Sunday, 17 February 2013

Book Review:: BINODINI

Binodini is a convent educated young widow left to her own devices when her husband dies soon after they are married. As was the custom in those times in British India, she returns to her village and lives there for a couple of months until she accepts the invitation of Rajlakshmi to live with her and her son, Mahendra (who had rejected a former marriage proposal with Binodini) in Calcutta. He is newly married to Ashalata (a naive, gentle girl), but soon begins to feel a strong attraction for Binodini.

The story details the relationships of these three and Mahendra's best friend Bihari as they deal with issues like distrust, adultery, lies, and problems between them.

Binodini, or Chokerbali as it was originally named in bengali by Rabindranath Tagore is one of Tagore's most remarkable novels. Originally published in Bengali in 1902, in no other novel is he a better storyteller. In no other novel has he watched the human drama with such gentle and calm irony.

You can relate to this book because this book has real characters. They don't preach and have shades of gray. the characters think, make mistakes, plan and conspire, change their mind and try to justify their actions like any person would do. A remarkable tale of Mahendra, Ashalata, Bihari, and Binodini. Their lives have been entwined together so beautifully that only a master like Tagore could have done that.

Binodini, the protagonist, after whom the book is named, is a young widow. Several years ago, both Mahendra and Bihari refuse Binodini’s hand in wedding even without seeing her. Now, when Mahendra and Ashalata are married and living a happy life, Binodini enters the house as the guest of a relative who lives with the couple. With the introduction of beautiful, vivacious, Binodini, there is an upheaval in the Mahendra household. Binodini befriends Ashalata and through her, plays with Mahendra’s mind. Mahendra gets attracted to Binodini. But slowly, Binodini takes a liking to Bihari.

The story has been beautifully told and Tagore has managed to capture complex human emotions with such simplicity that after finishing this book you truly understand why Tagore is considered as one of the best writers of the world.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Do you still do book reviews? If yes, where do I send you my book review request?