My Story and My Life as an Actress (The Kali archive) by Binodini Dasi, Rimli Bhattacharya

By Binodini Dasi, Rimli Bhattacharya

One of many earliest actresses of 19th-century Public Theatre in Bengal, Binodini Dasi was once additionally a robust author with a voice of her personal. Her autobiographical writings, "Amar Katha" (1912) and "Amar Abhinetri Jiban" (1924-25), with her poetry, converse of a lady who sought after even more than modern society was once keen to provide her. A founder member of the 1st actor-owned theatre, Binodini used to be by no means allowed to disregard her prostitute origins or her prestige as a mistress to buyers of theatre. Rimli Bhattacharya's analytical advent to this quantity examines the area of theatre in 19th-century Bengal, and locates the pressures and misfortunes which drove Binodini to hunt liberate and legitimacy on the planet of theatre, in an try and break out the stigma of her delivery. Binodini's writings stick out from women's writing in Bengal simply because she used to be no longer a "gentlewoman" and had little formal schooling. but in her writings she dared to articulate her many unanswered questions, her fears and needs, in a fashion that few public figures might dare to do even at the present time.

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The elephants refused to budge. Their tamks raised above their heads, their forefeet planted a step forwards, they stood unmoving. " I was stiff all over, the thrill of an elephant ride had quite vanished by then. I was trembling in fear and crying while one of the men on our elephant held on to me lest I fall off the animal. Much later, after a great deal of trouble we reached our destination, half dead with exhaustion. We had become so numb in the rain and in the cold that we did not even have the strength to climb down the elephants.

I realise only now that I have no words to make known my anguish. Perhaps the learned and distinguished pandits, know the means of expressing the pain that crushes every atom of my being and runs wild within me. But I know too well that this uneducated, ignorant, lowly woman has not been able to achieve anything. Alas! Nothing has been realised of what I had hoped to see before my eyes when I put pen to paper. All I have done is to waste so much paper and ink. I have realised that the anguish of the heart can only be comprehended within oneself; there is no means of expressing it without.

He sat down holding on to the wooden part of the window. I was excited (as was natural for a girl my age) and I gave it a slice of cucumber. While he was eating, two other monkeys appeared. I gave them something to eat but then a couple more appeared and I gave them some food too. I thought that if I gave them each a little food they would all go away. There were four or five windows in that room. The more I fed them, the more monkeys appeared—at the windows, on the roof, the place soon swarmed with monkeys!

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