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    • 1SHODH, SAMIKSHA AUR MULYANKAN International Indexed & Refereed Research Journal, ISSN 0974-2832, (Print), E- ISSN- 2320-5474, Aug-Oct, 2013 ( Combind ) VOL –V * ISSUE – 55-57 Bhabani Bhattacharya's art form carries an eminent show of characterization. It is a common practice of novelists to write about the subjects that bother them themostandrelateto thesoiloftheirorigin.Itbecomes difficult to project interplay of characters to represent the different attitudes of people for a writer. Bhattacharya is known for his mastery over the char- acter play to register his story. Famousliterarywritersarerecognizedbythe generations for their unforgettable conception of a variety of characters, whether it is Homer or Dante, Milton or Shakespeare, Tolstoy of Dostoyevsky. Dickens or Hardy it does not make any difference. A 'Satan'oran'Iago'canbeseeninanysocietyeithernew or old. As long as vice remains in the day-to-day life such characters cannot die. This proves that the cre- ation outmoded the creator. For example, Sherlock Holms became more admired than his creator Arthur Canon Doyle.That means the magnitude ofcharacter- izationcanbeneglected attheriskofacreativewriter's status. Bhattacharya'snovelsarethenovelsofideas. The societal purpose is important in them, as they are a 'criticismoflife.' He creates real life - like characters inhisnovels.Verisimilitudeismaintained throughout. E.M. Forster is of the opinion that the masses roughly describing himself gives them names and sex, assigns them to speak by the use of inverted commas, and perhaps to behave consistently. These word masses are his characters. The triumph of his art lies in the perfectbalancingofplotand character.Thecharacters are convincingly and deftly created to uphold the plot and new episodes spring out of the characters. Since all his novels are written with the help of the author's omniscience point of view, the characters are built up largelythroughtheauthor'sportrayalofthem.Although clashes of ideas and opposing ideologies make them forcible,vividanddramatic.However,themaincharac- ters lean to be symbolic of the ideas they personify or represent. They appear to be human and real. The technique of flashback of reminiscences of the stream of consciousness enriches them and the reader's inter- est in them is kept alive. In Shadow from Ladakh, Satvajit and his daughter Research Paper -English Aug- Oct , 2013 * MissAparna Mukherjee * Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, SSIPMT,RaipurChhattisgarh BhabaniBhattacharya'sShadowfromLadakh:Ideas interpretedthroughcharacterization Suruchi and to some extent her lover Bhaskhar Roy undergo transforming experiences. With the passage of time, the characters originally created, mould and develop. They themselves change in turn by the events and incidents of the story, for example, Bhaskhar and Sumita. They all have been cast to project a particular point of view in the beginning. Nevertheless, as the plot develops and unfolds gradually, all these charac- ters respond to the new requirements of the situation. They reshape and readjust themselves in the process of changing the course of events. Bhattacharva re- veals. Once I start writing, it is not I but the characters and notI. thatcompel meto beled bythem. Theydecide the way they should end.... Even the original plan of a storyitselfis modified orchanged due to certaintraits, which my characters develop during the course of events. (Shadow from Ladakh 2) In the novels of social realism and of money nexus,therearecharactersfromthebusinessclasswith no moral scruples. They are social climbers, lenders, merchant,profiteers,black-marketers,smugglers,con- fidence-tickers and exploiters. Then there are charac- ters that represent the Old World rigidity and ortho- doxy,aversetochangeparochialanddogmatic.Against them stand the reformers and those who believe in the forces of change, for example, the senior members of Gandhiram in Shadow from Ladakh. His novel is also having numerous children and non-descriptive char- acters like barbers, bangle-sellers, fortune-tellers, household servants, soldiers, angler, and village folk- farmers; pleasant, village elders etc. They present a cross-section ofrural and urban setting. Theyare those who are left much behind by the heroes in the human race, not directly contributing to the climax of the plot, butveryhelpfulincreating,theclimaxinbuildingupthe atmosphere. Bhattacharya's male characters are often im- perfectly delineated. They are all flat and two-dimen- sional. Theyhardlychange or develop. The male char- acters simply represent a single idea or value to which they stick to almost rigidity. If at all, any development takes place it is towards the end of their career. More- over, sometimes this development is insignificant and
