The Letter by Dhumaketu

The letter is a short story by Dhumaketu ( 1892- 1965) who was a well-known Gujrati short story writer of his generation.  It introduces us to an old man who comes daily to the post office and waits for a letter. As the story unfolds, the old man is coachman Ali who has been waiting for the past five years to receive a letter from his married daughter Miriam.  The people at the post office make fun of him and do not understand the anxiety and hope that the old man carries with him daily as he comes to post office. For Ali, the post office becomes a site of pilgrimage.  Time comes when Ali is too old to come to the post office daily and he implores the post master that whenever the letter arrives, it should be sent to Ali’s grave. The postmaster is unable to empathize with Ali’s situation till a similar situation befalls him. Ali is dead when a letter from Miriam arrives.

The story has been translated by the author and uses simple language. The stress is on working on the emotions rather than on decorating words and the idea is to bring to light the pain and hope that the silence of a loved one causes to a father.

 

2 comments

  1. Kanchanamala Sundar Jul, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I wish to read the thematic analysis

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