Grandmother's Short Stories

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The art of storytelling began when human beings started to speak some thousands of years ago. Stories communicated knowledge and experience in social contexts. Tales begin with conflict because man forever is in conflict either with himself or with the environment which is around him. In the tug of war between man and man or man and environment, a series of issues arise but get resolved at the end and stories depict this process in order to encourage or motivate the listeners that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Stories which summarise or distil the experiences of characters who are involved become a mirror exercise or serve as a leverage to activate the sense and sensibilities of readers or listeners. Stories weave the thread…show more content…
Of the three, Devi’s grandmother’s stories serve the purpose of revisionist myth-making by narrating the stories of less prominent female mythical characters and thereby serving as the means of liberation. For instance, it is said that Gandhari blindfolded herself as a mark of protest; Mansa had the power to retrieve her husband from the snake skin; Amba avenged her offender; Ganga courageously walked out of her marital alliance with Shantanu when the terms of marriage were broken; and Damayanti had the courage to choose her husband openly. From Damayanti, Devi learns that “A woman gets her heart’s desire by cunning” (The Thousand Faces of Night, 20); Devi picks up from Gandhari that women protest through their sacrifices; from Amba she realizes that “A woman fights her battle alone” (The Thousand Faces of Night, 40); and from the story about Ganga, Devi comes to know about female determination. Devi’s grandmother’s stories focused on the woman’s pride, destiny and self-sacrifice. Devi, who met only disappointments in the patriarchal world through her marriage with Mahesh and in the temporary relationships with Dan and Gopal, learns the strategies of survival and builds a brave attitude. Re-living the stories in retrospect, she understands the implications of her situation and becomes self-directed. These myths of various legendary women help her understand the significance of fighting back and the implication of standing on her own. All such stories of mythological women becomes Devi’s survival kit at the end of the novel and liberates her from the clutches of patriarchy where Devi is seen arriving at her mother’s home. The entire novel
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