Category Archives: Novel

Individual And Society In The Novels Of Manju Kapur

INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY IN THE NOVELS OF MANJU KAPUR Manju Kapur has joined the growing number of women writers from India, like Shashi Despande, Arundhati Roy, Githa Hariharan, Shobba De On whom the image of the suffering but stoic women eventually breaking traditional boundaries has had, a significant impact.

They invigorated the English language to suit representations and narration of what they felt about their women and their lives in post modern India. In a culture where individualism and prated have often remained alien ideas and marital bless and the women’s role at home is a central focus. These modern-day women authors are now expressing themselves freely and boldly and on a variety of themes without adopting feminist postures. Manju Kapur’s novels acquire a significant new meaning when read in the point of view of crisscross dogmas of cultural critical thinking.

Manju Kapur’s novels furnish examples of a whole range of attitudes towards the importation of tradition. However, Mrs. Kapur seems aware of the fact that the women of India have indeed achieved their success in sixty years of Independence, but if there is to be a true female independence, too much remains to be done. The conflict for autonomy and separate identity remains and unfinished combat. Women under the patriarchal pressure and control were, subjected too much more burnts and social ostracism. They were discriminated and were biased in lien of their sex. The life women Lived and struggled under the oppressive mechanism of a closed society were reflected in the novels of Manju Kapur.

Taking into account the complexity of life, different histories, cultures and different structures of values, the women’s question, despite basic solidarity needs to be tackled in relation to the socis-cultural situation. The impact of patriarchy on the Indian Society varies from the one in the west. Manju Kapur has her own concerns, priorities as well as their own ways of dealing with the predicament of their women protagonists. My purpose is to study individual and society in the novels of Manju Kapur. I have taken three novels of Manju Kapur entitled “Difficult Daughters Married Woman and Home” for this purpose.

JUSTIFICATION Manju Kapur’s female protagonists are mostly educated, aspiring individual caged with in the confines of a conservative society. Their education leads them to independent thinking for which their family and society become intolerant of them. They struggle between tradition and modernity. It is their individual struggle with family and society through which they plunged into a dedicated effort to carve an identity for themselves as qualified women with faultless backgrounds. The novelist has portrayed her protagonists as a woman caught in the conflict between the passions of the flesh and a yearning to be a part of the political and intellectual movements of the day. MANJU KAPUR LIFE & WORKS Manju Kapur teaches English literature at Miranda House College, Delhi University.

