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Critical Analysis of Mrinal Pande’s ‘Girls’ from the Book Inner Courtyard

By samtmansha Nov 11, 2008 424 Words
‘Girls’ is a short story by the author Mrinal Pande who was born in Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh. She studied initially at Nainital and then completed her Master's degree from Allahabad University. Later on she studied English and Sanskrit literature, Ancient Indian History, Archeology, Classical Music and the Visual Arts at the Corcoran in Washington DC. Her first story was published in the Hindi weekly Dharmyug, at the age of 21, since then she has been consistently writing, apart from working in media, both television and press. This story illustrates the scenario of a male dominating world, and how female gender is subjugated. The opening of any piece of writing is an allusion of what lies ahead in it. The opening introduces characters of the story. Despite the fact that how the story is set in a male dominating there is very little mention of the male gender. The first sentence is bold and exasperated, desensitized mother who thinks that girls have no identity and always come after boys and her character’s attitude towards females despite her also being a female is unsympathetic and insensitive. The short story is narrated from the point of the view of the protagonist of this story; a daughter who is so dejected that her name is not even revealed in the story due to unimportance. She is very mischievous kid who feels insecure, worried and nervous all the time but she is also a fighter, who does not give up easily. The first few sentences introduce characters of the story. There is the aggravated mother “Ma” and the father “Babbu” which is remembered on various instances by the protagonist of this story. It also introduces “Saru’s Mother”, who is the maid, it is of great significance that all the women are either addressed as their son’s mother or given ‘temporary’ identity of original names. The protagonist on various occasions says that “...yet another problem”, “To Ma, everything was a problem.” and “...we are a problem.” This repetition of the world “problem” signifies how the mother always finds the girls problematic. The girl feels that she always “...seemed to turn up at the wrong time and at the wrong place.” She feels dejected and unwanted. The mother’s character is also going through her own set of problems. She is frustrated from the fact that “...nuisance of going through another pregnancy.” She is expected to give birth to the male child and this the only way to get respect and praise in the society.

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