The Distant Window by Ashapurna Devi

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The Distant Window by Ashapurna Devi

The Distant Window By Ashapurna Devi

Introducing the poet: Ashapurna Devi (8 January 1909-13 July 1995) was a prominent Indian novelist and poet in Bengali. She has been widely honored with several prizes and awards. In 1976, she was awarded the Jnanpith Award and the Padma Shri by the Government of India. She also completed her D.Litt. at the University of  Jabalpur.

Writing Career of Ashapurna Devi

At the beginning of her writing career, Ashapurna wrote only for children Chhoto Thakudar Kashi Yatra was the first printed edition published in 1938 followed by other literary careers.

In 1936, she first wrote a story for adults, Patni O Preyoshi published in the puja issue of Ananda Bazar Patrika. Prem O Prayojan was her first novel for adults, published in 1944.

Important Books of Ashapurna Devi

  1. Agniparikha
  2. Bakulkatha
  3. Chitrakalpa
  4. Priyo Golap
  5. Jog Biyog
  6. Check Out More

The Distant Window Summary

The Distant Window is dominated by two female characters: Parvati and Romola. The feminism they reflect is unique and different from that of the feminine character of Snakebite. Pravati is the young wife of an old husband, a man who is in fact her father’s friend. As her father could not repay the debt, he had to give his daughter in return. The matter is really sensitive. But strangely Parvati has accepted the proposal to be the wife of that old man Nando. Not only this, she also tolerates a variety of moods and tortures of Nando.

First of all, he is a man of the meanest kind and always tries to serve the officers like anything. He wants to show himself more faithful to them a pet dog to them. He is a drunkard. He comes home late night drinking mostly. He makes her serve the Sahabs and memsahabs those who stay in the near by Dakbunglow. It is against her will. But she has to work for Nando only. Nando gets this as a due to get the officers closer and to get a good deal of tips. She is childless too.

She has adapted herself in every possible way with Nando. She has rendered her young womanly dignity to serve the Sahabs and Memshabs. Not only this, she has tried to persuade them to take the right decision as she has done with Mr. M.C Mukherjee. Nando started doubting her variously. But she has provided her chastity. By the by she has always tried to save her individuality. When the Sahabs ask for her identification in terms of her husband, she dislikes it.

Suddenly Parvati felt her temper soaring high. Parvati has an impressive character that has allured the Sahab towards her on one side but it goes away from Nando on the other. Although the sahab is none to her she has dissuaded him from eating meat brought by Dasarath because he brings ratmeat in the name of mutton.

With time share has dreamt of a better life with Nando. But jealous and mean Nando has never allowed her to make her dream come true. Self-styled contentment results in chaos. Nando thinks that she has an illicit relationship with the recently arrived Sahab. This is why he starts falling out with her very often. He has beaten him black and blue. He has promised to kill the Sahab named, Mr Mukherjee.


  1. Parvati
  2. Nando
  3. Romola
  4. Mr. Mukherji


Parvati is the central character of the novel. She is the wife of Nando Raut. At the beginning of the novel, she is described as a housewife. She is also described as the young wife of an old man.


Nando Raut is the servant of the local survey office. He serves the officer like anything. As an old roan, he is maimed by Parvati.


We meet her in the midway when she is already trusted. She has developed her own login of independence. She holds a job. She is disliked by her in-laws. She is away from her husband too. She is bored with her mechanical life too.

Mr. Mukherji

The revenue officer is of young and energetic appearance. He is portrayed as a normal and reasonable man. He is impressed by the sympathy and service of Parvati on the first day.

Important Questions: The Distant Window by Aashapurna Devi

  1. Discuss the note of feminism in Ashapurna Devi’s famous novel ‘ The Distant Window’.
  2. Explain the significance of the title ”The Distant Window”.
  3. Portray the character of Parvati in the novel ”The Distant Window.”
  4. Analyze the character of Romola from the feminist point of view.
  5. Sketch the character of Nando.
  6. Discuss the character of Parvati as an emancipated woman.
  7. Why does Parvati return to Nando? Analyze Nando’s transformation.
  8. Is The Distant Window a feministic novel? Justify your answer.
  9. Ego and vanity break relations. Justify in the case of Romola and Mr. Mukherji.
  10. Discuss Ashapurna Devi’s technique of characterization from the social point of view.


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