Her first novel ‘Difficult Daughters’ received huge international acclaim. This novel was published in 1998. Her second novel ‘A Married Women’ was published in 2002. Her third novel ‘Home’ was published in 2006. ‘Difficult Daughters’ was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the best first book (Eurasia) and was a number one best seller in India. She is married to Gun Nidhi Dalmia and lives in New Delhi. The portrayal of woman in Indian English fiction as the silent suffer and up holder of the tradition and traditional values of family and society has undergone a tremendous change and is no longer presented as a passive character. Kamala Markandaya, Nayantara Sehgal, Anita Desai, Shashi Despande and many women as an individual rebelling against the traditional role, breaking the silence of suffering trying to move out of the caged existence and asserting the individual self. This women is trying to be herself and yet does not wish to break up the family ties. Since Gandhiji helped the women to cross the threshold of family life and move out into the outer world of freedom struggle and social reform, the woman is presented with varied opportunities not only today but also yesterday during freedom movement. Yet writing in 1998, Manju Kapur, in her novels presents women who try to establish their own identity. The women of India have indeed achieved their success in half a century of Independence, but if there is to be a true female, independence, much remains to be done. The fight for autonomy remains an unfinished combat. I In her quest of identify, Virmati the central character of the novel, rebels against tradition. She is impelled by the inner need to feel loved as an individual rather than as a responsible daughter. The title of the novel ‘Difficult Daughters’ is an indication to the message that a woman, who tries in search of an identity, is branded as a difficult daughter by the family and the society as well. ‘Difficult Daughters’ is the story of a young woman, named virmati born in Amritsar into an austere and high mined household. The story tells how she is torn between family duty, the desire for education and ellicit love. This is a story of sorrow, love and compromise. The major portion deals with Virmati’s love affairs with professor and rest part describes fighting struggle for freedom. Virmati is the elderest daughter of Kasturi and Suraj Prakash. Kasturi has eleven children. One after another she gives birth to children and thus the whole burden of household work increases over Virmati, being the elderest daughter. Due to her busy routine she does not do well in her studies and fails. She falls in love with a professor, a man who is already married. He sublets a portion of Virmati’s house. Thus professor develops on intimate relationship with Virmati and decides an appropriate place for regular meeting. Here Virmati’s parents decides to marray her to an engineer Inderjeet but due to the death in his family marriage is postponed for two years. During this period Virmati passes her FA exam and denies for marriage. Professor insists Virmati on being firm. Now Virmati becomes mentally disturb and goes to Tarashika and drowns herself. She is escaped by the servants of her grand father Lala Divan Chand and returns to her house at Lepel Griffin Road. Everybody inquires the reason and finally she declares that the does not like the boy and wants to study further. So marriage is settled with Indumati, the second daughter. Now Kasturi has to go with Virmati to Lahore for getting her admit in RBSL college and principal assures Kasturi that there will be no problem and she has her eye fixed firmly on each one. Sakuntala who has been a source of inspiration for Virmati, visites her regularly. Professor’s course of meeting to Viru has yet not stopped and during this period she becomes pregnant. She becomes restless and with the help of her room mate Swarnlata she gets abortion. After completing her B.T. she returns to Amritsar and is offered the principal ship of a college, she joins it but in Sultanpur too Harish visits her and there meetings are observed by Lalaji. She is dismissed so she decides to go to Nariniketan but on the way she meets Harish’s close friend Poet who is already aware of their intimate relationship. So he does not let her go and calls Harish. He performs all the rituals of marriage. Professor with Virmati returns home. During her conjugal life Virmati feels that it would have been better if she had not been married with Harish. After sometime she gives birth to a daughter Ida. And at the beginning of the novel this girl Ida ponders over her mother’s life. Virmati has to fight against the power of the mother as well as the oppressive forces of patriarchy symbolized by the mother figure. The rebel in Virmati might have actually exchange one kind of slavery for another. But towards the end she becomes free, free even from the oppressive love of her husband. Once she succeed in doing that, she gets her husband all by herself, her child the reconciliation with her family. In the patriarchal Indian Society marriage is a means of deliverance from being socially condemned and it relieves a woman from the sense of insecurity and uncertainty. To the older generation marriage is no reason to rebel, it was accepted as a part of life’s pleasere and was a phase of initiating certain Dharmas associated with social and religious institutions. Off course love was not the prerequisite or a desired basis for marriage. If Virmati’s mother, Kasturi and Ganga (Prof. Harish Chandra’s first wife) seeks pleasure in domestic up doings. Virmate struggles between the physical and moral, the head and the heart. Finally she gives way to her heart and body. II In her novel ‘A Married Woman’ Manju Kapur has taken writing as a protest, a way of mapping from the point of a woman’s experience. Kanpur negotiates different issues emerging out of a socio – political upheaval in her country. In a realistic way, she has described the Indian male perception of women as a holy cow even though women are not very interested in history and those in power trying to twist and turn historical facts to serve their own purposes. Ms. Manju Kapur’s second novel ‘A Married Woman’ is the story of Astha an educated, upper middle class, working Delhi woman. As a girl, she was brought up with large supplements of fear. She was her parents only child. Her education, her character, her health, her marriage these were her parent’s burdens. But like a common school going girl she often imagines of romantic and handsome Young man holding her in his strong manly embrace. In her adolescence she falls in love with a boy of her age. Day and night the though of him kept her insides churning. She was unable to eat, sleep or study. In the main time she is emotionally engage with Rhan and they enjoy physical relationship. This relationship is finished within a few days as Rohan moves to Oxford for further studies and her marriage is settled with Hemant who belongs to a bureaucrat family. They live in Vasant Vihar, a posh colony in New Delhi. They start their married life and soon Astha is fed up with it. Astha starts teaching in a public school after much resistance from her husband and her parents. During her staying in this school she participates in a workshop on communalism which is being led by an intellectual artiste Aijaz Akhtar Kha, the founder of ‘The Street Theater Group’. Aijaz teaches history and during the holidays he performs plays in school, slums, factories, streets small town and villages to create empathy and to generate social awareness. Although Astha and been a mother of a son and a daughter by this time. She is festinated by the multifaceted personality of Aijaz. But ferocious soon this relationship is over as the workshop finishes. After a few days Astha reads the news of Aijaz’s murder. Babri Masjid is demolished in Ayodhya and there is a lot of turmoil throughout the country. To establish religious harmony and social integration processions are organized by ‘The Street Theatre Group’. In one of such processions Astha meets Pipeelika and she comes to know that she is the widow of Aijaz. She feels great empathy to Pipeelika and a powerful physical relationship is establish between them. This relationship is a challenge for her husband and family. They both live together and deep emotional attachment develops between them. Astha is on the verge of loosing her conventional marriage. Pipeelika leaves India to study abroad and Astha returns back to her family. ‘A Married Woman’ is beautifully, honest and seductive story of love and deep attachment, set at a time of political and religious turmoil. III ‘Home’ is the third novel, by Manju Kapok. This is fast moving story which makes an ordinary middle class family’s life in Delhi. The main character or the patriarch of a cloth business, Banwarilal lives in New Delhi neighborhood of Karol Bagh. Banwarilal believes in the old ways and is the firm believer of that men work out of the home, woman within. Men carry forward the family line, women enable their mission. His two sons unquestioningly follow their father but their wives do not. Both brothers carry their lives as well as business according to the wishes of their father. As the time passes Banwarilal dies and the whole burden of the family comes to Yashpal, being the elder one. He has one sister who becomes widow in her early life. She has a child named Vicky. They also join them in their house in Karol Bagh. At the beginning of the story Sona and Rupa both sisters are childless. They could not conceive for a long time. Sona keeps but it is of no use. Sona belongs to a rich family in comparison of her sister Rupa. Rupa’s husband is an educated man. They passes their lives happily. After a long time Sona gives birth to Nisha and then to Virat. Nisha is physically tortured by Vicky, her cousin. She feels mentally disturb so she is sent the Rupa’s home for a change. Here she gets education well. After some time she returns to her home where no one pays much attention towards her studies and she gets compartment in two subjects. She is guided by Premnath. She passes in it and enters in college for getting higher education. She meets a boy and decides to marry him ignoring his caste and creed. Thus the novel depicts how family norms are is ignored by the new generation. Manju Kapur’s novels present the changing image of women moving away from traditional portrayals of enduring, self sacrificing women towards self assured assertive and ambitious women making society aware of their demands and in this way providing a medium for self expression in the works of Manju Kapur. It will be interesting to note man woman relationship in the three novels of Manju Kapur. As an element of feminism especially in the realm of biological, sexual, cultural and racial aspects will also be probed in the three novels. ?

