Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chokher Bali - Rabindranath Tagore

There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.-Washington Irving,The Sketch Book.

There is a sparkling fire in Binodini's heart too..But with that fire,she tried to destroy a happy household.. When she realized that she is also destroying her feminine virtues and ethics in that fire,she couldn't stand it anymore..The literal meaning of Choker Bali is "a grain of sand"..The title is very apt as the protagonist Binodini is like "a mote in the eye" in the pleasant family life of Mahendra and Asha..It is the story of love, lust and passion...

An irate queen bee stings everyone that comes in her path,and similarly an irate Binodini was prepared to destroy everyone around her.
Copyright A Homemaker's Utopia
Coming to the story line,the central character Binodini is a young widow of exquisite beauty who lives in a small village,Barasat..She is also bestowed with intelligence and intellect..Nevertheless these great qualities couldn't provide her a blissful life because of the ruthless customs of the society against widows..Her somber life takes a turn with the arrival of her relative,the wealthy,Rajalakshmi..Rajalakshmi invites her to live with them in their house at Kolkata..Rajalakshmi's son Mahendra was unhappy with this decision,but later he persuaded by his wife Asha to to keep a good friendly relationship with Binodini...Binodini indulges herself in the domestic chores and enjoys the modern living in the fine company of Mahendra and Asha..She was allured by the most intimate details of conjugal bliss shared by Asha..

Love turns bland if not seasoned with a touch of pique,like cooking without spices..

Love needed to be rooted in life's labour,otherwise ecstasy would never be profound and enduring.

Until here,everything goes well.But women are more vulnerable to jealousy..Binodini is not an exception for this..She remembers the bitter past in her mind that she was once engaged to Mahendra but refused by him...Binodini couldn't bear an ignoramus juvenile,enjoying her part of pleasures in her place..With these adverse feelings,she starts luring Mahendra with her delicacy and charm..Of late,she realizes that,this is not love but jealousy towards Asha..But it is too late,when she knows,her true love is Bihari..Bewitched by her fake love,Mahendra was completely out of senses by then...Further,the story narrates the turmoil caused in the lives of four characters under such circumstances...

Mahendra's thoughts,
Was there a hint in this letter of an ardour - veiled yet implied, forbidden yet intimate,noxious yet delicious,offered but unrequited ? 

This play acting in a down to earth domestic chore,in a sense,rescued him from the improbable task of creating his fairy tale dream world..

Mahendra addressing Binodini,
Why did you at all engage yourself  in this game ? There is now no release for you.If we sink we sink together.

Tagore's fondness in creating his female characters is renowned.."The Feminine Individual"  Binodini is the image of the miserable widow life tormented by the heinous customs of society...Nevertheless she bags society's disgrace initially,she overcomes her flaws by turning down Bihari''s wedding proposal for her and keeps her dignity alive in society's terms..The proud Mahendra,due to his wild passion and lust for another woman,loses his honourable position as head of the family and remains remorseful for his deeds..On the other hand Bihari emerges as the man of the house with his good nature and responsible attitude..Asha latha's character represents the any common Indian woman in a family who is well known for the virtues of sacrifice and forgiveness..The loving mother Rajalakshmi's rivalry with Asha,reminds the usual mother-in-law of any family...

With a brand name as a 'Tagore's work',the novel thoroughly criticises the merciless customs and traditions of the society against widows...The novel widely discussed about the human relations,human behaviours in different aspects of life..It proves that no one is spared by emotional turbulence of life..Initially the novel was published as a serial in a magazine,Bangadarshan..Later the 300 pages book was published as a translation by Sukhendu Ray..In 2003,The movie version of the book was directed by Rituparno Ghosh with Aishwarya Roy and Prasenjit Chetterji in lead roles...

He pillories the custom of perpetual mourning on the part of widows, who were not allowed to remarry, who were consigned to seclusion and loneliness. Tagore wrote of it: "I have always regretted the ending".-From google

49 comments:

Sekhar said...

No one is spared by emotional turbulence of life.....That's true.

If not book.Let me watch a movie to get that Tagore thing.Thanks

Meoww said...

I have never read Tagore's works. This is a nice review, giving me a peek at his work.

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Sekhar Jee,
If you really want to get the Tagore thing,I suggest you to read the book..Seems,they have made many changes in the movie version..Thank you so much for the comment..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Meoww,
Ohh !!!Its never too late.Start reading from now..Hurry up..:P
Thank you so much for your precious feedback..:-)

Sekhar said...

Then i have to complete few books before that :)

Thanks

Ranjana's craft blog said...

Great review...I should read this book

Usha Menon said...

Nice review.Is this book available in English/Hindi translation?

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@Ranjana,
Yeah don't miss it..I'm sure you enjoy the read..Thanks Ranjana..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Usha Menon,
Thank you so much Maa'm..Yeah it is available in both the languages.I got mine from Homeshop18.Excellent service by them.I got it with in 4 days.Here is the link.Pls do check..

http://www.homeshop18.com/chokher-bali/author:rabindranath/isbn:9788129103635/books/miscellaneous/product:21736956/cid:14567/?pos=1

Me said...

One of my first books I read from this author :)

Lovely review!

