Something about the characters in the unnamed story!

If you haven’t read the story, it starts here.

It won’t be a good idea to read this post, if you haven’t read the story. First, this post won’t make sense. Plus the story will be spoiled for you if you read this post first.

I have written something in reply to a comment on the feedback post. But I thought I should make a post about it to explain my thoughts behind some of the characters and incidents in the story.

  • Smriti: Smriti is a survivor. She will fight the battles for her existence. But even with her career oriented upbringing, she is not overly ambitious. She does not want to be at the top necessarily. She is not a woman of world. She is not shrewd. She can not make her way to the top. Her own thoughts, feelings and opinions are dear to her, but she does not bother if the world does not acknowledge them. And it’s not that she could be an achiever and she chooses not to be. She could not be, because in real life, you can not choose your battles. If you want to go ahead you have to fight whatever comes your way. Smriti can not do that. She would duck, when she does not want to fight. Yet – she has an inner strength and belief in herself, that will never let her break down, that will ensure that she is not destroyed. She is a woman of her own world.
  • Aditya: Some people may wonder, why I have created such an outright pathetic character. Well – this character is a tribute to the pathetic men I have met in my life. The men who are inherently weak, but will put up a brave face and hide behind the mask of family and society for their own gains. It may seem harsh, but such men exist.
  • Smriti’s Father: Does he look too horrible to be a true character? Well – again. There are characters like him in real life. He didn’t go all out to kill his wife. Getting physical with her was not a big deal for him. He is an insensitive person, especially towards the women, thanks to his upbringing and society. The only thing that matters to him is his family prestige in the society that he cares about. This society included his extended family, who were pressurizing him to get his daughter married. Annoyed by his wife’s insistence, he gets physical with her and as usual does not stop back to see if he had hurt her. Only this time, it turned out to be fatal injury. But after it is done, his is not overwhelmed by remorse. His first priority is to make sure that he is not implicated, because that will hurt his family prestige – the only thing he cares about. And goes on to take care of that. Smriti’s brothers have also inherited their value system from their father. Her mother was so preoccupied with Smriti that she probably failed in the upbringing of her sons. She did not see to it that she imparts some sensitivity into them which other members of the family had no interest in imparting.
  • Smriti and Rohan’s relationship: This is not a relationship of equals. Rohan is more of a giver and Smriti is more of a receiver. Part of it also comes from the fact that he is older, financially much better off and also a man of the world. Smriti, on the other hand, despite having fought for her survival, is a woman of her own world. That makes her less suitable to be a major force in real world, which Rohan is. So, they are not equal, but are complementary.Ever since Smriti lost her mother, she had no guardian she could really trust. When she walked out on her marriage and family, even a pretense of having any relations in her life was gone. When Rohan came into her life, he not only took the place of a lover, but also filled up for the other relations that she missed, especially that of her mother as a guardian. And Smriti strongly associates her mother’s guardianship with her concern for her career. Rohan is not thinking of this so consciously, but somewhere he has realized this connection and is trying to make up for the relations she has lost. So, he helps her with her career in various possible ways, including encouraging and arranging for her MBA.Rohan, in fact, goes really our of his way for Smriti. If you look at her rise in the company from “professional” point of view, it is “unfair” (quotes intended, because I have my doubts about the fairness of what is normally considered professional). What Rohan has done for her is actually favoritism. For any other employee he wouldn’t have cared. But he was attracted to her. And in the process discovered her in a way, you would not discover a mere employee. As I mentioned earlier, she is not a woman of world. She won’t be able to progress so much on her own. She will fight for existence, but not for reaching the top. She will only fight the battles, she wants to. Rohan acts as cover for her. He lets her pick her battles and fights the one she chooses to duck. There is nothing professional about it. But its not only a fatal attraction for her that is making him do this. He finds her useful even professionally. Somewhere he sees her complementing himself. He is no longer looking in her what he would look for in an employee. He is now looking for a partner beyond the definitions of good and bad in strictly professional terms.
Those seem like a lot of dissociated paragraphs. Let me know if they make any sense at all 🙂 I may write more later.
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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

2 thoughts on “Something about the characters in the unnamed story!

  1. i love this description. It makes perfect sense to me. And kudos to you for knowing your characters so well, because I think it is not completely trivial..

  2. Jaya,

    I think your characterisation has come out the same way you had intended it to be. However, there is some contradiction in Smriti’s character sketching. You have somehow portrayed her as someone of very high (business?) intelligence and yet at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

    I am saying this because of the way she summarises that business report with her extraordinary ability. Someone who is that smart cannot miss out climbing the corporate ladder by any chance (intentionally or unintetionally).

    Moreover, you left out describing another contradictory character “Smriti’s mother”. This is one character where the reader needs some explanation I think.

    I dont know how much of what I am going to tell now makes sense to others but still let me state it.

    I think for a fictionless story to turn out well, either it has to be picked straight away from a real life incidence (in this case the author need not be very good at his/her work) or the author’s imagination and understanding of human psychology is such that he can do justice to the characterisation of people in his story.

    Last but not the least, a person’s character is shaped by his sensitivity to incidents that he sees in life.

    Please let me know your thoughts on my comments.

    Wish you a personally and professionally happy, satisfying and enriching New Year 2011.

    Best Regards,


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