    • 2 International Indexed & Refereed Research Journal, ISSN 0974-2832, (Print), E- ISSN- 2320-5474, Aug-Oct, 2013 ( Combind ) VOL –V * ISSUE – 55-57 almostinvisible.Theyaremoreoftypesthanindividu- als are. Bhattacharya excels in the treatment of his womencharacters.Theyareimpressivelydrawn.They assume more significance than their male characters. They are both as individuals and as symbols. They are susceptible to changes that take place in the society. This adaptability helps them to develop in course of fiction. They grow, act and react quite like actual, hu- man beings. They are not merely flat figures but living and round characters. We see this when Satyajit thinks of change in Suruchi. She was as much Gandhigram as he even though she has changed since her Moscow's Trip. AnotherexampleisofSumita.WhenBhashkar invites Sumita to attend the cultural functions orga- nized byhimat MeadowHouse,she returnsfromthere a bit changed and this is seen in the lines given below: He looked beyond the gate. Shading his eyes against the sun, he looked intent. People were coming this way in a group. Women- the one who walked with a stick could be Sumita, but she was dressed in red. It wasSumita! Wherewasher whitegrab? The whitekey with the intrinsic purity of body and spirit? Curious, that the flame of her was best contained in an earthen lamp, not one of bright metal. Her visit at the head of a group was this a decisive stop in her acceptance of Meadow House? (Shadow from Ladakh 150) The women characters cannot be summed up in a single phase or in a few words. They get involved in the events and are modified. The readers come to know about the contemporary realities more through female characters than the male ones. They not only represent the novelist's ideas convincingly but also speak for The Indian Women as a whole. Suruchi is a prototype Indian woman placed in different situations of social life. She has passed through every stage of readjustment and remained tranquil. She was a part of Satyajit, according to the novelist Shared? That was not the right word. She was part of Satyajit. The nail on his toe. A strand of hair on his scalp. And it had needed distance for her to find herself after long years had passed.(Shadow from Ladakh 170) Typical Indian wife's feeling or Indian womanliness is reflected in Suruchi's character towards the end of the novel: Suruchi continued to give her husband his diet of water and salt. She would be vested with saintliness afer he was gone: Satyajit recalled his friend's words. The Mother Supreme! The supreme insult. (Shadow from Ladakh 170) Suruchi, being a successful wife is also revealed in a Bireswar's comment in his conversation with Satyajit. Shewasforyoujustawife;arolethatanyotherwoman could have played with equal success. Love grew in Suruchi's heart in the days and monthsafterhermarriage,no mandeserved moreto be loved.Tagoreallottedthe'TreeHouse"forSuruchiand Satyajit where he himself had once lived. It was an old structure built around the trunk of a pipal tree with the lower branchescut and theleaveshigher up enveloped the house like a canopy. Suruchi planted an oleander in the backyard, and in a surprisingly short span of time, it began to put forth profuse red blossoms. She neverquestionedabouttheChristmascards,whichher husband received, because she could sense his reluc- tance to speak out. She thought let his yesterdays remain hidden and today and tomorrows counted to her. Sumita was born two years after her marriage. Bhattacharya also depicts Sumita as a true Indian Woman: Sumita was her name... but the barefooted girl was now a subject of talk in Lohapur. She was beautiful everyone said that. Her coarse white grab was meant to negate her looks. A dedicated woman had no use for the body's attractiveness; that could well be a hindrance. Nuns in ancient India often had their hair shorn, especially under the Buddhist im- pact. (Shadow from Ladakh 201) Her Indian influence or more so her being a Gandhigramwomanisrevealedclearlyinthebeginning of the Fifth Chapter by the novelist when Satyajit pre- sents her spinning wheel on her fourteenth birthday: ThematerialofthewhitesariandJacketinwhichSumita always draped herself was the cotton fabrics woven out ofyarn she produced with herown spinning wheel. The wheel had once belonged to Gandhi and Satyajit had received it from himas a gift. Foryears, he had not let it be worked by any hand other than his own. Even Suruchi was not to touch that precious possession. However, when Sumita reached her fourteenth year, Satyajit gave the charka to her as a birthday present. Regarding major male characters, Satyajit is a tall thin youthwhohadwonlaurelsatCambridge.Comingback to India, he paid a visit to Shantiniketan. the country home of Rabindranath Tagore. Here he founded his World University and was now engaged in the task of village reconstruction. Satyajit is the very soul of Gandhigram with- out his guidance the structure of ideas has been build- ing will topple like a thing of sand. The others on the village council, men like Krishnamurti, are much smaller dimensions. (Shadow from Ladakh 220) Satyajit'sGandhianideasarereflectedinthefollowing:
