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One of the major per-requisites of an author is his selection of words to form the story. The versatile writer Rabindranath Tagore presents his evocative novel; ‘Chokher Bali‘ which literally translates to ‘sand in the eye‘. The entire plot revolves around the lives of two friends; Mahendra and Bihari. Binodini is set to pursue her long lost love and find solace in Bihari. The rest of the story unfolds with the agony of Ashalatha and the plight of Rajlakshmi on the death bed.
Set in the backdrop of an emblematic Bengali society, the story unfolds with the protagonist Mahendra refusing his marriage proposal against his mother Rajlakshmi’s wishes reflecting the new and old conflicting societal issues. Bihari, the adopted son of Rajlakshmi is a good friend of Mahendra.
The plot takes a twist when widowed Binodini, the previously denied bride enters Mahendra and Ashalathas’ lives. With the support of Rajlakshmi, Binodini chases her dream of long lost love. The character sketch is extremely appreciable; with a wide range character sketch of intelligent, vivacious, efficient and beautiful Binodini to timid, calm, insecure, pious Ashalatha. With minute detailing, the story is natural and very true to life. Also, Rajlakshmi’s character emphasizes on societal pressures being posed on her unmarried son and an inefficient daughter-in-law. Annapoorna, on the contrary is a calm person with a sober heart who later renounces the domestic worldly pleasures. Bihari is found in his soliloquy with his conflicting thoughts of his dead love for Ashalatha (whom Bihari was supposed to marry) and his blossoming attraction towards Binodini.
The story takes a turn when Binodini walks out of the house with Mahendra in search of Bihari who has fled the city. The family re-unites when Rajlakshmi is sick in bed. These inconsistent emotions spruce up the story and have a closer connection with the reader. Be it the picturesque description of the backdrop of the house or the various kinds of fish; the authentic Bengal is brought to your notice. Based on this novel, a daily serial and a commercial film have also been directed and produced.
Overall Rating: 7/10
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