Samapti: by Rabindranath Tagore Story in English

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      Samapti - The Completion : is a charming romance with a subtle lesson. Village girl Mrimoyee is a tomboy not yet ready for love and marriage. Apurva, a young law-student of Kolkata, falls in love with her and marries her against his mother's wishes. But Mrinmoyee is too much of a child to respond. Hurt though he is, her husband does not force or pressurize her. He just leaves for Kolkata. Left to herself Mrinmoyee grows up and matures into a woman and wife. She visits Kolkata and her husband's love meets its completion. This is not just a pleasant love story but one that emphasizes freedom and individual growth. It is part of the famous Bengali film Teen Kanya directed by Satyajit Ray in 1961.The Hindi film Abodh (1984, directed by Hiren Nag) is also based on it.

Village girl Mrimoyee is a tomboy not yet ready for love and marriage. Apurva, a young law-student of Kolkata, falls in love with her and marries her against his mother's wishes. But Mrinmoyee is too much of a child to respond. Hurt though he is, her husband does not force or pressurize her.
Mrinmoyee

Short Story :-

1
After graduating from Kolkata, Apurva-krishna was returning to his riverside village.
      The skies had cleared after a few days of downpour and the river, through which the boat was passing, was narrow, but filled to the brim, As it was a surprise visit, there was no one to receive him at the ghat (embankment). As soon as the boat reached the ghat, a happy Apurva hurriedly got off the boat with his luggage and as he did so, he lost his balance and fell right into the muddy patch on the river bank. Before he could recover, he heard ripples of loud laughter. Embarrassed, he turned around to find a girl sitting on a heap of bricks on the bank. She was in splits.

      Apurva immediately recognized her as Mrinmoyee, their neighbour's daughter. Earlier they had settled further down the river but due to soil erosion, had come and re-settled in their village. She was a tomboy, who played only with the boys. While the village folk endearingly called her paglee (madcap), the womenfolk were quite terrified by her.

      She was dark, with short, curly hair half-way down her back. Her face had a boyish look while her dark eyes had no look of shyness, fear or inhibition. She was tall and healthy, but because of her childlike ways, the village folks did not bother to figure out if she was old enough to get married. If they had, they would have been critical of her parents.

      Apurva managed to get up from the muddy patch and hurriedly made his way home. But he could not get away from the image of the young girl sitting on the brick mound and giggling away.

2

      Apurva's mother was very happy with this pleasant surprise and after showering all her affection on he son, and giving him a scrumptious meal, she got down to her favourite topic, that of getting him married off. Apurva had always made the excuse that he would not marry till he had become a graduate but now that the excuse was no longer valid, he thought he would buy time by actually wanting to meet the girl. This was naturally considered offensive, but his mother agreed. Accordingly, a prospective candidate was short listed and one evening Apurva, dressed in the finest aristocratic attire, complete with a silk umbrella and a pair of polished shoes, went over to see her.

      The over-dressed girl looked more like a bundle of clothes. Apurva enquired about her education level and the girl was too shy to answer. In the midst of all this, suddenly there was a commotion outside. Mrinmoyee stormed in to the room, slapped the girl's brother on his back, took a look around, went up to the girl and pulled down the sari from over her head and ran out with a mischievous laugh. As she was accepted to be a tomboy, no one said anything. As Apurva was leaving, he found his well-polished pair or shoes missing! As he walked home in a borrowed pair or old slippers, suddenly he was greeted by laughter spurting out from behind the wayside trees. It was Mrinmoyee, unable to hold back her amusement to see Apurva wearing the ill fitting chappals, that too with a dress which called for shoes. A puzzled Apurva kept looking here and there when, still laughing, she suddenly emerged from the trees with the pair of missing shoes. She kept them in front of Apurva and was trying to run away when Apurva got hold of her by the arms.

      She tried to twist her arms and free herself, but could not. The sunlight fell on her face with curly hair all across it. Apurva kept hold of her and looked deep into her eyes. He kept looking, and then let her off.
      If Apurva had beaten her up, Mrinmoyee would have understood. But she could not make any sense of the subtle and silent punishment he gave her.
      She ran off and her laughter echoed all over the place. Apurva returned home with very slow steps.

