Warning: include(domaintitles/domaintitle_wiki.exoticindiaart.php3): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 761

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'domaintitles/domaintitle_wiki.exoticindiaart.php3' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 761

Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Buddha Wednesday sale - 25% + 10% off on all Buddhist Items
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Language and Literature > Fiction > Her Story, Our Story and On the Swing (Short Stories and a Novella)
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Her Story, Our Story and On the Swing (Short Stories and a Novella)
Pages from the book
Her Story, Our Story and On the Swing (Short Stories and a Novella)
Look Inside the Book
Description
Foreword

It may seem strange that Kharemaster, the first work of Vibhavari Shirurkar made available in English, is the last that this author wrote, aged eighty-eight. Kharemaster was based on a nostalgic recreation of her childhood, with only minor modifications in bio-graphical detail. This novel was a tribute to her father, who was a drawing teacher in a village near Pune. He was conscious that he was not able to play any role in social and political movements, particularly the freedom movement about which he used to read in the newspapers. Instead he decided to educate his eight children, male and female, who could then contribute to society. Educating girls was not common in those days and the facilities were not available easily. But he did educate them.

Chronologically, this novel covers the earliest period of her life. From this angle, it was as well that it was the first book non-Marathi readers could read. The present volume consists of two of her earliest works, Kalyanche Nishwas and Hindolyavar. . The first has been titled Her Story, Our Story. This consists of a series of stories about the plight of young women, who had to face various difficulties, primarily because women did not count. More-over, hardly any writer, male or female, had tried to probe into their lives. The author, then Balutai Khare, was educated in the women's college started by D. K. Karve. After her graduation she was in charge of a school for girls. As a result, she was able to listen to these sighs of young girls on the threshold of woman-hood. Kalyanche Nishwas, the original Marathi title, literally translated would be 'the sighs of the flower buds'.

The story of how she wrote Kalyanche Nishwas, why she had to assume a pseudonym (Vibhavari Shirurkar), the ire that this unknown writer had to face, has been narrated in the Introduction to Kharemaster, also published by Stree. When a new edition of the original Marathi was published by Popular Prakashan forty-five years after its first publication, the author whose married name became Malatibai Bedekar, wrote an extensive ac-count of the situation when she wrote the book. The publisher of the original edition, H. V. Mote, thought it necessary to have an endorsement. Dr. S. V. Ketkar, known as a sociologist, nov-elist and, better still, the editor of Jnana Kosh, a multi-volume Marathi encyclopaedia, was asked to write a Foreword. Both pieces have also been translated into English and made available in this volume.

The second book is a novella, Hindolyavar, that explores the man-woman relationship in this transitional period in Maharashtra. In English it has been entitled On the Swing and conveys the vacillating situation faced by the protagonist. Hindolyavar was published very soon after Kalyanche Nishwas and the uproar as well as the author's response written years later addresses both these works.

Kharemaster, Hindolyavar and Kalyanche Niswas thus provide a biography of her times, the interwar years. These were followed by Viralele Swapna (1934), a novella concerning the political vacillations of the time. After this literary spurt, the author faced much turbulence in her life. In 1938, she married Vishram Bedekar, who despite his brilliance and talent had just one play to his credit. He was already married, and had married young, as was customary. He divorced his first wife to marry Balutai. The day after the marriage, Bedekar left for En-gland for training in filmmaking, but had to return within a few months as the war clouds gathered. On his return he wrote Ranangana, a novel based on his experiences on the ship that brought him back to India.

Introduction

I wrote Kalyanche Nishwas [Her Story, Our Story] nearly forty-five years ago. When I wrote it, I had no idea that my writing would turn out to be so explosive! While many from the educated middle class reacted positively to this writing, the great majority of society was outraged. Furious proclamations followed: 'The writer of indecent, obscene works such as Kalyanche Nishwas, and especially Hindolyavar [On the Swing], must be killed.' This detrimental, anti-societal act must not be allowed to go on.' Luckily, the writer was not identified. If she had been found out, society may have spared her life, but she would certainly have been forced to resign from her job. And barbed attacks would have destroyed her spirit. But since she was not identified, many derived solace from writing her obituaries. Today's readers of Kalyanche Nishwas and Hindolyavar would be surprised to learn this.

