Parineeta, the betrothed (1914) is the love story of Shekharnath and Lalita, set in early twentieth-century Bengal. Lalita is a thirteen-year-old orphan who lives with the family of her uncle Gurucharan. Gurucharan, though a principled man, is forced to take a loan from his neighbour Nabin Roy due to his impoverished circumstances. The two neighbouring families share a very cordial relationship despite Roy’s money-minded ways. Shekhar, Nabin Roy’s younger son has a bantering relationship with Lalita. As time passes, Shekhar and Lalita try to understand the true nature of their feelings. Meanwhile, tensions erupt between Shekhar’s father and Lalita’s uncle on the question of repayment of the old loan. The situation is further antagonized with the arrival of Girin, an eligible bachelor who is attracted to Lalita. A distance appears to build itself between the lovers. Much later, when an eighteen-year-old Lalita visits her old place one last time for selling Gurucharan’s house to Nabin Roy’s heirs, the story takes another unexpected turn.
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