Friday, July 03, 2009

Mother of 1084

So the third book that I have completed is 'Mother of 1084' by Mahashweta Devi. Being an absolute contrast to the two books that I read earlier, this one narrates the plight of a suppressed woman, who one day wakes up to a phone call, telling her that her youngest son is lying shot dead in a police station. He was involved in a naxallite movement. The story also covers the pain, a woman suffers when she is misunderstood repeatedly, first by her mother-in-law, then by her husband and then by her own children. Brati, the youngest son, was the only one, who had the ability and desire to see the inner beauty of his mother and had always wanted to protect her. But he was snatched away by death and the saddest part was that his mother, Sujata did not even know, if Brati died for right reasons. What was the cause that his son was fighting for and were those causes, worth fighting for.

The novel gives a beautiful description of what ugly reactions rebellions get, even from their very very own people, forget about the society. After the news of Brati's death came, everyone in the family, except his mother and the aaya, started looking for measures to hide this incident from the world. The grief of Brati's death got shelved before the more important purpose of saving the family's prestige. Sujata found herself all alone weeping for Brati, who was lying before her as cadaver number 1084, cold, heavy and dead.

Also, it made me feel sorry about myself. Naxallite movement that virtually wiped off a major chunk of an entire generation is still unknown to me. I think there are certain things in our modern history that every Indian should know. Freedom fight and emergence of Indian politics from it, partition, Naxallite movement and emergency. Each of these incidents have left deep scars and has changed the way people think. Sadly, these terms are old fashioned and when you want to discuss about them, you are termed political. Being political is a slang and people prefer to talk about future. But how can such striking trails be ignored? The world may not get any different for us, if we now about them or not. But it certainly has not remained the same for the people, who have lived those times.

The other impression that this novel made on to me is the condition of a mother. A woman can live a suppressed life as a daughter or wife, but never as mother. Her motherhood brings to her the last hope that she'll be loved and understood and cared. And when she does not get these things from her own children, she knows that nothing but death can set her free. Old age is the age, when a mother needs her child the most. Sadly, the less she gets loved by her husband, the more she becomes possessive about her children, specially son. I pity those sons, who never become good husbands and let the chain continue, generation after generation.

How much Sujata wanted to feel Brati! And how sad she felt when she discovered that she was so unaware of the real life that her son was living. She knew that Brati is going on a different way, but she never tried hard to findout, which way. This made her pain go even worse. She knew that she cannot change the system, her son has died for. She knew that she cannot explain people that he did not die a shameful death. She knew that she cannot bring him back. But she knew that her son loved her, truly, knew what she had gone through and wanted to protect her, without even letting her know that. The mere thought of being the mother of such a brave and sensitive boy, gave her the strength to break the silence, she has always maintained on the name of respect for her husband and hypocritical world he had created around her, including her other three children. Knowing that Brati knew what she had never expressed, Sujata wanted to break the image of timidity, at least, before herself. So, she refused to be somebody else, anymore. She refused to keep hold on her spontaniety. Finally, she realises that all those are living in that house with her are much more lifeless than Brati. She felt the urge to get her son back; and she left her body to find him in the heaven.