Overview for The Doomed Damsel
Saraswatia is a short novel by Shri Bimal Mitra. It is noted for its is noted for its exquisite beauty and the quaint character of the environment that the author has created in is portrayal of life and manners of a backward community in Chhatisgarh. The people of Chhatisgarh have strange mores and customs. The menfolk are all lean, emaciated and sickly because they suffer from veneral diseases. The women, on the other hand, are sturdy, robust and of graceful temperament. During the day, women work as porters on the railway platforms at the railway station and in market places. At night, they wear coloured saris and drink liquor. Saraswatia is a girl from that community. Thought her father's complexion is as "dark as jet black", yet Saraswatia is very fair as "white as milk". The people of Chhatisgarh pay the price for a bride to her father and they bring her home. Thereafter, she lives as wife with her husband. Saraswatia was also purchased by five scores by Chhedi Patel as his wife. He was a gatekeeper at the Railway level crossing and suffering from veneral diseases. It's a pathetic story of a tribal community suffering from veneral diseases due to corrupt social practices.
Bimal Mitra (Author)
Shri Bimal Mitra, an eminent novelist in Bengali, was born in Calcutta on March 18, 1912. He had his Master's degree in Arts from the University of Calcutta. He began his career with Bengal Nagpur Railway in 1939 at the age of twenty seven. From 1948 to 1950 he was deputed as Section Officer in the Central Bureau of Investigation in Madhya Pradesh and had the experience of Chattisgarhi tribal life which he eloquently carried out in his novel-Saraswatia. Since 1953, he soely devoted himself to writing and currently he has to his credit a minimum of 200 novels, short stories and essays. His novels have widely been translated into major Indian languages. He became famous as teh author of triology-Sahib Bibi Golam (1953), Kari Diye Kinlam (1962) and Begum Meri Biswas (1965). In Hindi language alone, his forty novels have been translated so far. Based on his novels, several successful feature films have been made both in Bengali and Hindi. He was honoured with Motilal Literary Award, Amrit Bazar Patrika (1962), Rabindra Nath Award, Government of West Bengal (1964), Panam Chand Bhutoria Award (1983) and Ashok Kumar Sarkar Literary Award,Ananda Bazar Patrika (1984).
Atul Sur (Translator)
Dr. Atul Sur is noted for the Versatility of his scholarship. He is a historian, economist, anthropologist and sociologist. Over the past 86 years Dr. Sur has written over 185books and many thousands of articles, mostly in English. In reviewing his work entitled Sex and Marriage in India, The Statesman remarked that "the beauty of the book is its language". Having mastered the English Language under the tutelage of renowned European Professors of English at the Scottish Church College, Calcutta, Dr. Sur went on to become a research scholar and teacher at his University and a Guest Professor at other universities. For over 41 yeaers, he was also on the editorial staff of the English papers belonging to the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group. Dr. Sur has had a brilliant academic career which culminated in his obtaining a first class first M.A. degree and a cum laude doctoral degree. In 1982 he was awarded the CCI Award of the Critics Circle of India and in 1988 the Sushiladevi Birla Puraskar of the "Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan.