Storytelling - 3

Dear Friends,

I am back with final story in Storytelling series.

Malgudi days has been one of my favorite story collection. Among all stories of the book I am ardent fan of the story “The Missing Mail”. This book has been written by R. K. Narayan.

The story is based on Thanappa (Postman of Malgudi) and his relations with people of the town whose letters he delivers. The story is based on the No phone era in India that’s what I call. People use to write letters send telegrams when something was urgent. I remember that when I was kid my maternal grandfather used to send yellow postcards or inland letters to my mother. He wasn’t strong believer of using telephone. When I asked him, he said that using telephones don’t keep people emotionally connected. At that time I didn’t like his thought, today I will say that he was right. Letters can keep even distant relatives closer instead of phone. I will say life in those days was simple with difficult means and now it’s just the opposite.

In the story, Thanappa will read out letters to people, celebrates with them when there is good news, and gets sad with any bad news. Among all he is deeply connected with Ramanujan and his family. He is elated when Ramanujan’s daughter Kamakshi is born. He treats her like his own daughter, plays with the child and jokes that she will be post mistress one day.  

Time progresses in the story and Kamakshi is now seventeen. She is only child of Ramanujan. Her uncle who is elder brother of Ramanujan has kept five thousand rupees aside for Kamakshi’s marriage.  Her father, Ramanujan is in search of perfect match for her. Sometimes horoscope doesn’t match or any other reason, father remains tensed for her marriage. Seeing all this Kamakshi gets sad. Finally the family is able to find suitable match for Kamakshi with the help of Thanappa. But the condition is that the wedding has to happen on 20th of the month, otherwise groom won’t be able to marry for next two years as he has to go on training.

The wedding ceremonies are going on. A letter arrives at post office where Thanappa works. The letter is from Ramanujan’s brother. Thanappa reads the letter. Health condition of Kamakshi’s uncle is worse. It’s only four days to wedding and a telegram arrives at post office with death news of Ramanujan’s brother. Thanappa hides the letter and telegram. There at the wedding Ramanujan is waiting for his brother. He thinks why his brother hasn’t come for the wedding.

Thanappa reveals the secret once wedding is over that he hides the news to prevent cancellation of wedding. He knew that Ramanujan will cancel the wedding after hearing the news. If wedding were to cancel, Kamakshi will be very sad. He says sorry to Ramanujan for all and is ready to accept any punishment. The story ends with leaving Ramanujan in deep thoughts. The story is based on unconditional relationship of Thanappa with Ramanujan’s Family.

The story is must read. In fact all stories of Malgudi days are worth reading. You can also gift the book to any age group.

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Also you can watch the episode here

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Megha Gupta


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