CHAPTER DIVISION CHAPTER 1 :Individual and Political Arena CHAPTER 2 :Individual and Social Space CHAPTER 3 :Individual Dynamic of Family CHAPTER 4 :Use of Language CHAPTER 5 :Conclusion ?

BIBLOGRAPHY (A) PRIMARY SOURCES : 1.Kapur Manju :’Difficult Daughters’ New Delhi : Penguin, 1998. 2.Kapur Manju :’A Married Women’ New Delhi : India Ink, 2002. 3.Kapur Manju :’Home’ New Delhi : Random House, 2006. (B) SECONDAY SOURCES : 1.Beauvaur, Simonde, “The Second Sex” Tran H.M. Parshley Harmondsworth 1971-London Pan Books 1988.Carbyn Heiburn : Marriage and Contemporary Fiction, Critical Inquiry, 5 No. 2 (Winter 1978). 2.Grimke, Sarah Letters on the Equality of the sexes and the condition of women New York, Burt Franklin 1970. 3.Gur Pyari Jandian : Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters : A Study is Transition from chaos to integration : The Common Wealth Review Vol. 12 No. 1, 2000-2001. 4.Hasin, Attia. Sunlight on A Broken Column, New Delhi : Arnold Heinemann, 1987. 5.Jaidev “Problematizing Feminism Gender and Literature, ed. Iqbal Kapur, Delhi, B.R. Publishing Corporation, 1992. 6.Jandial Gur Pyari “The Novels of Shashi Deshpande and Manju Kapur. Atlantic Literary Review. 7.Kakar, Sudhir “Feminine Identity in India” Women in Indian Society A Reader, Ed. Rehana Ghadially, New Delhi : Sage Publications, 1988. p.44-68. 8.Millett, Kate, ‘Sexual Politics’ (Garden City, New York, Double Day, 1970). 9.Mukul Kesavan : 50 Years of Indian Writing Edited by R.K. Dhawan, New Delhi : Indian Association for English Studies 2000. 10.Nahal, Chaman, “Feminism “Feminism in English Fiction : Forms and variations” Feminism and Recent Fiction in English ed, Sushila Singh, New Delhi Prestige, Books, 1991. 11.Palkar, Sarla. “Beyond Purdah : Sunlight On A Broken Column, Margins of Erasure Ed. Jasbir Jain and Amina Amin, New Delhi : Stcrling Pub Pvt. Ltd. 1995. 12.Seema Malik “Crossing Patriarchal Threshold : Glimpses of the Incipient New Woman In Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters” Indian Writing in English ed. Rajul Bhargava (Jaipur, Rawat, 2002). 13.Suman Bala and Subhash Chandra, “Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters : A Absorbing Tale of Fact and Fiction : In 50 years of Indian writing edited by R.K. Dhawan, IAES, New Delhi, 1999. 14.Sumita Pal “The Mother : Daughters Conflict in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughter’s in Indian Writing in the new Millenium (Edited by R.K. Dhawan) IAES, New Delhi 2000.

