- Chokher Bali
Binodini is a young widow left to her own devices when her husband dies soon after they are married. 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). He is newly married to Ashalata (a naive, gentle girl), but soon begins to feel a strong sexual 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 numerous problems between them.
Binodini is a convent educated young girl who has been widowed and hence reduced to living very badly (like all widows of that period). Her husband had died soon after their marriage. When Rajlakshmi, a wealthy widow living in Calcutta, invites Binodini to stay with them, Binodini accepts.
Initially, Rajlakshmi's son Mahendra is besotten with his wife and forgets the world for her but after Binodini arrives, Mahendra and Binodini begin to have an affair.
Tagore elaborately records early 20th century Bengali society, through his central character, the rebellious widow, who wants to live a life of her own. In writing this novel he exposes the custom of perpetual mourning on the part of widows, who were not allowed to remarry and were condemned to a life of seclusion and loneliness. It is a melancholy, stirring tale of the deceit and sorrow that arise from dissatisfaction and sorrow. Tagore has said about the novel, "I have always regretted the ending".
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