In Clear Light of Day the female characters despite all of the constraints, strive to find their individuality. They seem to embrace the dominant class’s language and culture, for example. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how female protagonists, such as colonial people, struggle to establish their presence in various ways, such as hybridization. In order to survive, these women use the oppressor’s language and culture.
The plot revolves on an Indian family living in ancient Delhi. Memories and experiences of the youngest daughter. Raja and Baba, the family’s youngest mentally challenged member, are their two brothers. Bim had to care after Raja when he Tara and her husband returned to her home and family after their parents died while they were children. Tara and her older sister, Bim, reminisce on how their family got sick with TB and how they nursed him back to health as the narrative progresses. She also had to look after her aunt when she became sick while caring for Baba.
Bim, now a history professor, is a strong, unmarried lady who, after their parents’ deaths, must assume care for her disabled brother, Baba, as well as their family house and company. She comes from a conventional household where women, including her mother, sister, and aunt, are expected to follow patriarchal society’s rules. However, her perspective on life, family, education, and marriage, which contributes to the character’s hybridity, distinguishes her from a conventional Indian lady. Tara, on the other hand, lacks the confidence to confront a difficult task and all she wanted was to go back to Bakul’s clean, hygienic, disinfected environment, with its system of laws and regulations, neatness, and orderliness.
Tara is trained to be “strong” and “decisive” by her husband, Bakul, after they marry as a subservient woman. Bim aspires to be like her elder brother Raja, a patriarchal figure. She defies this patriarchal way of life by dressing up as masculine figures who are superior to women. As a result, in order to set herself apart from the stereotypically docile Indian lady, she must hybridise her personality. She, like Raja, enjoys reading poetry. “She knew Byron, Igbal, and even T.S. Eliot,” says the author (42). Men are encouraged to study poetry in a traditional Indian household because they are regarded intellectually superior. Bim aspired to be a “heroine” as a kid, while her brother, Raja, aspired to be a “hero.” Tara.
Due to the unique environment of their household, Bim’s exuberant and lively personality was repressed at home. Bim saw school and its instructors and courses as a welcome challenge to her inherent intellect and mental curiosity. For Tara, school, with its instructors and courses, was a frightening idea. She missed home while she was imprisoned inside the towering stone walls, nearly unable to stand the idea of being separated from Aunt Mira, Baba, and the familiarity of her old ayah and its comforting. The bat and ball came naturally to Bim, who had been taught in sports by Raja and Hamid, who had often used her as a fielder when they had set up a cricket game between them. Playing sports with males is yet another example of hybridization that provides Bim with an opportunity to express her own existence and identity.
However, Tara was completely inept at any of the games she attempted to play. In situations when instructors and students were selecting teams for a game, Tara was always the last to be chosen, standing neglected and destitute, until one of the leaders grudgingly agreed to include her in the team. She is a lady who does not make an effort to show her femininity. Tara seems to embrace her disadvantaged status as a woman to some degree. Tara and Bim studied Hindi when they were younger, but Raja chose Urdu because it seemed like a natural choice for the son of a Delhi family. When Muslim and Moghul monarchs ruled, Urdu was the court language, and it has remained so as the language of the educated and cultured. Hindi was not believed to be a language with a long history at the time.
Raja, as a male character, selects Urdu as the court language, making him feel proud and superior to those who speak Hindi. Urdu is seen as a better and full language and is a sign of masculinity. “Look, its angles are all wrong,” he said scornfully, holding up one of their Hindi copybooks as if it were an old sock. And the fact that you have to go back and cross out every word as soon as you finish writing it is an obstacle. It’s difficult to think clearly when you have to constantly walking back and crossing the street. It interferes with the overall flow of the composition he said.