15.Sushila Singh “Recent Trends in Feminest Through” Indian women Novelist ed. R.K. Dhawan (New Delhi, Prestige 1991) Set I. 16.Uma Paramaswaran Review of Difficult Daughters : World Literature Today No. 2 Spring 1999. 17.Veena Das : Critical Events : An Anthropological Perspective On Contemporary Indian OUP Delhi 1995.

Aerial Advertising A Novel Concept

If youre looking for a new and different way to get your companys message across, consider aerial advertising.

It might not seem like the most obvious, reasonable use of your advertising dollar, to employ plane advertising, but humor us for a moment.

Think about the myriad of ads you see and read on a daily basis. There could be hundreds, when you consider the newspaper advertising, the ads on the radio and television, and billboards.

Now think about the ads you have seen and ask yourself how many you remember. Maybe you remember the nearly naked woman, but anything else? Do you even remember the product she was selling? Do you remember the ads you saw for energy drinks and jewelry?

Its likely the answer is no. But you might likely remember that plane flying over the beach last summer. You remember what it looked like, what it sounded like, and best of all you remember the banner it was towing. Thats because aerial advertising is one of the best uses of advertising dollars. People remember the message they see when its towed behind a plane.

Why do people respond well to airplane advertising? Its likely due to the novelty factor. We are bombarded with more traditional advertising, but plane advertising is novel and unique. Its unusual and different. People see the airplane messages and they think about what they saw. They might remember the product long after the plane is out of sight and the airplane advertising is long gone.

Heres what we know people remember anything thats unique and different. If it makes them look skyward, if it makes a noise and it if presents a message thats short and sweet, it will be remembered. Airplane advertising is effective because it employs all these techniques.

Consider these interesting facts about plane advertising. According to recent studies:

89% of those surveyed said they remembered the airplane messages more than 30 minutes after the airplane was out of sight.

79% of those surveyed said they remembered what the airplane banner was advertising

67% were able to retain at least half of the airplane advertising message.

Other forms of advertising might bring in numbers for each of these categories that are at the 50% rate. That is, about 50% of consumers will remember a billboard or magazine ad, but not 89%. Often, you remember seeing an ad, but cant recall what the advertising was for. Clearly, that isnt the case with aerial advertising.

And why is that again? Novelty, novelty and more novelty. Its fresh, different and interesting. People focus on it because its fresh and different and when they focus on it, they remember it. They can recall it when asked later. They think about the product or service advertised and, when they recall it later, they might seek out that product or service. Thats called good advertising.

Business owners should consider the novel and unique approach that airplane advertising can bring. If the goal is to be noticed and remembered, plane advertising ensures just that.

Aerial Advertising services are available from many companies that specialize in this type of advertising. The Internet is a good source of information when it comes to choosing aerial advertising services. Arnold Aerial Advertising Inc., www.arnoldaerial.com is one of the many companies that provide such services.

How To Write A Good and Writing Tutorials a Novel

The writing industry has a market of billions of readers. Today you even have the choice of selling your novel online or sending it to a publisher to promote and sell it for you. The number of publishers has increased over the past few years offering new and upcoming authors more choice. The competition for the large market of readers has therefore increased and continues to increase steadily. You may get your book published but it may not sell. It is therefore important to get the right guidance when writing a novel.

There are many writing tutorials online to help the first time author learn how to write a good novel. It is however important to be careful to avoid those that offer more than they can deliver. Do not be taken in by online writing tutorials that promise the publication or success of your book. This will depend a lot on the structure of your plot, the strength of your characters and the theme of your book. No tutorial can ensure that these aspects of your book will appeal to a wide audience.

A good writing tutorial offering you tips on how to write a good novel will only offer you guidance and not false hopes. A good writing tutorial should guide you step by step through the planning and research process to the actual writing. A good writing tutorial teaches you how to write a good novel by offering you practical tips that you can apply and practice. There are many such tutorials online. Compare the different tutorials and pick those things that will be beneficial to you. There is no single formula to writing. Use what works for you.

