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হাজার চুরাশির মা

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  798 ratings  ·  87 reviews
classic novel on women, Bengal revolution. trans. by Samik Bandyopadhyaya
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published 1974 by Karuna Prokashani
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  798 ratings  ·  87 reviews


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Neetha Philip
Devi, said to be as much of an inspirational activist as a writer, did bring to the surface various social issues that we tend to ignore. The plot is interesting, and the characters, complex. Sujatha's discovery of herself as she relives her son's death is intense as it is relate-able. Though i felt the an iota of Sujatha's "awakening" in my self as i read the book, the author's condescension towards the reader was clear. As I result, though I understood Devi's characters and found them understa ...more
Anushree
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#BookRecommendation

"कया इसिलिए जान दी थी उनहोंनें? यह जिंदा लाशें, यह पथरिली, चमकीली लाशें. न कोई जमीर, न आतमा. कया इसिलिए दाँव पर लगाया था अपना सबकुछ? यह कभी नहीं बाटेंगे अपना कुछ."

"घर का, परिवार का, करतवय निभाना ही तो सिखाया है बचपन से. कभी कुछ और सोचा ही नहीं."

Do these lines trouble you? Do they make you uncomfortable? Does your skin crawl when you think of your identity? What does "pride" mean to you? What do you take pride in? In the class in which you were born? In the riches you were born
...more
Sudeep Agarwal
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book clutches at your heart and does not leave until the very end. It opens your eyes to both the discrimination and complancency within the society (specifically, Calcutta, and perhaps urban Indian in general) and the mental state of a mother suffering her son's loss and coming to terms with these and other realities.

I don't normally cry while reading books or watching movies, but this book brought me very, very close to it.
Amrendra
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A most poignant portrayal of a mother's emotional devastation at the loss of her son. Vrati, Sujata's son, a socialist ideologue and his friends are killed by a mob in state sponsored cleansing of anti-establishment youth movement of 1970s Calcutta. Sujata's deep love for her son is juxtaposed with Divyanath's (Vrati's womanising father) nonchalance and embarrassment at Vrati's deeds. Sujata meets Samir's (Vrati's friend, killed with him) poor mother and Nandini (Vrati's love and comrade) and tr ...more
Smriti
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A poignant, beautiful read. One day in the life of Sujatha - on the 2nd death anniversary of her son, Brati, you see her flashback to many instances- the day she found out about his death, how she coped, his childhood. You see that he was clearly her favourite child amongst her disfunctional family. She's been mourning and you can feel the pain build up slowly but steadily.

Broken up into - morning, afternoon, late afternoon and evening. Uff, that last chapter.

Short simple read but power packed.
Ankita Chauhan
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sujata’s world would not be the same, why Brati left that evening in his blue shirt, how he had turned into a number, 1084- all day long Sujata had been finding bits and pieces of the explanation, she would spend rest of her life piecing together.

poignant tale of loss and grief, that can tear you apart.
Sutapa Bhattacharya
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
The 1960s was a decade of extreme political turmoil in West Bengal, India. West Bengal, the state that had started with highest GDP among all Indian states immediately after independence, was on her downward spiral in terms of almost everything in less than two decades. This period saw an armed movement by a group with extreme leftist ideology (Maoism; still prevalent in many parts of India). Countless school and college students, moved by the ideology and the promise of a Utopian society free o ...more
Suman
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bengali
A bit exaggerated but very close to true situation in Bengal during 1970s. The book depicts a heart crunching story of a mother whose son has been killed by political goons. This also gives us a idea of the disagreement between ill-educated posh society and the rebel students of 70s. And finally the writing of Mahasweta Devi pulls up the book by several notches.
Richa
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book beautifully describes the pain of a mother for her dead son and how she clings to the memories of self or others', yearning to know anything about her beloved son. Thereby, helping her realize the love he had for her, which gives her the courage to stand up for herself against those who wronged her.
Nitika Rathi
Sep 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
boring book.
Apurva Nagpal
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated-books
Mother of 1084 by Mahasweta Devi is set during the 1970s Naxalite Movement in West Bengal; taking us through the organised mass massacre of young rebellious crowd, the reaction and the lack of action.
The story starts on the eve of Brati's death anniversary when Sujata recollects her son’s fond memories from his birth, visiting where he spent his last moments and trying to get to know her deceased son.

Throughout the story Sujata is portrayed as a strong woman who fought against the odds; finding
...more
Suhasini Srihari
A slow thrilling novel that tries to capture very honestly the trauma and the psychological disturbances of a mother who has lost her youngest son, and the reason for his death is unknown. As the novel progresses, more about the mother is known, and also the youngest son's behaviour, attitude and nature is revealed through the narrative agency of the mother and an omniscient narrator. The quest of a mother in inquiring several people connected to her son, for the is unjustifiable death, the sham ...more
Bipin Upadhyay
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Mahasweta Devi passed away a few days ago. I decided to pick up "Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa" as my tribute.


