Gently falls the bakula is written by Sudha Murty.
The story starts with the two main characters Shrikant & Shrimati who are neighbours in a trivial village Hubli. They both are shown as cut throat competitors in schools and later their story turned into a teenage romance. Though, they were neighbours there was a history of rivalry between Shrimati and Shrikant ‘s families. But their love kept blooming like the bakula flowers on the bakula tree which stand tall between Shrikant and Shrimati ‘s bedroom.
After their schooling, Shrimati decided to study History and Literature at a local college, Shrikant whereas got selected at IIT Bombay and their love story turned into a series of love letters which they wrote to each other.
Despite of the rivalry which existed between Shrikant and Shrimati ‘s family, they both got married. Shrikant got a job in Bombay and Shrimati got an offer to study History in America by Professor Collins. Shrikant accepted his job offer at Bombay whereas Shrimati had to decline the offer to study abroad so that she could move to Bombay with Shrikant. This really highlights patriarchy and how it is sustaining through ages. Shrimati sacrificed her passion for history only because she was married to Shrikant.
Shrikant, who has now entered the corporate world was so self-loathed in his progress such that he was now taking Shrimati for granted. Shrimati, was also being ill-treated by Gangakka (Shrikant’s mother) and was feeling dreadful and lonely in the crowded city of Bombay. Shrikant was always exhausted by his corporate job and had no time to keep his marriage alive.
Shrimati had never imagined her subtle, beautiful and modest life in Hubli would change into loneliness and dark days in Bombay. Moreover, Shrikant’s affection for Shrimati would deteriorate with days passing by, fights and arguments started taking place between them.
Shrimati was tired of her dreadful life in Bombay and decided to look after her first love, History because her second love Shrikant was diminishing. She contacted Professor Collins who had proposed her to study History in Asian university in America. Eventually, Professor Collins proposed the same offer for her but this time Shrimati had made up her mind to follow her dreams, follow who she is and follow what she wants to be.
The story classically ends, Shrimati leaving India and Shrikant not able to change anything about it.
The Bakula flower which was signified as the love between Shrimati and Shrikant had fallen gently as the title says ‘Gently falls the bakula’.
The novel, is a tale of a marriage getting failed due to lack of time, communication and self-pride. Shrimati chose herself at the end signifies how important it is to follow our dreams. Though, the story ends at a sad note, the end of the novel totally gives justice to the title.