Portrayal of Women in the Novels of Manju Kapur

Negotiatingwomanhood in the Novels of Manju Kapur BY DR. RAM SHARMA, SENIOR LECTURER, DEPT OF ENGLISH, J.V.P.G COLLEGE,BARAUT,BAGHPAT,U.P. – AND -Neelam jain, Principal-M.R.International School Jagadhry Road, Bilaspur Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, Pin-135102

Though the concept of woman as a prime negotiator is as old as mankind itself, for it becomes a sine qua non for her social existence and discharge of responsibilities, yet it gained currency during the Victorian era, which was significant for the spirit of conflict and compromise in political, social, economic and cultural sphere. In politics a woman was raised to the status of heading a state that was to be an empire, in which -the sun did never set’; in social sphere woman came to a compromising position, when Tennyson, the representative poet, went to the extent of saying, -he to command, she to obey’. Since ages woman is in negotiation with her male counterpart as well as our androcentric society. Women are an integral part of human civilization. No society or country can ever progress without an active participation of women in its overall development. Unfortunately, men have always looked down upon women as the weaker sex, as their property and object of pleasure. Down the ages women have been denied existence as a complete and independent human being; they have been given secondary place both in society and family. A large number of women are reconciled to a life of humiliation in the form of gender biased ness while performing the roles of daughters, wives and mothers in a rigidly custom-bound environment they live in. The quandary of women is that they have to endure from birth to death. In the male-dominated structure they have to face prejudice, oppression, slur and abuse, regardless of their physical and mental capability to perform at par with men. . Even in Anushashan Parva it is being said. (All her glorification, all her fulfillment lies in sacrificing her life and happiness for the sake of man in different forms father, husband and the son). The women characters of Manju Kapur do not merely confirm to male expectations or conflict with male world.. Manju Kapur’s heroines negotiate for their independence and a respectable place in society. Manju Kapur’s heroine is mentally advanced in the real sense of the world, whether she is Ida, Rupa, Nisha, Astha or Nina. Manju Kapur understands the importance of adjustments and compromises in a family. Almost all of her female characters: Virmati after marriage, Sona, Nisha, and Astha are negotiating here and there in life to make their own and their family members’ life happy. The harmony in family relationships and their stability also depend on the behaviour and pent-agonic attitude of a woman as a wife, a mother, a sister, and a daughter. Difficult Daughters is a strange story of mother-daughter bonds. Kasturi does not appreciate the freedom that her daughter Virmati demands and craves for. In this way unknowingly, the mother becomes the voice of patriarchy. Later on the same attitude is followed by Virmati also for her daughter; Ida also suffers alone in silence as she is not able to share her complexes with her mother, same had happened with Virmati also twenty years back. The absence of a positive support and sympathy shoulder of her mother leads Virmati to look for sympathy outside the home. Virmati’s daughter Ida says in the beginning line of the novel, -The one thing I had wanted was not to be like my mother.-(Kapur 1) Two pairs of mother-daughter bonds are described in the novel and both are deeply invaded with conflicts and compromises. Virmati wanted that after her death, her body organs should be donated to help the other people who are in need of those organs; actually she thought that in this way she would be valued by someone at least. A few days before her death Virmati said: -I want my body donated. My eyes, my heart, my kidneys, any organ that can be of use. That way someone will value me after I have gone.-(Kapur 1 ) Above said lines of Virmati are enough to reflect her negotiation with this world. Till the end time of her life, she was fighting for her rights to be respected and valued as an independent human being. Virmati’s negotiation doesn’t end even with her death; her negotiation to get some importance is made continued by her daughter, Ida, who has tried to rediscover her mother’s life to give her deserved respect and value. In Difficult Daughters novel we observe the negotiation of women with society as well as with other women also. Sometimes it happens that woman who herself is not able to protest for her rights transfer this failure to her daughter also. Daughters have to carry the impact of their mother’s personality and vision unconsciously. There is no escape for a girl from her mother’s shadow, Usha Kurjekar writes in an article, But the daughter Ida can also have no escape from her mother, just as Virmati the daughter could not have from her mother, Kasturi. Ida, nevertheless, confirms the centrality of her mother which brings about the positive stature of Virmati in the novel. (Kurjekar 233) A lot of adjustments were required from the side of Virmati as the second wife of Harish moreover she suffered a total breakup from her parental family also. Virmati was given a pariah status and faced exclusion from hearth etc which was the sole domain of the Professor’s first wife Ganga. Virmati had strained relations with her mother, daughter, husband’s family and even with her siblings also, whole of her life was a bundle of conflicts and compromises. Virmati’s strict attitude towards Ida and the pressure of high expectations never allowed them to be close enough to understand each other properly: I grew up struggling to be the model daughter. Pressure, pressure to perform day and night. My father liked me looking pretty, neat and well-dressed, with kaajal and a little touch of oil in my sleeked-black hair. But the right appearance was not enough. I had to do well in school, learn classical music, take dance lessons so that I could convert my clumsiness into grace, read all the classics of literature, discuss them intelligently with him, and then exhibit my accomplishments graciously before his assembled guests at parties. (Kapur 279) For Ida, Virmati herself selected a boy, well educated and well settled, but she lost her battle there also as the marriage was proved to be a disastrous. Ida’s husband was a selfish man; Ida always posed to be happy with the boy had chosen by her mother, but at last the real picture came in front; he divorced Ida. A continuous negotiation is an integral part of all these relationships. Our purpose is to explore the negotiation of women in various relationships. . Manju Kapur’s novel Home is a story of three women’s negotiation: Sona, Sona’s daughter Nisha, and Sona’s sister Rupa. A ll women in the story are