Malancha is a remarkable inscription by Rabindranath Tagore that was published in 1934 in monthly Bichitra magazine. The novel is short in size but its text is filled with metaphorical mode of expression and highly imaginative speeches. The title of the novel itself catches the reader’s thought that drives them to visualize an attractive representation in their mind. A pure combination of romanticism and discontentment is noticeable in this novel. In this novel, the emotional aspects such as anger, love, sympathy, expectations, sense of responsibility, and decorum of the characters have been prioritized by Tagore. The struggle of middle class society and the universe of their mind have been brought to light by Tagore. Though the author himself belonged to higher class family but the pessimistic and optimistic aspects of middle class society were his subjects of representation.
The protagonist of the novel interprets the story of well and woes of Niru (Niroja) and Adittya’s matrimonial life. The story deals with the recollection of sweet and sour reminiscences of Niru. Through the character of Niru the desires, expectations, domestic conflicts, failure, achievement and the tricky nature of human being are wonderfully depicted in this novel. It can be said that the novel is the portrayal of people’s life during twentieth century where the patriarchy was a dominant force. The patriarch mentality has been initiated by the central character Niru.
The characterization of this novel is very fantastic, it is written in the intrusive point of view. Sorola is the antagonist of this novel and reader will come to know about her through the description of Adittya, the main character. Each character is ornamented with its uncommon distinctiveness.
The nature of characters is self-determining that draws a line of difference between the other novels. As it is written from the omniscient observation, the sentiments for suspicion, love, companionship, and liability have been sketched by the author through his excellent characterization. The major characters, Niru and Adittya, can be considered as round characters by their association throughout the novel. Both characters change their mind constantly and lack of mind stability can be focused among the characters. Both characters are strongly governed by an invisible power of procrastination.
Here a special characteristic of this book will grab the attention of the readers. In this novel, nature has become an essential part for the author.
Readers will wonder to know that Tagore has chosen a groove to compare the situation of human mind. He borrowed the elements from nature to illustrate the nature of human mind. Tagore has given a vivid description of nature to set the mode of the story. The mode he created by describing the circumstance of nature gives a hint to readers to assume what is going to happen subsequently.
Tagore has personified the garden. He treated the garden as the family of the gardener. Actually, the liveliness of the garden stands for gardener’s life as the flowers blooms and falls down to the earth at the end of the day. In the same way, Niru perceives that her husband does not love her before her death. He loves Sorola, cousin of Adittya. They have been brought up simultaneously from childhood. At some stage of life, he realizes that he has a responsibility towards his sister, Sorola. Niru feels jealousy towards her when she understands that her emptiness in her husband’s life is being filled by the silent presence of Sorola. Third person is always considered as an intruder in a happy life. In the novel, Sorola becomes an intruder and eyesore for Niru’s life.
Adittya informs his wife that actually he is in love with Sorola. After that, Adittya starts ignoring his wife. Here the disregard of Adittya towards his beloved spouse is noticeable. The bosom relationship with the nature is compared with the sweet relationship of Niru and Adittya. The destruction of the flower during Niru’s illness suggests the ruin of their blissful family. The way author has connected nature with ups and downs of their life is really astonishing and appreciable.
Rabindranath proved his capability of sketching the practical image of Bengali nation. A Bengali woman is always sensitive about family. A wife is selfish in sharing her husband with anyone. It is quite difficult for a typical Bengali wife to endure anyone fulfilling her husband’s needs. Moreover the internal conflict of a middle class family has been depicted in the novel. Therefore, it can be stated that this novel represents a universal picture of Bengali culture and society.
The diction of the text used by Tagore is easy and understandable. Domestication of some words has been found in this novel. The olfactory images of this novel will captivate the heart of the readers as well.
Finally this novel will teach its readers to be devoted to their personal profession. It makes the readers think how changeable or dynamic the mind is. They may find connection of their personal life with the plot. By using simple elements of nature Tagore has made the theme universal for all.