I love Saratchandra’s writings. They are real and yet seem to be set up in an entirely different world than the one we live in. And that is what makes them so special and enjoyable, despite the pathos depicted. And there is something about the women he depicts. They are so similar to each other and yet unique in their own way, that you can make one out in the crowd of various (famous and otherwise) female characters in Indian fiction.
They are strong – but not in a confrontational manner. Their strength lies in their silent sacrifices.
They are emotional – to the extent of laying down their entire lives, self respect, dignity, comfort for something as over hyped, under valued and unrecognized thing called love.
They bind themselves with religious and social shackles, and yet don’t hesitate to take the ‘immoral’ path (as defined by society).
Like ‘Paro’ in ‘Devdas’, they ridicule those who are in a ‘loveless’ marriage, yet see no harm in being in an abusive relationship themselves.
Like ‘Kamal Lata’ in ‘Srikant’, they project a ‘strong’ image yet fall weak in the matters of heart.
Like ‘Rajlakshmi’, they see no wrong in living with a man as lover while maintaining distance from people on the basis of their caste and religion.
Like Lalita, whose love seems to be more of a habit than what it ought to be.
Like Abhaya, who realizes the ugly side of a loveless marriage and runs away to be with the one she loves, thus daring the society and its norms.
These women confuse me. They give me a very different picture of love that I have known and felt. I agree with the concept of sacrifice and suffering in any relationship, but I also believe that love heals and not hurts. In all these characters, the common thread is the self-centered and arrogant man who is fortunate enough to be blessed by their presence in his life. I do not agree with this one-sided definition of love. I do not promote expectations, yet how can you love someone who is so much into him/herself? Love is not just giving, it is receiving as well. Saratchandra’s women are made to give and yield forever. And yet they ooze of character and strength. I do not wish to be like them, but still admire their spirit.