Conflict between Self and Responsibility in Bhabani Bhattacharyaâ€™s Music for Mohini
Bhabani Bhattacharyaâ€™s fictional world confronts his readers with multiple issues pertaining to social inequalities in Indian society. Besides, his thematic concerns like - poverty, hunger, war, oppression, patriotism, superstitions and clash of ideologies he also deals with the problems of Indian women in his novels.
His novel,Music for Mohini narrates the world seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Mohini, a middle-class girl married to a decent rational rich man from a traditional aristocratic family. Set against the background of Indian Independence Movement with reminiscence of great famine of Bengal in 1942, the novel goes on to depict the then ritualistic Indian social system and its effect on a newly married moderate modern girl,Mohini as an individual and Mohini as the consort to the protagonist Jaydev - her adorable, righteous husband - who dreams of his consort to be identified with legendary ancient Indian women like Gargi and Maitreyi. Being the product of times of Social Reform Movement, Mohini is often confused between right and wrongand fails to choose between tradition and modernity. The present study tries to explore the conflict posed between Mohiniâ€™sâ€˜selfâ€™ and her duties towards her household in general and towards her husband in particular so as to explore deep psychological recesses and future fantasies acting as agents of shaping an individualâ€™s character.