Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Krishnakanta's Will - Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay



This is a tragedy of lust, infidelity, greed and death revolving around Govindalal, his wife Bhramar, the attractive widow Rohini and a stolen will. I will not say anything about the story …To be frank with you, I don’t remember any of it myself. I read some five Bankim Chandra stories one after another from an omnibus volume, a few months ago.

I will only share with you a few lines of observation that I penned down as I read through the pages. Read on…

These Bengali stories are so charming. There is poetry even in simple writing. The very mention of mango leaves, blossoms fallen on the ground, the clear waters of the tank reflecting the blue sky, a kokil (cuckoo) singing kuhoo kuhoo, colourful flowers everywhere, a beautiful woman fetching , water in a pitcher from this tank, creepers… all these never fail to make even the simplest writing most lyrical. Nature, in all these stories, has been described as an important factor influencing people, their minds and their feelings.

You get a clear picture of the Bengal society of those times. So vivid are the descriptions…
The huge havelis, inner house, outer house, servants’ quarters, offices, a lake, a garden, plenty of maid servants for each and every chore, veiled women in palanquins, dacoits, young widows fighting against the emotion of love bursting forth in their hearts for a handsome man(married, more often than not!)…

Of all the states in Northern India, Bengal society I think is a culturally rich society as indicated by the many references in its literature to characters from Indian mythology and Sanskrit literature, made by laymen in the course of their routine conversations.

She cooked like Draupadi…
Chitragupta was settling his accounts with life…
Hospitality should be as cordial as Satyabhama…


As usual, I marked these lines as interesting and insightful.

Empty vessels whether earthen or human make a lot of noise in protest if one tries to fill them…

Do not let the person you love out of your sight, keep short the cord that ties your love if you wish to keep your bond strong…


Those of you, studying literature and interested in comparing different writing styles may want to read this one. I read reviews that said this resembled western writing or something of the sort…
To quote from the review “the author’s closest approximation to a Western novel”…


3 comments:

Satish said...

Really liked the line "Empty vessels whether earthen or human make a lot of noise in protest if one tries to fill them" - how very true........


However, one marked difference with human is that, we have one big gaping hole in th head(mouth) which keeps showing how empty we are!!!!!

deepocean2k said...

The original quote and the counter comment - both made a good reading and also made me smile and nod my head in approval. Made a note of both. Thanks Sowmya and Satish. :)

Sowmya said...

Thanks Satish for that meaningful insight :)

Pushpa, I can see you laughing your head off.. :)