29 September, 2020

Nymphet's Nemesis

Almost lovingly written all through, in its finale, the story suddenly acquires the leanings of a morality tale....

Nymphet's Nemesis
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Namita Gokhale’s Shakuntala reminds me of Alistair Cooke’s description of Marilyn Monroe: "a woman of tragic integrity". Over and again, her Shakuntala stresses that having been named after Kalidasa’s heroine, she carries within herself the samskaras of abandonment. So we meet a woman who’s always seen herself aloof from her life. As a girl, she’s "restless to see the world, to wander with the freedom of birds and clouds". She is wed to a much older man but their marriage is soon addled by the appearance of a handmaiden. Shakuntala then moves on; a straw in the ocean of her compulsions. From a wife, she now is little more than a whore to a Greek traveller. They reach Kashi, the destination Shakuntala has always ached to arrive at, but now they have to stay in the foreigners’ quarter.

Shakuntala, the eternal outsider. The little girl hovering by the door as her brother is being taught grammar. The wife who doesn’t belong. The whore ruled by shame. Eventually Shakuntala seeks redemption. And it is here that I have a grouse with the story line. Almost lovingly...

unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


In this article:

More from Anita Nair


Latest Magazine

October 05, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section