Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bhiksu University- Anuradhapura/Diploma/Stench of Kerosene/Amrita Pritam

"Stench of Kerosene’, authored by Amrita Pritam, is a tale of suffering and injustice in the rural areas of India. The author tries to relate the life of a young Indian wife to the reader in such a way that it leaves them feeling pity and remorse for her. Within it, there are elements of superstition, superiority, sexism and ancient traditions. Evidently, the portrayal of Indian culture is not one that may be easily accepted by most western societies as it reveals the actuality of Hindu culture in its extreme. It illustrates how harsh it can be, especially towards the gentler sex.

The story opens with Guleri heeding to the call of a horse; ' The mare was from her parents' village. She put her neck against its neck as if it were the door to her parents' house.' In this line the mare metaphorically represents her parents and her love for them, therefore as soon as she hears it coming she ' ran out of the house.

The story ends with the suicide of Guleri and the last time Manak saw her was on the day she left. The story ending for Manak is unfortunate as he loses his first wife and then disowns his new son with his second wife, of whom we do not know the name. The story ended as it did because of three main complications, the introduction of the second wife, the death of Guleri, and most importantly, when Manak stayed quiet when arguing with his mother. This was crucial and also show the importance of tradition in India, as children should never under any circumstances reply angrily to their parents.

Amrita Pritam (1919-2005)

Born in Gujranwala in a part of India which later became Pakistan. She was the only child of a school teacher and a poet. Her mother died when she was eleven and she grew up with adult responsibilities. She began to write at an early age, and her first collection was published when she was only sixteen years old, the year she married an editor to whom she was engaged in early childhood.
In 1947 at the time of the Partition she moved to New Delhi, where she began to write in Hindi as opposed to Punjabi, her mother tongue. She worked until 1961 for All India Radio. She was divorced in 1960 and since then her work has become more explicitly feminist, drawing on her unhappy marriage in many of her stories and poems.
She had the rare gift of ability to give tender expression to human sorrow and alienation. She wrote with courage and without any inhibitions. She witnessed the human tragedy of Partition of India and aftermath, and portrayed its pathos the degradation of human spirit it caused in her literary works. A number of her works have been translated into English, including her autobiographical works Black Rose and Revenue Stamp, bears a stamp of her creativity sensitivity, and the transparency.
Amrita Pritam was awarded the prestigious Jnanapeeth in 1982. Her other works include "Pinjar", "Village No. 36", and "Stench of Kerosene" (translated by Khushwant Singh).
3. Web site-1
4. Web site-2

D.N. Aloysius

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