3

"How did you find the girl?" Apurva's mother asked with an air of expectation.
"Oh, I liked one of them," Apurva replied.
"Why, how many girls did you see!" his mother was surprised.

      After some hesitation, Apurva admitted that he had chosen Mrinmoyee over the girl he had actually gone to see and that he was going to marry none other than her. Shocked at her son's taste, Apurva's mother objected for a few days, and then gave in to her son's wishes. The village folk were fond of Mrinmoyee but no one had thought of her as appropriate for a daughter-in-law. Now everybody got down to the task of grooming Mrinmoyee for the marriage. Her mother and all the elder ladies took turns to advise her on the process of marriage and the duties of a wife. Mrinmoyee realized that marriage was going to be a hindrance to her freedom and stubbornly declared that she was not going to get married.

4

The marriage however did take place.
      Mrinmoyee's father was a clerk in a steamboat company He was posted in a small station further down the river, weighing luggage and selling tickets. He did not get the leave to come and attend the wedding.

      Once the wedding was over, Mrinmoyee's entire world shrunk into the household of Apurva's mother. With a very stern face, she made it clear to Mrinmoyee that, now that she was married, she had to mend her ways. This irked Mrinmoyee and one afternoon she ran away from the house. The whole village searched for her and she was found sitting in a discarded chariot of the village deity that was lying there under a Banyan tree. Needless to say, she was rebuked by her mother, mother in law and all other womenfolk of the village.
That night Apurva went up to Mrinmoyee and asked her if she loved him.
"No", replied Mrinmoyee with spirit. "I will never love you."
"Why, what wrong have I done?" Apurva asked.
Why did you marry me? Mrinmoyee spewed out her anger at him.

      Seeing the daughter in law's rebellious nature, Apurva's mother decided to lock her up in the room the next day. Mrinmoyee was like a caged bird flapping its wings all over the cage, looking for an escape route. She tore up the quilt and lay on the floor crying for her father.

      Apurva tried to cheer her up by quietly opening the door of the room and telling her that he had sneaked in Rakhal, a playmate, to come and play with her. She refused to play and, seeing her temper, Rakhal ran away.
      The next day Mrinmoyee received a letter from her father blessing the newly married couple and regretting the fact that he could not be present for the ceremony.
      "I will go to my father", Mrinmoyee went up to her mother-in-law and said.
"What an absurd idea!" scolded her mother-in-law. "One doesn't even know properly where your father works!"
Locking herself up in her room, Mrinmoyee wept and prayed. "Baba, come and take me away. I don't have anyone here. I will die if I stay here."

      In the thick of night, when Apurva was asleep, Mrinmoyee quietly opened the door of her room and left the house. She knew the lay of the land well but did not know the way that led to her father's place. Her belief was that the route taken by the postman, known those days as the Runner, could take you to any destination you desired. She walked almost all night through the jungle and at the end of the road, near the river bank, she found a Runner.

      "Take me to my father at Kushiganj", Mrinmoyee appealed to him. But the Runner had no idea as to where Kushiganj was. As the day dawned, the riverside came to life with people going to the market. Mrinmoyee called out to a boatman to row her to Kushiganj. From the next boat, a man offered to take her there. This was their village boatman and he knew all about Mrinmoyee and her ways. As the boat rolled from side to side, a tired Mrinmoyee fell asleep. When she woke up, she found herself on her bed in her own room.
      Her mother-in-law not only said harsh things to her but also made slighting references to her father.
      "Ma," Apurva said shyly, "What's wrong in sending bou (the bride) off for a couple of days to see her father?
This infuriated his mother even more.

5

      But that night Apurva woke her up and offered to take her to her father. Mrinmoyee was so happy that she caught hold of Apurva's hand. Thrilled with her touch, Apurva took her out of the house and on a boat journey to her father's workplace at Kushiganj. All day the boat sailed along the river and a happy Mrinmoyee kept asking Apurva about the various places they passed, which were all new to her. After a most enjoyable journey, they reached Kushiganj.

      Her father was suitably surprised and happy at the sudden arrival of the daughter and son in law and the next few days were happy days of reunion with all three trying their hand in culinary delights, mostly with disastrous results. After a few days it was time to return home.

