“You have played enough games with me. You thought you won in your game every time I returned to you, but each time I was back, I became stronger.“Leaving by Kanchan Bhaskar
Raised by two loving parents in New Delhi, India, Kanchan Bhaskar has always been taught that marriage means companionship, tenderness, and mutual respect – so when she enters into an arranged marriage, this is the kind of partnership she anticipates with her new, seemingly wonderful, husband. But she quickly discovers that his warmth is deceptive – that the man beneath the bright, charming facade is actually a narcissistic, alcoholic, and violent man.
Trapped in a nightmare, Kanchan pleads with her husband to seek help for his issues, but he refuses. Meanwhile, Indian law is not on her side, and as the years pass, she finds herself with three children to protect – three children she fears she will lose custody of it she leaves. Almost overnight, she finds herself transformed into a tigress, and she becomes determined to free them from their toxic father.
Chronicling Kanchan’s gradual climb out of the abyss, little by little, day by day, Leaving is the empowering story of how – buoyed by her deep faith in a higher power and single-minded in her determination to protect her children – she fought relentlessly to build a ramp toward freedom from her abuser. In the memoir, Kanchan clearly lays out the tools and methods she utilized in her pursuit of liberation – an reveals how belief in self and belief in the Universe can not only be weapons of escape but also beautiful foundations for a triumphant, purpose-driven life.
Memoir, Survival, Abusive Marriage, Family, Life, Love, Self-worth, Life Experiences, Relationship, India, Religion
Why This Rating?
I was given the opportunity to read this as an ARC in exchange for a voluntary honest review.
What a beautiful story Kanchan has given us! It is one thing to live through things in life and tell people around you the stories of your experiences. It is an entirely different thing to be willing to write it and share it with the world. That takes so much confidence and I am very grateful to have Kanchan Bhaskar’s story saved and shared with me. Kanchan’s story of becoming free of the abusive marriage is one full of strength and so much dedication not only to her children but to the betterment of herself as well. I was completely unaware of the complications a woman had to (and might still have to) face in India when it came to gaining a divorce in that country. It really put into perspective the difficulties Kanchan was running into to protect as many of her loved ones as she could with the help that was given. It could be that I am a very empathic individual and the flames get stoked quite easily if anyone, especially a woman, is prevented from being able to protect/help themselves from a horrible situation. I know my Americanism (totally not a word but it is now! Ha!) is showing with that last statement, but seriously an individual escaping an abusive marriage to have a fear of their children being taken away or put up for adoption or to have lawyers ask “what did you do to make them beat you?” Come on man, even the youngest person around can tell you that is a messed up situation to put people into.
The author’s writing was almost like a conversation that sweeps you along for the ride! I loved the honesty that she conveyed during the story and the descriptions of the events that were happening. These were some of the first times I have heard of some of the wedding traditions and the festivities that everyone gets to participate in. The details to the colors, emotions, and smells made it a beautiful experience thru the pages. You can also feel the emotion she is having throughout the whole memoir. From her joy and excitement to her fear and pain, everything is laid bare for us to experience with her as she journeys through life. I always love it when you get emotionally connected with a memoir. It feels far more relatable when you can almost physically understand the emotion and tensions that were happening in the pages.
With myself being from the United States and not worldly traveled, this trip through India from Kanchan’s personal experience was a bit of a cultural shock – or as much as I can have without experiencing it first hand. Just the usual interactions and environments that the author shares with the readers are so different to me. It was fascinating to learn about everything. I am grateful to be shown a bit of the world through this memoir.
Her kids are amazing! From the letter to us in the beginning from her daughter and then seeing the way they’ve all grown up and embraced who they each are is stunning. I won’t say much since I highly encourage you all to pick up this story, but every sacrifice Kanchan made for her children in the early years shows in their love of her in everything they do. Family is Key! And this family supports one another and thrives together.
I completely recommend this beautiful book you guys! If you are also caught in an abusive marriage as Kanchan was and need some sisterly support and camaraderie while you fight to become free too, this is your book. There is very little held back and the honesty is striking. Or if you are simply a fellow lover of memoirs and want to find your next story, you’ll be traveling into India and around the States some as well. You get a first hand look at the different cultures is always fascinating to learn and read about.
Time to get lost in the next story!