One of the most enduring love stories of our times.
First published in Bengali in 1917, Saratchandra Chattopadhyay's tragic tale of Devdas has become synonymous with a passionate, intense love that does not find consummation.
It is the story of Devdas and Paro, childhood sweethearts who are torn apart when Devdas is sent away to Calcutta by his father, the local zamindar. When Devdas returns to his village, now a handsome lad of nineteen, Paro asks him to marry her. But Devdas is unable to stand up to parental opposition to the match and rejects the proposition. Stunned, Paro agrees to marry an elderly widower. Devdas returns to Calcutta, but every waking hour of his is now filled with thoughts of Paro and his unfulfilled love for her. Desperate to resolve the situation somehow, he runs to Paro who is now married and asks her to elope with him, but she refuses.
Heartbroken, he seeks solace in alcohol and in the company of the courtesan Chandramukhi. Chandramukhi falls in love with Devdas, but even when he is with her he can only think of Paro. It is now his destiny to hurtle on relentlessly on the path to self-destruction. Devdas’s tortured life ends when, dying of a liver ailment brought on by alcoholism, he journeys to Paro’s house to see her one last time. Arriving in the middle of the night, he dies unknown, untended, on her doorstep. Paro comes to know of his death only the following morning. Devdas has enthralled readers and filmgoing audiences alike for the better part of a century. This new translation brings the classic tale of star-crossed lovers alive for a new generation of readers. The classic novel brought to life in a new, lucid, extremely readable translation.
About The Author.
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (1876–1938) was born in Devanandapur, an obscure village of Bengal. His childhood and youth were spent in dire poverty as his father, Motilal Chattopadhyay, was an idler and dreamer and gave little security to his five children. Saratchandra received very little formal education but inherited something valuable from his father—his imagination and love of literature. He started writing in his early teens and two stories written then have survived Korel and Kashinath Saratchandra came to maturity at a time when the national movement was gaining momentum together with an awakening of social consciousness. Much of his writing bears the mark of the resultant turbulence of society. A prolific writer, he found the novel an apt medium for depicting this and, in his hands, it became a powerful weapon of social and political reform.