Divakaruni explores these opposing arguments using clothing as a metaphoric representation of both Sumita’s captivity, as well as her liberation. From the start, Divakaruni uses clothing as physical manifestation of Sumita’s state of mind, “The water of the women’s lake laps against my breasts, cool, calming. I can feel it beginning to wash the hot nervousness away from my body. The little waves tickle my armpits, make my sari float up around me, wet and yellow, like a sunflower after rain.” (Divakaruni, 1). The mention of Sumita’s sari shows the reader that she has not yet been changed by the life she will soon be thrown into.
In Kamala Markandaya’s novel, Nectar in a Sieve, the woman of great courage, Rukmani, is forced onto the commencement of a fast changing India caused by an increase in economic activity, urbanization and centralization of power. Rukmani resists and then is forced to conform to changes in her environment. Unlike those around her who threw their past away with both hands that they “might be the readier to grasp the present,” Rukmani “stood by in pain, envying such easy reconciliation” (Markandaya 29). Markandaya writes about Rukmani’s attempt to recover the aspects of her rural life that she cares most about, revealing her adoration for a traditional rural life and her belief that all women enjoy amicable, personal relationships with their outer surroundings. The author conveys her ideals that traditional/conservative Indian women who challenge the
The famous civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Set in rural India at the dawning of a new age, Kamala Markandaya’s Nectar in a sieve tells the story of young woman Rukmani and her life with her husband Nathan, a tenant farmer whom she marries as a child bride. Throughout the book, Rukmani and her family face countless hardships and sufferings; however, she manages to keep hope and persistently battle for a better future. Markandaya thoroughly displays hope by using character Rukmani through her infertility experience, deaths of her sons, and unexpected encounter with Puli. First, the author portrays the theme of hope when Rukmani fails to bear many kids despite her continuous effort. At the beginning of her marriage, she bears a beautiful, fair daughter, Irawaddy; but for the next seven years, she faces the barrenness that is devastating in a society that depends upon the sons for their ability to work and care for their families.
I can relate to Chitra Divakaruni frustrated husband in her story “The Disappearance” growing up in a home where my mom had to step in to be a mother and father because of my dad’s alcohol problem she “had to put his [her] foot down” for us to move forward. (Divakaruni 2) My mom had to be a strong woman to live with my dad for over 20 years with my dad’s alcohol problem, having to pick up after him make sure we were not exposed telling us “in his [her] lap awkwardly” he will soon recover from his crisis. (1) She comforted us as much as she could so we would not forget the good moments we had with him and not judge him for his alcohol abuse, fighting or disappearance. Same as the husband in Divakaruni’s story my mom “was a good husband [wife]”
Divakaruni’s job as a Professor of Creative Writing at University of Houston vouches her ability as an acclaimed writer. Although she has been residing in America since 1976, she generously imbibes various Indian culture, traditions and beliefs in her stories perhaps due to her own close involvement with Indian culture when she lived in India till she was 20 years old. She also portrays life in America and the difficulties faced by immigrants due to differences in culture and beliefs of east and west. Living in a foreign country makes one yearn for one’s own homeland as Bharati Mukherjee winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1988 pointed, “Even in Manhattan we’d smile at another Indian if they walked by us,” she further added, “You felt an affinity to other Indians that you might not have felt in India.”(Passage from India) After her death on 28th January 2017, “I have an old copy of The Middleman (1988) with many phrases underlined,” remembered novelist Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, saying Mukherjee
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.
An integral part of Bengali culture that Divakaruni keeps bringing back in all her works is food and several beliefs, rituals and practices associated with it. Food occupies a crucial place in her works. ShashiTharoor’s remarks about her first novel, The Mistress of Spices, hold true for her other novels as well: Though Divakaruni does magic rather well, writing about the mystical spices in prose that rise lightly off the page like so many wipes of incense, she is best at realism. She has a keen feel for immigrant life. ThahiyaAfzal in “The Confluence of Spices: Paradigms of Identity and Self Discovery in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’sThe Mistress of Spices” statesthat food indicates “the belief systems, religious rules, and complex ideologies of a particular person or character, or that of an entire community or culture, that may not be explained explicitly in a text.” The present paper aims at examining how Divakaruni uses food in The Brotherhood of the Conch Trilogy.This series traces the fantastic adventures of a young Indian boy named Anand, a street urchin, Nisha, and their mentor, Abhaydatta.
CHAPTER 3 EncounteringDomesticSpace: Marriage,Motherhoodand Identity in ChitraBanerjee Divakaruni 's Short Stories Both the first and second chapters work as the base for the thesis which revolves around theconcepts of "Cross Cultural Appeal" and "Immigrant Woman Experiences". This chapter is focussed on the short stories of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and her portrayal of women characters, concepts, and effects of marraige, motherhood and Identity of selfesteem. Exploringthe 'woman 'squestions 'hasbeenof importancelatelyin diasporic narrativesand ChitraBanerjeeDivakaruni 's Arranged Marriage (1995) can perhapsbe seen as a manifestation of the concern over the issue of women 's freedomand coming to terms with 'her-self.As the title of the book makes apparent,the storiesin the collection areallaboutmaritalrelationshipsunfoldingitselfinthedistantlandofAmerica. Divakaruni 'sfirstcollectionof stories,theyfocusentirelyoninnumerablephasesof women 's life. Thespotlightis on womenas theycomein termswithissues suchas
Leaving India and its orthodoxy behind seems to be a solution to some of these problems in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's fiction. The works of chitra depicts the conflict between traditional ethos and modern culture of modern Indian women who are torn between their historical past and progressive present. Divakaruni, a woman with immense love on Indianness in her novels, depicts the Indian mysticism and fantasy and realism in her novel, Sister of My Heart. The female characters in the novel are shown fighting with the inner self to get adjusted with the new outer atmosphere and situations to overcome the problems of diaspora. They question the nature of their lives, and their roles as mothers, wives, daughters and professionals.
It is their hidden story that I try to tell in many of the tales in my short story collection, Arranged Marriage. It is their courage and humanity that celebrate an honour (Shelvam, 2004: 65). Divakaruni declares her reason for writing about women in San Francisco Examiner article: In South Asian mythological stories, ‘…the main relationships the heroines had were with the opposite sex: husbands, sons, lovers or opponents. They never had any important friends. Perhaps in rebellion against such thinking, I find myself focusing my writing on friendships with women, and trying to balance them with the conflicting passions and demands that come to us as daughters and wives, lovers and mothers.’ (Feb, 1999) Divakaruni’s mode of writing, therefore, becomes a mode of feminist