Skip to main content

Book Review: Daughter of Luharu by Monica Sudhir Gupta

Daughter of Luharu by Monica Sudhir Gupta is a riveting novel that narrates the tale of forlorn fate of women during pre and post independence. The novel is poignant in capturing their pain and tribulation among the patriarchal Indian society. No matter what the women’s contribution is towards a home or nation, they are always treated deplorably. In this novel, we see similar situation where the protagonist Roheeni fights and stands first for herself, then for her daughter and others. Her stance for voice and justice is worth watching and highly appreciative.


The story begins with eight-year-old Roheeni living in a fictional town Luharu, in North India. The time is before independence. Her father is a rich businessman who hardly has time for her because she is a girl and her mother passed away when she was born.

Soon, she is married off to Vishnu Das in a nearby village Chiriya at the age of eight. The first issue that the novel highlights is the child marriage. At her father-in-law’s home, her life changes, from bad to worst. She is forced to do extreme hard work while tolerating the taunts of her mother-in-law Bhagwani Devi and others. The contrast in mentality between Bhagwani Devi and Roheeni is quite funny and entertaining.

The expanse of the novel is vast and its characters are superbly done with their own idiosyncrasies. Her husband Vishnu Das is educated and peacemaker, he supports Gandhiji but his brother Kishan favours Bhagat Singh. He joins the revolution, often cited as freedom fighter. But things are not easy for them, in their village Chiriya they are chased by police. To save family and prestige, they finally settled in Luharu. Thus, the title is apt, Roheeni finally belongs to her village, even after her marriage. The novel runs high on family drama, political turmoil, melancholy and unabated suffering of women.

The time of 1947 partition was turbulent for the family. With Kishan absconding as a freedom fighter, the house was devastated by rioters. They loot and kill people in their house, kidnap Rani, the daughter of Bhagwani Devi. After the incident, the family is never the same again.

Another interesting climax in the novel is the birth of a Roheeni’s daughter Nutan. She is cursed for a girl child. Further, Roheeni makes sure that her daughter gets good education and marries off to a rational family. However, after the marriage of Nutan, there comes another fight for the family. The marriage was full of horrific secrets. How Roheeni saves her daughter – that is another captivating story in the novel.

Be it pre-independence or after 1947, the situation of women hardly changed. They have to fight for their rights and survival. The author grimly captures the plight of women taken away by rioters during the communal violence. Rani was one such victim. While the whole family is worried about Rani but Bhagwani Devi is reluctant on her homecoming, as per their lineage, she is now defiled and cannot be accepted in the society. They find Rani…but the quirk of fate writes something else for her.

The novel has an excellent story plot, and all its lead characters are women, which makes it gripping. The novel does not reek of feminism but it concerns the suffering of women at many layers in our society. With measured pace and brilliant narration, the novel is a class in itself. Monica’s rich and vivid narration of events and circumstances makes the whole story appealing and visual. By all standards, it’s a great novel with strong message for all of us.

Buy from Amazon.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Character Sketch of Binya from ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond

The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond is a popular children’s story. It features Binya as the main character, though there are other important characters as well, but the story revolves around Binya and her little beautiful umbrella. The story is widely popular among children, thus it has also been included in the schools’ syllabus all across the country. Since it is often taught in the school, thus the character sketch of Binya is often demanded by students from year to year. Character Sketch of Binya from The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond Binya is the main character of the novel ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond. Her full name is Binyadevi. As in the hills or anywhere in India it is a kind of trend to call children with their short nicknames. Binya’s elder brother’s name is Bijju, whereas his real name is Vijay. Binya aged eleven is a hilly girl. She lives with her small family in the hills of Garhwal. Her father died when she was two years of age. For sustenance, the

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should