Jareela (The Castrato), the third part of Changdeo tetralogy by Bhalchandra Nemade is set in a mountainous tribal region where Changdeo finds a teaching job. Soon after he begins to like the primitive life there, a sudden explosion occurs at the power station and the whole town sinks into darkness every day at sunset. The simple folk, ever used to adjusting themselves to living in scarcities, depend on the sun like other organisms. Why do you need electricity? Aren't there the sounds and odours and touch to guide you? they ask. The young bachelor thus comes to terms with the enigma of terrible loneliness. In the primordial dark Changdeo discovers how much of one's own self is otherwise unknown to us. He finds himself a different person in the darkness. The unearthly suppressed images of the past years - the houses he had lived in, the streets and faces and events of the past - all rise up clamouring wildly. The agony of the little white bull, his childhood friend, castrated in a brutal traditional method haunts him. The pursuit of loneliness becomes a retribution to his choice of freedom, a tragic penalty. Is there no escape? Changdeo again finds himself at the crossroads.
Bhalchandra Nemade (b. 1938) ushered in a new epoch in Marathi with his debut novel Kosla (Cocoon) in 1963. He is also a major critic who insists on moral commitment and on Desiness in literature. His publications include Dekhni (poetry), Bidbar, Hool, Jareela, Zool, Hindu (all novels), Teeka Svayamvara, Nativism: Desivad, Tukaram Sola Bhashane, Nivadak Mulakhati (all criticism). He is a recipient of several awards and honours including Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Shri and Jnanpith Award.
Santosh Bhoomkar is a well-known translator. He is the author of From Dust to Snow (poems in English), Phillip Larkin: A Study in Radical Pessimism and has translated The Outcaste (Akkarmashi) from Marathi into English. He has translated poems from Marathi to English and vice versa.
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