6

      Apurva had left a note for her mother explaining where they were going. So she had not been worried. But she was severely offended and hardly spoke to the young couple on their return. The atmosphere of the house became heavy with her silent disfavour. When it became intolerable, Apurva went up to his mother and said, "Ma, I have to return to Kolkata to study Law".

      "Take your wife to Kolkata with you", she said stiffly. But the night before leaving Apurva found Mrinmoyee in tears.
      "Aren't you happy about coming to Kolkata with me?" he asked her.
      "No", replied Mrinmoyee. "I want to go and stay with my mother."
      "So be it. But remember, till I get a letter from you, I will not return"
      Mrinmoyee fell asleep but Apurva stayed up gazing at her sleeping, so innocent and unconscious of her own womanhood.
      Just before he left, Apurva asked Mrinmoyee for a kiss.

      "Will you kiss me just once, out of your own free will, out of love?" He looked so serious and the request seemed so strange to her that Mrinmoyee burst into peals of laughter. She did try to kiss Apurva, but every time she tried, she broke out laughing. After a while, Apurva gave up and jokingly boxed Mrinmoyee's ears.
      Reaching her to her mother's hut in the same village, Apurva took leave of his mother. Both were deeply hurt but silent.

7

      Mrinmoyee returned to her mother's house. But soon she found out that nothing seemed interesting any more. She felt that her whole world had changed. She did not know what to do with her time. The entire village suddenly felt empty.
      She could not understand why she wanted to go to Kolkata so badly now, when only the other night she had felt no such desire. Everything had lost its taste for her.
      Her childhood had dropped off from her like a dried-up leaf from its stalk.

      An invisible sword had sliced through her childhood and youth. It had happened some time back, without her knowing it, and the pieces were still holding together. But now, something had given it a shake, and the childhood had fallen off from her.
      The old hut and the old bed no longer felt like her own. She now wanted another house, another room, another bed.
      The village folk no longer saw her playing with the boys. No longer did her laughter ring out. Rather then play with her, Rakhal got scared to see her now. "Take me to my in-laws place", she told her mother.
      Apurva's mother pressed Mrinmoyee to her bosom as she fell at her feet. She had been remembering how Apurva had gone away, hurt at her unwillingness to let Mrinmnoyee stay with her.
      No words were spoken, but Mrinmoyee and her mother-in-law developed a perfect understanding.
      Time went by. Apurva stayed on at Kolkata. Mrinmoyee thought of the kiss he had asked for and regretted her own childish behaviour with Apurva.
      Apurva had said that till she wrote to him she would not come back to the village. Mrinmoyee made an effort to write him a letter. In crooked letters she wrote out:
How are you? Come home.
On the envelope she simply wrote:
Srijukta Babu Apurvakrishna Roy.
      She got a trusted maid to drop the letter, but a letter without an address reaches nowhere. Nor did Apurva come home.

8

      Apurva's mother felt that it was she who her son was angry with. "It's been a long time since he left for Kolkata", she said to Mrinmoyee. "I think we should make a trip to Kolkata. Do you wish to come with me?"
      Mrinmoyee immediately agreed and unannounced, the two ladies landed up at Kolkata.
      They stayed at the house of Apurva's married sister.
      Her husband informed Apurva that his mother had reached Kolkata and that Apurva should join them for dinner.
      Apurva rushed to his sister's house and asked his mother if all was well.
      "Yes, everything is fine. Since you did not come for your vacations, I have come to take you back to the village."

      Apurva's sister asked him why he did not get his wife over to Kolkata. Apurva cited the Law examination as an excuse. In spite of good food and cheery jokes from his hosts, his heart was heavy. His mother had taken the trouble of coming all the way, he thought; couldn't his wife have come as well? As he had not received any letters from Mrinmoyee, he had no idea of the change in her, and thought that she must have refused to come, even if his mother had asked her to do so. But he felt shy to directly ask his mother about Mrinmoyee. Dinner over, there rose a storm.

      His hosts requested Apurva to stay back for the night and escorted him to a room which had no lights. is sister offered to get a light but Apurva politely refused. As soon as his sister left the room, he groped towards the bed. Just then, with a tinkle of bangles, two soft arms clasped him in a tight embrace and two soft lips rained kisses upon him - kisses wet with tears.
      Apurva gave a start and then realized that what had remained incomplete in laughter had now found its completion in tears.

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