Just as tantalizing recipes are dished out to satisfy the cravings of the palate, sensuous scenes of love making, realistic or imaginary, have been depicted, using mild or lurid descriptions, by male and female writers over the past fifteen or twenty years. Hundreds of readers have relished these descriptions. And countless readers with religious leanings who found such descriptions unpalatable, have, for generations, been avid readers of the Mahabharata. Readers accepted without protest several such stories from that great epic, simply because these were hallowed by antiquity or had to do with characters that were godly. Shakuntala married Dushyant secretly in a Gandharva-vivaha; Arjun kidnapped Subhadra; Krishna eloped with Rukmini, Damayanti wrote a passionate love letter to Nal; King Shantanu married a fisher- man's daughter. Even the sages were enraptured by beautiful women. In the 1970s, Marathi readers took up enthusiastically the autobiography of a woman, which recounted her 'platonic love'.' In another instance, a mother of two left her aging husband as she loved a younger, married man. This book' described their passionate love and her disappointment when he refused to marry her; titillating the readers tremendously. Moreover, white-collar society, represented by a respectable committee of literary judges gave it a government award. Then why was this very same middle-class society shocked by Achala in Hindolyavar, forty years earlier? Why was it flustered by the emotions of love expressed by unmarried girls? Why was the reaction of some the highly-educated, respected pillars of society, so negative on read-ing Kalyanche Nishwas and Hindolyavar? Had the author writ-ten this without any basis? And if it was based on reality, why had it not become apparent to the critics themselves? Any work with a social theme is based on a frame of references to the time to which it belongs; hence these questions, and the answers that follow.

When readers suspected that Kalyanche Nishvas and Hindolyavar had been written by someone under an assumed name, many criticized simply because they were obsessed by the identity of the writer. The twenty-four-year-old, courageous publisher misled the critic, Dr S. V. Ketkar (1884-1937), to believe that the writer belonged to the Saraswat community and unknowingly irked them. The community retaliated with venom. Other well-meaning critics were angry that the writer had de-picted a picture of women that had no basis in reality. I had tried to show that older, unmarried women also experienced the human emotion of love, how that love manifested itself and how it expressed itself in different situations. Aghast at such impudence many readers went on the warpath. Why could not the critics see what the author saw so clearly?

I wrote Kalyanche Nishwas in 1933. For fifteen or sixteen years before I wrote it, I was experiencing the reality. The first twelve years of my life, that is my childhood, were spent in a village. Reformist ideas had not touched the villages. Society unquestioningly accepted both caste hierarchy and the prevalent rules regarding untouchability. At a time when even men were barely educated, the question of women's education was irrelevant. There was a village school; boys were educated till the seventh standard, and girls up to the second. Girls were married off when they were eight or nine. Moral taboos were rigidly followed. Religion had a tremendous stronghold on society. But even during such stringent times, covertly, many startling events took place. This writer lived in the brahmin neighbourhood. She heard the hushed whispers of elders discussing the startling news that spread in their community. And that piqued her curiosity.

A brahmin, who earned his living as a priest, had kept a woman. Another enterprising brahmin had his eye on a widowed school-teacher whom he finally 'brought' to his house. A schoolteacher's wife had just given birth to a baby. Her widowed sister had come to assist them. Soon the schoolteacher made her pregnant. Al-though the village mocked her, she considered herself guiltless and would come boldly to the common tap to get water. A young daughter-in-law used to 'serve' her father-in-law from four in the morning till daybreak. The other women made fun of her, sarcastically, because of this. A husband was angry with his barren wife. It was rumoured that she drank the urine of a buffalo everyday in order to become fertile. Several men had their eyes on this good-looking woman, wishing to father her child.

