Friday, 3 February 2012

The Character of Manik Mulla

The character of Manik Mulla does not cease to fascinate me in the story 'Suraj Ka Saatvaan Ghoda'(The Seventh Horse in Sun's Chariot). Mulla is a government servant in Indian Railways. His elder brother, Mulla Sr. is considered a respected person in the city. Well, at least he had a government job as Mulla Jr. was doing his school and then college and then he was a coward as well, as shown in the movie. Mulla Manik is staying in the house which he inherited. Mulla is almost every day surrounded by some of his neighbourhood friends and they discuss about politics, love and society. Mulla Manik is a Literati, at least from the standards of his friends. He is without least bit of doubt an exceptional raconteur. At one point in the story, Mulla obnoxiously makes a remark, “You people have neither read good literature, nor lived life." This remark is made in an attempt to disparage the comment by one of his friends, who after listening to his story say that Mulla is an escapist, unreliable, coquettish person, whereas he claims that in every story it was a girl who approached him.

Mulla used to write poetry in his school days for newspapers (by his own account!). Mulla might be interpreted as an auteur in the sense that he not only narrates things well but he creates fiction whenever it is needed to make his story more appealing. This is just a suggestion about a possibility and maybe he narrates everything truly, only in a unique way.

Mulla lives with a burden of having escaped in all of the critical situations of his life when his romances were flourishing and demanded action. It's very much possible that by way of telling these stories he is purging out this burden. May be this story telling acts as a cathartic way of engaging his friends in what may otherwise seem intellectual-pastime.

The burden of having escaped from his last love 'Satti' stays with Mulla till end. Mulla is a more sophisticated lover than Devdas, but both of them have something in common. This similarity of nature they share with another character of this very story; Tanna. Tanna is also an escapist. I wonder why great love stories are made not as much by social oppressions and ritualism, but by escapist daydreaming lovers. Satti belongs to the working class in society and she is what has been referred to as 'Seventh Horse In Sun's Chariot'. The seventh horse which is also the weakest decides the speed of the chariot as much as the poverty stricken working class of society determines the final disposition of society.