Book: Ahalya

Author: Koral Dasgupta

Publisher: PAN Macmillan India 

Price: Rs 299

“To find the joy of life in little nothing. To identify beauty in the mundane. To be Ahalya, who can be neither possessed nor forsaken.” (Ahalya)

The day I learn this robust e-book, Ahalya, by means of Koral Dasgupta, I additionally took place to learn someplace that during psychoanalytic concept, a person’s envy of girls’ procreative powers has its roots within the younger boy’s envy of the mummy’s frame. And that, the psychoanalysts see the ‘femininity complex’ because of the male counterpart to the feminine castration advanced and penis envy. It no doubts added sufficient meals for a concept to my thoughts. I learn the textual content by figuring out of the relation between Gender, Text, and Performative Arts within the macrocosmic podium of interdisciplinary analysis. While doing so, I attempted to discover the kinfolk between Gender and Folklore in the Indian context.

To minimize an extended tale quick, Koral’s Ahalya is singular about ‘purity, chastity, seduction and redemption’ of Ahalya, Rishi Gautama’s spouse, Lord Indira’s sufferer (?) and Lord Ram’s redeemed devotee (?).

This query marks transparent something—the unconventional is multifaceted. Rather, deceptively easy. Koral has problematized, unabashedly, the problems and social norms associated with Sati, womanhood, motherhood, distinctive feature, excitement, orgasm, purity-pollution, feminine frame, and infidelity.

The novelty of the unconventional lies in the truth that no different author has mentioned Ahalya vis-à-vis her womanhood. To virtually all fable makers, she used to be merely a girl cursed by means of husband and redeemed by means of Lord Ram. Koral ventures to a substitute studying of Ahalya’s persona. Koral backers want the indulgence of a girl when Ahalya’s author asks her to find her ‘self’ all by means of herself, however, the boon comes with a pinch of salt – as all pleasures of girls do!  “Go woman, find your world yourself. Don’t stop till the happiness in your dreams merges with the reality of your life. The joy you seek deserves to be discovered…You will have to keep floating timelessly like an undesired homeless soul, which can neither live nor die. You will have the power to interpret everything, yet you would be powerless to bring about any change. You will exist, but you will not be seen. You will be honored only with a ghostly presence and earthlings will be scared of you, wondering about your evil dimensions. But the truth hidden from all is that you can’t even harm them! You will belong nowhere. Heaven is for the Gods, Earth is for the living creatures, Hell is where they go after death for the sins they committed in life. A cursed soul has no space to call it’s own.”

In the primary bankruptcy itself, one is satisfied in regards to the mysteries and the impending pains within the lifetime of Ahalya, whose oldsters don’t carry out their tasks. The writer has compassionate and empathetic concepts of parenting. “Motherhood blossoms out of love for the lover. A child born from a loveless union is such a disaster! Thrown between parents who don’t celebrate their togetherness, the child suffers a lack of emotional identity and a sense of belonging. I, a result of neither passion nor compulsion, was perhaps a bigger castaway. My father called me his work of art. Hasn’t the world always attended with vengeance to every form of creativity that is beyond one’s comprehension?”

Ahalya is thrown open to an immoral international to find herself. She has this boundless monologue with Mist, who appears to be her Alter ego every now and then, and a few different instances because of the incarnation of social order, who walks thru existence together with her. Ahalya learns the teachings of existence from Mist, however, the levity is, she has the capability to unlearn the ones with equivalent earnestness. “Sanctity, I learned from the Mist later, is a metaphysical way of remaining pure, godly. Pure at heart, pure in means and ends, pure by the body, pure by faith. She called it ‘Sati’. A pursuit to remain loyal and committed to one’s truth and never deflect by greed or guile. To own up with conviction and turn away from deceit. To recognize the voice of the self without pretence and resist being touched by alien assassins inducing cynicism. To express with dignity, to comprehend in totality. To love without reservations. To give and not be affected by the pride of giving. To give and not be affected by the pride of giving. To know, to value to rise, to shine.”

Ahalya has a spirit of inquisitiveness, deep creativeness of womanhood, and a need for perfection. She asks her Creator, “Will I be a woman, Father?” And confesses, “What did I  know about being a woman? Nothing, actually.”

Then the readers in finding themselves delving deeper into Ahalya’s composite international, “‘You are a woman already,’ I heard the Creator speak. ‘A seeker of truth. A follower of the divine. And a victim of her own intimidating strength. After your birthing is complete, you will also soon learn the skills of a manipulator who attempts to encrust reality in a shield of affection and beauty.’ Brahma smiled again.”

After a coarse passage during the channel referred to as existence, the touchstone, Ahalya is given in marriage to Rishi Gautam. “Gautam is the most visible contrast to your existence, Daughter. Your innocence to his intelligence. Your tender to his touch. Your cheerfulness to his reserve. Your beauty to his personality. Your rigidity to his flexibility.” Within no time, she realizes the futility of this loveless marriage. Ahalya learns the will of her frame, she learns to hunt and in finding her personal ‘pleasure’, and assembles the trail from innocence-to-experience for herself. “Seldom did I know that boundless pleasure attracts cruel penalties. Such is the balance of life.”  Lord Indra deceives Ahalya in a cover of her husband Gautama and makes like to her, to which she momentously reciprocates. She understands the wishes of a human frame, achieves probably the most elusive orgasm. She realizes the wonderful thing about the human frame and thoughts. The writer has a special degree of figuring out of attractiveness thru Ahalya. “External beauty is an illusion that captivates the human brain. You start thinking that an object of beauty is imperishable, invincible. The truth is, there’s nothing more vulnerable than beauty as it falls to the slightest provocation. It falls from its rank when something more beautiful stands before it. It falls from its confidence the moment it is described using tangible parameters. It falls from grace as time erodes its surface. Beauty isn’t worthy of trust. Yet the human mind is such that it chooses the beauty that appeals to the eyes over the strength that appeals to the heart.” Rishi Gautam curses her to turn out to be a dull stone after this ‘infidelity’, and Ahalya says, “Long, long ago when I was still a novice,  seeking an identity without a body, I had asked, would  the greatest lover known for his rugged energies make love with the soul?’ Indra had forgone his appearance to transform into a shapeless identity, throwing the same challenge back at me and yet fulfilling it in style, beyond the boundaries of time, as no cosmic lover has ever achieved!”

Feminists have contended that gender is a central setting up class of data; the sexual disparity is a cultural assemble; and male standpoints have ruled maximum fields of data, shaping paradigms and approaches. Anyway, the ways in which each and every of the present ‘feminisms’ theorizes gender as a longtime style range broadly. Because each and every self-discipline has its personal approach of making use of the canons of those converting feminisms. When one intends to discover the more than a few relationships literature has with the feminist concept, it sort of feels very important to first discover two basic questions: what precisely is feminism? And can there be a department of data referred to as ‘alternative-feminism’? I assess the Fairplay of alternative-feminism within the subdued discourse of Koral when she talks with readability, precision, and stability about ‘pleasure’ as a slice of feminism.

In the Indian context, the Loka and Shastra (folks and elite) distinction is opposite to the western distinction between Great and Little traditions. India does no longer imagines that non-literate cultures are ‘knowledge banks’ which wish to be stuffed in with the trendy wisdom of various disciplines and dominant cultures. The complementariness of Loka and shastra may be very deep and complex, so is the relation between folklore and gender. In the folktales on Ahalya, the personae is represented as a seminal a part of Indian conventional wisdom gadget. Koral Dasgupta offers an equivalent remedy to her Ahalya, with a promising long run of/for her upcoming ‘sati series.’

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