Subaranalata

I just finished reading the story of Subaranalata. It is written by Ashapurna Debi, a renowned author of Bengali literature. I got this book quite “serendipitiously” – I’d gone to check out the book sale and suddenly this book came into my hands. The series consists of the life-stories of three women – a woman – Satyavati, her daughter – Subarnalata and granddaughter – Bakul. I just remember that a very long time ago, there was this teleserial on the Indian television (Doordarshan – DD) called Pratham Pratishruti. It was based on the first book – the story of Satyavati.
I was too small at that time to understand that story. Now after finishing the story of Subarnalata, my curiosity has been piqued to know about the lives of Satyavati and Bakul as well. Let’s see when I find those two books.

The story of Subarnalata is a representation of the social & political conditions of India in the pre-independence era (somewhere in the 1920s). Ashapurna Debi has portrayed the feelings of a woman who has a mind of her own with rational thoughts (which was not encouraged in those times). How her life is decided by those around her, how she feels like a caged bird fluttering to get away from all the shackles of being a woman in those times, is very well explained. You can almost see it! All her life, she tries to do what she thinks is right and thus, gets alienated by everyone (except a few, who understand her but can’t do anything much to help her). She finally gets freedom “mukti” only by her death, which leaves her youngest daughter Bakul wondering how different her mother’s life would have been had she received whatever small things she had wished for.
A good book which gives you some food for thought…

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