Two Lady Rams- mulk Raj Anand Bird’s-eye view

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Two Lady Rams
Latin Influence on Old English, Two Lady Rams

Dowry system

The Dowry system was prevalent at that time. It was evident in the story during the protest of Sukhi, Sukhi claimed to her husband, “You had nothing before I brought a lakh of rupees in my dowry!… What did this bitch bring with her —nothing but a fair complexion and a snub nose.”

Significance of the title – Two Lady Rams

In “Two Lady Rams”, two Lady Rams were Sukhi and Sakuntala. They were called two Lady Rams because they were the wives of Lalla Jhinda Ram. The two Lady Rams had been engaged in a constant cold war for many years. Both longed for the attention of their mutual husband and wanted to be addressed as ‘Lady Ram’. Such rivalry between them was a common scene in Jhinda Ram’s domestic life. Their husband at the beginning easily coped with this cold war, but as the news of the award came to him, he simply ignored them.

The problem arose when the invitation card for the garden party was addressed only to “Sir Jhinda and Lady Ram”. He initially chose his young wife, Sakuntala to accompany him to the party. But after the protest of Sukhi, he was in a dilemma as he could not decide whom to choose. Therefore he thought that Governor of the province, the king’s representative, could easily resolve this.

Through this witty story, Mulk Raj Anand has pointed subtly to the social condition of that time. For instance, the British still allowed the Mitakshara Law. According to Mitakshara law son had the birthright in property of father whereas daughters had no right. This British also allowed men to practice polygamy but there was no rule whether all or any of those wives of a man could hold the title of Lady in case the husband was suddenly ascended to a Knighthood or Viscountcy, or Earldom, Dukedom or any high rank.

The colonial administration had not paid any concern to the women in the society. This suggested the position of the women at that time was negligible. Moreover, addressing a wife by her husband’s title was another instance of subordination.

It was the chauffeur of Jhinda Ram who proposed the idea of taking both Lady Rams. Since he married two wives, therefore he certainly had a right to call them both Lady Rams. Moreover, the Governor could not restrict the entry of one of two Lady Rams if he took both of them to the party.

Since the only problem for him was the invitation card, therefore, he altered the words to “The two Lady Rams”. His alteration of the words from Lady Rams to “The Two Lady Rams” was not his first experience of modification as he had altered many more intricate documents in the past. This suggested his cunning nature.

Later, when they reached the Government House, nothing unpleasant happened. In fact, two Lady Rams were praised by Her Excellency for their wonderful saris and Sir Jhinda Ram was bestowed the “Star of the Knight Commander of the Indian Empire” by His Excellency. From that day onward Sir Jhinda and his two Lady Rams became an integral part of all ceremonial occasions- Empire Day, cricket match, or horse race in the capital since those were incomplete without them.
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