Chokher Bali

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This article is about a novel by Rabindranath Tagore. For the film, see Chokher Bali (film).

Chokher Bali (Bengali: চোখের বালি), literally Sand of the Eye, equivalent to eyesore, is a Bengali novel written by Rabindranath Tagore in the early twentieth century.


Binodini is a convent educated young widow left to her own devices when her husband dies soon after they are married. As was the custom in those times in British India, she returns to her village and lives there for a couple of months until she accepts the invitation of Rajlakshmi to live with her and her son Mahendra (who had rejected a former marriage proposal with Binodini) in Calcutta. He is newly married to Ashalata (a naïve, gentle girl), but soon begins to feel a strong attraction for Binodini.

The story details the relationships of these three and Mahendra's best friend Bihari as they deal with issues like distrust, adultery, lies and problems between them.

Critical acclaim[edit]

Tagore elaborately records early 20th-century Bengali society through his central character, the rebellious widow who wants to live a life of her own. In writing this novel he exposes the custom of perpetual mourning on the part of widows, who were not allowed to remarry and were condemned to a life of seclusion and loneliness. It is a melancholic, stirring tale of the deceit and sorrow that arise from dissatisfaction and sorrow. Tagore has said about the novel, "I have always regretted the ending".

Film adaptation[edit]

Main article: Chokher Bali (film)

The novel was adapted into a 2003 film by Rituparno Ghosh, starring Aishwarya Rai, Prasenjit Chatterjee and Raima Sen.

External links[edit]