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Pipilika Muktidham-Investigating Contemporary Reality through Stream of Consciousness

 Dr. Mangesh Madhukar Gore
                                                          Head, Department of English
                                                          Sundarrao More ACS College
                                                           Poladpur Dist.  Raigad 402303
                                                           Maharashtra - India

Pipilika Muktidham, a recent novel in Marathi is published by Granthali and authored by an emerging and talented literator Mr Balasaheb Labade. Its narrative style, poeticism,experimentalism,surrealism,inventiveness,psycho-analysis method have made this novel unique and path breaking literary work in Indian regional literature. The novel is not centred around any charater. It does not focus any particular event. It offers new dimension to Marathi literature by not following the established framework of the Novel form.This novel is very powerful contemplation of human emancipation presented through satire and symbolism. In the search of Mukti (empancipation), this thought proviking novel many times offers disturbing portrayal of our Time.

Key Words- Psychoanalysis, Emancipation, Narrative Style, Time, Silence (Mauna)

          Psychoanalytic literature gives a deep insight into the human mind and it also attempts to deal with stream of consciousness. A literary work based on psychoanalysis  simultaneously also shed light on the psychological process of creation.  Symbols and signs play vital roles in psycho - analytical literature.  The psychoanalytic method has led many writers to develop their own form of literary work and the source of this method has become an integral part of their literary creation. Not only that, psychoanalytic methods have become useful tools for analyzing the subconscious mind of society.
         If you want to write  about human relations, the author has to work hard to save the true human face from becoming a filmy character.  But if there is a novel of the time, the novelists have to get the truth of time into it.  An excellent example of this method can be  observed in the recently published Marathi novel Pipilika Muktidham  by Prof Balasaheb Labade. The prestigious regional award winning and path breaking novel is published by Granthali Publication of Mumbai.

     The novel is an example of psychoanalytic literary work. It completely breaks down the popular structure of the story.This novel offers a metaphorical, symbolic character rather than real life-like character.A new motif of the novel has emerged that is not easily understandable to common readers. Readers who are accustomed to reading the story directly will find it difficult to understand the deeper meaning conveyed through the novel.

        In this novel the author has done the difficult task of saving the true human face by wearing a mask. This novel is not based on human relations but psychoanalytic commentary on the Time or what we can also say contemporary period. The author very brilliantly used the psychoanalytical myth of Ants / pipilika (sanskrit word for ant). Four ants...Narrator Ant ... Red ants ... Black ants and tambadi ant. They are living in the desert in search of emancipation.

      Pipilika Muktidham  is divided into 23 subtitles.  The first one is At the bottom of the living. The journey of the ants started with this subtitle ended with The maun mukhi nila dharili which is the last subtitle of the novel.The canvas of this novel has become wide and multi-colored.

     Looking at the formula for writing any art work, through the perspective of time and human relations, it is easily observed that Pipilika Muktidham  has leaned heavily on commenting on contemporary times. The narrator Ant has commented in psychoanalytic terms on everything that has happened in the country in the last two years. Maratha reservation agitation, Elgar Parishad, Demonetisation, cancellation of 370Article, and the unprecedented outbreak of the JNU movement. It also highlighted the issues of  many current topics like Unemployment, exploitation of workers in the workplace, jobs on contract basis, instability in them, capitalism, new technology, a fall in the wages of workers, SEZs, large land ownership of foreign companies, mall culture and so on.  The commentary on these subjects is presented in the form that will inform you of the psychoanalysis of ants in a meditative manner, rather than in the usual recitation.

      From the perspective of Sigmund Freud, Pipilika Muktadham is a thought of a psychologist, but it crosses the borders of this physical world and attempts to express the thoughts of the unconscious and metaphysical world. 
        The well known examples of novels that used animal character as Myth  in English, is of course  George Orwell's  Animal Farm where he used the myth of the Pig and the Marathi novel Sattantar by  Venkatesh Madgulkar  where the author has used the myth of monkeys, through which the contradictions of human nature have been subtly and psychologically presented.

