This excerpt from the last part of a short novel by Mahasweta Devi is concerned with Molina Mishra's sense of self-betrayal, faced as she is with her failure to lead a meaningful life. A middle class Bengali, a Hindu widow, an old woman of 70, he has seemed to family and friends an exemplary figure. She has lived a life of utmost simplicity, even austerity, denying herself the comforts now common among India's urban middle class while enabling her three daughters to b well educated and well married. She has spent her resources on a school for girls, and on helping abandoned and destitute women. Above all, she has remained faithful to the memory of her husband, Bejoy Mishra, a revolutionary communist of the 1930 who died a long ago as 1940 while she was still only 22. She could have remarried as there were men who loved her and her father would have had no objection. Yet she refused their offers, endured the loneliness and difficulties of life, remaining loyal to old communists who did not change their views or lifestyles amid the new politics of post- independent India.
Devi, Mahasweta, From Sati COMMENTARY AND TRANSLATION FROM BENGALI BY RANJANA ASH, Kunapipi, 19(3), 1997.