Bindu and Mrinal in “Patni ka Patr” (A Wife’s letter) by Rabindranath Tagore

Bindu and Mrinal in “Patni ka Patr” (A Wife’s letter) by Rabindranath Tagore

A beautiful and an ugly; a bold and a helpless; an alive and a dead. The story Patni ka Patr ( A Wife’s Letter) is written by Rabindranath Tagore. The story articulates its feministic flavor around two prominent ladies. The ladies are of two juxtaposed status quo and age, Bindu and Mrinal. The ladies are not related to each other in the nearest kinship possible but still they discover and cultivate a kinship beyond the possibility. The other female character as the eldest sister-in-law is worth highlighting. She plays the societal drama, despite being the nearest kin to Bindu. A young, fourteen, awkwardly dark and married-to-a-painful-destiny is Bindu and on the other corner of the home is a young, married for fifteen years, exceptionally fair and beautiful (yet with a brain) called Mrinal.

Tagore’s stories have a relay of juxtaposed norms of society manifested as his characters. “Gharebaire” had two male protagonist Sandip and Nikhil as the two points linearly and diversifyingly connecting Bimala in the story. Tagore’s story is also the bioscope picturing women irrespective of any defined age in his writings. The dependency, codependency and the journey to be undependent (Penelope Russianoff) is a note-worthy transition in the female characters of his stories.

Friendship manifests by admiring a mentor in the sphere one is, and the case was truly acceptable for Bindu. Bindu had discovered a confidant in Mrinal. Mrinal was a No-Prejudiced to her around. Mrinal also had a way ahead as in discovering her never-accepted intelligence only through the pavement of sisterly love for Bindu. Mrinal found it inhumane to be treated just as a gender but not as a soul, as a life, as a being. Mrinal’s sequential protest and disagreement towards the other members of the house for the demarcations, bifurcations and hypocrisy they had towards Bindu, strengthened Mrinal’s resistance towards the home and the world.

Bindu on the other hand was docile, submissive and victimized for herself. The eldest sister-in-law though being Bindu’s sister still hesitated to flow against the wave and take a statuette position for Bindu. The eldest sister-in-law moreover adds much to the character Mrinal. Her fear of what will people say takes Mrinal high on a reader’s sympathetic plethora. Tagore replicates a microcosmic form of the world women begets and lives by.

Winding and binding emotions, the detangled and entangled relationships and the dilemma of the home and the world. The Story would not have been befitting if not implanted with the storms in the woman’s mind. It is the storm in her mind that makes her who she is rather than the curves and shades of her body. Mrinal takes a mountainous move from grihastha to vanaprasth to a jogan alike Meera at the end of the story.
Meera, better known as Mirabai and venerated as Sant Meerabai, was a 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Krishna.
(Wikipedia, 24 September, 2021)

Mrinal carries the torch to enlighment by penning a letter to her husband of fifteen years. Mrinal disjunts the idea of being free and being alive. The correlation created between Mrinal and Bindu through out the story is thought-provoking, questioning and yet asking an answer to the world and the home.

Work cited

Russianoff, Penelope. Why Do I Think I Am Nothing Without a Man? Bantam Books. 1982. Print.

Tagore, Rabindranath. Patni ka Patr (A Wife’s Letter). Audible studios. 10 September, 2019. Audiobook.

Wikipedia contributors. “Mirabai.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Sep. 2021. Web. 24 Sep. 2021.

Ansulika Paul

Share Post
Posted in ,
Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul is a poet, author, researcher and filmmaker. She is a filmmaker by heart and a film critic by words.


  1. Ansulika Paul Ansulika Paul on September 28, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Thank you

Leave a Comment




It is a platform for poets and writers to share their talent with the world. Shabd provides space to poems, stories, articles, shayaris, and research articles. If you want to post, please log in first; after that, you will see the 'User Submitted Post' icon in the header, which you can click to submit your post.