Bim and Tara’s fight against patriarchal culture is exemplified by their hybridity, as shown by their decision to “do anything they liked” since Raja had not returned home from school, and everyone else in the house was fast asleep as well. They pondered what they should do that was bold enough, crazy enough, and illegal enough to take advantage of such a wonderful chance. They then realised why they were so different from their brother, why they were so inferior and insignificant in comparison: it was because they did not dress in pants like their brother. They take advantage of their opportunity to join patriarchal society by hybridising themselves and putting on Raja’s trousers. Bim rushed across the desk, took out the tiny top drawer where Raja kept cigarettes, carried away by the magnificence of their trousersed bodies. She discovered an opened package in her pocket, along with a few cheap, foul-smelling, carelessly packed cigarettes and matches, and realised why Raja walked with such a magnificent, carefree swagger. It was only natural for her to swagger, to feel wealthy, superior, and strong if she had pockets and smokes. (132) Wearing a pair of pants denotes masculinity and dominance. They joined the realm of masculinity when they put on those pants, which is another example of hybridization. “They sank their hands further into their pockets, feeling even more superior”.
Discuss the personalities of Bim and Tara as depicted in Clear Light of Day.
Bim is depicted in this book as a lady who is quite different from the other Indian females who just want to marry. She rejects Dr. Biswas, a well-respected member of society. She gets enraged when Dr. Biswas, who wanted to marry her, acts in a patriarchal manner by misinterpreting Bim’s refusal: “Now I see why you do not want to marry.” You’ve devoted your life to helping others–to your ailing brother, your elderly aunt, and your younger brother, who will rely on you for the rest of his life. You’ve put your life on the line for them. (97) Dr. Biswas doesn’t get it since his explanation for her rejection is that she is a lady who wants to serve her family and is willing to give her life for them. He can’t see Bim as a strong woman who wants to be self-sufficient. Bim’s jaw gaped wide in surprise at this heinous statement, spoken gravely and leadenly as though etched in steel for eternity…. Her tangled emotions contorted her face and shook the idea of Biswas out of her. She snarled softly in her anger and frustration–at being so misunderstood, so completely misread–then gulped a bit with amusement at such hideous mistake.
“Bim chases her ambitions,” Sunania Singh says. Bim achieves her transcendence from life by being creative and busy, which Tara seeks in her search for love and safety. Bim refuses to be confined to her position as a simple female, denoting a minor prey or object for other people’s enjoyment” (41). Bim despises being emotionally reliant on others. Bim is unique in that she does not want to be owned. I’m constantly trying to educate them, train them to be different from you and me-and if they knew how severely handicapped I still am, how I myself haven’t been able to cope on my own-they’d laugh. Her revelation to Tara reveals that she is attempting to transcend her limits. Bim succeeds in establishing her goal, which is a victory in being independent, despite all the constraints and difficulties, and it is Tara and Bakul who recognise this that Bim had discovered everything she had been looking for in life. It seemed amazing that she hadn’t had to look far for it, that she had remained in the same home and taught at the old college, and that it had provided her with all she desired. According to Singh, Bim is able to get whatever she desires in life without the assistance of male powers because she has faith in herself. We see the developing new and autonomous woman that Simon de Beauvoir predicted: once she stops being a parasite, the system built on her dependency collapses; there is no longer any need for a male mediator between her and the world.
Another instance of hybridity occurs in the household when Tara and Bim, who are both members of a disadvantaged group, read literature with ease. They are acting in a manner that is in opposition to the norms of Indian society at the time. What is also important is the kind of literature they were reading, which serves as a reminder of the novel’s depiction of women as being inferior. According to traditional cultural influences, young women are expected to read romantic novels such as “Gone with the Wind” and “Lorna Doone,” while young men are expected to read daring novels such as “Robin Hood” and “Beau Geste,” according to traditional cultural influences. Aunt Mira, another lady who has been subjected to an excessive amount of suffering, exemplifies hybridity as well. She, on the other hand, strives to live and attempts to conquer the difficulties as if she were a man. Despite the fact that she has been subjected to various degrees of abuse, she still has the bravery and strength to care for this family when the parents, Bim and Tara’s parents, fail to fulfil their responsibilities. She is the only one on whom the children can depend in the household. She has a tough life to contend with. After her young student husband, who had gone to study in England soon after their wedding, had a cold while walking home in the rain one winter night and died, she was twelve years old and a virgin when she was widowed. She was left stranded with his family, who held a grudge against her and held her responsible for his death. She should be held accountable for her actions. She is the sufferer of a harsh society that mistook her for a parasite and treated her as such.