Monday, May 4, 2020

The Postmaster by Rabindranath Tagore Summary


The Postmaster

by Rabindranath Tagore Summary

This is a story of human connection and heat found within the unlikeliest of places. The story revolves around an old postmaster who hails from Calcutta under British rule. Coming from the large city, he likes to read and write poetry. he's a touch antisocial and finds it hard to make friendships
One day, he's commanded to travel to a foreign village and run the post office within the area. he's nervous and anxious about getting to a foreign place but follows the orders. Once, he reaches the place, he finds hard to regulate to its life.
The village features a big factory with most of the village men employed in it. These workers are of less literate and refined outlook and therefore the Postmaster finds it hard to regulate to their vulgar means.
Even though he loves poetry, he feels uninspired to write down even a couple of lines. However, in his solitude, there's one one that he establishes a reference to . it's Ratan, a lass who does his daily household chores.
Every evening he enjoys the conversation and company of the young maid. He enquires about her family and residential and reciprocally , shares his memories and sadness. This creates a relationship between mentorship and guidance between the 2 .
One day while enjoying the bounties of the village scene, the postmaster asks Ratan if she would really like to find out the way to read and write. She agrees with delight. She gradually learns the way to read and write the language and slowly gets better at it.
However, like everything in life, there comes a parting of the way for the too. The postmaster runs into health problems and gets tired of his life within the village. As a final resort, he gives up his job and decides to return home to Calcutta.

Ratan learns about this and tries to influence him to require her with him. However, the postmaster realizes the predicament of his own life and therefore the lifetime of the large city, so he declines.

The postmaster leaves and Ratan is crestfallen. However, she is optimistic and hopeful of his return and perseveres in his wait. The wait is however painful and futile as he never returns to the village or to his young friend Ratan.

the postmaster, the postmaster by rabindranath tagore, the postmaster summary

The postmaster first took up his duties within the village of Ulapur. Though the village was alittle one, there was an indigo factory nearby, and therefore the proprietor, an Englishman, had managed to urge a post office established.
Our postmaster belonged to Calcutta. He felt sort of a fish out of water during this remote village. His office and living-room were during a dark thatched shed, shortly from a green, slimy pond, surrounded on all sides by a dense growth.
The men employed within the indigo factory had no leisure; moreover, they were hardly desirable companions for decent folk. neither is a Calcutta boy an adept within the art of associating with others. Among strangers he appears either proud or ill comfortable . At any rate, the postmaster had but little company; nor had he much to try to to .
At times he tried his hand at writing a verse or two. That the movement of the leaves and therefore the clouds of the sky were enough to fill life with joy—such were the emotions to which he sought to offer expression. But God knows that the poor fellow would have felt it because the gift of a replacement life, if some genie of the Arabian Nights' Entertainment had in one night caught in a frenzy the trees, leaves and every one , and replaced them with a macadamized road, hiding the clouds from view with rows of tall houses.
The postmaster's salary was small. He had to cook his own meals, which he wont to share with Ratan, an orphan girl of the village, who did odd jobs for him.
When within the evening the smoke began to twist up from the village cowsheds, and therefore the cicalas chirped in every bush; when the mendicants of the Baül sect sang their shrill songs in their daily meeting-place, when any poet, who had attempted to observe the movement of the leaves within the dense bamboo thickets, would have felt a ghostly shiver run down his back, the postmaster would light his little lamp, and call out "Ratan."
Ratan would sit outside expecting this call, and, rather than coming in directly , would reply, 

"Did you call me, sir?"

"What are you doing?" the postmaster would ask.

"I must be getting to light the kitchen fire," would be the solution .

