Do you like stories? I do. This week I am going to review three best stories I have ever read. My first story in the storytelling series is “The Price of Flowers”. The story has been written by Provatkumar Mukhopadhyay. He was a renowned Bengali Author. He was barrister and has also taught law at the University of Calcutta. He had travelled to many places in India. He has written many novels and stories.

The story is based around pre-Independence era when lot of Indians especially from wealthy families used to go to London for their studies.  The narrator of the story Mr. Gupta meets teenage English girl in a restaurant in London. This meeting turns out to be great friendship they shared during his stay in London.

The Girl’s name is Maggie. She lives with her mother in Lambeth. Narrator had a curiosity of knowing how poor lives in London. This curiosity takes him to their home. Her brother Frank is a soldier and posted in Punjab, India. The family in concerned as they haven’t heard from Frank quite a long time. They think India is very unsafe country to live in. They think the country is full of tigers, snakes and fevers. Still lot of people abroad thinks the same. I am amazed sometimes how unaware people could be about what’s happening in the world.  In the world of internet, I feel sorry for them as they can’t see our save tigers campaign, don’t read newspapers to know that we have successfully launched Mars Mission. The narrator in the story also laughs at their innocence and explains that it’s not true. To his surprise they produce a ring made of brass and glass that they call magical ring. That ring was given to Frank by a yogi in India and have fooled him by saying that anyone can look into ring and concentrate on a distant person, then former will be able to see what latter is doing. The narrator immediately understands that the ring is useless but didn’t want to break their hope. A very fine line has been used in the story to describe this thought. “I realized that superstition was not confined to India”

Whenever I read a story I pay attention to close details about the culture, basic things talked about in the story. This gives me a clear insight of what could have happened. Like in this story I was able to visualize the kind of house they lived in, the culture that was prevailing at that time in England. In the story Maggie is working as a typist. That’s how one can understands that during those days like 1930’s in London Teenage girls were able to find decent job. She was paid weekly. As the story progresses their friendship becomes strong. Mr. Gupta takes Maggie out to Zoo, theatre. The family still hasn’t heard from their son. Maggie’s mother falls ill and her only revival is news of her son. Maggie requests the narrator to lie by looking into the ring and tell her mother that Frank is alright. He do so only to realize a few days later that Frank was dead days before when he told the family about him being alive and okay.

In his last meeting Maggie gives a shilling (a unit of currency) which she had earned after so much hard work to Mr. Gupta to offer flowers for her brother’s grave in India. He leaves London with a heavy heart. The story leaves you emotionally.

The story is brilliantly written. Hats off to author. Its must read for everyone. I tried to search for the publication under which story might have been published. Sorry friends couldn’t find it. After so much effort I was able to find the actual story. Here is the link to the story!/pages/Review-and-Write-Up/1490367164521434?hc_location=timeline 
Let me know what you think about the story and review?
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Megha Gupta


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