SOUVALI is one of the three stories written by MAHASHWEATA DEVI in her book named AFTER KURUKSHETRA. She started writing at a very young age and usually wrote about the ordinary lives of women and children.
Souvali" is about Yuyutsu, a son born to Dhritarashtra from a maid called Souvali. Yuyustu the only surviving son of Dhritarshtra performs last rites for him although he was never acknowledged as one. The writer narrates the love , separation ,the anger and the feeling of betrayal felt by the mother whose name was SOUVALI and the son YUYUTSU .
The story talks about the conversation that takes place between the mother and the son after he returns back to her after a very long time. The mother is very happy to see him and expresses her motherly love by embracing him when he comes home. They talk about their father and how the son expresses his desire to go to his father kingdom, it is then the mother reminds him that he was a maids son and was being foolish to do that and was just used by them to perform his father’s last rites . In this poem the mother is basically shown hard hearted and strong and expresses her anger throughout the story. She tries explaining to her son the facts of life and that the big people do not value the small ones.
This story basically tells us about the drift between the rich and the poor . How the poor were utilized in those days and how they were used as “use and throw things”. The story even tells us about the relationship between upper class and the lower class people .
The main idea brought out through it is that the upper class people go by rules and regulations and do so many things to maintain it but the peasants and the lower class people go by feelings, emotions, oneness . The affinity towards one another keeps them going and how money and richness makes no difference to them and simplicity is the only jewel they own.
The mother in the story, expresses that she prefers lower class people and according to her they are the right ones. She is alone, betrayed, and her son is taken away, but still she shows her strong attitude and is not the one who will sit crying at home for the injustice done to her. This shows her strong feminine side whereas we look towards feminism in a very stereotypical way wherein we expect women to keep quiet and burden herself.
Thus, the cry of a mother maintaining her self dignity and making her son face the reality is what the story talks about.
The Telephone Conversation.
This poem is written by Nigerian writer , poet and play writer WOLE SOYINKA . He has won a nobel prize in literature and is the first African in Africa to be so honoured .
In this poem, the poet is describing the conversation between an african who wants to get a place to stay on rent and the landlady . the conversation between them starts on a soft note until the landlady comes to know that he is an African . this displeases the landlady .instead of talking about the house renting and price , the lady starts to become racial and begins to ask him about his skin color . when she asks him that are you dark or light colored ,it indicates she is discriminating the dark people and this makes the African angry.
It is then that the African decides not to rent the house and begins to play work tricks on her. The poet describes the woman as lipstick coated ,long gold rolled cigarette holder piped –which tell us that she is basically rich and well educated , however the poet is being ironic about that as he wants to convey that it is not the look of the person the matters , it is the way they behave and portray their self. The poet trys to convey that the woman is basically arrogant and has an indifferent attitude. The African answers all the questions of the landlady in a very sarcastic way.
The most sarcastic point is when she does not understand what the African meant when he says sepia and brunette which however both are dark colors. The poets tries to tells us the the Africans are usually considered ill-literate and of a very low class only because of their appearance thus, through his word play on her , he wants to convey that Africans can be more educated than the whites and they deserve an equally high status in the society .
In the last part, the poet tries to be humorous and asks the landlady whether she wants to look at his whole body to see if it is whole black and especially mentions that this bottoms are raven black .This annoys the landlady and she cannot stand him any longer and thus ends up the conversation by banging the phone.In this poem, the poet basically wants to convey that is it not the physical appearance of a person that matters and racisms is something that anybody can’t stand. He thus expresses his anger and disappointment through the poem .
BY PRACHITI SATHE.
ROLL NO : 32