Shabanu

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

"Come on, Shabanu, put it on!" she urges, and I slip the exquisite shimmering ring onto my finger. "The bangles, and the nose pin, too!" I oblige mechanically, and they all dance around and tell me how wonderful I look … I think vaguely of the blackness in my heart—I am wearing all the light that ever was within me on my nose and finger.

In the chapter entitled "The Choice", Shabanu receives and halfheartedly dons jewels from Rahim-sahib. Her words show that she prizes her freedom and inner light much more than riches and physical beauty. She also perceives that if she accepts and enjoys Rahim-sahib's beautiful baubles, she is essentially selling him her freedom and giving up her inner light. If she allows them to make her happy, she is allowing him to make her happy with his money.

Her family's excitement shows the disparity between what they want for Shabanu and what she wants for herself. They want her to be well provided for and secure; Shabanu, however, longs for independence and freedom. Phulan cannot fathom the type of freedom for which Shabanu longs. Her parents understand Shabanu's desires but believe they are impossible. They hope that she will quickly as possible find happiness in her life with Rahim-sahib. They believe that no better options exist.