Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Review: Rajmohan’s Wife

In this story, Rajmohan is a villain. His wife Matangini is the victim. Matangini has a sister and who has a loving husband in Madhav.

Rajmohan is at the service of Madhav but teams up with dacoits to help them loot Madhav and get a share out of it. Overhearing Rajmohan’s discussion with the dacoits, Matangini warns her sister and her sister’s husband and avoids the tragedy. But the furious Rajmohan attempts to kill Matangini. She manages to escape and takes shelter in the house of Mathur Ghose, a zamindar, who had a secret liking for Matangini and was looking for opportunistic moment to begin an affair with her. Matangini refuses this proposal but gets confined to indoors of an unoccupied house owned by Mathur. Mathur was also in gloves with dacoits and was a beneficiary of their plan to loot Madhav.

As the situation develops, dacoits surrender to police and confess their plan to loot Madhav’s house and the involvement of Rajmohan and Mathur Ghose as beneficiary. Police arrests Rajmohan but Mathur commits suicide. Matangini leaves the place to live with her father.

This short novel was written 150 years ago by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay. This was his first and the only novel he wrote in English. He further chose to write in Bengali including the epochal Anandamath and the verse ‘Vande Mataram’, which became the national song of India.