unhappy for one or the other reason. Sona is beautiful and married to a rich businessman also but unhappy because she is child less even after the ten years of her marriage and forced to take care of Vicky; after ten years she is blessed with a daughter first and then a son also. Rupa is unhappy because of not being beautiful and rich as her sister moreover she is also childless. Rupa has started a small business to improve her economic condition. The third generation is more assertive and wants to negotiates for her rights; Nisha fights for her happiness; As Nisha is an educated girl she has a modern approach towards life and relationships, she falls in love with a boy from low caste and economically also poor; she finds him attractive and good marriage material. Her dreams are badly tattered by her family. Nisha feels very humiliating to sit at home and wait for a proper marriage proposal. She makes her father agreed to support her for an independent business. Nisha’s hard work proves her successful daughter of a successful businessman. Nisha’s business is going on very nicely then why she has accepted a proposal from a middle aged widower? Why marriage is so important for her when she knows she might have to lose her business also; it is her conditioning that goaded her to do so; it is the grip of the spirit of Indian women who needs men to stand beside them like a sheltering tree. She feels incomplete without the company of man. Her thirst for family life compels her to come to terms with man.- (Das 30) Nisha leaves her business contentedly for the shake of her children; it is her own decision only because of the pressure of situation, now she knows she can build it again whenever she wants. It’s not Nisha’s loss, it is only her way of settlement which many women do when they have to bear the liability of their children along with their job, and some times they willingly choose their children and family. This is Nisha’s negotiation, the story of a brave girl who leaves her economic stability but it is not loosing the battle; the battle is being continued for Nisha and for every girl who has the stamina to negotiate for her rights: Manju Kapur in her novel A Married Woman explores few facts which are enough to demystify the married life of a middle class Indian working woman through the character Astha she brings forth the hard realities, anxieties, the depression and the dangers associated with half truths and old myths. Through the personal private lives of these characters writer exposes the tension spread in the two states of a mind. In the novel the protagonist Astha dares to cross the threshold of society by making lesbian relations and its reason is also explored very nicely. Marriage is actually totally different from what it appears in parties and films or described in mythology. Search of fantasy sometimes leads a person for some viable alternative: extra martial affairs and lesbian relations. Whatever woman is snatching from this society for her is only the result of her continuous negotiation with this word and all this brings some deformities in her personality as split personality. The novel A Married Woman is a story of a middle class girl Astha, her parents’ efforts in bringing her up according to the social standards, and her quest of love and freedom as an individual. Ashtha’s father is having modern views and wants to adorn her daughter with good education; he wants to make her fit for future as an independent individual of society where as her mother is more traditional and believes in the vision of shastras, -if parent die without getting their daughter married, they will be condemned to perpetual rebirth?-(Kapur 1) Manju Kapur describes many rituals of the marriage in a very symbolic way: -father waiting to do the kanyadaan, the feel of her hand in the hand- (Kapur 37) as if girl is a thing and now the girl is given to a man to use as he wants her in his house. How nicely Manju Kapur has used our traditions to highlight downtrodden condition of a woman. At the time of havan in marriage -hot air- and smoke- are the words indicating that marriage is a beginning of a harsh journey. Within a few months of marriage Astha’s life is taking shades of dullness as she has to wait for long hour to be a part of Hemant’s company. Astha has joined a school as a teacher; with this Astha’s periphery stretches a little and she has got a chance of interaction with other people also outside the house. Astha is now absorbed in her job of teaching and jobs of family; though an emancipated , educated and modern woman Astha is still grabbed in age old thoughts; as a wife she takes pleasure in serving her husband; she enjoys sitting close to his feet and pulling out his socks when he comes back from office in the evening. Kapur has pointed these details to give us a blow to think that when will we women leave this attitude? Woman is suppressed by man it is true but when will she herself break this old age shackle and makes her free from such mental slaving and conditioning? When will she negotiates with herself? When will she be able to differentiate between love and slavery? . Hemant ruins her dreams as well as all happiness of her life; their life becomes dull and drier, -Hemant wasn’t really listening Astha stopped talking about creative writing as he got up to lock the door.- (Kapur 51) Astha gives birth to a girl Astha’s child provides and emotional support to her; Astha’s life has been enriched by her; Astha feels a self realization through her child. Astha observes changes in Hemant’s attitude towards herself; occasionally she tries conveying this to Hemant who finds nothing wrong in their relationship. On Astha’s demand to give some time to their relationship he replies that he has no time for such games and courting will not be continued forever she knows, -she had lost argument before she had been able to define its parameters. . . But I am not happy, so how can you. . . -You think too much that is the trouble.’-(Kapur 66) In school Astha’s work gets appreciation; school is the only place where her work gets recognition; at home her work is taken for granted; nobody cares for her needs and every body at home has many expectations from her that she feels trapped in all one way relationships. Astha starts painting and writing to give outlet to her suppressed emotions although writing -alleviated the heaviness within her, a heaviness she found hard to deal with.- (Kapur 79) Astha’s relations are not very warm with her mother also; as she wants Astha’s early marriage but Astha didn’t; as she was responsible for the break-up of Astha’s first love relationship also. There relations are still not healthy for her mother is very orthodox and always preferred to discuss all her money matters with Hemant instead of Astha. Astha’s second painting is sold by the Manch in twenty thousand, Astha feels rich and powerful; while shopping in Goa Astha likes an antique silver box which costs five thousand rupees, Hemant refuses to purchase that, -You must be out of your mind; said Hemant. The tone, the refusal both hurts her.