In short, at the beginning of the twentieth century, no matter how strict the rules, how stringent the ideas of good and bad, no matter how strong the hold of religion, even in a village, some men and women could not control their basic earthy instincts. Society disapproved, sneered and ultimately ignored these things. This writer was too young to understand the significance of everything, but she could not avoid hearing about these. When her sensibilities were awakened as a writer, she began interpreting these events.

In 1917, I went to Hingane, near Pune, and joined the educational institution founded by Maharshi Karve. Hingane was a world by itself. The students-widows and unmarried girls-both young and mature, representing every caste, came from all over. They came from traditional homes, moulded with strict discipline. In the open, free atmosphere of the boarding school, along with academic education, they learned about the current political and social movements from renowned people working in those fields. They learnt from reformists like Lokahitawadi (someone who worked towards people's welfare), a pseudonym taken by the leading reformist Gopal Hari Deshmukh, to Guruvarya Karve himself, who worked ceaselessly to improve the terrible conditions faced by women. In those days caution and decorum was instilled in every aspect of a girl's behaviour, even in the way she walked. Now, for the first time in their lives, girls were free to play with abandon physically active games like hututu, langadi and khokho. In this enlightened, educated environment, all such positive things made a great impact on their young minds. At the same time many things talked about in hushed whispers also left their mark.

Once, around eight at night, the girls were studying in their rooms. Quite against the rules, an older girl was burning scraps of paper out in the courtyard, weeping as she did so. One by one, the girls noticed what was happening. They tiptoed out of their rooms and watched. Then a girl divulged the secret. 'You know what? They say she wrote a letter to her teacher. And matronbai found it.' Although some of us were too young to realize what could be the nature of that letter, the older girls and the widows found no reason to hold back.

**Contents and Sample Pages**











Her Story, Our Story and On the Swing (Short Stories and a Novella)

Item Code:
NAT382
Cover:
PAPERBACK
Edition:
2008
Publisher:
ISBN:
9788185604947
Language:
ENGLISH
Size:
8.50 X 5.50 inch
Pages:
230
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.3 Kg
Price:
$18.00
Discounted:
$13.50   Shipping Free
You Save:
$4.50 (25%)
Look Inside the Book
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Her Story, Our Story and On the Swing (Short Stories and a Novella)

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 110 times since 12th Oct, 2019
Foreword

It may seem strange that Kharemaster, the first work of Vibhavari Shirurkar made available in English, is the last that this author wrote, aged eighty-eight. Kharemaster was based on a nostalgic recreation of her childhood, with only minor modifications in bio-graphical detail. This novel was a tribute to her father, who was a drawing teacher in a village near Pune. He was conscious that he was not able to play any role in social and political movements, particularly the freedom movement about which he used to read in the newspapers. Instead he decided to educate his eight children, male and female, who could then contribute to society. Educating girls was not common in those days and the facilities were not available easily. But he did educate them.

Chronologically, this novel covers the earliest period of her life. From this angle, it was as well that it was the first book non-Marathi readers could read. The present volume consists of two of her earliest works, Kalyanche Nishwas and Hindolyavar. . The first has been titled Her Story, Our Story. This consists of a series of stories about the plight of young women, who had to face various difficulties, primarily because women did not count. More-over, hardly any writer, male or female, had tried to probe into their lives. The author, then Balutai Khare, was educated in the women's college started by D. K. Karve. After her graduation she was in charge of a school for girls. As a result, she was able to listen to these sighs of young girls on the threshold of woman-hood. Kalyanche Nishwas, the original Marathi title, literally translated would be 'the sighs of the flower buds'.

