INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR INNOVATIVE RESEARCH IN MULTIDISCIPLINARY FIELD Deconstruction of Patriarchal Structure: Subversion, Perversion and the Aesthetics of Eroticism in Shobha De's Socialite Evenings and Starry Night

J Aggarwal
2017 unpublished
Shobha De writes about the complexities of life of the people of Mumbai. Her main focus is on the elite of metropolis. She has faithfully depicted the harrowing lives of the middle class women who are over ambitious and passionate about sex and glamour. She uses the terminology of latest fashions and always used slang speech. She borrowed images and phrases from pop music, Western style dances, trendy hairstyles, high heels mascara and Hollywood magazines. Each woman protagonist of Shobha De
more » ... es serious efforts to deconstruct traditional patriarchal structure. All her women protagonists are rebels in society, as they pursue their ambitions independently. Shobha De raises a strong protest against the traditional mind set of male domination and patriarchal oppression. Shobha De presents the image of woman who is ultra-modern, revolutionary in outlook, progressive in ideas and a spirited fighter for rights and justice. New Women of Shobha De struggle for their inordinate ambitions with all their strength and confront and resist male domination. Jyoti Puri has investigated how in the post-colonial era women struggle to "conceptualize their gender and sexuality". Women of Shobha De fall in this category. Jyoti Puri has discussed the issues of "woman, body and desire". (Puri 1) They are selfish and epicurean and only live for themselves. They desperately fight, revolt and shape their destiny. Her New women do not believe in suffering submissively, they use all the means to achieve joy and success in life. Nisha Trivedi observes thus about the feminist vision of the post-colonial women writers: . "They have explored the vital areas of individual consciousness and have projected the fascinating images of cultural change, rather than transformation" (Trivedi 180). Sartre observed in Being and Nothingness that" man is free to express his inner potential; her choice determines what he is in the society." Aasha Rani, Anjali and Karuna are free and they use their freedom passionately; their quest to enjoy the hedonistic pleasures of life eventually leads them into the quagmire of sexual filth and sensual eroticism. They are given full freedom by the novelist to ride on the tide of success and glamour. They feel proud by selling their bodies to different customers at different terms. Betty Friedan (1971) expresses her new vision of sexuality thus: Woman's sexual problems are, in this sense, by-products of the suppression of her basic need to grow and fulfill her potentialities as a human being, potentialities which the mystique of feminine fulfillment ignores (Friedan 130). Women of Shobha De play with the emotions and passions of man intentionally. In Socialite Evenings, for instance, the naked body of Nisha is viewed as it was an object of otherness. She uses bed as a powerful tool to take revenge from man. The women struggle hard to turn the tide in their favour. They face hardships, exploitation and defeat at different stages in their life but they are not discouraged. Instead, they continued to challenge the patriarchal society. They fight against slavery, oppression and exploitation. The women have broken all the barriers to assert Abstract: Shobha De is a modern novelist believing in empowerment of women and liberalization. The journey of New Woman becomes very interesting when we enter in the world of Shobha De who uses all tools and strategies to empower her women. Her woman is at her best moving in the society freely puncturing conventional morality. She is no longer a mere shadow of man but aspirant to do well in society. New Woman of Shobha De is the product of modern technological advancement, growth of education and the changing social set up. Her perception about the contemporary reality makes her different from other Indian women novelists. Shobha De accumulated the knowledge about women and excelled herself as a journalist and magazine editor. She was closely associated with the world of Mumbai Cinema. Therefore, she knows well about the dark life behind the screen, with all its ugly, dirty details. R. Morgon (1983) observes, "De's women like Anjali and Karuna project their power on others, to deconstruct the male ego. They like to be "eroticized as objects" and to view themselves as "erotic objects", not subjects." (Morgan 143) Shobha De is a voracious reader and an active journalist. She accumulated knowledge about Indian women before she conceived her New Women protagonists. She published her book Selective Memory', Stories of My Life (1998) articulating her wonderful mystery in selecting and weaving a chain of such events that have shaped her mind and influenced her character.