A novel of epic proportions, written in four parts from 1887 to 1901, Sarasvatichandra is both an enactment and the embodiment of the life philosophy of one man, and his sole mission.
Part I, Buddhidhan’s Administration, narrates the story of one individual’s extraordinary rise from poverty to power, to become the Karbhari of Suvarnapur. East India Company’s growing presence in the Indian native states provides the setting for the rivalry between Buddhidhan and the ruling Karbhari, Shathrai, and the royal intrigue involving Bhupsinh, claimant to the throne of Suvarnapur. The parallel story threading through all four parts is of an unusual and abiding love between Sarasvatichandra and Kumud who, betrothed young, fall in love before marriage—through an exchange of letters, words and worlds.
Written sixty years before Independence, the novel holds up a fascinating mirror to Gujarati society of that time, the joint family, particularly the role of women, and life in the princely states, against the backdrop of a nation in transition at the turn of the century—culturally, politically, and ideologically.
Before the advent of Gandhi, arguably no other work has so profoundly influenced the ethos and imagination of Gujarat as Sarasvatichandra. Part II, III, and IV, also translated by Tridip Suhrud, an acknowledged scholar of nineteenth and twentieth century Gujarat, are forthcoming.
1. The Guest of Suvarnapur
2. Buddhidhan’s Family
4. Buddhidhan (Continued)
5. Buddhidhan (Conclusion)
6. Intrigues in Rajeshwar
7. Pleasure Garden
8. At the Counsellor’s House
9. The Consequences of Intoxication
10. Instruments of Intrigue and the Warcraft of Karbharis
11. In Readiness for Court
12. King, Palace, and Administration
13. On the Way
14. Destiny Fulfilled
16. Buddhidhan and Saubhagya Devi
17. Pramaddhan and Kumud Sundari
18. The Karbhari and his Administration
19. Night Life: The Rising Curtain and the Ordeal by Fire
20. Leave Taking
21. Walking Away
Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi (1855–1907) was born at Nadiad, Gujarat. He is also the author of Snehmudra (1889), The Classical Poets of Gujarat and Their Influence on Society and Morals (1894), and Lilavati Jivankala (1905).
Tridip Suhrudworks at the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.