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Shesh Rokkha (Dhai aakhar prem ka) – Stories by Rabindranath Tagore (8)

Shesh Rokkha Dhai aakhar prem ka Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

Based on Tagore’s hilarious play Shesh Rokkha (Saved at the end), Dhai aakhar prem ke is a laugh riot. A story written around poetry sessions, squabbles between couples, mixed up names – all leading to a choas filled climax but finally things sorting out towards the end.

Chandrakant has poetry and literary sessions at his home regularly with his group of friends which compromises of writers, students – in general, literature lovers. His wife, Kantamani, is vexed up with her husband’s obsession with these sessions while she is left to making snacks for him and his friends. Chandrakant often jokes with his friends about his wife being a dull person, which his wife overhears sometimes and doesn’t stop herself in showing her anger towards him. However, Chandrakant does love his wife and the delicacies she makes. His group of friends feel that they are made for each other.

Among his group of friends is a writer/poet Binod Bihari who is secretly in love with Kamal, the elder daughter of Chandrakant’s neighbour, Nibaran. Kamal often sings poems written by Binod and it is this voice that attracts Binod to her. Although, he did not meet her personally, Binod decides to get married to Kamal and seeks Chandrakant’s help to propose his alliance to Kamal’s father. Chandrakant suggests to him to atleast talk to her and know her properly before sending his proposal, but Binod refuses. He feels, when there is love there is no need for anything else. Soon, Binod’s proposal is passed on to Kamal’s father and he accepts the alliance after getting the nod from Kamal. Chandrakant leaves behind a photograph of Binod for Kamal. In the photo, Binod is accompanied by Chandrakant and Gadai. Gadai is a final year medical student who is also part of Chandrakant’s group. He is a firm non-believer of the existence of love, the topic on which his writer friends usually write. He feels love is psychological or the result of a medical condition for which a cure ought to be found.

Kamal has a younger sister, Indumati. Naughty to the core, Indu often pulls her sister’s leg for her secret adulation towards Binod. Kantamani is close to the sisters and mingles along with them regularly. Indu, often tries to help Kanta to sort out her differences with Chandrakant. Kanta jokingly tells Indu, that like Kamal, she should also get married to one of Chandrakant’s friends and suggests a few names, which includes Gadai. Upon hearing the name, Indu, a romantic at heart, says she can never marry a boy with such a name and dismisses the topic right away. When Indu sees the photo of the three men, she wonders who the third person in the photo is as she already recognises Chandrakant and Binod. But before she could enquire further, Kamal snatches the photo from her. Later, she enquires with Kanta, who the person could be. Since there is no photo, she describes him as wearing shirt and pant, an exclusive feature, since most of the men wore dhoti kurta. Kanta mistakenly assumes it to be another boy from the group and tells Indu that it must be Lalit Chatterjee. Kanta teases her about being smitten with the boy right away.

Indu and Gadai meet each other by chance at Chandrakant’s house. Indu, not wanting to give away that she has already started liking him, acts snobbishly and tells him that she is Kadambani, the daughter of Chaudhry Babu of Bagh bazaar and she runs away from the place. For Gadai, it is love at first sight. He starts penning down poems for her. His medical theories about love vanish away in one stroke.

Meanwhile, Kamal and Binod’s marriage takes place. Though they liked each other, they hardly knew much about each other’s lifestyles. Soon, differences start meddling in. Little things like Binod’s favourite pillow, or the bath soap that he prefers or the type of tea he likes, etc. – small things, begin to pile up, creating problems for them daily. Binod thought love was enough to be together. Trivial matters such as these could be a bane, he had not assumed. Not able to take any more bickering from Binod about nonsensical things, Kamal leaves Binod and returns to her father’s house.

Fights between Chandrakant and Kanta too, don’t seem to lessen and like Kamal, she too packs her bags and leaves for the father’s place. Chandrakant makes no attempt to stop her. He, in fact, starts enjoying his newly found freedom, celebrating by removing all the food restrictions his wife had placed on him.

