(Last Updated on : 02/04/2009)
Aparajito is an insightful study of the psychological alterations and development portrayed by the documentary view of life in the pre-liberated India. Aparajito is the story of an unbeaten soul striving to conquer the rugged life by fortitude. Focused on a poverty-stricken family beaten by destiny, it represents the world story of conflict between ambition and situation, ultimately the subjugation of both by the unkind destiny.
Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhya, one of the prominent name in the Bengali Literary World was a social visionary. Born in 20th September 1894 in 24 Parganas of West Bengal, Bibhutibhusan spend his early days in abject poverty and the economic burden through, which he had passed, had endowed him to portray a convincing picture of indigent rural family. The tragic theme of poverty, epitomized by loneliness and death, happens to be the experience of his own life. Perhaps this is the reason why his novels are always the credible depiction of the human condition in the society. Bibhutibhusan's novels portray not only the human conditions in a certain society, moreover these novels are the careful study of the psycho-intellectual development of the individual in response to the social condition.
Aparajito is a psycho-anatomy based on the emotional probing of Apu, the only son of Harihar-Sarbajaya after their daughter Durga. The sequel of Pather Panchali, Aparajito , begins when the Roy family leaving their ancestral village moved to Beneras, in search of new life. The story of Aparajito, revolves around the life of the Roy family in Kasi, Beneras. In Beneras the Roys' settled in a rented flat near the ghats of Ganga. Harihar , working as a priest and enchanting scriptures earned a meager living to maintain his family. The new life in Beneras, initiated a new dimension in the life of young Apu. He has made a few friends here and the family was living quite happily in comparison to their wretched condition in Nischindipur, in spite of the meager income of Harihar. But beaten by destiny, the family was threatened by the death of Harihar on the night of Diwali.
The family, being orphaned without the shade of the family head, was drawn into abject poverty again and Sarbajaya had to manage the family working as a maidservant. Apu , being engaged in priesthood, struggles hard to convince his mother to let him go school. Herein lies the conflict between two opposite forces- the ambition and situation, which happens to be the principal theme of the novel Aparajito.
Apu started going school and in an age of sixteen, he was offered a scholarship to study in Kolkata. Sarbajaya, shattered with loneliness, though extremely happy, was not in the condition to part with his only son. Albeit reluctantly, only to give shape to her son's ambition, Sarbajaya helps Apu to leave for Kolkata. Right from this stage, the novel Aparajito, highlights the psychic change and his step into the adulthood. Engulfed by the city life- studying and working to meet up the expenses, developed the emotional detachment between the mother and son. Beaten by destiny, Apu strives to attain a desirable future in one hand and on the other, Sarbajaya, being blighted with poverty and death almost shattered with the emotional distance with Apu, which strikes the key note of the novel Aparajito. Finally, with the death of Sarbajaya, Apu was absconded even from the final string of his existence , which leads into his self-revelation.
The novel Aparajito demonstrates the unvanquished struggle of the two souls, beaten by cruel destiny. Though on an apparent level , Aparajito is a psychological study of Apu, his struggle against fate and finally his endurance, a thorough contemplation of the novel, will enable the readers to comprehend the struggle of Sarbajaya against fate. The title of the Novel signifies those two individuals, stand invincible before the irresistible Fate. Aparajito not only delineates the existence of Apu and Sarbajaya, but also the struggle of Apu in life, even after jeopardized by the death of his mother and being orphaned, stands unbeaten.