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Conch-Bangles and Vermiliion: A Historico-Cultural Novel Based on Bangladesh Ballads

Prabhat Kumar Pandeya (Translator) Ramanath Tripathi (Author)
Synopsis A tender and moving story of unfulfilled love of an innocent Brahmin girl, holy like the Ganga, pure like milky juice of raw coconut. But it was rejected by her lover in favour of a voluptuous Muslim woman he was enamoured of. He converted and on the day of marriage married the Muslim woman instead. Taking the vow of eternal virginity the Brahmin girl expressed her agony in many ballads that are still sung at the Phuleshvari banks, now in Bangladesh… there are meaningful suggestions to eliminate the Hindu-Muslim communal rift…The novel reads like a long lyric with its arresting imagery, interspersed with several folk-songs. Tripathi has skillfully woven a beautiful tapestry with threads of the Rama legend, Behula, Manasa, Chandravati and devotional songs. There are two kinds of Muslims, liberal like Baul Mian singing Hindu bhajans and fanatic like Abdulla bhai. Baul Mian says, “It is land of Bengal, not Arabia. There are not only date trees but also areca and banana…coconut trees carrying juice-boxes on their head…we have frangrance of flower-laden mango trees whence coo koels…There are no blood-thirsty desert, nor life-philosophy. As date is sweet, so is religion here. If here is Koran, so is Purana. If there is Allahji, so is Ramaji. The novel with its pastoral setting and elements of nature creates beauty that goes with the narrative. The novel is based on Bangla ballads Geetika. Tripathi with finess weaves anguish of Sita and Chandravati. On small canvas of novella he has presented successfully ruthless dacoitKenarama, the fearless Brahmin Vanshidasa who changes his heart, Machharanga the shrew, voluptuous Ashamani, chaste but cold Chandra, liberal Baul Mian who is killed by a Muslim, fanatic Abdulla, Malo and other characters. The novel has amorous moments too. Conch-bangles and Vermillion is a lyrical prose narrative. It is regional historico-cultural novel of a new genre. The novel was serialized first in the fortnightly Yuga Prabhat of Kerala. Rajpal and Sons brought out its book form in 1974. the Oriya translation of the book by Dr. ajay Kumar Patnayak was first published in the Puja Special issue of the monthly Manasa. The revised second Hindi edition wasbrought out in 1993 by Sahitya Sahakara of Delhi. During 1993-94 it was serialized in a Bhopal monthly Sulabha-Nari Darpana. The novel was awarded by U.P. Hindi Sansthana.
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About the authors

Prabhat Kumar Pandeya

Prabhat Kumar Pandeya (b. 1945, Ahraura, U.P.) is Professor of English at the Banaras Hindu University. Academic, story-writer, poet, he has translated poems, stories and books from Hindi into English and vice-versa. Honoured by Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Jaunpur Chapter, he was the only representative from India in III Language International at Ellsinore, Denmark in 1955. Translation is his passion. Married having two daughters, he lives in the oldest living city of the world Varanasi.

Ramanath Tripathi

Ramanath Tripathi (b. 1926) is ex-Professor of Hindi, University of Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Conch-Bangles and Vermiliion: A Historico-Cultural Novel Based on Bangladesh Ballads
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Akshaya Prakashan
Language: English
isbn 8188643149
length x+94p., 23cm.
Subjects History