By Sarathi Guha(03 Apr 2008)
Kalukunkar Roy, a rich “Zamindar” (federal landlord) is a deeply religious devotee of Kali (Goddess of Destruction). His elder son Torapad, is a meek character. Careful not to displease his father for fear of losing his claim to the property, Tarapada is married to Harsundari and they have a five year old son, Khoka. Umaprasad, the younger son, is studying in a college in Kolkata. Unlike his brother, Umaprasad resents his father’s conservatie religious ideology. To break away from the stifled atmosphere at home, he hopes to work and live in Kolkata with his wife Daya. Daya, however, is a great favourite of her father-in-law. In a dream one night, Kalmker envisions Daya as an incarnation of the Goddess Kali. While a disbelievous ? Umaprasad studies in Calcutta. Kalikinkar proclaims Daya as a Goddess and she is reverred as a deity in Chandipur. Her husband arrives to witness the spectacle of a sick child’s miraculous recovery at Daya’s feet. A quarrel ensues between Kalikinkar and his unnerved younger son. Late at night, Umaprasad and his wife are about to leave when Daya, fearful but intrigued by her seemingly wonderful power, chooses to stay. Bus soon she tires of her role and pines for her husband. During this time, Khoka falls seriously ill. Harisundari, the daughter-in-law, always contemptuous of Daya’s healing powers, insists that the child be taken to a doctor. But her father-in-law, and her husband will not hear of it. Within hours the child dies in Daya’s lap. Meanwhile, Umaprasad returns, determined to take his wife with him this time. But Daya, rudely shocked by Khoka’s death, loses sanity. She dies gladly, in her husband’s arms, replete with the knowledge that she is human.