This one is a well-written story about how two people, equals yet from different backgrounds, fall in love with each other. But, then sets in the old stereotypes of male dominance and ignorant attitude toward females.
I read “Gently Falls The Bakula” by Sudha Murty a few months ago, and loved it for letting me stop and think about many things.
Murty’s books always have a well-characterised female protagonist, I adore that fact about her novels. I could relate to how Shrimati, the female protagonist, loved history. Unfortunately, the lovebirds are distanced, which sends Shrimati into writing letters.
The bakula flowers are the attachments to her love letters, which carry the symbolic meaning that the fragrance and beauty of their love will never fade to shadows. It also sheds light on how Shrimati, being the woman, made the sacrifice of ignoring her interests for Shrikant, the male protagonist she falls in love with. She puts her aspirations and academic talents at home, while Shrikant focuses on his career entirely; not acknowledging any situations on Shrimati’s part. Finally, Shrimati takes the brave soul choice in departing to the US and pursuing her dream of getting a PhD.
The end is when Shrikant realises his cruelty in not giving Shrimati her due, and regretting his decision in being totally aloof and busy with his domineering self. But, it was too late then. The bakula tree that had separated their houses and whose blossoming, exquisite flowers that exemplified the love they had, had fallen.
Overall, a good yet critical read, thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the book for its simple writing and good content. I think every Indian woman will feel connected to the story in one or the other way. This book taught me how a very obvious matter goes unseen, how feelings fade and how unknowingly we hurt people. It rightly brings out the fact that it is us who fail, and not the relationships.
I have always been very fond of keeping plants at home. They are so easy to get, but if I don’t care for them for more than two days they die and getting them back to their days of glory and health is a formidable task. I realised relationships are also the same. It also made me aware about the importance of woman empowerment and me being a woman, am empowering myself and becoming a strong woman.
I will rate the book as a must read with 4.5/5 rating.
— The reader is based in Dubai.