The story of how she wrote Kalyanche Nishwas, why she had to assume a pseudonym (Vibhavari Shirurkar), the ire that this unknown writer had to face, has been narrated in the Introduction to Kharemaster, also published by Stree. When a new edition of the original Marathi was published by Popular Prakashan forty-five years after its first publication, the author whose married name became Malatibai Bedekar, wrote an extensive ac-count of the situation when she wrote the book. The publisher of the original edition, H. V. Mote, thought it necessary to have an endorsement. Dr. S. V. Ketkar, known as a sociologist, nov-elist and, better still, the editor of Jnana Kosh, a multi-volume Marathi encyclopaedia, was asked to write a Foreword. Both pieces have also been translated into English and made available in this volume.

The second book is a novella, Hindolyavar, that explores the man-woman relationship in this transitional period in Maharashtra. In English it has been entitled On the Swing and conveys the vacillating situation faced by the protagonist. Hindolyavar was published very soon after Kalyanche Nishwas and the uproar as well as the author's response written years later addresses both these works.

Kharemaster, Hindolyavar and Kalyanche Niswas thus provide a biography of her times, the interwar years. These were followed by Viralele Swapna (1934), a novella concerning the political vacillations of the time. After this literary spurt, the author faced much turbulence in her life. In 1938, she married Vishram Bedekar, who despite his brilliance and talent had just one play to his credit. He was already married, and had married young, as was customary. He divorced his first wife to marry Balutai. The day after the marriage, Bedekar left for En-gland for training in filmmaking, but had to return within a few months as the war clouds gathered. On his return he wrote Ranangana, a novel based on his experiences on the ship that brought him back to India.

Introduction

I wrote Kalyanche Nishwas [Her Story, Our Story] nearly forty-five years ago. When I wrote it, I had no idea that my writing would turn out to be so explosive! While many from the educated middle class reacted positively to this writing, the great majority of society was outraged. Furious proclamations followed: 'The writer of indecent, obscene works such as Kalyanche Nishwas, and especially Hindolyavar [On the Swing], must be killed.' This detrimental, anti-societal act must not be allowed to go on.' Luckily, the writer was not identified. If she had been found out, society may have spared her life, but she would certainly have been forced to resign from her job. And barbed attacks would have destroyed her spirit. But since she was not identified, many derived solace from writing her obituaries. Today's readers of Kalyanche Nishwas and Hindolyavar would be surprised to learn this.

Just as tantalizing recipes are dished out to satisfy the cravings of the palate, sensuous scenes of love making, realistic or imaginary, have been depicted, using mild or lurid descriptions, by male and female writers over the past fifteen or twenty years. Hundreds of readers have relished these descriptions. And countless readers with religious leanings who found such descriptions unpalatable, have, for generations, been avid readers of the Mahabharata. Readers accepted without protest several such stories from that great epic, simply because these were hallowed by antiquity or had to do with characters that were godly. Shakuntala married Dushyant secretly in a Gandharva-vivaha; Arjun kidnapped Subhadra; Krishna eloped with Rukmini, Damayanti wrote a passionate love letter to Nal; King Shantanu married a fisher- man's daughter. Even the sages were enraptured by beautiful women. In the 1970s, Marathi readers took up enthusiastically the autobiography of a woman, which recounted her 'platonic love'.' In another instance, a mother of two left her aging husband as she loved a younger, married man. This book' described their passionate love and her disappointment when he refused to marry her; titillating the readers tremendously. Moreover, white-collar society, represented by a respectable committee of literary judges gave it a government award. Then why was this very same middle-class society shocked by Achala in Hindolyavar, forty years earlier? Why was it flustered by the emotions of love expressed by unmarried girls? Why was the reaction of some the highly-educated, respected pillars of society, so negative on read-ing Kalyanche Nishwas and Hindolyavar? Had the author writ-ten this without any basis? And if it was based on reality, why had it not become apparent to the critics themselves? Any work with a social theme is based on a frame of references to the time to which it belongs; hence these questions, and the answers that follow.