It had been a few years since I read a Hindi novel. I had forgotten how Hindi (and perhaps Russian novels) of this era stand in their own class. The emotions you feel when reading these books are not just because of what you feel for the characters, but because you know that these incidents have happened in real life. That these incidents are happening in real life. Authors like Mahasweta Devi

...more
Swagata Tarafdar
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read the original novel in Bengali: "Hazar Churashir Maa". This is not the kind of book you'll enjoy reading curling in your cozy sofa on a lazy winter afternoon. Rather, this is the kind of book that will shake your conscience, that will make you question your long-standing faith in the system of democracy and justice. This book is a vivid portrayal of the Naxalite movement, that occured in West Bengal in the decade of 1970s. Many youths, bright and intelligent, who could have become the crem ...more
Prashanti
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Souvik Khamrui
Intriguing & extraordinary.This novel is one of the best examples of the dutiful endeavours of the great authors manifesting brilliantly the insightful reflections of the political events of the society to rekindle the socio-political consciousness of the individual for betterment of the world
Arnab Das
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A heart wrenching tale of a mother who has lost her son to a cause for which no one can sympathize.

An insightful read which is still as relevant.
Rashmi Gupta
I always like the writing style of Mahasweta Devi.

Its a nice book telling the pain of mother who lost her son.........


Vikalp Trivedi
Kolkata, 1970s. On one hand a baby elephant was sent from Dumdum airport to Tokyo with the best wishes of Prime Minister, on the other hand all the tabloids are stuffed with gut wrenching descriptions of death of some unimportant young people. Within the same city there was an international film festival was taking place and parallel to this Kolkata there was a Kolkata there was a humongous dissatisfaction and reluctance among the youth towards the government. The intellectuals of this awakened ...more
Ritu
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Naxalite Movement. A Mother. A son. A boy. Pain. A love so unselfish. Nonconformity. Violence. Duty. Repression. Passivity. Death.
I didn't know sh*t about the movement until I read this book.
I fell in love with Sujata. And while reading the book, I was her. It was horrible. I couldn't handle the pain that came my way. Such repression and such passivity. My son was dead. My son is dead. My son saw me when no one else did. I loved him. I love him. I am boiling. I don't know what comes next. I mee
...more
Akash Das
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel clearly serves two purposes. Firstly,it gives different faces of a ‘mother’ and secondly the grave situation which gives birth to the naxal movement and the need to give human consideration to them are stressed.
Understanding, loving, angry, confident, rebel, one who seeks justice…different faces of mother is beautifully pictured in the novel. The climax of the novel clearly shows the ignorant response the motherly feelings receive in an unjust society.
On the other hand,the reason how a
...more
Sharayu Ail
I had really high expectations from this novel so I was left very disappointed.
Very little happens in the novel and the plot surrounds Sujata's anguish at her son's untimely and unfair death. I felt for her throughout and the author was able to convey her misery successfully as well as make the reader pity her sorry state. But that was not enough to keep me interested. I would have appreciated a detailed characterisation of Sujata and her family to better understand the circumstances of their l
...more
Meher
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enough texts have been written about the pragmatic plausibility of marxist theories. Not enough about how the government crackdown on young, virile Marxist revolutionaries is not only contrarian to democratic principles, but also insouciant to thriving equity principles in public policy. Mother of 1084 lays bare this hypocrisy often to melodramatic measures, because Mahasweta Devi justifiably understands the need to create hollow noise for the reader to realise the gaping hole in India's treatme ...more
Laura Joakimson
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, novels
“Where will Brati run to? Again? Where will Brati run to? To what land that knew no killers, no shots, no vans, no jails”?

The book I kept thinking of as I read this was Camus’ The Stranger. It is a reverse journey to a similar place of alienation. But here it is a mother grieving for her son and alienated by those around her concerned with carrying on with their lives and forgetting him. He participated in a political movement that took his life and she struggles to understand his beliefs that b
...more
Forhad Sumon
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the kind of book that will shake your conscience, that will make you question your long-standing faith in the system of democracy and justice. My eyes became moist reading this novel. Looking forward to read some more books by this author in the coming year also.
Roopal
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very painful. You must know that you are in for an experience which will stir you up from the inside. I finished the book in a couple of hours and thankfully was sitting in a public place, if alone I would have cried more and read less. Not for the weak hearted.
Srinanti Bagchi
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best Indian books, very specific to the time and era. It talks about the longing of a mother, the timidness of being a housewife.

The premise is highly tense with Naxalism at its peak. The details of emotions is very intense and a very engaging and powerful read.
Ryan Farrick
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Devi's writing came across as emotionally evocative, but I think the translation may have overshot nuance.
Anirban
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully charted out the picture of the time of Revolution Naxal period. The mother who could not understand her son, the Naxal.
Jagvir
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
such a powerful novel
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Mahasweta Devi was an Indian social activist and writer. She was born in 1926 in Dhaka, to literary parents in a Hindu Brahmin family. Her father Manish Ghatak was a well-known poet and novelist of the Kallol era, who used the pseudonym Jubanashwa. Mahasweta's mother Dharitri Devi was also a writer and a social worker.

She joined the Rabindranath Tagore-founded Vishvabharati University in Santinik
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“সময় শোকের চেয়ে বলশালী। শোক তীরভূমি, সময় জাহ্নবী। সময় শোকের ওপর পলি ফেলে আর পলি ফেলে। তারপর একদিন প্রকৃতির অমোঘনিয়ম অনুযায়ী, সময়ের পলিতে চাপা পড়া শোকের ওপর ছোট ছোট অঙ্কুরের আঙুল বেরোয়।
অঙ্কুর। আশার-দুঃখের-চিন্তার-বিদ্বেষের।
আঙুলগুলো ওপরে ওঠে, আকাশ খামচায়।
সময় সব পারে।”
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“Time was the arch fugitive, always on the run.” 2 likes
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