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মালতী: An excerpt..

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Author: Shakti Ghosal

Location: Kolkata, India


"Malati" had been all of fifteen years old when she stepped foot in "Dipen’s" humble abode as a shy young bride. Draped as she had been awkwardly in a red Benarasi sari, her fresh young face adorned with "Chandan", sandalwood paste dots and bright vermilion sindoor in her hair parting, which declared her recent elevation to wedded status.

Malati came from a humble but conservative Brahmin family of Kalighat. Her father was a priest by profession and Malati was the youngest in the brood her parents raised. Not surprisingly, the economically challenged parents were past the stage of being thankful to the Almighty for His bounty in this direction and had named the last of the lot Chaini or unwanted in Bengali. So Malati was the hapless owner of a name that shouted her unwanted status to the whole world till she was fifteen. Chaini, however, was adept at housework, helping with cooking, cleaning, darning and any other chore the busy household threw up. Her new saris came few and far between, only during the Durga puja or the wedding season when her father got them as offerings for his priestly duties. Though Chaini was blessed with simple good looks, her parents had neither the ambition nor the wherewithal to look for a groom in high places.

So when Dipen's family approached them through a common relative, Chaini's parents were more than relieved and acquiesced instantly. Chaini shed her 'unwanted' tag and flowered as Malati after the ubiquitous flowering creeper. At that point, Chaini was perceived to have done well for herself as Dipen's family was small sans encumbrances like unmarried sisters and Dipen was a presentable young lad of twenty-three with a steady job.

Bengali Wedding

Snippet : The Beeye or the main Bengali wedding has quaint rituals like the Saat paak in which the bride is taken around the groom seven times thus firmly securing the two together, the Subho Dhristi in which the bride coyly peeps at the groom from behind paan leaves and the Mala badal in which the bride and the groom exchange floral garlands thrice as the first step towards mutual acceptance.

Feet in Alta

Malati and Dipen feature in the story Pandemic, a part of the book, ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’. The Book is currently available globally on Amazon.

Adjudged ‘Book of the Month’ for March 2021 by Booknerds, the forum Rain N’ Books has given the book a perfect score in its review.


About the Author - Shakti Ghosal

Shakti is a new author of fiction on the block. He currently resides with his wife Sanchita in the city of Kolkata in India. Together, they are the proud parents of two lovely daughters. Passionate about exploring new places and cultures, Shakti has been a globetrotter. He remains elated by the thought that on this globe, his remains a unique name. Or so Google thinks. You can check this out by typing “Shakti Ghosal”. No, Seriously try it!

Shakti uses a wide angle narrative style in his writings into which he brings his rich global perspective and life experiences. He loves to explore relationships within emergent situations.

An engineer and a MBA (Faculty Gold Medal 1984) from IIM Bangalore,

Shakti has lived close to four decades of corporate life in India and abroad. A professional certified Coach, Mentor and Trainer, Shakti runs Leadership Workshop cum coaching programs for organizations as part of his commitment to develop and upgrade Leadership Incubation globally. He is a visiting professor at IIM Udaipur, IIM Kashipur and IIM Nagpur.,

Shakti has been blogging for close to a decade ( about 800 followers, 39,000 hits from all over the globe) on Leadership incubation, performance, life experience, philosophy and trends, and more recently, on his authored

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