“The Postmaster”

“So the traveller, borne on the breast of the swift-flowing river, consoled himself with philosophical reflections on the numberless meetings and partings going on in the world – on death, the great parting, from which none returns.

But Ratan had no philosophy.”

Tagore, Rabindranath. The Postmaster. Macmillan, 1918, page 169

Both, Ratan and the postmaster, have different perspectives on their separation. While the learned postmaster justifies his leaving Ratan through a tragic philosophy on life, one where death and parting are inevitabilities of life experienced by all, the uneducated Ratan continues to believe in the possibility, no matter how small, that the postmaster might return some day. At the end of the day, no matter how profound or simple each character’s self-consolations might be, they both desperately try to move on with their lonely lives, giving up the strong connection that they had felt in each other’s company.

The Postmaster; the Narrator & Ratan

” ‘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 … She called to mind a little brother that she had – and how on some bygone cloudy day she had played at fishing with him on the edge of the pond, with a twig for a make-believe fishing-rod. Such little incidents would drive out greater events from her mind.”

Tagore, Rabindranath. The Postmaster. Macmillan, 1918, page 161.