Summary of Marigolds
The essay ‘Marigolds’ is written by Subramani. This essay represents the writing and image from the distant land of New Zealand and South Pacific. The writer carries with her strong images of Indian contentment to a distant land where they seem to fade away. This is how all transcultural and transnational writings are made. Marigolds bring the image of the native land in a transcultural world.
The narrator of the essay is a gardener in a school. Dharma, a sun-worshipper, is the wife of the narrator. The narrator manifests a psychology of a family head suffering from depression. He was humiliated by his mother who left home accusing him of ingratitude. She threatened him that she would complain to the magistrate about his behavior and she also threatened him that she would let the world know about his ingratitude and misbehavior towards her.
Dream is less pleasurable and more threatening for him. He feels insulated among the staff in the school where he works. At the mean time, he came to know that he was living to fulfill other’s expectations only. So, he was not happy. Now he wanted to live of his own to start at a new road. He saw that his whole existence had been in bad faith. After the one Friday he felt that he must be changed. So he did not return to his home after the school and chose a new path to change his life. But, it was due to frustration from his humiliation in the job place and family life. He passed in the crowd strangely. All the people looked at him. He was feeling like the lost member of his tribe just returned to the fold. He roamed in the street like a free sprit remembering his childhood days. The splash of different color appeared into his mind like the bunches of marigolds. He could feel the warm fragrance of unseen flowers. He passed through the urine and waste smelling corners of the city searching his existence in the night. He was like in a dream. It was raining perhaps or he was feeling all around like raining. He was actually drinking too much of alcohol. Sometimes he felt that he should not have taken so much of alcohol.’ He even washed his face with the dirty flood of rain. He met a taxi driver with whom he went to a restaurant again and drank Chinese beer. The driver said, ‘It’s so easy to be happy, damn easy.’ The narrator also drank and at night, he went towards his home. He felt like a sick man. He had vomited on his shoes. He reached home. To see him in such a condition, his wife Dharma started weeping. A light appeared in his neighbor Rang Swami’s house. He told her to stop crying but she continued. He was drunk and he ordered her to stop crying. Perhaps he wanted to tell her why he is doing so. But, she kept on crying. May be hearing this, someone in the neighbor. Rang Swami’s porch appeared outside with the light. When he saw the light he started to beat her. He stroke her across her mouth. She gulped and reeled back, emitting a stifled shriek. He clutched a braid of her tangled hair and reached for the throat. She struggled, knocking the doll onto her in a heap. He locked the bedroom door and crawled into the bed. The purity/serenity of the home had gone away from that day. It was not an individual’s mistake. The hundreds of years’ social discrimination in the name of high and low class, culture of patriarchal domination, humiliation of the lower post people caused the tragedy in the life of the narrator and Dharma’s house.