When readers suspected that Kalyanche Nishvas and Hindolyavar had been written by someone under an assumed name, many criticized simply because they were obsessed by the identity of the writer. The twenty-four-year-old, courageous publisher misled the critic, Dr S. V. Ketkar (1884-1937), to believe that the writer belonged to the Saraswat community and unknowingly irked them. The community retaliated with venom. Other well-meaning critics were angry that the writer had de-picted a picture of women that had no basis in reality. I had tried to show that older, unmarried women also experienced the human emotion of love, how that love manifested itself and how it expressed itself in different situations. Aghast at such impudence many readers went on the warpath. Why could not the critics see what the author saw so clearly?

I wrote Kalyanche Nishwas in 1933. For fifteen or sixteen years before I wrote it, I was experiencing the reality. The first twelve years of my life, that is my childhood, were spent in a village. Reformist ideas had not touched the villages. Society unquestioningly accepted both caste hierarchy and the prevalent rules regarding untouchability. At a time when even men were barely educated, the question of women's education was irrelevant. There was a village school; boys were educated till the seventh standard, and girls up to the second. Girls were married off when they were eight or nine. Moral taboos were rigidly followed. Religion had a tremendous stronghold on society. But even during such stringent times, covertly, many startling events took place. This writer lived in the brahmin neighbourhood. She heard the hushed whispers of elders discussing the startling news that spread in their community. And that piqued her curiosity.

A brahmin, who earned his living as a priest, had kept a woman. Another enterprising brahmin had his eye on a widowed school-teacher whom he finally 'brought' to his house. A schoolteacher's wife had just given birth to a baby. Her widowed sister had come to assist them. Soon the schoolteacher made her pregnant. Al-though the village mocked her, she considered herself guiltless and would come boldly to the common tap to get water. A young daughter-in-law used to 'serve' her father-in-law from four in the morning till daybreak. The other women made fun of her, sarcastically, because of this. A husband was angry with his barren wife. It was rumoured that she drank the urine of a buffalo everyday in order to become fertile. Several men had their eyes on this good-looking woman, wishing to father her child.

In short, at the beginning of the twentieth century, no matter how strict the rules, how stringent the ideas of good and bad, no matter how strong the hold of religion, even in a village, some men and women could not control their basic earthy instincts. Society disapproved, sneered and ultimately ignored these things. This writer was too young to understand the significance of everything, but she could not avoid hearing about these. When her sensibilities were awakened as a writer, she began interpreting these events.

In 1917, I went to Hingane, near Pune, and joined the educational institution founded by Maharshi Karve. Hingane was a world by itself. The students-widows and unmarried girls-both young and mature, representing every caste, came from all over. They came from traditional homes, moulded with strict discipline. In the open, free atmosphere of the boarding school, along with academic education, they learned about the current political and social movements from renowned people working in those fields. They learnt from reformists like Lokahitawadi (someone who worked towards people's welfare), a pseudonym taken by the leading reformist Gopal Hari Deshmukh, to Guruvarya Karve himself, who worked ceaselessly to improve the terrible conditions faced by women. In those days caution and decorum was instilled in every aspect of a girl's behaviour, even in the way she walked. Now, for the first time in their lives, girls were free to play with abandon physically active games like hututu, langadi and khokho. In this enlightened, educated environment, all such positive things made a great impact on their young minds. At the same time many things talked about in hushed whispers also left their mark.

Once, around eight at night, the girls were studying in their rooms. Quite against the rules, an older girl was burning scraps of paper out in the courtyard, weeping as she did so. One by one, the girls noticed what was happening. They tiptoed out of their rooms and watched. Then a girl divulged the secret. 'You know what? They say she wrote a letter to her teacher. And matronbai found it.' Although some of us were too young to realize what could be the nature of that letter, the older girls and the widows found no reason to hold back.

