Author: Rabindranath Tagore
Translator(s)/Editor: Sukhendu Ray
ISBN/UPC (if available): 812910363X
Chokher Bali, with its daring and avant-garde theme, was first published as a serial in Bangadarshan. At one level, it is a story of ménage a trios. Mahendra is besotted with his wife Ashalata. Binodini, a young widow of exquisite beauty and sparkling mind, comes to live in his house. The intense love between Mahendra and his wife inflames Binodini’s repressed sexuality.
She manages to captivate Mahendra and alienate him from his wife. At another level, the story is an interplay between three women, Mahendra’s mother Rajalakshmi, Ashalata and Binodini. A devoted mother, jealous of the daughter-in-law, Rajalakshmi widens the rupture between Mahendra and Asha.
n a note written subsequent to the original publication, Tagore claims that Chokher Bali was an unprecedented piece of writing in the context of contemporary Bengali literature. According to this note, Chokher Bali appears also to be his first full length novel, his earlier writings comprising a host of short stories and of course, poetry.