Temple of Justice” is indeed a school of life as the author, Judge Poonam Bamba, describes. She has shared something valuable for the laymen, as also those who are working in the justice delivery apparatus, of what she learnt in this school of life as she dealt with case after case of broken marriages. Some of these seventy five stories make one recall Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not”. Life is indeed strange and does not allow itself to be caged into typecast slots. In fact every individual strives to seek an identity, recognition as a person, and not as one in a bunch. The ways in which human mind reacts to various situations is not as predictable as chemical reactions in a flask in a laboratory. This produces myriad responses, some predictable on the basis of the past, the upbringing or education, and some enigmatic for the one who is not steeped into same traditions , same values, but is made to face the response. Conflicts so created lead the parties to the Courts, where they are again sought to be resolved with reference to the past experience of the judge. And if, unlike Judge Poonam Bamba, the judge is unwilling to learn, be surprised, he/she would cause more injustice to those before him/her than what the parties themselves would have inflicted upon each other. Therefore, Judge Bamba’s approach to human problems needs to be applauded.
The crispness of stories told by her, the style of narrative, and of course, keeping each story as short as possible reminds one of O’Henry’s short stories. And the lucidity shows that the author has penned these stories without garnish or varnish.
Just as these stories opened my ideas to unthinkable possibilities, they would be of immense help to counselors, judges and members of legal fraternity working in family courts to expand the repertory of their knowledge and experience, would enable them understand life better.
R C Chavan