Tag Archives: Himachal Pradesh

Short Story: Tring Tring…and the bird flies free

By Sukanya Roy

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After a relaxing vacation with my parents in Shimla, I was back to my routine in Mohali.  As I sat working, suddenly the phone rang: “Tring, Tring.”

I could hear a soft-spoken lady from the other side, who introduced herself as Mrs. Dasgupta.

“Hello Nandini, I am Mrs. Dasgupta talking from Delhi, I got your contact details from Jeevansathi.com (Lifepartner.com). We are looking for a prospective bride for my younger brother, Naboneel.”

I was neutral. No excitement.  This was quite normal for me. For the past twelve months, I had put my profile on Jeevansathi.com, hoping to find my second life partner.

Every other day I received an ‘alliance’ related call and it had become an integral part of my daily existence. I had jotted down a two-page document introducing myself and had memorised it. I had also gone over the answers to a series of questions which were generally ask by the prospective. I wanted to be overprepared after my disastrous first innings.

I walked back home and started my preparations for baking cookies. Cooking for me is like stress-relief therapy after class.

As my hands neared the microwave, and I opened its door.

“Beep. Beep.” No, it was not the microwave. It was my phone. Read more

Criticism: Tagore’s Chitra and Folklore’s Hidimba: Power of the Feminine

Dr. Usha Bande casts a critical glance at Tagore’s Chitrangada, based on the Mahabharata story of the warrior-princess, and Hidimba, a folklore figure from the present Kullu area of Himachal Pradesh in India.

tagoreSomehow, Chitrangada and Hidimba stand out as epitomes of feminine power and feminist assertion in the Mahabharata as well as in literature. The role assigned to them in the Epic (Mahabharata) and in folk and mainstream literatures focuses on their strength, independence of spirit and intelligence. Rabindranath Tagore’s lyrical drama Chitrangada is based on the Mahabharata story of the warrior-princess whose quest for love has both feminine and feminist overtones.  Similarly, Hidimba, the present Kullu area of Himachal Pradesh, is a folklore figure who has become a part of folk psyche and has achieved divinity. These two women are not identical; though contemporary, they belong to distant parts of the land, with different value systems and social set-ups but both are strong and both represent an era that illustrates women’s authority and agency. It is interesting to explore how Rabindranath Tagore makes changes in the Mahabharata story to give his heroine the attributes he would like modern Indian women to possess and how the folklore of Himachal Pradesh elevates Hidimba from the daemonic to the human and then to the divine. Read more