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The Final Question

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  273 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
‘Like Dickens, Saratchandra had a bag of wonderful tales’—The Hindu

The Final Question (Shesh Prashna) is one of Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s last novels and perhaps his most radically innovative. The novel caused a sensation when it was first published in 1931, drawing censure from conservative critics but enthusiastic support from general readers, especially women.

The her
Paperback, 392 pages
Published January 15th 2010 by Penguin Books India (first published May 1931)
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Feb 13, 2013 Adite rated it it was amazing
Rabindranath Tagore and Saratchandra Chattopadhyay were contemporaries who were considered the sun and moon of Bengali literature. Both explored socially relevant themes through their novels and highlighted the role of women in society. Saratchandra's The Final Question (translated from the Bengali Shesh Prashna) is indeed a remarkable work considering that it was written 80+ years ago. It raises issues of women's liberation that are still considered 'controversial' in Indian society today.

The s
Swati Rao
Nov 14, 2010 Swati Rao rated it it was amazing
Awesome. The questions raised in the book are very thought provoking. At no point it hails or condemns one over the other but cajoles you to set aside prejudices formed. The questions raised on women and their place in the society at that point of time is admirable. Also, one can't help admiring the idea of nation, citizen of the world and other thoughts that are still not fully realised or understood by many. If pride for your own makes you hate/look down upon others, might as well not have pri ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Rajat added it
Reading Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s, The Final Question (Sesh Prosno) one is transported, not so much to the Agra of early 20th Century with its community of expatriate Bengalis, as one is, to a world of ideas and arguments, that hang together in a splendid display of lights, shining on that time and on the future of a nation, caught in crosscurrents of modernity and traditions. But do the ideas of the uncompromising Kamal – easily the most liberated heroine in Saratchandra’s formidable oeuvre ...more
Harish Muralidhar
Feb 18, 2014 Harish Muralidhar rated it it was amazing
Written sometime in the '30s it makes you wonder if people's thoughts are as progressive today as the author's had been then, the country would be a much better place to live in

This is the story of a lady, Kamal who not only stares in the face of the society without blinking but manages to defy it with erudite reasons expressed in the most direct vocal forms possible. In a time where a misplaced sense of pride, nationalism and religious beliefs wrecked havoc in a person's morality, this lady gat
Anil Anuragi
Jun 26, 2013 Anil Anuragi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written back in 1931, before Independence originally in Bengali and then later it was translated in English by Department of English, Jadavpur Universiy. Saratchandra has described the life of Kamal (the main character in his novel ) very beautifully. He has shown that how a complete educated woman and aware about society norms had to suffer because she comes from a lower caste. She dares to spend a night with a man, fall in love with him but refuses to marry. He has written it in ...more
Keerthi Purushothaman
May 08, 2014 Keerthi Purushothaman rated it really liked it
Remarkably bold for its time. Perhaps, for even now.
Himanshu Saini
Oct 19, 2014 Himanshu Saini rated it it was amazing
Is the main idea about rejection of archaic, obsolete morms, traditions of society. Norms which are considered as reverence to Indian culture.
Or is it more about touching the base of these traditions and norms. To make the changes in the existing traditions.
I believe it was both. With both ideas juxtaposed in the story.
I am no one to comment on this great writer but he looks much ahead of his time. Glad that I read this book.
Dec 07, 2014 Gg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of the questions asked by Kamal are relevant even today. Even after 80 years the book is gripping, throws a lot of unpleasant questions at the society through the heroine and tries to attck hypocrisy
Nilima Monica
one of the finest work of Sarat Chandra. I fell in love with the characters. they haunt me till date
Harshit Gupta
A little too heavy with dialogues full of ideas and ideologies, but a good book nonetheless.
Jul 13, 2015 Hasini rated it liked it
A slow moving story for the patient reader. The author broadens the vision and makes the reader question the commonly accepted values of the human society, mainly through the character of bold & beautiful Kamal. Out of all what is discussed, what caught my attention the most was the story 'Once when I was a woman', although it takes relatively a very small space in the novel. The reader cannot help getting fascinated by the highly appropriate and colourful similes the writer has made use of ...more
Rohini Atresh
Mar 04, 2016 Rohini Atresh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book way ahead of it's time. All the questions raised are so progressive in thought, even to this day. There's no choice but to be in awe of the character Kamal. Bound by no chains, no expectations and adhering to no societal norms, she's the representation of a lot of women faced with these realistic challenges. This is the first book I read of Sarat Chandra. Will definitely read more.
Amrita Basu
Jan 07, 2013 Amrita Basu rated it really liked it
Its not an easy read, a lot of conversations, through which the reader gets to know about opinions being formed, held or shelved. Not surprised that the book got a stormy reception. Laughed to myself, when i juxtaposed this book written in 1931 against what Asarambapu has to say these days, 8- years hence. Kamal is unique..
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Complete works of Sarat Chandra (শরৎ রচনাবলী) is now available in this third party website:

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay (also spelt Saratchandra) (Bengali: শরৎচনদর চটটোপাধযায) was a legendary Bengali novelist from India. He was one of the most popular Bengali novelists of the early 20th century.

His childhood and youth were spent in dire poverty as his father,
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