Mannu Bhandari born 3 April is an Indian author, whose work dates up to late s - early s. She is most known for her two Hindi novels, Aapka Banti and Mahabhoj. Starting in the s, a newly independent India was going through societal transformations like urbanization and industrialization. This demanded new debates, new opinions and new points of view, provided by those part of the Nayi Kahaani movement, including Bhandari.
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During recent decades a galaxy of women writers have started writing with the self imposed task of representing themselves in a style away from the stereotyping of women in fiction. This time they do not stand in the patriarchal circle of confinement. Instead they do come out of grotto and address the world from their vantage-point. Among Hindi women writers the name of Mannu Bhandari can be mentioned in this regard. Reality emerging out of nayi kahani is very bitter which is the outcome of clarity and objective scientific attitude towards tradition bound Indian social structure.
The sensitive human being evaluates each and every event and traditional values with the eyes of intellect and objectivity. Resultantly Indian social values look futile under this microscopic sight. Mannu Bhandari has successfully depicted her microscopic observations in her short fiction. Mannu Bhandari has contributed to the Hindi short story world some intimate portrayals of man-woman relationship. Bhandari's women characters are depicted performing different gender roles as daughter, young college girl, unmarried woman, wife and mother.
Some of them rise above this traditionally assigned role while some of them belong to the traditional roles. Anita Myles rightly points out,. Myles 1. Mannu Bhandari has given a distinct dimension to the total picture of woman in the family and society. The discriminating socio-cultural values, attitudes and practice which cripple the personalities of the female psyche are highlighted in her stories. In her shorter fiction women seem to work within social restrictions.
Mannu Bhandari has contributed to the Hindi literature some intimate portrayals of young girls who are pivotal in some of her short- stories. Bhandari explores the girl's sufferings as well as her efforts to harmonize the native and the acquired ideas as well as her problem after education.
Bhandari is aware of the different yardsticks for men and women in our conventional society. So she presents some glaring examples of gender sensitivity prevailing in our society. The protagonists of the following stories are even unaware of this injustice. It only proves that they have been nurtured since childhood in a society which perpetuates such inequalities.
It is a fact that even today a woman has been made acutely conscious of her gender since childhood. Restrictions on her movements are enforced as soon as she reaches puberty.
Any girl who tries rebel against such restrictions is severely reprimanded and shown her place. Seema Suneel put her arguments to support this view:. Before marriage, women are brought up strictlyaccording to the traditional codes. The moment girl reaches adolescence; she is reminded of her femininity. She is constantly reminded by society that she need not assert her individuality as she is destined for man which is the ultimate goal of her life.
Suneel 2. Mannu Bhandari has delienated a distinct facet and dimension to the total picture of woman and society. We come across a picture of a girl in the following story who becomes the victim not only of cruel patriarchy but also of blind judicial system.
The story Saza reflects the pathetic life of a promising young girl Asha. Her father is falsely caught under the charge of embezzlement of rupees twenty five thousands. Asha has left the school bus and she walks three miles to reach the school.
Tin mil paidal hi jaati thi. Dhoop ho ya barish, chehre par shikan nahi laati thi. Three miles I walked. Whether it was summer or monsoon; not a single wrinkle of dislike came on my face. The situation without income is very critical in her home and court has announced two years punishment to her father. Her maternal uncle, who has recently come from England support her father to fight for high court.
Her grand father has to work hard to fulfill the family of his son. Meanwhile Asha's younger brother Munna is sent to her uncle's home in the village for study. The news came that Munna was not treated properly by his aunt, Asha is also sent to village to help her aunt and care for her brother. Asha has to leave her study and work hard at her uncle's house in village. She becomes expert in house hold chores. Idhar ekdum kitni badi ho gayi hun.
Saat aadmiyo ka dono samay ka khana bana leti hun. Khana hi nahi, ghar ka. Mere saath school me jo ladkiyan padhati thi, Unse karva to dekhe koi bhi kaam! Par ve kyo ye sab kaam kare? Bhagvan kabhi unhe ese bure din na dikhaye! Here how much grown up I am. I can cook food for seven people twice a day. Not only food but total house hold chores are being done. The girls who studied with me, let them tell to any house hold work!
But why should they do all this? May God never show them such bad days! Asha's mother becomes ill without her children and her father is jobless and under the spell of depression. Her grand father sends her father seventy five rupees from his pension and extra work. At her uncle's home Asha has to finish all the household work and many a time at night her legs pain and she cannot sleep throughout the night. She thinks,. Cruel destiny and social system ruined the life of promising girl whose dreams never come true.
At last court announced its judgment and makes. Asha's father free from accusation. Here, Bhandari beautifully presents how social structure and traditional codes scatter the life of young girl. Here the gender sensitivity is displayed by Mannu Bhandari because it. The society we live in is. She is made conscious of her gender since childhood. In our society, which is essentially patriarchal, a female child is brought.
Marriage is thus, considered a great ambition and. The traditional feminine virtues and graces are instilled. As Sunita Raddy remarks,. The daughter is considered an enormous financial burden in as much as she does not contribute to the family income and instead takes away a considerable part of her family fortune as dowry. Reddy: 3.
The story presents a meek, docile picture of a young girl who represents all those Indian women who are covered with thick, slack layers of convention, ignorance and reticence in literature as well as in real life and who have no autonomous frame of existence. In the story Ek Kamjor Ladki ki Kahani , a young girl is made weak enough not to put her brave thoughts into action just because from her childhood she is treated under the strict control of parents on the name of tradition.
In a typical Indian set-up, daughter is considered a burden to be. And as Veena Das puts. Once a daughter is properly married and goes to her own house it is. Her father Rameshbabu marries again and under the eyes of step mother Tara devi, Roop is growing up. Once her step mother tells her father that there is nothing sensible in school teaching, so her father decides to leave her school and arranges a teacher to teach Roop at home.
Roop has opposed and argued a lot in her daydreaming but in the presence of her father she silently accepts her father's decision.
Slowly instead of learning she has to work hard in the home. In our male dominated society, a female child is brought up under the strict control of parents. Here step mother totally control the girl, Roop With a view that she has to fulfill their expectations. Roop's father observes that,. Chand dino me hi vah vidyarthi se gruhasthin ban gai.
Within few days she has been changed from student to house holder. This shows that marginalization of woman who lives her life according to the wish of others is still prevalent in some typical conventional Indian family where she is not given freedom to express her desire.
She walks and. She possesses neither the will nor the room of her own. She is taught to merge herself. Thus instead of studying at home she has to do house hold work at home. The entire purpose of shifting Roop from school to home is now totally changed day by day. Roop is made psychologically weak by the restrictions of her step mother. So her father decides to send her at her maternal uncle's home for further study. Whatever be the age, the girl has to follow the decisions and orders of patriarchy.
She feels that as if their parents have displaced her from her home.
Mannu Bhandari Kahani Akeli