Author: Krishna Sobti
Publisher: Rajkamal Prakashan
Publishing Date: 1 January 2007, Re-published (2010)
Cost: Rs. 280 (Hardcover), Rs.125 (Haperback)
Mitron Marjani is one of the most path-breaking novels of the 20th century. This is the story of Sumitravanti, the unstoppable middle daughter-in-law of the Gurudas household. Her courage is apparent not only in the audacity with which she taunts a closed society, but also in her ability to change her own attitude when she feels it necessary.
Mitro Marjani has been remembered for long and likely so for its dominating, unique and never done before- voices that allowed the Hindi novel to break out of the restraint of portraying or dealing with inly social and political issues, or the more stereotyped notions of ‘women’s fiction’.
Krishna Sobti pens down a character called ‘mitro’, a woman who breaks the stereotypes of the society and raises its voice as a protagonist against the sexual vices prevailing in the society. Mitro is introduced with the issues of of physical violence from her husband, her angry screams, her looking her husband and elders straight in the eye. Soon, other characters are introduced- the elderly couple has three sons, and each with his wife lives with them.
The story setting has been portrayed by Krishna Sobti in such a compelling style that not only it is very alien to elsewhere in Hindi novels but also the reality creates a melancholy throughout the novel that one almost comes to realize that the protagonist and her situations are not unrelatable.
Or perhaps it is the basic honesty of her nature that allows her to face herself and all she has believed in an unflinching manner as she faces her husband’s violent wrath and mother-in-law’s over whelming criticisms. It would have needed a lot of courage, ruthlessness and affection in writing. In such a situation, in order to mold a character in his novel, Krishna Sobti had to establish intimate emotions and thereby a relationship between the character and the readers.
As poet Ashok Vajpayee once said, “A writer is a person who takes language where it has never been before and Krishnaji does so in each sentence.”
About the Author:
Krishna Sobti (born 18 February 1925; died 25 January 2019) was born in Gujrat, Punjab, now in Pakistan. She was a Hindi fiction writer and essayist, who won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 for her novel Zindaginama and in 1996, was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest award of the Akademi. In 2017, She received the Jnanpith Award for her contribution to Indian literature.
Sobti was best known for her 1966 novel Mitro Marajani, an unapologetic portrayal of a married woman's sexuality. She was also the recipient of the first Katha Chudamani Award, in 1999, for Lifetime Literary Achievement, apart from winning the Shiromani Award in 1981, Hindi Academy Award in 1982, Shalaka Award of the Hindi Academy Delhi and in 2008, her novel Samay Sargam was selected for Vyas Samman, instituted by the K. K. Birla Foundation.
She also wrote under the name Hashmat and has published Hum Hashmat, a compilation of pen portraits of writers and friends. Her other novels are- Daar Se Bichchuri, Surajmukhi Andhere Ke, Yaaron Ke Yaar, Zindaginama. Some of her well-known short stories are Nafisa, Sikka Badal Gaya, Badalom Ke Ghere. Sobti Eka Sohabata includes her major selected works. A number of her works are now available in English and Urdu.