Sunday, November 18, 2012




Many  Characters that  i happened to come across  while reading some books and  novels have remained etched in my memory .  Some of them are totally unforgettable . In this unforgettable category i am always reminded of four prominent characters . I am not commenting upon usefulness  of these characters  to society . That is another debate. But then some of  these fictional entities appear to me more  human and  impressive than many  in bones and flesh  .

The first  that comes to my mind is Gregor Samsa , a character created by  Franz kafka for his novel The Metamorphosis . Gregor is a traveling sales man who is the sole bread earner for his large family . And then one day Gregor wakes up to find himself   transformed  to a Monstrous insect .

Similarly Meursault created By Albert Camus for his novel OUTSIDER  remains another unforgettable character  . Meursault    suffers  more damage from the society for not weeping at his Mother’s funeral than for killing an Arab  (for which he faces a trial as well in a curt of law ) on a beach in Algeria  .Demonstrating  emotional detachment from his environment  , many events in the novel like a proposal for his marriage , death of his mother , his arrest  followed by the unjust trial  do not have any emotional impact on Meursault.  But then he is truthful and honest to core and  is prepared to pay the price  for  his mistakes .Lonely  and cursed  , he finds himself overwhelmed by the strange yet  benign indifference of this universe . People are tempted to call  him outsider but  as per Camus he is a man in love with sun that leaves no shadows .

Hori Ram   a character created by Munshi Prem chand for his novel  Godaan is again  unforgettable  . Hori is poor , decent , truthful and deeply in debt . Like any other poor farmer of the country he is also trapped in the vicious circle of rural indebt ness and exploitation . Crushed by the Zamindaari system  that existed in the country , Hori is put to tons of misfortunes for fulfilling his   desire to own a cow .  Supported by his wife  , Hori  Struggles to provide for his children. To sum up , Hori Ram emerges as a Starved and half naked soul  who waits for his  god to come to his rescue .  Touched by the  Hori’s plight this character leaves a scar in the mind. . Hori dies finally.

 Manto’s Saugandhi is another classical character that can not be forgotten . He created  this Character for his   story HATAK . The plight of Saugandhi  brings simultaneous hatred and sympathy in hearts of millions of MANTO readers . Till this society exists Saugandhi shall exist as  Manto's pen has immortalized her . Saugandhi the Bad woman . Saugandhi the kind and tender hearted  woman. Saugandhi the exploited . Sauganmdhi the lonely woman  .  Saugandhi the woman who has gone too far in her dull and aimless life  that she has lost  the distinction between Man and Dog. And a different  Saugandhi   who finally spits venom and fire  when she throws out her exploiter Madho from her  dingy and dirty room that happens to be her world.. 
 Manto has given total freedom to this Character to evolve itself and then attack the very society that created it. Saugandhi's  room defines her life . Cramped  and dull . Things like  her bed  , unpolished and stiff  leather sandals , face cream , Talcum powder , hair pins , lipstick, a parrot trapped inside cage  full of some rotten fruit pieces with   tiny  black mosquitoes , Oil lamp on the wall ,  A chair with shabby seat cover and an old HMV gramophone with rusty pins . Yes a photo  of lord Ganesha also hung  and decorated with  some  fresh and mostly  dry flowers . The room presents a picture of disorder . Yes disorder of her existence and living is  starkly  visible  through the objects lying in her room.

 Saugandhi also had her dirty pet dog living  inside this room . This  dog with   some skin disease/ rash   slept   under her bed or near the door on a shabby mat. Manto calls it Khaarish-Zadaa kutta . When Saugandhi attacks and throws out Madho ( Her Exploiter ) from her room , this dog too joins and helps her by barking and attacking Madho. Ram lal the pimp too  comes occasionally to this room  bringing a customer  for Saugandhi .Relation between Ram lal and saugandhi are pure professional .  But then Ram Lal too comes to the room to gulp down the left over liquor from   any bottle that some customer might have brought with him to Saugandhi's room  .


Yae saaen zindagi chhe zunn
shoaraaeib sinz kolaai………..
Dohaai su shaam Paaeit Ma praaetchh vuchh daggun taa Neil Daag
Dohaai magar rachhein chhe Aeissi madhuir Madhuir taa meith khwaab .
Su sounthh iyee taa Pholie yaa Bagh
Agar chhu az Kathish taa maagh .
Gaash Phoall taa Burr Mutchur
Burr Mutchur taa Raat Maaeish .
( Autar Mota )

This life of ours ,
Behaves like a poor drunkard’s wife.
Yes these wounds !
Every night we beat our chests in agony
Every night it orders us to hold dreams for a bright future .
“ spring shall soon decorate this garden ,
Worry not for this present chill and freeze up ”
Oh ! Oh ! This daybreak and the sunlight ,
Alas! our helplessness.
Let the door be opened now
to forget previous night’s torment .

( Text And Photo by Autar Mota )

 (sunday ,18th november 2012 ... Time 00.30 AM... good night  )

CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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