    • 3SHODH, SAMIKSHA AUR MULYANKAN International Indexed & Refereed Research Journal, ISSN 0974-2832, (Print), E- ISSN- 2320-5474, Aug-Oct, 2013 ( Combind ) VOL –V * ISSUE – 55-57 Discipline was imposed from early childhood. Boys and girls bathed together in the village pond, which was Satyajit's idea, derived, as so much else from a Gandhian experiment. It would be helpful in subli- mating certain impulses. The core of brahmacharya wasnotescape,butself-conquest.Onerenounced life, not in the emptiness of the jungle, but amidst all the bonds of domestic bliss. (Shadow from Ladakh 230) BhattacharvarevealsSatyajit'sIndianessinthefol- lowingpassage: Satyajit felt a new sense of' release. He had forced himself in to a Gandhian stance and gained victory over himself. Now, if perchance he were to live, he wouldnothaveto steponeachfootprintoftheMaster's striding gait. The fact would remain unrevealed that his fast was not primarily on Gandhigrams account. It was no act of penance, either. It was not his chal- lenge to the flesh, his vindication of the spirit's su- premacy over the flesh. It was his Nirvana, the state of self-annihilationthatmeninIndiahadalwayscraved. (Shadow from Ladakh 352-353) Theothermajormalecharacterinthenovelis BhashkarRoy,ChiefengineerofSteeltown.Attheage of twenty, he had known what he wanted and thought America would be adventurous. He left his college halfway through the course, booked a cheap passage onafreighter,andsailedawaytoAmerica.Heabsorbed America withall hissenses.Asold asBhattacharya, he absorbedmuchofthehumanscene.Hedrankhard with the men. He dated with the women. He was far from homeland, yet, it could well be that within him India remained as real as ever before. That may be, was the reason why, even after a stay of twelve years, he could cut the strong pull ofAmerica all at once and fly back home. BhaskarthinksthatGandhigramwasburdened with the ideas of a neo-saint and it did not know who ismissed.Therewouldhavetobenewwindowsthrough which it could lookuponthe pageantryoflife. Further, the novelistreflects theideas ofBhashkarveryclearly, when Bhashkar says: There lies the village, behind the wall of Satyajit's ideas: Steel town has to break that wall. We'll build a place like the Institute for our mill hands -a centreofsocialCommunion.We'llinvitethevillage to share the new-built house with our own workers. (Shadow from Ladakh 350) RupaalsoreflectsBhashkar'scharacterwhenthere isconversationbetweentheboth: The truth is that America, as a whole has meant nothing to you. You brought back the indus- trial known-how. Not the know-hour of life! This is the case with even Indian. He goes west and becomes a new person. He returns home and at once, he is a complete Indian. (Shadow from Ladakh 360) Here,hethinks ofthose beautifuldaysimme- diatelyaftertheirmarriage.Bhattacharyahasarareskill in analyzing the inner nature of his characters. The reader comes to know about his men and women more through their thoughts, inner conflicts, tensions and relations then merrily through their actions and ap- pearances. Bhattacharya also resorts to other methods while delineating his characters. He makes his charac- ters throw cross-light on each other through their con- versation.Forexample,conversationbetweenBireswar and Satyajit regarding Suruchi: - Gandhigram is more to you than Suruchi - You would have bewailed herlossonlybecause of its moral effect on Gandhigram. You wouldn't have been destroyed as I was!" (Shadow from Ladakh 546) Bireswar calls -"The meadow" as a "battle- field", a battle between Satyajit and Bhashkar. The confrontation of winning and losing is revealed in the conversation between Bireswar and Satyajit: You are yielding to violence, Satyajit. In your spirit, Gandhi always offered every possible opportunity to his adversary to win. His own personal stand was never important. It was always truth, truth and truth again. You must give truth a chance, Satyajit. Satyajit smiled, Bhashkar can have every chance to win, he said. For us an empty victory will be worse than de- feat. It's the confrontation that strengthens our spirit. You can't have the heat of battle all the time. The constructiveprocesseshavetotakeoveratsomepoint. Look, Satyajit, this fast will he constructed as emo- tional blackmail. Even though that is far from your intention. Have you looked at it from that angle? Gandhi faced that change. He answered that change. Let's not start an ideological dialogue, Satyajit, you must give up this this fast, that's all I have to say. (Shadow from Ladakh 395) Bhattacharya creates a world of his own in the live art ofcharacterplay.Interestingly,thereadersareabsorbed in the well knit plots projected by the fine director of fiction. 1 Bhattacharya. Bhabani. Shadow from Ladakh. Delhi: Hind Pocket Books, 1968. 2 Forster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel. London: I Edward Arnold. 1945. 3 Joshi, Sudhakar, "An evening with Bhabani", The Sunday Standard. April 24, 1969. R E F E R E N C E