- AUTHOR : Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi
- Publisher : Penguin
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-13 : 9780143444701
In a moment of rare passion Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi, author of Sarasvatichandra, exclaimed 'I only want their souls'. He was referring to the souls of his countrymen and women, which he sought to cultivate through his literary writings. Lilavati was his and Lalitagauri's eldest daughter. Her education and the writing of Sarasvaticandra were intertwined. She was raised to be the perfect embodiment of virtue, and died at the age of twenty-one, consumed by tuberculosis. In moments of 'lucidity' , she spoke of her suffering and that challenged the very foundations of Govardhanram's life. In 1905 he wrote her biography, Lilavati Jivankala. This is a rare work in biographical literature, a father writing about the life of a deceased daughter. Despite Govardhanram's attempts to contain Lilavati as a unidimensional figure of his imagination, she goes beyond that, sometimes by questioning the fundamental tenets of Brahminical beliefs, and at others by being so utterly selfless as to be unreal even to him.
Lilavati: A Life is a cross between literature in translation, social and political history, and women's studies. Tridip Suhrud's introduction dwells on the themes of the cultivation of selfhood, of nation and the ideal of sacrifice, which is sure to resonate with contemporary readership, especially women.
About the Author
Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi (1855-1907) was a towering figure in Gujarati literature, such that most Gujarati writers claim to have been influenced by him. The period of 1885-1915 was known as the 'Pandit/Govardhan Yug' of writing. It can be said that the modern Indian novel and the creation of the 'national' were in no small way influenced by his work.
Tripathi is the author of the classic novel quartet, Sarasvatichandra (1887-1901), known as the first Indian social novel. His other books include Snehmudra (1889) and The Classical Poets of Gujarat and Their Influence on Society and Morals (1894). Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali debuted in television in 2013 with a serial based on the Sarasvatichandra.
Tridip Suhrud is a scholar, writer and translator who works on the intellectual and cultural history of modern Gujarat and the Gandhian intellectual tradition. As the director and chief editor of the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust (2012-17), Ahmedabad, he was responsible for creating a digital archive-the Gandhi Heritage Portal-of all of M.K. Gandhi's works. Apart from a number of books on Gandhi's life, Suhrud has co-edited the critical annotated edition of Hind Swaraj, edited the critial annotated edition of An Autobiography, or My Experiments with Truth, translated Narayan Desai's four-volume biography of Gandhi, My Life Is My Message, and translated the four-volume epic Gujarati novel, Sarasvatichandra.
Suhrud is presently translating the diaries of Manu Gandhi, covering the period between 1942 and 1948, compiling a series 'Letters to Gandhi'-of unpublished correspondence to Gandhi-and working on an eight-volume compendium of testimonies of the indigo cultivators of Champaran. Tridip Suhrud is provost at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, and director of Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology.