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Selections from Galpaguchchha (In 3 Volumes)

Rabindranath Tagore (Author) Ratan K Chattopadhyay (Translator)
Synopsis This three-volume English translation by Ratan Kumar Chattopadhyay called Selections from Galpaguchchha (Bengali for a bunch of stories)is a collection of sixty-one of Tagore’s short stories broadly grouped under the themes of parting of ways, the relationship between men and women, and the power within the woman, respectively.

Volume 1 includes memorable stories like the ‘The Pedlar from Kabul’, ‘Broken Nest’, ‘Punishment’ and ‘The Postmaster’. In the first, an Afghan hawker, Rahmat, comes to Calcutta and befriends five-year-old Mini, who reminds him of his own daughter back home. While ‘Broken Nest’ is a story of a lonely urban housewife’s friendship with her brother-in-law and her overwhelming sense of loss when the relationship ends abruptly, ‘Punishment’ set in rural Bengal is a poignant story of young Chandora and her grim resolve when her husband, to save his brother, persuades her to own up to a murder she did not commit.

In Volume 2, we find the ever- popular ‘Ramkanai’s Folly’, ‘The Ghat’s Story’, ‘Woman Bereft of Jewels’, ‘Grandfather’, and ‘The Matronly Boy’, among other stories. The travails of a timid man of indomitable honesty who attains a tragic heroism are narrated in ‘Ramkanai’s Folly’, while the theme of ‘The Ghat’s Story’ is the unstated, forbidden love of a young woman for a hermit who may or may not be her long-lost husband. The frisson in the haunting climax of the ‘Woman Bereft of Jewels’, a horrifying morality tale of egotism and greed, is justly famous.

Volume 3, the last in this series, is studded with gems such as ‘Hungry Stones’, ‘The Wife’s Letter’, ‘The Story of a Muslim Woman’, ‘Hidden Treasure’ and ’At Dead of Night’. The theme of ‘Hungry Stones’ is a tale hovering between dream and reality involving palace intrigue and unrequited love, and in ‘The Wife’s Letter’, Mrinal breaks free from the stifling marital ties of fifteen years in what is an indictment of existing gender relations. A traditional Hindu girl out of gratitude for her elderly Muslim protector embraces his religion and falls in love with his son in ‘The Story of a Muslim Woman’.
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About the author

Ratan K Chattopadhyay

Ratan Kumar Chattopadhyay, the translator of Tagore’s short stories in Bengali, is a graduate from the University of Calcutta.

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Bibliographic information

Title Selections from Galpaguchchha (In 3 Volumes)
Format Softcover
Date published: 03.12.2010
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788125040477
length xxiv+964p., 22cm.