The Auspicious Vision by Rabindranath Tagore
In The Auspicious Vision by Rabindranath Tagore we have the theme of commitment, beauty, honour and paralysis. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator it becomes clear to the reader after reading the story that Tagore may be exploring the theme of commitment. Kanti is fully aware of the mistake he has made in marrying Sudha. Having mistaken her for another girl. However there is a sense that Kanti will still be happy and blessed with good fortune. If anything he remains committed to his new wife. This may be important as Kanti could have reacted very differently to the fact that he married the wrong girl. Though he may not have been able to abandon his wife with ease the fact that Kanti stays at the wedding on discovery of his mistake suggests that he is an honourable man. He may have originally being drawn by the beauty of the girl he thought was Sudha but he can also see the beauty in the real Sudha. It is also interesting that the female characters in the story (Sudha) are treated more like products than they are as human beings. Sudha’s father is desperate to marry off Sudha and is prepared to give any man willing to marry her a large dowry. This may be important as Tagore may be placing the spotlight on the position of women within Indian society at the time the story was written. How for many young girls their parents longed for them to marry and as an incentive to a prospective husband a dowry was provided.
Kanti is also an interesting character as Tagore advises the reader that Kanti had no interest in getting married after he lost his first wife. However on seeing the beauty of the servant girl Kanti was again interested in the prospect of marriage. This may be important as Tagore may be empowering woman or at least defining what many men find appealing within a woman. Their looks. This seems to be the only criteria that and the kindness of the servant girl that decides for Kanti that he should discover more about the servant girl. It is also interesting that while at the party the other women laugh at the servant girl when Kanti tries to speak to her. He is unaware that she is deaf and dumb but this still does not change his opinion of her. It might also be important that Kanti does not do anything that would hinder his marriage to Sudha as this would again show just how honourable Kanti really is. He may feel as though he has been tricked into marrying the wrong woman but nonetheless he will stay by Sudha’s side.
Though the servant girl is highly desirable by Kanti and one is to assume by other men too. The fact that she is deaf and dumb may suggest that she is to live her life alone with her only companions being the animals she brings back to health. It is difficult to see any man marrying the servant girl due to her disability despite the fact that she has a good heart. If possible suitors are swayed as Kanti was swayed by the fact that the servant girl is deaf and dumb there is a sense that the girl will live her life paralysed or going nowhere. There will be no change or marriage for her. Which may be the point that Tagore is attempting to make. He may be suggesting that many men are swayed by a woman’s appearance first and then by their personality. The fact that the servant girl cannot communicate with a possible suitor suggests there will be few if any suitors who will attempt to marry the servant girl.
The end of the story is also interesting as Tagore affords Kanti the opportunity to be happy. Though he had mistakenly picked the wrong bride when the veil is lifted he is a happy man. The one downside of the marriage between Kanti and Sudha is the fact that they do not know each other. They had not previously met and it may be a case that due to the position or role of woman in Indian society. Sudha will have to play the role of the dutiful wife. It is not as though love can’t blossom. It can and most likely will such is the happiness that Kanti feels. However he has taken a risk without knowing it and some critics might suggest that he is fortunate that the risk paid off. Kanti has found himself a second wife. One in which he was not originally seeking and faith has been good to him. Unfortunately the servant girl may never get to enjoy the experiences of getting married not only because of her disability but because of her low rank. Whereas Sudha has come with a large dowry the servant girl’s father who is not mentioned in the story may not have a dowry to give a prospective suitor of his daughter.