Monday, 19 December 2011

Gently Falls The Bakula

       Alas!Gently fell the bakula off the tree standing there still since ages,in a sleepy town in a remote corner of the country,off the tree that had made two young people one.However,it fell not normally,but heavily,with the mixed feelings of a sorrow of its own failure and a sense of gratitude to the Almighty,that,at least,at this moment,he could bring peace and satisfaction to that child of the great bakula tree,whose life is compared to the life of the child and also whose presence transformed the life of the same child.
       The reason for the sorrow of the bakula flower was not at all expected and was not even sudden.It was constantly and complexly growing as the tree on which the flower grew, bore a dumb witness to all the struggles and calamities the woman faced in a life that had been greatly affected by the bakula tree itself.
      And then the sense of gratitude for the Lord!Why did this come into the forefront?It is because of nothing but the solace of the bakula that the woman has ultimately chosen her way after so much of struggle in her marital life.
       What is the tree and what is the woman?If you want to know,then have the privilege to read "GENTLY FALLS THE BAKULA",by the accomplished writer of her own kind,Smt.Sudha Murty.Though I try to present here,a brief outline of the touching masterpiece,I very clearly admit that no sort of review can make the story so heartrending as the author herself.And that,nothing can be better than oneself reading the novel oneself.
       The novel begins with the description of several characters under different genres such as age,social position,shrewdness and mainly maturity level.The setting is in a small South Indian town of Hubli  and the evergreen activity bustling city of Mumbai and the author freely and aptly uses the culture of that part of South India for her work.
      With the prime concern being the life story of two young people,Shrikant and Shrimati,the author judiciously uses all the other characters to highlight these two characters.For example,the boy's friends are shown to be small elements of the cause of his marriage. 
       The story takes on its first twist when the usually never ending silence between the introverted,yet sportive Shrimati and the extroverted yet overambitious Shrikant is broken in a train journey and leads to the birth of a new and a sweet friendship that further blossoms into an unconditional and innocent love between these two,Shrikant and Shrimati.
       But where was the bakula tree till now?Yes,it was there ,is there and is the most significant part of the story until the third quarter.It was the bakula that joined the two souls and even witnessed their union when in marriage ceremony.How?To know,go on to read GENTLY FALLS THE BAKULA.
       Next,the marital life of Shrikant and Shrimati.This forms the major chunk of the novel.Shrikant,initially is a n ambitious and aspiring graduate but later becomes overambitious,workaholic and neglects his wife,no her sensitive feelings and ideas.Armed with his practicality,he manages to climb the corporate ladder very easily,from a normal employee to a bright officer to a general manager and to a director.The family's affluence starts increasing very rapidly.On the other hand,Shrimati,a very intelligent woman,a post graduate in history,is a loving and caring wife to her husband and even does jobs against her will to help her husband.She thinks before marriage that she can continue with her Ph.D. after marriage,which she later realises to be not possible.Solely because of the simple,mostly unnoticed,yet highly sensitive problems of the human heart.
       Her feeling of dissatisfaction increases exponentially over years,owing to the added agonies of not having children,the ever increasing workaholism of her husband,etc.Her correspondence with a great American historian and more importantly,a good,elderly human happens to be her only solace and that serves like an oasis for quenching her thirst in an endless journey through a desert.However,initially,she gets adjusted to the situations around her only for her life to worsen.
      As the story unfolds itself to the reader,the initial delicateness,charm and surprise transform into a saga of never ending mental turmoil,agony and misery of 'a simple woman and Mrs.Managing Director'.
       Finally,one of those fine many emotional outbreaks of her paves the way for the conception of a decision in the woman's heart which changed her life and made her live according to herself.
       The story though being not strange or new,and also being common and known,yet is very special.GENTLY FALLS THE BAKULA is really great!
       Of course,the capability of Smt.Sudha Murty that makes the reader read the entire novel at a single stretch is very much worth mentioning here.I found myself sticked to this novel from daybreak and was simply surprised when I had completed this by lunch.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Light and Warmth