I Want to Destroy Myself

I Want to Destroy Myself

Malika Amar Shaikh

Translated By

Jerry Pinto


Autobiography, Non-fiction


Hardback with jacket


$6.30 $5.67

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Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

$6.30 $5.67

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(Hardback with jacket | ISBN 9789386050960 | 200 pages | September 2016)


My life cannot be made over to anyone, not even Namdeo Dhasal.

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.


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


‘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

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About the author

Malika Amar Shaikh

Malika Amar Shaikh is a writer. Other than her autobiography, Mala Uddhvasta Vhaychay, her published work includes books of poetry: Valucha Priyakar (A Lover Made of Sand), Mahanagar (Metropolis), Deharutu (Seasons of the Body) and Manuspanacha Bhinga Badalyavar (When the Lens of Being Human Changes); works of fiction: Ek Hota Undir (There Was Once a […]

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