​As a child in a village by the river, Srikanta learns about religious and social might from a burly boy, Indra. And he idealizes Annada Di, the epitome of selfless devotion to a worthless husband, who leaves an indelible impression on Srikanta’s mind, and becomes his bench mark to measure the worth of a woman. A chance meeting with Pyari, the dancing girl, who happens to be a child widow of his own village, and supposedly dead, brings about a noticeable change in his attitude. He considers Pyari to be the basest woman, who has given up all morals for the sake of comfort and tries hard to get away from her. He even ends up being an ascetic. But, in his zeal to serve sick people, he himself falls ill and is nursed by Pyari in her own house, thereby bringing the two in unavoidable proximity. Though Pyari nurses him well, as soon as he recovers, he abandons her and sails to Burma. And, here he meets another strong woman Abhaya, who is traveling with a companion, Rohini, and is supposedly going to Burma to look out for her estranged husband. Srikanta empathizes with this ‘forward woman’ and soon becomes privy and witness to the cruelty of her husband. Abhaya abandons her husband and accepts Rohini as her lover. Though, initially, Srikanta is sceptical of this move, the common suffering of progressive Burmese women at the hands of menfolk, forces him to accept the folly of his own kind, who take women for granted.

AK Various 

Akash Khurana

Writer

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