in.

Language English
ISBN-13 9789386050960
No of pages 200
Book Publisher Speaking Tiger Books
Published Date 12 Sep 2016

About Author

Author : Malika Amar Shaikh


Related Books