And the postmaster would say: "Oh, let the kitchen fire be for awhile; light me my pipe first."
At last Ratan would enter, with puffed-out cheeks, vigorously blowing into a flame a live coal to light the tobacco. this is able to give the postmaster a chance of conversing. "Well, Ratan," perhaps he would begin, "do you remember anything of your mother?" That was a fertile subject. Ratan partly remembered, and partly didn't. Her father had been fonder of her than her mother; him she recollected more vividly. He wont to click within the evening after his work, and one or two evenings stood out more clearly than others, like pictures in her memory. Ratan would sit on the ground near the postmaster's feet, as memories crowded in upon her. She called to mind a touch brother that she had—and how on some bygone cloudy day she had played at fishing with him on the sting of the pond, with a twig for a make-believe fishing-rod. Such little incidents would drive out greater events from her mind. Thus, as they talked, it might often get very late, and therefore the postmaster would feel too lazy to try to to any cooking in the least . Ratan would then hastily light the hearth , and toast some matzo , which, with the cold remnants of the morning meal, was enough for his or her supper.
On some evenings, seated at his desk within the corner of the large empty shed, the postmaster too would call up memories of his house , of his mother and his sister, of these for whom in his exile his heart was sad,—memories which were always haunting him, but which he couldn't mention with the lads of the factory, though he found himself naturally recalling them aloud within the presence of the straightforward female child . then it happened that the girl would allude to his people as mother, brother, and sister, as if she had known all of them her life. In fact, she had an entire picture of every one among them painted in her little heart.
One noon, during an opportunity within the rains, there was a cool soft breeze blowing; the smell of the damp grass and leaves within the hot sun felt just like the warm breathing of the tired earth on one's body. A persistent bird went on all the afternoon repeating the burden of its one complaint in Nature's audience chamber.
The postmaster had nothing to try to to . The shimmer of the freshly washed leaves, and therefore the refore the banked-up remnants of the retreating rain-clouds were sights to see; and therefore the postmaster was watching them and thinking to himself: "Oh, if just some kindred soul were near—just one loving person whom I could hold near my heart!" This was exactly, he went on to think, what that bird was trying to mention , and it had been an equivalent feeling which the murmuring leaves were striving to precise . But nobody knows, or would believe, that such a thought may additionally take possession of an ill-paid village postmaster within the deep, silent mid-day interval of his work.
The postmaster sighed, and called out "Ratan." Ratan was then sprawling beneath the guava-tree, busily engaged in eating unripe guavas. At the voice of her master, she ran up breathlessly, saying: "Were you calling me, Dada?" "I was thinking," said the postmaster, "of teaching you to read." then for the remainder of the afternoon he taught her the alphabet.
Thus, during a very short time, Ratan had got as far because the double consonants.
It seemed as if the showers of the season would never end. Canals, ditches, and hollows were all overflowing with water. Day and night the patter of rain was heard, and therefore the croaking of frogs. The village roads became impassable, and marketing had to be wiped out punts.
One heavily clouded morning, the postmaster's little pupil had been long waiting outside the door for her call, but, not hearing it as was common , she took up her dog-eared book, and slowly entered the space . She found her master stretched on his bed, and, thinking that he was resting, she was close to retire on tip-toe, when she suddenly heard her name—"Ratan!" She turned directly and asked: "Were you sleeping, Dada?" The postmaster during a plaintive voice said: "I am not well. Feel my head; is it very hot?"
In the loneliness of his exile, and within the gloom of the rains, his ailing body needed a touch tender nursing. He longed to recollect the touch on the forehead of sentimental hands with tinkling bracelets, to imagine the presence of loving womanhood, the nearness of mother and sister. and therefore the exile wasn't disappointed. Ratan ceased to be a touch girl. She directly stepped into the post of mother, called within the village doctor, gave the patient his pills at the right intervals, sat up all night by his pillow, cooked his gruel for him, and each now then asked: "Are you feeling a touch better, Dada?"

