Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Analysis of Mulk Raj Anand's Two Leaves and a Bud

              Mulk Raj Anand's third novel Two Leaves and a Bud is the story of a coolie, named Ganju, and his family who were forced to leave their house and premises in Hoshiarpur district of Amritsar. Buta, an agent of tea planters, appeared in front of them as a savior and promised them money, land and security in the distant Macpherson Tea estate in Assam. Ganju ,with his wounded honour, believed everything Buta said and left for Macpherson tea plantation in Assam with his wife Sajani and children Leila and Buddhu.

Anand portrays the miserable condition of coolies in the tea plantation and how are they trapped by the planters. Before long, Ganju realises that the greedy money lenders of his village (who took his house and premises because his younger brother had mortgaged them) and the planters and agents are all the same. Here Anand points at the double suppression coolies experienced in the hands of indians as well as Europeans. Though all the three of them worked hard, they were paid barely eight annas a day. Once in a week, they visited the market to buy essentials, where the merchants sold things at an exorbitant rate that made things worse. Ganju who dreamt of a house and land, was living in a tin-roofed shed and little he got as possessions. Besides, the coolies were not provided with adequate water supply and sanitation facilities which made them vulnerable to dreadful diseases. That's how Ganju's wife Sajani was affected by malaria and died. in order to give her proper funeral, he visited the chief planter, Mr. Croft Cooke, and requested for a loan. Mr. Croft Cooke, mortally afraid of malaria and cholera, was terribly angry to see Ganju  at his doorsteps and kicked him out of his bungalow.

In this hopeless world of tea estate, Ganju met Dr. John De La Havre, a sympathiser of the downtrodden. Dr. Havre enquired about his health and promised to get him some land and gave him money needed for the last rites of his wife. In the meanwhile, Ganju got a piece od land and his hopes rose to the hights...

A few days later, the calm atmosphere of the estate was broken when two coolie women sparked off a quarrel which eventually turned to curses and beatings. Things took an unexpected turn when the assistant planter Mr. Reggie Hunt, a ruthless exploiter and womaniser,appeared with his men at the sight and beat the coolies blue. In the process , one coolie died and several were wounded. The hurt mob marched to the house of Dr. Havre, praising his philanthropic activities, to get the wounded attended by the doctor. Dr. Havre was surprised to see that these vioceless coolies were able to stnad in a march. He was tempted to lead them towards the bungalow of Mr. Crooft Cooke. After the treatment, Dr. Havre directed the mob to go to the bungalow of the chief planter and demad justice. At the bungalow, they were not allowed to air their woes and were threatened by the planters.

Though the coolies were dispersed at the time being, the planters were shocked to see the mob and feared riot. All of them, including Mr. Croft Cooke, Reggie Hunt, Macara, Hitchcock etc... took refuge in the club and tried to get military support in case of emergency. Dr. Havre consoled and led the people which resulted in his dismissal from the colonial service.

A few days later, lured by the loveliness of Leila, Reggie Hunt chased and attempted to assault her. Ganju was hert broken to see his daughter suffer and tried to stop Reggie who shot him dead. later, Reggie was brought to the court and was acquitted of any crime.


  1. It is nice. It would be of much help if you kindly suggest me where to find the original text of Anand's 'Two Leaves and a Bud'. Sabuj Sarkar. Mail at:

  2. Nice one..
    One protest against Reggie like character