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Five Women is a collection of stories written over a period of many years. Some were written back in 2014-2015 and one of them as late as 2020. The only common theme obviously is that they are all stories about individual women and their own unique struggles in life. The women are not role models, they are not angels, they do not always make the right decisions. They are just human. They struggle in a world that is dominated by men and have to do what they do in spite of the men they interact with.

Two of the women are based very loosely on real life characters I knew. I will not say which ones. The inspiration for each story was different. Although the characters in the story are human and have their weaknesses, my own opinion is that they, as with all women, are mentally and emotionally much stronger than the men in their lives.

Two of the women take a conscious decision to lead a life that most middle class women would be horrified to even think of. Two others were born into lives and circumstances where they had few choices. Ethel’s Pride is one example of the second category. Saroja’s Journey is another. The inspiration for Real Juliet was actually the Chinese eatery (name changed) that I loved to eat at when in New York.

I have not been inspired to write too many stories centered around men. Yes, there are some, but the majority of my stories are centered around women. If Five Women appeals to the readers, I may publish another collection of short stories.

Rakesh Saraf

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