Rassundarai Jiban Analysis

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The life of this ordinary housewife in a conservative family changes forever when she is engulfed by intense desire to read a particular Vaishnav text. However, what complicates matter for us further is whether Rassundari’s tone of confession is to be taken as her contemporaries understand it or, going against the grain, is there much more than what meets our eyes?

Amar Jiban: A Voice of Protest?
Rassundari’s childhood was an unusual one when she flowered under the protective gaze of her mother. However, quite shy and apprehensive in nature and interestingly, as an amulet her mother taught her to invoke the family deity Dayamadhav, at any moment of anxiety. It is indeed noteworthy to find that even as a child her sense of identity appears very strong as to be introduced
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This is an incisive critique of the domestic space which enforced seclusion on the women of the household. What further dampens her spirits is the fact that she knew this new reality to be now irrevocable. When suddenly everyone talks of having reached ‘home’ her spirits are revived but the solace is like a mirage which leaves her parched “...like a raging forest fire” (194) - it is the house of her in-laws. Rassundari is now in perpetual exile. With the Fifth Composition we are introduced to her life in the new household where she fulfils all the obligations as a housewife. However, Rassundari’s assertion that “I did everything in a spirit of duty” (194) is certainly indicative of the emotional detachment that she had to her new found calling. It was an exhaustive enterprise which left no time for her and though she repeatedly vouches for the kindness of the family that she wedded to, a deep sense of isolation seems to haunt her. Rassundari prepares the ground for us by generally talking about public
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