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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Luis

White Patch Small or Big Can’t Shatter Dreams: Mahashweta by Sudha Murthy

Mahashweta is a story of Anupama and her journey from beauty to white patches, from vulnerability to empowerment and from wanted to unwanted, and to be wanted. It is a story that Sudha Murthy in her simplicity and generosity could afford to write. One can notice the love and passion she has, to not just empower women but to help them love their life. That no amount of white patches small or big can shatter their dreams to achieve wonders in the competitive world.

Anupama is happy acting in the plays and conducting fund-raising programmes until the arrival of Anand who enticed by her beauty wants to get married to her. “Anand had always had a weakness for beauty. It inspired him to always choose the best of everything (Murthy 114).” Anupama is not so keen to get married as she wants to settle herself and earn a living. In a way become supportive to her struggling father Shamanna.


Her beauty attracts everyone she encounters and when she gets white patches she is shunned by the same people who liked her. “He had loved Mahashweta as a heroine. But when in real life I developed this white patch, and became a real Mahashweta, the White One, he couldn’t handle it. This Mahashweta was not acceptable to him. Just as you throw away old clothes and buy new ones, my in-laws got him remarried (Murthy 109).”Anand leaves her alone to brace up this challenge of facing the taunting world, starting from her mother-in-law, Radhakka.

Radhakka, the mother of Anand, a widow but rich materially, is not ready to surrender her name and fame. In her own words, she would betray herself, “That was different. Anand, you must learn to be practical in life. You can bring a daughter-in-law from a poor family into your house; but never send your daughter to a poor family. How could I have married off a princess like Girija to a beggar like Vijay? Or told people that my daughter’s father-in-law is a cook? What would they have said? Think of our status in society! (Murthy 119).” She wants to remain in that status and league forever. Only for her son, she finds an exception and that is how Anand gets married to Anupama, a poor girl. When Anand goes abroad for studies, that’s when the real colour of the mother-in-law comes to play. Although Girija instigates torturing and hurtful behaviour from her mother, Radhakka is hell-bent in sending Anupama away and getting her son remarried.

Thereafter, the story speaks of pain to self-love and from harassment to courageous resilience in the life of Anupama. When she was alone she was full of dynamism and life. She could see beauty all around her and be creative. But when she got married everything changed for her. She felt that she is imprisoned. She started to be anxious under the watchful eyes of Radhakka. She felt scared to even narrate about the pain she went through when the coal fell on her foot. But thankfully, Radhakka sent her back to her father’s house. Although there too she would be faced with numerous questions, she didn’t die everyday like she would in her husband’s house. Anupama was wanted, but now unwanted because of the white patches. Her husband who had promised her unity forever left her alone to fight this challenge. But when Anupama learns to forget the past and love her present, she proves to be a miracle. She comes out empowered.

This story fills everyone with hope. The hope of a bright future, hope that there is a lot more to be praiseworthy about, then those white patches. Hope that you can still love yourself though you are incomplete. And this incomplete self that you behold is very necessary to make life interesting.


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