-(Kapur 165) Astha meets Peepilika, her lover’s wife; they come closer to fulfill each other’s loneliness. They have developed an emotional as well as physical relationship; a lesbian relationship. Perhaps it is a rebellious act; through such relations Astha consoles herself that she is important for someone at least; this relationship may be considered as revenge from family and society for ignoring her individuality; this is a reply to an unfaithful husband. Through the character Astha Manju Kapur wants to show the urge of a modern woman to break the dependency syndrome of women. She is able to present beautifully her character Astha’s negotiation with this male dominated society . The Immigrant ,Manju Kapur’s this novel is about woman and her changes in her vision and various relationships in this speedily changing world. Nina the protagonist is unmarried till her thirtieth birthday, her relations with her widow mother, her late marriage, her turning from a meek wife to a daring woman, and her valiant absconding of the mechanical relationship with her dentist husband are the main concerns of our study. In short we can say that story takes it force from the various sufferings of a girl who grows into a woman while negotiating with this male dominated world at every step, and unchained her from the age old dependency syndrome of womanhood. Nina also wants to marry and enjoy the life; she feared to think about many spinsters of her college. Nina describes them as -signposts to depressing, lonely futures- (3) Nina’s father was died when she was a small girl studying in school. Mother tolerated a lot of torture from her in-laws in order to educate her daughter as she has no ways of earning to survive she has to bear all negative comments. Nina’s mother belong to the generation of woman who never thinks to be independent living, they always look for support towards husband or his family for that they accepted to slave them. Nina after doing gradation joins a job and called her mother to stay with her. Since the day of Nina`s marriage with Ananda everything is going wrong, we are getting direct hints of some small problems which may compile up in a big problem: Their first meeting after marriage is not successful, problems in getting visa, harassment at airport and now surprising discloser of Ananda’s non-vegetarian habit Nina is waiting what else is waiting for her. Ananda never gives importance to Nina’s feelings he always consider her as a beautiful present or trophy he has brought from India. Nina tries whatever possible from her side to convince her husband to take infertility tests but all her negotiation gives no fruit; she feels lonelier in this unknown country. Nina joins a co-councilor group where she begins to think like an individual not only as Ananda’s wife. Rightly says Ursula K LeGuin, -Nina’s liberation from frustration and solitude begins with a consciousness-raising group of women-bra burners. . .- (LeGuin 1) Nina reads a lot about women and her continuous negotiation with this society, women’s courage, her freedom and integrity etc. According to Nina a woman’s happiness neither is related with materialistic pleasures nor does it depend on fertility or husband’s sexuality. Her future is as vague as on the day of her wedding. Nina joins a course of librarian and falls in love with Anton her one of married colleague. And they have crossed all social boundaries of their married life; as soon as the excitement over Nina feels a little guilty about what she has done but she overcome on her guilt and accepts that this is a normal thing in this country: Two years back when Nina was new in Halifax, her habit of being vegetarian is the way to preserve the tradition of her Indianness. But after having physical relationship with Anton it seems hypocritical to keep vegetarianism for the sake of tradition, and tries non-veg to become an international person. Life is easier now; Nina is no more an outsider or different mentally as well as in habits and ways of living. Nina’s relationship with Anton ends up abruptly when she has realized that she has no importance in Anton’s life.. Nina has a fighter spirit she never gives up in hard times; she is struggler by heart. She decides to continue her negotiation with this society; it is her right to be happy. After the death of her mother, when Nina comes back to Halifax with a heavy heart, she has observed a blonde hair on the pillow, this one hair is enough to explain everything: -the distance, the silence, the ticket for two months- (Kapur 327) Nina has not asked anything about hair and pretends to be normal with Ananda. She accepts the bitter truth of her jarred relationship; if she asks question she has to confess her own crime also. Nina never finds an answer why they betrayed each other. Nina craves for love and a feeling of to be important for someone. She does not want to be a piece of furniture at home to serve a purpose of decoration or used when is required by the owner of house. She no more feels this house as her own house where she has freedom to live a life of her choice. . This is not the first time that she is leaving a loveless relationship: first time she breaks up with Rahul for this reason, second time it was Anton and now Ananda her husband. As a famous saying of Frederick Speakman, -Decision determine destiny- Nina also want to write her destiny herself, in her own handwriting. Nina always comes up as a confrontationist. It has been observed that Manju Kapur’s heroine wants to assert for her rights, she struggles for the respect and importance she deserves but at the same time she is not a heartless feminist, she returns to her roots whenever it is required by her family. These protagonists neither adopt extreme aggressive, revolutionary way, nor they are adhering to the stereotype role; they are balanced personalities who realize their potential and rise as good negotiators. Although all the heroines of Manju Kapur have paid big prices in this negotiation for their individuality: Veermati suffers total break-up from her parental family and she suffers a lot neglect at her husband’s house also, Astha drops her relations with a her very close friend, Nisha have to marry a widower, and Nina has gone through the pain of being raped by her lover as well as she has to chose a life of separation and loneliness but this price is nothing because they prove that they are no more dependent on men. In this negotiation though woman is able to gain some thing but still the horizon is very far and she has to walk miles and miles to reach there. We can say these heroines are providing ray of hope to the coming generation. A day will come when woman’s continuous negotiation would provide a respectable place to her in heart and head of man..

