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Supernatural Elements In The Crocodile's Lady

Good Essays
The Implicit Treatment of the Supernatural and of the Superstition Mode in Manoj Das’s Select Short Stories
Dr. D. Gnanasekaran
Former Professor & Head, Dept. Of English,
Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for PG Studies & Research, Puducherry. dgsekar52@gmail.com [Abstract: This article deals with three short stories (selected from three anthologies) of Manoj Das, an internationally renowned writer, highlighting his subtle treatment of the supernatural element, and some of the superstitions steeped into the Indian psyche. The supernatural is woven into the narrative so artistically that the borderline between the real and the unreal blurs and the readers are inveigled into suspending their disbelief and sharing the space with the beings in the other
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He projects the supernatural beliefs with his use of humour, satire, social criticism, nostalgia and irony. In this story, Manoj Das has admirably balanced the natural and the supernatural. Mr. Batstone, a sociologist from the West who is fond of travelling, comes to the narrator’s village. The purpose of his visit is to experience the typical Indian village life. Of all his experiences, “his most wonderful experience had been an interview with the head pundit of the ‘Model’ Lower Primary School of our village, Shri. Maku Mishra, who, Dr. Batstone discovered, had taught for forty years without having heard of Hegel, Marx or Freud or Einstein or even Bernard Shaw” (CL…show more content…
Maku Mishra matches the typical Indian teacher in a village. He is not updated in his knowledge. Dr. Batstone’s conversation with the villagers clearly brings out the superstitious belief of the people about ghosts. The story of Mahatma Languly shows Manoj Das’s brilliant use of narration to make the seemingly incredible fairly credible. Dr. Batstone listens to the narrations of the villagers and so he serves as a link among the three stories within the single short story: “Story of the Cousin”, “Story of Mahatma Languly Baba” and “Story of the Crocodile’s Lady”. All the three sstories border on the element of improbability but, however, the masterly handling of each story by the author renders the incidents most credible. Languly Baba is said to be 300 years old. The birth of Languly Baba in the burial ground, his howling for one full day and the way he was guarded from jackals and foxes are shrouded in mystery. The current generation is doubtful about the exact location of his birth and they are forced to believe the stories in circulation. So his birthplace is a matter of faith and none of his generation has survived today to give an authentic account of his
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