Maitreyi Cover
Author Mircea Eliade
Publication date 1933
Publication Order
Preceded by
Followed by

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This article contains plot details, read at your own risk.

The novel begins with Allan, a 24 year old British engineer who relocated himself in India according to his work contract.

Allan knows Maitreyi since he was working on Wellesley Street, the girl appealing as unattractive to him. He tells about Maitreyi to his friend Harold. She was the daughter of Narendra Sen, engineer from Calcutta. Allan meets a reporter, Lucien, with whom he often spends time. The two visit Narenda Sen and are fascinated by their house and family.

Narenda offers Allan a new job, telling him he was liked by his family.

In August, Aleen becomes ill of malaria, being visited at the hospital by Harold, Sen and Maitreyi. The engineer invites Allan to live in his house.

Allen is moving in Sen's house, his family being very caring towards him. Allan gets to know better Maitreyi and her sister Chabu, finding out many details about the Indian culture.

Maitreyi teaches Allan Bengali, and he teaches her French.

Allan enters for the first time in Maitreyi's room, having a talk with her. After he tells everyone about his intention not to ever get married, the atmosphere around Allan becomes cold for a little while, but in a short time Allan feels again encouraged by the same affection.

Soon Allan falls in Love with Maitreyi, thinking she loves him.

Allan meets Harold and asks him if the gossip of him marrying Maitreyi are true. Allan becomes jealous of anyone who makes her laugh. At dinner Allan was talking with a friend about different religions, Maitryi starting to cry. Later, the two hug, proving their love one for another. But Maitreyi is very modest and is afraid of the consequences of such a love.

Maitreyi advises Allan to move out of her house, telling him she loves Robi Thakkur. Later she admits she loves Allan, giving him a jasmine crown as a sign of engagement.

Maytreyi tells Allan about her other loves such as a tree and a young man. Allan wants to convert to Himduism in order to marry Maitreyi, being encouraged by Mrs. Sen. Chabu becomes very ill and Allan cancels his conversion as of Narenda's pain. Allan becomes jealous of the servants and quarrels with Maitreyi.

On her birthday, Mr. Sen invites many Indian artists and organizes a large party in which Allan is the host. During the party Chabu jump off the balcony, injuring herself and worrying everyone around. Allan and Maitreyi take her to the lakes at a walk, Chabu finding out about their love. Late night, when Allan wanted to go with Maitreyi again at the lakes, a servant tells him the car is in the garage, but she didn't want to leave the house. At the table, Mrs. Sen loos very hostile at Allan, but Allan was behaving very naturally. After the dinner, Maitreyi is locked in her room and Mrs. Sen tells everything to her husband. The two plighted lovers think about running away as not to let Maitreyi marry someone else. In the morning, Maitreyi didn't come to the library and Allan return to his room where he is visited by the engineer, who tell him he plans on having an eye surgery and will pass 2-3 months at the hospital, sending his family in Mindapur, advising him to take a vacation as well. He is invited at the table, but refuses and after the engineer left he starts to cry. Not long after, Lilu gives him a message from Maitreyi, telling him, she isn't allowed to see him. Later Mrs. Sen brings him some tea, Allan unsuccessfully asking her to stay longer in their house. Mr. Sen gives Allan a letter that was supposed to be given only after he left for the operation. In the letter Mr. Sen told Allan about his ingratitude and interdiction to contact any member of his family.

Allan arrives in Harold's house, seeing again his friend. Khokha bring him his stuff, telling Allan he was imprudent. Khokha gives him as well some reminders about the 2 sisters. Chabu was apologizing through a ticket, Allan finding out Maitreyi was beaten up by Mr. Sen and kept locked in her room naked as to be unable to leave the house. He finds out her family wants to marry her right after their return from Mindapur. Maitreyi calls Allan, this call being uncovered. Mr. Sen writes him a letter in which he threatens him with expatriation and the lost of his job. Allan is absent 4 days during which he was just promenading, finding everyone worried about him during his absence. Khokha tells him the family wanted to marry Maitreyi, but she threatened them in dishonoring the house, telling everyone, everything about her relation with Allan. As Mr. Sen was at his surgery, Mrs. Sen ordered Khokha and their driver to beat up Maitreyi, but Khokha ran away, and Chabu afterwards tried to commit suicide. Maitreyi sends Allan an oleander branch as a last reminder of her. Seven days after leaving Bhowanipore, Chabu dies.

Maitreyi sends Allan letters through Khokha. Allan finds out Mr. Sen's operation wasn't very successful, his rest being prolonged with 6 months, Maitreyi lost weight, refusing to marry as she thought Allan was still in Calcutta without the wish to see her. Mantu was fired as he was disrespectful towards Mrs. Sen, and now he lives poorly away from Lilu. Allan meets a woman that stays in the same bungalow as him. These two tell each other about their experiences, passing a night together.

Being poor, Allan is forgotten by his friends and by those he helped. Harold refuse to live with him, thinking Allan is idolatrous. Allan searches without any luck for a job, and refuses to meet Maitreyi that calls him very often. Allan falls in love with Geurtie, but he can't forget about Maitreyi. Allan quarrels with Harold and moves to live at Geurtie. He doesn't allow Khokha in, which tells him that Maitreyi is able to do anything just as to be expelled from the house and reunited with him. Mrs. Sen's nephew visits Allan one day, telling him Maytreyi gave herself to a fruit seller, but her father still won't expel her, wanting to make her a philosopher. As well, he tells Allan everyone found out about their love.

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