Dewana Khoimala and the Holy Banyan Tree

Mahasweta Devi

Translated by Pinaki Bhattacharya


5.75 x 8 inches, 81pp. 2004

ISBN : 9788170462583

Rs  250.00 (HB)
$11.99 (HB)
£8.99 (HB)

Buy (HB)

‘The hero of our story, Dewana, appears in the very first episode.’

‘What does dewana mean?’

‘Someone who is mad.’


The image of this love-crazed hero haunts Khoimala, the gentle brahman girl, and her low-caste sweetheart, the young boatman, Golak, as they live out their doomed love story: doomed because social and religious taboos damn their forbidden love. On the one hand, eighteenth century rural Bengal, quickening to the pace of urban development, undergoes swift changes, as local markets thrive and traders flourish; on the other, a destitute young woman who is trapped in the darkness of harshly prescriptive custom to the despair of the boatman lad who can neither rescue her nor declare his love.


In this masterful and deeply sensitive tale, Mahasweta Devi once again interweaves a social tapestry and the detail of human lives, creating a powerful tale of love, longing and passion set in a time when the British are beginning to consolidate their hold on Bengal. 

Mahasweta Devi is one of India's foremost writers. Her powerful fiction has won her recognition in the form of the Sahitya Akademi (1979), Jnanpith (1996) and Ramon Magsaysay (1996) awards, amongst several other literary honours. She was also awarded the Padmasree in 1986, for her activist work amongst dispossessed tribal communities. 


Pinaki Bhattacharya is a consultant, teacher, writer and actor who lives and works in Calcutta.

Selected Works Of Mahasweta Devi
Cultural History