In the quiet town of Malgudi, in the 1930s, there lived Savitri and her husband, Ramani. They lived with their three children, Babu, Kamala, and Sumati. Savitri was raised with certain traditional values which came into internal conflict when she took Ramani, a modern executive, as her husband.
Savitri has endured a lot of humiliations from her temperamental husband and she always puts up with his many tantrums. To find solace and escapism, she takes refuge in the dark room, a musty, unlit, store room in the house.
But when Ramani takes on a beautiful new employer, Savitri finds out that her husband has more than a professional interest in the woman. So, at first, she tries to retreat to her dark room. But she realises that hiding in there wont help. So she tries to leave the house. She stayed with a friend in another village. But after staying there for some time, she cant help but think of her husband and their children. What would happen to them?
After doing a lot of thinking, she finally decides to go back home. In the end, Ramani has finally stopped seeing Shanta Bai, the other woman, and I guess you could say its a happy ending. Its now up to you to go and guess the rest.
Savitri is very much real. She is basically quite like most people. They treat problems like that. They find ways to escape it. Like booze, drugs, suicide, etc. In Savitris case, she stays in the dark room, and finally, leaves her family.
As I was reading “The Dark Room”, I felt compassion towards Savitri. I can clearly see that she was a confused woman. It was depicted through the first part of the story wherein her son was ill and she told Babu, her son, not to go to school that day. But Ramani intruded upon them and said that Babu has to go to school and that his illness is merely a headache. Savitri didnt know what to do then. She was concerned for Babus health, but at the same time, she didnt want to argue with Ramani. In the end, Babu had gone off to school. As for Ramani, I felt like shouting at him while reading the novel because of his bullying. But he left me amused at one part when he was trying to impress Shanta Bai by making it look as if its an honor for her to work for the company.
After reading the novel, I can now say that I think I know how to handle my problems. Not by hiding, as what Savitri did in the first place, but by confronting the problem itself. Through this novel, I realised that our problems do not solve themselves when we escape them. Instead, it might become worse.
For the Indians, men are considered highly superior than women. Men are always given the freedom to do anything they want. They can have mistresses, marry more than one wife, they can order their wives about, etc. Even though it is their culture or their way of living to do just that, I think that it is very unethical. Marriage is for life. It is a commitment made to a lifetime partner. And listen to this: if they do not honour their marriage vows, why is it that men can take other women to bed, but women cannot take other men to theirs? It is all very funny but also strange and quite unfair in some ways.
“The Dark Room” not only made me think, but it also entertained me. Life is indeed unfair but if you look at it closely, it really depends on the outlook. We must try to live with it and not fight or contradict it. And that those who suffer in life will deserve the happiness that they strive for later on. Remember that life is like a wheel. It doesnt stay up forever, nor does it also stay down forever.
Even though the novel entertained me, it still made me mad. Why are women always thought of as weak and passive? Men always make the mistake of thinking that just because women cannot see the sense in violence, they are already considered as passive creatures. I say its not true. In one important way, at least, men are the passive sex. If you give them a choice, they will always opt for the status quo. They hate change of any kind, and they fight against it constantly. On the other hand, what women want is just stability, which when you stop to think about it is a different animal.