Thursday, May 16, 2019

Parineeta - Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay traslated by Subhransu Maitra

'Parineeta, the Betrothed' is a slim book translated from Bengali to English by Subhransu Maitra. Thanks to the movie, I could visualise the entire book, but the economy of words and the structure of the book shows the quality of writing. To say so much in so little is brilliant.

The two houses of Gurucharan and Nabin Das, one poor and one rich, are next to one another. Despite Nabin Das's greed and Gurucharan's naive outlook to life, their families mingle easily. Apart from his five daughters, he also takes care of his niece Lalitha and the burden weighs heavily on him. Lalitha is a favourite with Nabin Das's family and is a student of Nabin's second son Shekhar. The story takes a turn as Lalitha grows up and Shekhar and she find it difficult to contain their love and affection for one another, though they grew up addressing one another as brother and sister. There's tension when a young man called Girin drops in. Shekhar is jealous that Lalitha is spending a lot of time with him. The conflict is shown beautifully through well-constructed situations - a classic way to show and not tell.

Girin helps Gurcharan's family and his stellar character shines through. In the end, the love of Lalith and Shekhar prevails despite some ups and downs. Beautiful piece of writing. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay understands the needs of a human soul for love so well, just as he understands how the ego plays a big part in the way the stories turn out.

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