She was like the Bakula flower. The flower all plain and unattractive yet has a divine fragrance. When the tree is in bloom, they form a carpet on the ground beneath it. Even as they wither away, their mild fragrance remains.
-Sudha Murthy in Gently Falls the Bakula
What could be extraordinary about Srimathi? Well, she is intelligent, charming and is passionate about quite a few things in life. She is keen on pursuing research studies, yet she gives it all up for the one man she loves the most- Shrikant. But surely this doesn’t make her any different, for most women in our society, have to make that one big choice- career versus home. Then what’s that one factor in Shrimati? What is that one quality Gently Falls the Bakula brings out loud and clear?
A classic Sudha Murty book
Sudha Murty’s book often may seem rather too simple. I agree that they aren’t great pieces of literature, yet there is that element of honesty and simplicity with an underlying message in her writing. And that’s why I enjoy reading her books and appreciate her characterization.
Shrimati and Shrikant are neighbors and top performers in their school. Thus, it doesn’t come much as a surprise when they both come first and second respectively in their final board exams. Shrikant falls in love with the simple yet charming Shrimati, and they tie the knot together. Soon, the ambitious Shrikant joins an IT company. He works relentlessly to reach great heights in his profession. On the other hand Shrimati abandons her own aspirations to become a pillar behind Shrikant, supporting him in every endeavor. And slowly as Shrikant rises to the top, Shrimati realizes that her existence in life remains a mere shadow.
“Ugly ducklings often turn into beautiful swans when they are tested.”
A marriage without purpose is going to get you nowhere
From a time when all that mattered to her was Shrikant’s companionship and his happiness, Shrimati starts to realize that her life isn’t going anywhere and, that it revolves just around her husband. Lost and lonely, she picks up the loose threads and takes that one big decision most women hesitate to do. She walks out of her marriage, without any fear of what society would have to say about it.
It is Shrimati’s decision not to succumb to societal pressures, of dragging on a marriage, when its purpose is lost. Instead, she walks out of it. She walks out to a whole new beginning away from the dismally empty one.
This post is a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge where I write about twenty six women characters from books, who have left an impact on me. You can read the previous posts here- Women in Books