       Pipilika Muktidham used  the myth of ants as it shows the world is full of ants as the novel faithfully portrayed their behavior with each other. There are some rules in the world of ants. When one gets food, he/she tells it to another. They fight aggressively and unitedly when the enemy threatens their lives.

      Yet these 'We' the pronominal ants ... do not impose on themselves any rules. Their rules are flexible. These ants have made themselves resilient to the necessities of life. They are constantly moving around in the search of Mukti (emancipation), sometimes by playing cricket and sometimes by going to Alandi.  The narrator ants offer commentary on the day today's worldly affairs.  The psychoanalytical commentary offers by the narrator ant  imposes a rule of consciousness on the worldly affairs like selling of fruits by fruit-sellers , on the scrap collector , on the musical band.The narrator ant wants to talk on the fishes and frogs in the water and wants to express their heartbreaking.

    Her  heartbreaking also commented Jain philosophy ,Muslim philosophy,Christian and Buddhist philosophy.The author has attempted and applied huge sources of information derived from different local languages like Konkani, Pali, Kharvi, bambaiya Hindi etc. ​​He has also used different forms of literature like ballad, bharud, folk tales in each subtitle of the novel.  So many forms used by the same author in the same literary work is very rare to be seen elsewhere.   
       The novel is a byproduct of today's age, but it also expresses fundamental ideas across the boundaries of the world.

         The ants in this novel are working with their intellect and logic.Sometimes they enter into the unconscious world and make psychological commentary on the philosophy of life.

      Freud's stream of consciousness theory reflected in this novel.The narrator ant of the novel used the Memory to discover, examine, analyze, some of the facts that are hidden in his/her mind and memory. However, the reader cannot be able to trace out the author through the narrator and this is the key feature of the novel. The narrator's commentary sometimes looks ridiculous and sometimes bold.

     The psychoanalysis of the narrator ant seems to be on a long intellectual journey, traveling through different channels of Memory. The same is expressed through the forms and in different languages. It applies a difficult way of expressing the scientific organs with a mysterious tool of meditation and contemplation.

     In this novel, the narrator ant appears to report his or her supporting or opposing views about an event, with his/her mind while roaming in both the conscious and the unconscious.  It seems to be fragile …,it does not stay organized ..., The narrator's suppressed desires are activated in the unconscious state which resulted in  constantly changing layers of narration.

       The novel's collective narration, 'We', starts with anecdotes of the four ants. All four ants begin to speak in unison and their collective minds are formed and they begin to speak. Sometimes this narration was in the first person, and other times it becomes the third person, in all the subtitles of the novel.  One circle of meaning is formed from one event and another circle of meaning formed through another event.  The sense of change in events/occasion and their meaning  is so natural that it has long been aware that the occasion/event  that the narrator ants was saying now has disappeared and the second meaning of the another event has begun, so that many meanings from one occasion or another. So readers can have one meaning through various events/occasions or he/she can have different meanings of the same occasion/event. The readers may have such kind of experience in western novels.  But perhaps, it is to be the first novel in Marathi literature in which the author has performed such an unique experiment.

        Narrator Ant's changing linguistic fusion and form variations enhances readability of the novel by making it interesting. This linguistic fusion goes very close to Freud's theory of psychoanalysis. The author has created a separate language by violating the linguistic norms.   In spite of breaking off linguistic and literary forms the novel becomes successful to sustain the reader's grip on the narration.

       The last part is part of narrator ant's search for the peace of mind which ends in Buddhism. The narrator understood the meaning of Buddha's widespread silence.  And then when she comes back home, Ranimungi is dead. "Don't go again," she tells to Nivedakamungi (narrator ant).He agrees.  And this is where the novel ends.

    Readers may have noticed that this novel does not fit into the framework of traditional novels.In the coming days, this psychoanalytical novel is going to be a milestone and will set  the new standard not only in Marathi literature but also in Indian literature written in various regional languages.

Works Cited

Pipilika Muktidham (Marathi Novel), Balasaheb Labade, Granthali, Mumbai, December 2019