Achalayatan - The Petrified Place

Achalayatan - The Petrified Place

Product ID: 19102

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Author: Rabindranath Tagore
Translator(s)/Editor: Bandana Sanyal
Publisher: Rupa
Year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 102
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8129109239


Rabindranath Tagore’s Achalayatan (1912) presents an arena of conflicting faiths. Built on a stony resistance to the naturalness of life, Mahapanchak’s Achalayatan representing a quest of dry wisdom, turns into a petrified land of illusion and immobility. On the other hand, the Sonpangshus are work addicts to the extent that they mistake work for the end and not the means, while the Darvaks remain happy with their simple, unquestioning, selfless devotion.

All three fail to realize that life is to be tasted in its totality. Knowledge, power to work, and devotion are to be assimilated to achieve the true vision of life. And for that, the Guru’s help becomes imperative.

In essence the play is a strong indictment of our ethico-religious and educational systems drained of al meaning and rendered bloodless, dry and sterile through over-emphasising rules for rules sake. Elaborate symbolism coupled with a subtle allegorical structure makes Achalayatan as relevant today as when it was written nearly a century ago.


A former Reader in English literature, BANDANA SANYAL has contributed short stories and poems in little magazines like Bibhab, Baromash, Udichi, among others. She has translated poems for signposts: Bengali Poetry since Independence (Rupa) and Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay’s diary for Sahitya Akademi. She has also contributed articles on African literature in Calcutta Review.