The second or rather the third one that kept me occupied during the blackouts, of course during the day time. The heat of the candle light and also the not so young eyesights didn’t encourage reading after dark, even non-ghost love stories. The second one I will rather talk when I watch the movie Saat Paake bandha. The Hindi version of Vijay ANand and Jaya Bhaduri, Kora Kagaz, I had seen long back, and there are quite some difference between the novel and the movie. After seeing the Bong Version (which is supposed to have been much better made one), I will look at the similarities and dissimilarities.
BM was a typical MB (Mills and Boons Novel). I assume they still exist, though I haven’t seen- or rather bothered to see since I was with my sister and she used to read them and that was ages back.
There is this beautiful air-hostess and an arrogant pilot. The air-hostess was chased by all, of course she, being heroine, can’t succumb. The pilot, though I am not sure he was dark or not, but was young, handsome and also the topmost in skill and fame, got whom he wanted (except her of course, who won’t give in). Then the usual M&B clashes and a lot of insults insinuations, invitations, open as well as not spelt out, by him and others etc. (by the man in power, the pilots). As usual as in the end, like any M&B story she got her man. Tamed? She didn’t believe so and was extremely insecure, despite it was he who should have been.
Within this movie there is a lot of subplots. How the pilot (Sabitabrata) became so rabid misogynist. He liked Mala (the heroine) but as a beautiful plaything, then he changed one day into owner (ready to marry her so that she could be kept away from others) but not a lover (she had naturally refused to be owned by, being the heroine), till something happened and the equation completely changed. Had she known, she could have of course done it earlier, but she came to know only much later of his childhood stories. It was only after she had become a mother of two, a long lost friend of Sabitabrata bumped into them (the novelist) and opened the unknown chapter of his youth.
Why the novel is named Balaka’r Mon? Balaka is the loved (feminine) and in this case more than her, it was his heart that was covered with complex misconceptions about the other gender.
She was in fact simple everyday girl (except the looks). She was from a decent family. Her father was an officer in Government secretariat. Like today’s girls wanted to enter in the glamour industry (at that time it was air-hostess, since modelling etc had picked up a decade or more later). At those times and even much later, the faces that screamed from the advertisements would be movie stars. The air-hostess profession was quite notorious then (as was the movie job some time back). Still the father didn’t object, but the mother, being more orthodox, made a mild objection (but being mild was not heard). Then the troubles, the insinuations by the pilots, her refusal, ending up in a clash with a pilot, and the hero (the rebuked pilot’s friend)’s entry in the scene, asking her right to refuse, being one of the feminine and hence despicable gender. Then of course her slowly falling, but not enough to accept his proposal (honourable one, to marry) since it wasn’t on his knees. Of course she agreed in the end despite his not being on knees even then, or rather it was she who proposed on the rebound (from/to the same racquet) and not him, since he won’t again, though clearly by then he was in love and not lust.
He hated good looking women due to something that happened in his youth. It wasn’t his getting ditched, or even something to do with anyone of family, but an incidence in the neighbourhood. But he respected mothers (his own being the epitome of all womanhood). When she saw Mala as the mother he changed his views about her, and accepted her and also her child, though the genes not inherited from him. That of course is natural, since she had refused to marry him and being heroine, of those times, she won’t have anything to do with him or anyone till she was made an honest woman.
It was the curiosity about their eldest son, that brought the story out of her, in flash-back. The son was about ten, and she had left the hostess job for only five years (after flying for eight years). Being a married air-hostess wasn’t permitted then (even now you can’t marry unless you have put on sufficient flying hours), and getting a child means getting grounded or pink-slipped. Adopted? Physically (look wise) seemed to be so, but not behaviourally. This mystery son was the apple of both the pairs of the eyes, not the undeniably biological, (age- couple of year less than married life), one.