Women are often subjected to gross discrimination first as daughters and later as daughter – in –laws. They are suppressed and crushed between the milestone of the two identities and the two homes; one where she is born and other where is transplanted after marriage. This is the actual life of Indian woman. She faces various difficulties and upheavals after her marriage.
She thinks of being independent umpteen numbers of problems crop up and she has to face suffering caused by broken relationship. There are three images of women in Indian tradition as Sita, Shakuntala and Savitri which exemplify the qualities of ideal wife. These three archetypical characters do not have any aspiration beyond serving their lords.
They never yearned for an identity of their own instead merged theirs into that of their spouse but the modern women do not concur with the former archetypes. They are vying with their male counterparts and no more want to be puppets in the hands of patriarchy. The modern woman questions the conventions and confronts with the traditions which tend to undermine her dignity and individuality. Women who in spite of being traditional still retain their individuality make their appearance in the novels of Kamala Markandya. The women have been facing challenges in their quest for self fulfillments are seen in the novels of Nayantara Sehgal. The novels of Indian women writers always present women who are traditional in their way of their living but modern in their outlook and remain undeterred in achieving their self. Simon De Beauvoir analyzed that men viewed woman different from themselves in The Second Sex (1949).
In being defined as other, woman are reduced to the status of The Second Sex even Milton in his great epic Paradise Lost said “He for God only she for God in him”. This statement of Milton raised much hue and cry but even in modern times though women have crossed their threshold and succeeded in winning accolades for her in patriarchal society. The most men are reluctant to acknowledge their efforts which they put in to prove themselves and often their fame and name are in vain without whole hearted acceptance of their husbands. The novel named Going Home by Lakshmi Kannan is very nicely depicts all kind of women far and wide, cutting across class and caste.
It deals with issues of freedom and identity of women within the Indian household. It finds the meaning of home by the portrayals of various women characters. This novel is based on Tamil novel Aathukku Poganam. The immediate concern of the novel is the tradition which desires women a fair share of property and the brilliant exploration of themes of home, exile and home making at various levels. Gayatri is protagonist of the novel Going Home and her friend Rama throws a light on the plight of middle class Indian women burdened with responsibilities and domesticity.
The question rises in my mind that does woman happy in the home of parents or in her second home (husband’s). But both the friends’ narratives reveal their effort to get freedom from mediocrity that binds them restricts them. They become speed breakers in their path of fulfilling their dreams. Their duties as a wife, daughter –in – law and mother hardly permit them to maintain equilibrium between all those factors and this vicious circle and leave them frustrated and their angst is seen in their actions. Women are seen as wooden show pieces subjected to male hegemony.
I would like to quote from Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House “Nora wanted to be something worthier than doll in the doll’s house.” Gayatri, the protagonist of the novel Going Home always becomes nostalgic and takes pleasures in finding the memories of her maternal grandfather house in Mysore. As a child she often tells her friend “I am going home” and it becomes one of the recurring themes of the novel. She describes minutely every nook and corner of maternal grandfathers’ home in contrast to the flat in Delhi where she live