Review: The Resignation (Tyagpatra) by Jainendra

The Resignation is the story of Mrinal born in a well off family, whose husband leaves her after marriage. She is expected to return to her family , but prefers to lead her own life. This story is set in preindependence India, when there were few career opportunities for women, but many of the issues covered in this story are relevant even today. A single woman however blameless is often subject to a malicious slander campaign based on lies, especially if she does not have powerful backers or a support system. She is expected to adjust, keep her family member’s happy, even if they have not done anything for her. The book touches upon the topic of domestic violence which is rarely discussed.

As Mrinal says”Those who live within society also carry the responsibilty of keeping its structure intact” Most people live with their family or in the same place all their life. If you live away from home at a very young age, live alone for a very long time, or work online (where you do not have to interact with anyone personally), it is difficult for others to understand your lifestyle, unless they make an effort to. The narrator of the book is Mrinal’s nephew Pramod who is a few years younger to her. It tracks her life through school days, marriage, life after she leaves her husband, her teaching job, her illness and death.
The original Hindi book Tyagpatra has been translated into English by Rohini Chowdhury. The writing style in the book is lyrical , a change from fiction books available today.

The Resignation (Tyagpatra) by Jainendra
Pages: 178
Published by Penguin Books India