On the other hand, Indu trying to calm an upset Kamal, suspects that Binod might be having an affair. She asks her friend, Rajani, to help her to test her brother-in-law by asking him to meet her at the garden in the guise of a fan. However, he confesses that he loves his wife very much. Kamal, Indu and Rajani are jubilant upon hearing that, but soon their plot is out in the open and Binod realises he was being tested.

Meanwhile, Indu soon comes to know that Gadai (whom she assumes to be Lalit) has written a poem, which he has been trying to hide from all. Although thrilled from inside, she still continues with her snobbish act and pretends to be angry with him for writing a poem in her name.

Completely unaware of all that has been going on between their children, the two friends, i.e. Indu’s father and Gadai’s father, Nibaran and Shibhcharan respectively, decide to unite Indu and Gadai in matrimony. But when, Shibhcharan conveys the same to Gadai, he confesses that he is in love with Kadambani and would like to marry her instead. Though miffed at him initially, Shibhcharan decides to accept his son’s desire. Meanwhile, Indu too conveys to her father that she does not want to marry Gadai.

Soon, Indu confesses to Kamal about her love for the boy whom she assumes to be Lalit and that she is not completely sure about his feelings for her. Kamal talks to Chandrakant about it in the hope that a clarity could be reached in the matter. But when Chandrakant brings up the topic to Lalit, he reveals that he has no idea who Indumati is. Word soon reaches the sisters and a heartbroken Indu bawls out, not able to believe what she just heard. She decides to talk to the boy face to face and starts for Chandrakant’s house.

Chandrakant’s joy for his freedom has vanished. He misses his wife desperately and wants her back. His group of friends are consoling him when Indu barges in to have a tete-a-tete with Lalit. But when she calls out for Lalit, it is not the boy she loves, instead it is an unknown person who responds. Confusion ping pongs among everyone’s minds in the silence of the room. Indu calls Gadai aside for a talk to sort out things. After a brief altercation, they both reveal their actual names and realise that they had unknowingly rejected their alliance with each other.

While clarifications  are being made between the young lovers, Shibhcharan fixes Gadai’s alliance with Kadambani, whose father Chaudhry babu decides to have an aashirwad ceremony immediately. So, in the know that Gadai would be at Chandrakant’s home, Shibhcharan comes knocking. But now that things have been sorted out, Gadai conveys to his father that he is ready to marry Indu as per his wishes. Shibhcharan, overwhelmed that his son wants to fulfill his wishes, appeases him that he need not do so since he has already fixed his alliance with Kadambani. Shocked at this new development, Gadai confesses that he is in fact in love with Indu and not Kadambani. Furious at his son’s constant altering of choices, he orders him to reach home immediately.

The whole group of friends, including Indu, reach Gadai’s house and go directly into a room. Shibhcharan pulls out Gadai and tells him to reveal to Chaudhry babu directly why he can’t marry Kadambani. Meanwhile, Kamal and her father also arrive there and are informed by Indu about the happenings. Chandrakant saves the day when he informs Chaudhry babu that Gadai can’t marry his daughter since he has already married Indumati. Chaudhry babu, in the belief that they are making an excuse, seeks clarification, but has to give in when everyone, including Nibaran, says that their marriage indeed has taken place. But he is still angry for he had come to fix an alliance for his daughter and he wouldn’t return empty handed. That’s when Lalit, amidst surprising glances from his friends, steps up and proposes to marry Kadambani. Chaudhry Babu is only delighted to have a well educated boy as his son-in-law. Binod and Kamal too patch up. Everyone takes their elders’ blessings.

All things are sorted out and everyone is happy, except for Chandrakant. Still missing his wife badly, he decides to take a trip and starts packing his bags when Kanta arrives. Watching him packing his bags, Kanta asks him to take her along wherever he is going, something which she couldn’t say before. Chandrakant is delighted to have her back and thus begins a new chapter in their lives.

 

SheshRokkha2

Binod and Kamal

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    rhea sinha
    March 5, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Durga di this reminds me of shakespeare’s comedies.. I didn’t event know Tagore wrote “fun” stories..

    • Reply
      DurgaS
      March 8, 2016 at 12:47 am

      Ya, I was surprised too. Though Detective was in a lighter vein, but this was an out and out comedy from the word go.

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