Bonsai Life Part 1 of “Bonsai Life” by Abburi Chayadevi sets the stage for the story by introducing the reader to the protagonist, Ammalu, and her life in Delhi. The paragraph also introduces the theme of the story, which is the limited opportunities available to women in Indian society.
Bonsai Life Part 1 Summary
‘Bonsai Life’ by Abburi Chayadevi is a plea for educating women, thereby freeing them from their ‘Bonsai Life’. Ammalu is a well educated woman who works in Delhi. Her sister, on the other hand, is not educated as Ammalu. Their father did not let Akkayya study after class Five. He felt that it was enough if a girl was able to keep the washerman’s accounts. But Ammalu was lucky that her father changed with the times and allowed her to send her to college. Ammalu completed her education and married a job holder. Later she took up one well. Because Akkayya was not educated, she was married to a man from the village. Akkayya’s husband chose agriculture as his profession and settled down in the village to cultivate his land.
Ammalu is lazy about writing letters and loves to receive one from some place or the other, every day. She gets excited when she receives one. One day she received an unexpected letter from her Akkayya. Akkayya didn’t usually write a letter. So Ammalu thought that there might be a reason. She opened the letter and started reading. Akkayya wrote that she and her husband (Baavagaru) were visiting them soon as they wished to visit Kasi and Haridwar. Both Ammailu and her husband were excited to know about their visit. For the first time Akkayya and Baavagaru were visiting their home since their marriage.
Akkayya brought cucumber, drumsticks, appadams, vadiyams and coconuts which were all liked by Ammalu’s husband very much. As Ammalu was always busy with her work, she usually could not find time to prepare the things such as appadams, vadiyams etc. When she expressed the same, her Akkayya consoled her that she didn’t know how she was able to manage work at home and in the office. Ammalu was very unhappy with her job. Sometimes, she felt like giving it up. But Akkayya’s thoughts were different. She felt that a job holder didn’t have to beg anyone for anything and Ammalu was able to lead a dignified life because of her job only.
Akkayya yearned for the financial independence of a working woman whereas Ammalu longed for happy life of a house wife. Akkayya’s daughter was in her final year at school. She was determined to send her to college. She felt if a woman didn’t have a degree, she would come to nothing.
The conclusion paragraph of Part 1 of “Bonsai Life” describes Ammalu’s realization that her life is like a bonsai tree, which is dwarfed and stunted due to its artificial confinement.