Unquestioned Practices and Traumatised Widows in Bapsi Sidhwa’s Water
A change in the lifestyle of women after they are widowed is the unquestioned practice of Indian society, though they are regional or group variants at different socio- economic levels. With the conception of a man as a bread winner and a woman as hisdependent, the marriage state for a woman is considered fortunate and conversely widowhood is associated with great misfortune. Bapsi Sidhwa through her novel Water states the tormenting life of the protagonist Chuyia, the child widow. The family as a socialinstitution, fails to protect and support Chuyia regardless of age from the social restrictions like for instance remarriage of widows is a social taboo.Widows are subjects to patriarchal customs and are discriminated by prescribing white sari and looked upon as ‘unlucky’and inauspicious when they are present in functions or celebrations. The society ostracizes and expects them to denounce the worldly pleasures; these practices leave lasting scars on them. Though certain practices like ‘sati’ are abolished widows still lead a miserable life under the name of tradition and customs.
Thrust area: Cultural Literature.
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