References: Banerji, Mithu C. -Lesbian Passion Forged in a Land of Turmoil- http//www.guardian.co.uk/600ks/2003/feb/23/fiction.features4 Chotai, Nutan. -Changing Faces of Women in Manju Kapur’s Home-, Contemporary Fiction: An Anthology of Female Writers. Ed. Vandana Pathak, Urmila Dabir, Shubha . New Dehli: Sarup & Sons, 2008. Print. Das, Sangeeta, -The Predicament of Women as Reflected in the Works of Contemporary Indian Women Writers-, Indian Women Writers, Ed. R. K. Dhawan. New Delhi: Prestige Books, 2001. P.30. Kapur, Manju. Difficult Daughters. London: Faber and Faber, 1998. —. A Married Woman. New Delhi: India ink, 2007. —. Home. New Delhi: Random House India, 2007. —. The Immigrant. New Delhi: random House India, 2008. Kurjekar, Usha. -Mother-Daughter Relationships in Fasting Feasting and Difficult Daughters-. ed. Vandana Pathak, Urmila Dabir, Shubha Mishra. Contemporary Fiction Anthology of Female Writters. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons, 2008. P.233. LeGuin, Ursula K. -The Guardian-, Saturday 18 April 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/bookshop 1.Anushashan Parva, Chapter 21, Verse 19.