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Has Mahadeo Singh really had a change of heart? – Baalika Vadhu

Do leopards really change their spots; do people really turn into a new leaf if given an opportunity? Mahavir Singh has from a very young age been the embodiment of all that can be possibly bad in a human being-avaricious, greedy, lustful, dishonourable and evil. In his heyday, he ill treated his wife and drove her to an early grave. Ignoring her repeated pleas of help while she was about to give birth, he went off gallivanting with his mistress. His wife fell down the staircase and died in childbirth; an unhappy, neglected woman.

After his wife’s death, he became a free agent all over again and did not even spare his younger brother’s young widow (Kalyani, the young Maa-sa) from his evil designs. A young Maa-sa had to flee from her house in the middle of the night with her two infant sons. Not happy with this, he pursued her relentlessly and tried to make her life as miserable as humanly possible. Every time that Maa-sa stopped looking over her shoulder in the belief that he had finally stopped hunting her down, he would reappear in an even more sinister form. He sought out every person whom he could then use as a weapon to harm her. For example he had Anandi’s parents driven out of their land and home and put behind bars as it served his purpose of hurting Maa-sa.


He discovers that Basant, Maa-sa’s eldest son is actually his own. His dying wife had entrusted the baby into Maa-sa’s care. He tries to use this piece of information to break apart her family and drive a wedge between her and Basant. But he fails at that too as Basant chooses to stay with her adopted mother than his biological father. He even kidnaps Basant’s baby boy but the boy is rescued and returned to his parents. However due to Maa-saa’s intervention no charges are brought against him and he is let off by the family.

This act of forgiveness succeeds where all else had failed. Mahavir Singh is able to appreciate his erroneous ways and is now out to make amends. He helps to free Anandi’s father and returns to him his plot of land. Along side he also gives back to the villagers all the plots of land that he had taken away. These small steps in the right direction might help him to salvage his lost soul. However Basant is not too eager to believe his father’s change of heart. To him these are all part of his plan to win back his son and hurt Maa-sa all over again. Has Mahavir Singh really changed for the better or is this another act that he is putting up, only time will tell.

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