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Me,
Thank you so much for your sweet comment dear..:-)

Vishal Rathod said...

A nice review. Let me try it out...

Travel India

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Vishal Rathod,
Thank you so much Vishal..:-)

Rajesh Thakkar said...

First time visitor to your blog page and really loved it...though haven't read any of Tagore's works this review of yours of Choker bali is really astounding...Born and brought up in Bengal (Kolkotta) can relate with Tagore's work...good work..Kudos

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Rajesh Thakkar,
Welcome to my blog.You are lucky to be born at Kolkata,which gave us such a legendary writer..:-)Thanks for your precious comment..:-)

aliasgarmukhtiar mukhtiar said...

loved it

personalconcerns said...

Thanks for sharing this review. While reading this I was reminded of other female figures from the subcontinent. Would like to read about Kannagi for instance in the light of the observations that you have made!

Meenakshi Malhotra said...

Tagore was much ahead of his time, he gave his ladies courage to cross society drawn lines, quality of speaking and following their own mind and also which rare even today.

Loved the review.

Sri Valli said...

The story sounds interesting....Beautiful review Nagini :)

Found In Folsom said...

gap chup kakunda maya mayyipotare....emaindi ee pilla anukune lopala oka review vachestundi...mee reviews chadavatam manesanu...nenu kooda book chadivaka meeku chebudam ani..anthe..naa moham..naku pustakalu chadivi finish chese time ekkada dorukutundi? so inka at least mee review chadivithe anna book gurinchi telustundi ani malla vachanu itu :) Dairy of Anne Frank techanu ninna ne library nundi...chinna book ne..will have to see when I will finsih it:)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@Aliasgarmukhtiar mukhtiar,
Thank you so much..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Personalconcerns,
Curious to read about Kannagi..Thanks a lot for your precious feedback..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@Meenakshi Malhotra,
Totally agreed with your comment..Thanks a lot for your precious feedback..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Sri Valli,
Thanks a lot for your sweet comment yaar..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Found in Folsom,
హ..హ..లత గారు,నేనూ అదే అనుకుంటున్నాను,ఏమైపోయారు ఈవిడ,కనిపించడం లేదు అని..:-)) బిజీ గా ఉన్నారేమో అనుకున్నా.. "డైరీ అఫ్ యంగ్ గర్ల్" తెచ్చారా.మొన్న నేను చోఖేర్ బాలి తో పాటు అది కూడా తెప్పించుకున్నాను..చదివి చెప్పండి అయితే ఎలా ఉందో...:-)Glad to have you here.Thank you.:-)

Bushra said...

Hello Nagini dear:)
That was a very apt and interesting review..thank u :)

Regards,
Bushra<3

Indrani said...

Evergreen story of Tagore!

Nandini Deka said...

Nice review...the book looks interesting....

Pradyumna Ray said...

Never read the book but did catch the movie. The book is more tempting now after your review. Wonderful review.!

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Bushra,
Thank you so so much dear..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Indrani,
True..:-) Thank you so much..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Nandini Deka,
Yes,certainly interesting read..Thank you so much..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Pradyumna Ray,
I haven't seen the movie version..But loved the book.There is no question of disliking it,after all its Tagore's.
Thank you so much for the precious comment..:-)

sudha...a touch of madness said...

That was a nice review...would try picking up the book soon.
You have been nominated for Liebster Award here:
http://thelidislifted.blogspot.in/2013/03/more-love-coming-my-way.html

Adhi Das said...

Tagore is my favourite writer from my childhood & I hold his works close to my heart especially Gitanjali,well written superb work...& great thanks for ur motivating comments..keep writing i will keep reading..GOD<3U

sibi said...

I liked the review for its distinctiveness. Well analyzed and the review will motivate many to read Chokher Bali.

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Sudha,
Hi Sudha,Thank you so much for the nomination.I'm honoured..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@Adhi Das,
Thank you so much for the encouraging words.Pls keep visiting..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Sibi,
Thank you so much for your precious feedback..I hope so :-)

Team G Square said...

Great review , should read this piece of literature sometime soon .

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Team G Square,
Thank you so much for the comment..:-)

Bijoya said...

Excellent review!!!! This is one of my favorite book.It is called as Famous authors books which is written Gurudeb Rabindranth Tagore.

Me said...

Hey, you have just been awarded a Liebster award!

For details please check here:

http://wingstomywords.blogspot.in/2013/04/a-perfect-sunday.html

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Bijoya,
Thank you so much Bijoya..:-)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Me,
Thank you so much for nominating me for this award dear..:-)

navya pk said...

i am preparing for a project related to this book..kud u help me??
ur review seems interesting..

Ritesh Agarwal said...

Nagini dear.... I read this book a few years back and found it very powerful.... as you say, the female characters in Tagore's stories are very bold and are not subservient to the men....

Also tell me na, which font style do you use for the blog?
I'm experimenting with Calibri, Vijaya and a few others but am still undecided which one will be perfect....

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

@ Ritesh Agarwal,
Thank you Ritesh..The font came default by the template..Not having idea buddy :( sorry..

Madhu said...

touching review!!! Enjoyed going through it just as much as I enjoyed the movie itself... Keep up the good work!