It is a story of two classmates, named as Shrimaan and Shrimati. Both are equally brilliant student and neighbour. There is one Bakula tree who separates their houses. They were class- mates up to tenth standards, Shrimaan thinks he would top this year i.

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Really touching story. BTW sudha murthy is equally brilliant like Mr. Murthy and she has sacrificed her professional ambitions to support her bushand.

Its one of the Best books I've read so far.. It has been with me even after the pages ended! I even tried writing what could've happened after Shrimati's departure. I'll update it on my blog soon. You can read it, if you please. Oh thank you so much, Pratik! I'm just too fond of the novel Post a Comment. Gently Falls the Bakula. Sudha Murty. Penguin Books India, , pp, Rs. The book is about a marriage gone sour. Of aspirations suppressed for long.

Of non-acknowledgement of silent support. A tree of Bakula a fragrant flower seperates the two homes. They are class-mates up to the X standard. The ambitious boy aspires to be the school topper, but it is Shrimati, who tops, while he ends up second. Shrimati is fond of History, so studies the subject, and Shrikant chooses subjects which enable him to ultimately pursue an engineering degree from IIT, Bombay after his XII standard.

The bakula flowers are the attachments to her love letters, carrying the symbolic meaning that the fragrance of their love will never go away. The two would meet secretly on his visits to Hubli. Both are keen students, but the reader gets to know of the seriousness with which Shrimati learns about History.

She is the obvious choice for being a tourist guide to visiting professors. The graphic description of Aihole, Badami and Pattalakkal encourage the reader to visit the places in case they have not already. Coming back to the story, Shrimati turns down a research scholarship offer from a foreign visiting professor, Mike Collins, just to get married to Shrikant. This is the first of the umpteen sacrifices she makes for her beloved. Shrikant holds ground against his mother who wants him to marry another girl.

Shrimati makes it clear that what matters to her is his love, affection and companionship. Shrimati has to put up with a taunting mother-in-law, who now gets a chance to get back at her enemies.

But soon the bride leaves for Bombay to stay with her husband. His sister is the originator of this bluff, basically intended to put Shrimati in trouble. Shrimati gives up her idea of higher studies only to work and also not in the History department and help repay the loan.

In return, she does not get even an iota of appreciation. Soon Shrikant climbs the corporate ladder in double-quick time, and Shrimati is the silent assistant at home, more like a secretary at home. The differential appreciation of Bhamati, the woman who was married to a sage who was writing a commentary on the Dharmasastra and who took care of him silently, is an indication of the things to come.

Amidst all this, she keeps in touch with Professor Collins whether in India or in the U. But her Ph. She suggests adoption, which is also promptly turned down. Shrimati falls ill when her husband is abroad. She does not want him to know of her ill-health, as it can affect his performance. This goodness on her part is not acknowledged. Collins' arrival in India brings her back to life, and she uses her time alone to take him on a tour of North India.

The reader gets to know of Fatehpur Sikri, Ujjain and Mandu, before Shrikant recalls his wife to play hostess to his guests. Collins notices the sadness in her and advises her to take up the Ph.

The pretence of official relationships which are made on the basis of profit and loss hits her hard. She revisits their love letters; that affection requires only mutual love and intense faith, and not beauty or intelligence, is reinforced.

And that is lacking in her life right now. The reader is told through an office colleague that men work for money and then for power, which will require hard work and unconditional support from the family. Shrikant was lucky to have found an intelligent yet unambitious wife, and thereby became phenomenally successful. Shrimati, in desperation, tries to get Shrikant to give her some time, but gets chided by him. She sobs, and remembers that a house is a structure and home is a place of feelings and relationship.

This residence had no room for relationship! So, since she cannot return to Hubli, she decides to do her Ph. The parting conversation between Shrikant and Shrimati is extremely touching; I was overwhelmed.

Shrimati tells him that he cannot put up with loneliness any longer; nor can she live with artificial values which eulogise materialistic success.

She tells him that she had loved him and History and him more than her studies. When he lost finer sentiments, she lost him and was left only with history. She opines that divorce is an instrument of remarriage and hence is not interested in it.

The novel ends with Shrikant looking back at his domineering self, and how cruel he was to his wife by not giving her due. He realises that he was the cause for her departure, but his professional nature gets the better of him, at the cost of his personal life. The bakula tree, whose flowers symbolised the love between them, had fallen, sadly.

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Gently Falls the Bakula

Satyajit Ray was one of the greatest film-makers of his time. In , he was awarded the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement by the Academy What is more important: a successful career or a happy marriage? In the small town of Hubli, Shrikant discovers that he is attracted to his plain-looking but charming neighbour Shrimati, who always does better than him in the school exams. Shrimati too falls in love with the amiable and handsome Shrikant and the two get married. Shrikant joins an IT company and starts rapidly climbing the corporate ladder.


“Gently Falls The Bakula”: Will make you stop and think of life

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