A Moment of Eternity is beautiful short story written by Bhabani Bhattacharya. He is a great Indian novelist, short story writer and biographer. The story A Moment Eternity is a modern version of the age old Savitri-Satyavan myth. In the modern story the heroine fails to bring back her husband to life. So she kills her children and tries to commit suicide. She is imprisoned for double murder. The Law is mercy to her and she is not given capital punishment. She is given only four years imprisonment. But she thinks that she can commit suicide either by drowning in the river or by fire. If there is no death, she wanted madness. She wanted to escape from the horror of memory. This is a thought provoking story. It teaches that myth is always a myth and it cannot be translated into reality. Development of Science and technology has wiped out many superstitions. Yet there are people who blindly follow such myths and destroy human life in order to achieve a moment of Eternity. The style of narration is excellent. The story is introduced through flash back when the narrator who is a murderer awaits the judgement. So the
writer can keep up the suspense till the end. There is a “O. Henry touch” here.
The husband and wife in this story have no names, because this tragedy can be happened to any one on the earth. It is a universal experience. Yes, it is mad to follow blindly the ideals of old myths and destroy the happiness of human life. Life is precious.
The narrator of the story is known as Mother of Sona-Mona. Now she is a prisoner and stand at the court awaiting the judgement. Her charge was that she murdered her two girl children, Sona and Mona. The husband had no close relatives except his grandmother. She wanted him to be a High Court Judge because he was a graduate. But he was a failure in life. Every time he lost his job. He worried about his work and he could not sleep well. He was afraid to marry because he had no good job and earning. Finally he married a woman. They loved each other and they had two little girls Sona and Mona.
The wife was inspired by the Savitri-Satyavan story in Hindu Mythology and she wanted to become another Savitri who brought back her husbands life from Yama the Death God.
The husband found a work in the office of a coal merchant. But it did not last long. He lost his job again. It worried him and he became sick. The wife loved him so much that she wanted to die a hundred deaths so that he could be happy for a day.
Similarly the husband was worried about his wife and children. He received a letter that said that he would be appointed as a bus conductor. He began to dream of buying clothes for his wife and children. The fever continued and he was taken to hospital. She prayed to all the gods, but no use. She nursed him day and night. A neighbour woman fed the children. She became a Savitri begged to all the gods for the life spark of her husband. Oneday her husband spat much blood and while he was struggling for a breath of air, requested her to look after “our Sona and Mona. She painfully answered that she and her two children would die after his death. He was shocked and tried to say something but he could not and he died.
Instead of struggling hard to look after her children, she poisoned them to death and she tried to commit suicide by taking opium in heavy dose. But she did not die and was taken to hospital and from there she was taken to prison. Her only wish was to join her husband and children through death.
Essay: Comment on the narrative technique
2. A Moment of Eternity effectively brings out the tragedy of a woman with “no art to make a living” Discuss. Same answer as above.