Book Name: Gently Falls the Bakula
Author: Sudha Murty
Publication: Penguin India
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The plot in a nutshell
Karnataka-born Indian writer, famous for her novels like House of Cards, Mahasweta, Dollar Bahu, children’s classic, and a Collection of short stories Sudha Murty is a prolific personality. It is astonishing how, being the Infosys Foundation chairperson, she probes such deep into the human heart. Gently Falls the Bakula by Sudha Murty is a heartening reading for every reader. Another famous novel that touches my heart is Mahasweta.
The story of the novel, Gently Falls the Bakula by Sudha Murthy, opens with an easy go-on flow, telling a story of two genius girls and boys who come from two different families, antagonistic toward each other fiercely. But consequently, they fall in love. Their love deepens with the fragrance of tiny little ‘ Bakula flowers. Shrimati the symbol of purity, love, sacrifice and calmness get absorbed with the self-effacing flower ‘Bakula’ that she always wears in her hair and Shrikant associates her with it in every aspect. He asks her to write a letter to him when he moves to Bombay for his higher studies. Shrimati encloses a tiny Bakul in every letter. Eventually, they got married, in spite of every adversity from their house.
Shrimati the brightest student sacrifices her career, her thirst for knowledge, her yearning for the History of India, for Lord Asoka, Goutam Buddha Vikramaditya as at a point of her life she feels ‘Sir, I do love history but l love Shrikant as well’, perhaps more. She sacrifices her sensibility, her aspiration and her sensitivity to help Shrikant in climbing the ladder of the corporate world, higher to the highest rung. But everything has a limit and Shrimati crosses the limit of sacrifice on her part.
In the course of her life, she feels lonely, and detached, with no child, no lover and perhaps no husband who cares a fig for her. She does not aspire to materialism, she asks for love, for simplicity, profound knowledge and spirituality.
But she is taken for granted. Her calm docile self is used by everyone, including her husband and her in-laws. They never love her only taunt her, and make her suffer.
The most evolving and absorbing part is Shrimati’s realization and gradual development. Her sufferings, agony, and humiliation one day dissolve all her dilemma, her oscillation. Her tremendous willpower leads her to her destination – her journey in search of truth ‘The only option left was to become a student once again. After 10 years of marriage, she realizes what she wants and she embarks on her mission renouncing every comfort of Shrikant’s palace.
Technical sides :
The storytelling style and easy flow of language touch readers’ hearts easily. The ending is really heart touching where Shrikant loses his Shrimati-
‘Shrimati who had walked with him side by side in the same Shravan rain for ten years had now left him all alone. There is no braggadocio of Language, no bubble of hobnob society. The symbolic ‘Bakul flower’ keeps spreading its mild fragrance all over the novel. It must be said that sophisticated simplicity is the logo of this novel.
I thank and express my regard to the writer for such a precious gift that brings unfathomable pleasure to read. It soothes the heart with the pure refreshment of thought and lyrical provocation. I wish whoever will pick the copy must be enlightened with real pleasure and contemplation. Sudha Murty’s Gently Falls the Bakula reminds me of another Eminent writer, Perumal Murugan, whose novel Poonachi wins my heart.