Saturday, November 30, 2013

#BookReview : Hajar Churashir Maa by Mahasweta Devi

Synopsis (from Wikipedia):

Hajar Churashir Maa (means Mother of 1084) is story of a mother (Sujata) whose son (Brati), corpse number 1084 in the morgue, was brutally killed by the state because of his ideology. The story starts on the eve of Brati's death anniversary when Sujata recollects her son starting from the birth. She meets Brati's close accomplice and tries to justify Brati for his revolutionary mentalities. Throughout the story she is portrayed as a strong woman who fought against the odds. She is advised to forget her son, as people like her son are "cancerous growth on the body of democracy". It's the story of the mother as she relives, years later, the death of her son in the political upheaval that left almost no home untouched. Hajar Churashir Maa portrays the other faces of the human stories that emanated from the restless political adventure of the vibrant Bengal youth, which was ruthlessly cowed by the government.


I read Bengali literature once in a while, I am not as fluent with reading the fonts, as I am with English. Very recently, I read Hajar Churashir Maa which was remade into a Hindi film with the title Hazaar Chourasi Ki Maa.

The story is about corpse number 1084's mother, Sujata. 1084 was brutally killed by the state, because of his revolutionary activities. Sujata is shocked and remembers her son, his birth, infancy and every small incident. Mahasweta Devi is a difficult author to read. He language, nuances etc are of a higher intellect level, and I had to take my time in finishing this book. 

An interesting plot with complex characters, Mahasweta Devi, who in herself is quite a revolutionary too, as written a top notch book here. I am not stating this fact, this is already accepted and after reading translations of her books, I am agreeing to every word of praise I have heard about her, now that I managed to read her in Bangla, as well. 

A heart-wrenching tale of a mother who has lost her son, her good son whom the state has branded as a cancer to the society, a powerful story with minimal drama, a sneak peak to the Naxalite revolution, misplaced idealism and how the young, generation of urban Bengalis sacrificed themselves.

Rating: *****/5

[This was a personal read.]

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