**Contents and Sample Pages**











Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Her Story, Our Story and On the Swing (Short Stories and a Novella) (Language and Literature | Books)

Let’s Go Home and Other Stories (An Anthology of Indian Short Stories in English)
by Meenakshi Mukherjee
Paperback (Edition: 2012)
Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAK604
$10.00$7.50
You save: $2.50 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Contemporary Indian Short Stories (Set of 4 Volumes)
by Bhabani Bhattacharya
Paperback (Edition: 2016)
Sahitya Akademi
Item Code: NAK135
$50.00$37.50
You save: $12.50 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
21 Under 40: Short Stories by South Asian Women Under the Age of 40
by Anita Roy
Paperback (Edition: 2007)
Zubaan Publications
Item Code: NAG223
$25.00$18.75
You save: $6.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
अनुबन्ध: Collection of Short Stories (Sanskrit Only)
Item Code: NZE307
$8.00$6.00
You save: $2.00 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Pichamurthy's - Selected Short Stories
by S. Thillainayagam
PAPERBACK (Edition: 2016)
SAHITYA AKADEMI
Item Code: NAR320
$22.00$16.50
You save: $5.50 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Three Different Strokes (A Compilation of Three Short Stories)
by Srividya Nagaraj
PAPERBACK (Edition: 2018)
Notion Press
Item Code: NAR305
$15.00$11.25
You save: $3.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Tarangini - Collection of Short Stories (Set of 7 Volumes)
Item Code: NAO090
$75.00$56.25
You save: $18.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Damn History (Collection of Short Stories)
by Govind Mishra
HARDCOVER (Edition: 2015)
Ocean Books Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi
Item Code: NAQ475
$18.00$13.50
You save: $4.50 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Rajinder Singh Bedi Selected Short Stories
by Gopi Chand Narang
Hardcover (Edition: 2009)
Sahitya Akademi
Item Code: NAE683
$20.00$15.00
You save: $5.00 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Premchand The Complete Short Stories (Set of 4 Volumes)
Deal 15% Off
by M. Asaduddin
Paperback (Edition: 2017)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAH893
$105.00$66.94
You save: $38.06 (15 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Short Stories From Pakistan
Item Code: IDD949
$22.50$16.88
You save: $5.62 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Pudumaipittan (The Complete Short Stories)
by R. E. Asher and V. Subramaniam
Hardcover (Edition: 2014)
Sahitya Akademi
Item Code: NAH885
$40.00$30.00
You save: $10.00 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Balika Badhu (A Representative Anthology of Bengali Short Stories)
Item Code: NAJ892
$20.00$15.00
You save: $5.00 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
Great selection. Thank you.
William, USA
appreciate being able to get this hard to find book from this great company Exotic India.
Mohan, USA
Both Om bracelets are amazing. Thanks again !!!
Fotis, Greece
Thank you for your wonderful website.
Jan, USA
Awesome collection! Certainly will recommend this site to friends and relatives. Appreciate quick delivery.
Sunil, UAE
Thank you so much, I'm honoured and grateful to receive such a beautiful piece of art of Lakshmi. Please congratulate the artist for his incredible artwork. Looking forward to receiving her on Haida Gwaii, Canada. I live on an island, surrounded by water, and feel Lakshmi's present all around me.
Kiki, Canada
Nice package, same as in Picture very clean written and understandable, I just want to say Thank you Exotic India Jai Hind.
Jeewan, USA
I received my order today. When I opened the FedEx packet, I did not expect to find such a perfectly wrapped package. The book has arrived in pristine condition and I am very impressed by your excellent customer service. It was my pleasure doing business with you and I look forward to many more transactions with your company. Again, many thanks for your fantastic customer service! Keep up the good work.
Sherry, Canada
I received the package today... Wonderfully wrapped and packaged (beautiful statue)! Please thank all involved for everything they do! I deeply appreciate everyone's efforts!
Frances, USA
I have always been delighted with your excellent service and variety of items.
James, USA
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2019 © Exotic India