Sometimes and be a part of the change.

Sometimes Virmati blames herself to be responsiblefor the destruction of Ganga’s life. Virmati blooms into a “New Woman where shedisplays her strength of mind in overcoming her dejection. She is “strong tobear the pain, silently, without anyone knowing” (Kapur DD 91). She is stillstruggling to establish her identity and to gain self-assertion. Though Virmatifrees herself from the old shackles, she becomes a new woman.

She representsthe modern woman torn between desire for self and her helplessness. After herfirst sex encounter with Harish, she tries to justify by saying that there wasno point in foolishly denying it on the basis of an “outmoded morality” (KapurDD 114). The novel also explores the problems of women in a male dominatedsociety. Born out of typical Indian family, Virmati is caught between traditionand modernity. It results only in self-alienation and she becomes a symbol offemale imagination, responding to pressures and The family structure at theProfessors house is as oppressive as it was in her own home, their too she hadto fight to get her mother’s love and here also the constant struggle to getthe Professors love and attention. And yet she was amazed at her formerroommate Swarna Lata’s efforts to participate and help to bring about changeand be a part of the change.

She asks Virmati to come and demonstrate againstthe Hindu code bill “Men don’t want family wealth to be divided among women.Say their sisters get dowry, that’s their share, and the family structure willbe threatened, because sisters and wives will be seen as rivals, instead ofdependents who have to be nurtured and protected. As a result women will losetheir moral position in society! Imagine!”(Kapur DD 232).Virmati can only envy her as obviously theseactivities did not prove to be a threat to her marital life and familystructure. There is constant negotiation with the family setting. Ida, Virmati’sdaughter and the books narrator understands their family structure .She says”when I grew up I was very careful to tailor my needs to what I knew I couldget. That is my female inheritance.

That is what she tried to give me. Adjust,compromise, adapt .Assertion, though difficult to establish, is easy toremember.”(DD, 236) Mrs. Kapur herself asserts that “conflict between motherand daughter is inevitable and I suppose I was a difficult daughter.

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Theconflict carries on through generation because mothers want their daughters tobe safe. We want them to make the right choices-ā€˛right in the sense that theyare socially acceptable. My mother wanted me to be happily married; I want mydaughters to have good jobs.” (Bala and Chandra 107) Ida becomes the typical daughter of a ‘difficultdaughter’ Virmati. She could not develop an understanding with her motherduring her lifetime and after Virmati’s death this realization engulfs her withguilt. Ida sets on a journey into her mother’s past in search of a woman shecould know and understand.

Ida rebels against Virmati rejecting her ownwomanhood and follows her own whims. But even though she experiences a strongbond with her mother, “without her I am lost, I look for ways to connect”(Kapur DD 3). The story of Virmati is basically a story of Manju Kapur’s ownmother.

She acclaimed that the heroine of her writing is her mother in aninterview with Jo Stimpson; I based my first novel on her. I admire herfighting spirit, her generosity, her capacity to endure. She irritated me whenshe was alive, but now I see these things more clearly.

I think of her everyday (One Minute With: Manju Kapur).The act of setting out a quest and then towrite out the mother’s life keeps Ida connected with her mother. It would beappropriate to say that Ida longs for her mother even after her death.

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