Write a short summary of Acceptance by Bhaswar Mukherjee

Write a short summary of Acceptance by Bhaswar Mukherjee

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    Acceptance is an emotional and touching story of a eunuch maid, Santhoshi written by Bhaswar Mukherjee. It is taken from the anthology of 21 real-life story collections named, “Something happened on the way to heaven” edited by Sudha Murthy. This story describes the marginalized condition of eunuchs in the contemporary, educated, and cultured society which is still clinging to the age-old stigmas against the LGBT community.

    It focuses on the struggle of a transgender to lead a normal life and also to have an identity like any other individual. Though the story begins in a disheartening manner with respect to the LGBT community, it definitely shows hope towards the end.

    The story begins with an introduction to the winter season in Chennai with the rising temperature which is entirely different from the rest of the country. The author states metaphorically that the temperature had also gone up in the house of MR. Asok Srinivasan whose mother was on a visit to his son’s family during the festive season. It was the time of Pongal, the harvest festival and the maid in the house had left the job giving a jolt to Rama, Asok’s wife. She was left with no one to take care of Vijay, their three-year-old son when she went to work.

    However, she decided that her mother-in-law. Savitri would not be disturbed by the task at hand as she was old. While at the same time it’s pertinent to mention that their relationship was not running smooth. The reason for Savitri’s dislike towards Rama was due to her modern upbringing.

    The old lady also resented the fact that her bond with the son was loosening after his marriage and the birth of his son. She didn’t enjoy as much acceptance from her son as she had when her husband was alive. The writer, Mukherjee compares the agitated Rama to a Jallikattu bull and Ashok to a matador who tries to tame the bull. He might have used the sport, Jallikattu in the narration to showcase the identity of the land, Tamilnadu.

    One’s existence becomes real only by acquiring identity. Identity crisis is what is prevalent in society today, creating more and more disenfranchised communities. The eunuch named Santhoshi comes to seek the maid’s job which fell vacant after the previous maid left as she was not given holidays. Santhoshi was of huge size around six feet with strong and muscular arms and was shabbily dressed.

    Contrary to the common mannerism shown by eunuchs such as clapping hands on the face, knocking on the car window, and asking for alms, Santoshi showed politeness and fineness in character. Perplexed by the look of the visitor Rama shut the door in fear. Later when she regained her composure she enquired about the whereabouts of the visitor. She said that she was born as a poor boy.

    After the death of her father, the boy was forcefully castrated by some miscreants and was changed to a girl who was sent to beg. She was staying in a slum and was working for the slum orphans. In fact, she wanted a steady income to support her cause.

    Rama became emotional and wanted to employ the eunuch saying that it was the responsibility of the educated class to bring the oppressed people into the mainstream society and empower them. But Ashok was blinded by the social stigma and superstition regarding the LGBT and called them creatures. During the discussion, they realized that Vijay was missing.

    They suspected the eunuch as the culprit. Whereas towards the end of the search for the kid they saw that Vijay was sitting cuddled up in the lap of Santoshi near the staircase. It was the repulsive, eunuch servant who had saved the child from falling from the lift and thus saved his life.

    The happiness of Vijay’s parents knew no bounds. They realized their mistake of considering a eunuch as non-human and happily agreed to keep her as a maid in the house. Thus Santhoshi, the eunuch gained a job and through that an identity for herself.

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