It was a while before the postmaster, with weakened body, was ready to leave his sick-bed. "No more of this," said he with decision. "I must get a transfer." He directly wrote off to Calcutta an application for a transfer, on the bottom of the unhealthiness of the place.
Relieved from her duties as nurse, Ratan again took up her old place outside the door. But she not heard an equivalent old call. She would sometimes peep inside furtively to seek out the postmaster sitting on his chair, or stretched on his bed, and staring absent-mindedly into the air. While Ratan was awaiting her call, the postmaster was awaiting a reply to his application. The girl read her old lessons over and once again ,—her great fear was lest, when the decision came, she could be found wanting within the double consonants. At last, after every week , the decision did come one evening. With an overflowing heart Ratan rushed into the space with her—

"Were you calling me, Dada?"
The postmaster said: "I am departure to-morrow, Ratan."

"Where are you going, Dada?"

"I am going home."

"When will you come back?"

"I am not returning ."

Ratan asked no other question. The postmaster, of his own accord, went on to inform her that his application for a transfer had been rejected, so he had resigned his post and was going home.
For an extended time neither of them spoke another word. The lamp went on dimly burning, and from a leak in one corner of the thatch water dripped steadily into an earthen vessel on the ground beneath it.
After a short time Ratan rose, and went off to the kitchen to organize the meal; but she wasn't so quick about it as on other days. Many new things to consider had entered her little brain. When the postmaster had finished his supper, the girl suddenly asked him: "Dada, will you're taking me to your home?"
The postmaster laughed. "What an idea!" said he; but he didn't think it necessary to elucidate to the girl wherein lay the absurdity.
That whole night, in her waking and in her dreams, the postmaster's laughing reply haunted her—"What an idea!"

On getting up within the morning, the postmaster found his bath ready. He had stuck to his Calcutta habit of bathing in water drawn and kept in pitchers, rather than taking a plunge within the river as was the custom of the village. for a few reason or other, the girl couldn't ask him about the time of his departure, so she had fetched the water from the river long before sunrise, that it should be ready as early as he might want it. After the bathtub came a involve Ratan. She entered noiselessly, and looked silently into her master's face for orders. The master said: "You needn't worry about my departure , Ratan; I shall tell my successor to seem after you." These words were kindly meant, no doubt: but inscrutable are the ways of a woman's heart!

Ratan had borne many an scolding from her master without complaint, but these kind words she couldn't bear. She burst out weeping, and said: "No, no, you would like not tell anybody anything in the least about me; i do not want to remain on here."
The postmaster was dumbfounded. He had never seen Ratan like this before.
The new incumbent duly arrived, and the postmaster, having given over charge, prepared to depart. Just before starting he called Ratan and said: "Here are some things for you; I hope it'll keep you for a few little time." He brought out from his pocket the entire of his month's salary, retaining only a bit for his travelling expenses. Then Ratan fell at his feet and cried: "Oh, Dada, I pray you, don't give me anything, don't in any way trouble about me," then she ran away out of sight.

The postmaster heaved a sigh, took up his carpet bag, put his umbrella over his shoulder, and, amid a person carrying his many-coloured tin trunk, he slowly made for the boat.
When he came and therefore the boat was under way, and therefore the rain-swollen river, sort of a stream of tears welling up from the world , swirled and sobbed at her bows, then he felt a pain at heart; the grief-stricken face of a village girl appeared to represent for him the good unspoken pervading grief of Mother Earth herself. At just one occasion he had an impulse to travel back, and convey away along side him that lonesome waif, forsaken of the planet . But the wind had just filled the sails, the boat had got well into the center of the turbulent current, and already the village was left behind, and its outlying burning-ground came in view .

So the traveller, borne on the breast of the swift-flowing river, consoled himself with philosophical reflections on the numberless meetings and partings happening within the world—on death, the good parting, from which none returns.
But Ratan had no philosophy. She was wandering about the post office during a flood of tears. it's going to be that she had still a lurking hope in some corner of her heart that her Dada would return, which is why she couldn't tear herself away. Alas for our foolish human nature! Its fond mistakes are persistent. The dictates of reason take an extended time to say their own sway. The surest proofs meanwhile are disbelieved. False hope is clung to with all one's might and main, till each day comes when it's sucked the guts dry and it forcibly breaks through its bonds and departs. then comes the misery of awakening, then once more the longing to urge back to the maze of an equivalent mistakes.

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