Ektara : Strains of a Lonesome String
- Coming of age story traces the growth of an individual.
- A gripping tale of fortitude, persistence and survival.
Ektara is a poignant novel about the struggle of a woman to overcome the crushing verities of life and carve out her identity. It is a Bildungsroman (a Kunstlerroman to be precise) that traces the journey of Debarati towards self-discovery, freedom and fulfillment braving a life that has been cruel and crass. She grows up in a verdant small town. A brilliant student, Debarati falls in love with Hritaban, her first love later, his rejection turns her world upside down. Spurned in love, she turns on herself and others in silent rage. She neglects her studies. She comes to Kolkata, the big city, to study she has a string of affairs but glories in spurning her suitors. Grappling with the emptiness within, she tries to make it on her own and fails. Eventually, desperate to find an anchorage, she accepts Neel’s proposal of marriage. But marriage does not yield love, only humiliation. After seven years of living through a nightmare she breaks free. She leaves Neel. Struggling to eke out an existence by proofreading, writing reviews for newspapers and giving lessons, Debarati finds her métier in writing. Her first novel is published, but she has no one to share this joy with…there is only solitude to embrace.
An ektara is a one-string instrument mendicant Bauls use as an accompaniment as they sing of divine love.
Tilottoma Majumder graduated from Scottish Church College, Kolkata. She has been writing since 1993.
Her first novel, Hri, was published in 1996. Some of her other works are Manush Shaboker Katha, Basudhara, Chander gaye Chand, Prahan, Shamukkhol, and Jormer Chokh. Aami Jaar Shohodora and Jodio Shamannotoro are collections of poems. She is associated with the editorial division of Ananda Publishers and loves music and traveling.
She was awarded the Ananda Purashkar (1409) for the novel Basudhara. For Ektara, she was awarded the Dettol-Anandabazar Patrika Sharad Arghya (1413) for the best novel.
About the Translator
Soma Das graduated from St Xavier's College, Kolkata. She started her translation career with Kato Ajanarey (The Great Unknown) by Sankar.
Currently, she works as an editor and translator of Bengali literary work into English. She resides in the UK with her husband and two children.
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