Thursday, June 12, 2008
Devdas - Sharat Chandra Chatterjee
This one is a hopeless Sharat Chandra tragedy. The almost entirely concocted movie by Bhansali is a much better experience. I could not get the book cover(read from an omnibus volume) so here is the picture(painting :-)) of the author himself.
This work has been translated by Sreejata Guha. It is nothing but 90 pages of pointless sacrifice, fruitless loving and wastefulness.
Devdas is a son of a rich zamindar. He always took Parvati, his neighbour and childhood friend for granted. When she offered her love to him he turned her away. But soon after he had lost her to someone else in marriage, he realized that he had lost a part of his body. And then he simply wasted away till the end. There is Chandramukhi, the courtesan who loves him but is despised by him. Once again Devdas realizes very late that Chandramukhi is a good woman. By this time he has contacted diseases due to incessant drinking. Parvati on the other hand seems to have chosen to continue living as an alternative to ending her life. None of the three protagonists are happy.
Devdas meets his end like an orphan on a cold night under a tree outside Paro’s house. His half cremated body is dragged away by dogs. Parvati’s last wish of nursing Devdas once before his death goes unfulfilled. The story could not get more tragic than this.
The movie “Devdas” has many sequences not present in the original work. Read on…
Devdas never went to England. He merely went to Calcutta because he was thrown out of his village school.
Paro and Devdas never confess their feelings to one another as grown ups. (No love talk between the two)
There is no animosity between the two families. The marriage proposal from Parvati’s mother is politely refused. They continue to be friends.
Paro and Chandramukhi never meet.
Paro’s husband's family has no clue about her liaison with Devdas.
Nobody finds out that Paro went to Deva in the dead of the night to discuss her predicament with him. (The harsh words that Deva’s father said to Paro having seen them together is a complete fabrication)
But as I said, the movie is more dramatic, more interesting and less exasperating than the book. :-)