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The Missing Mail: Analysis

The story belongs to the imaginary town of Malgudi where lives Ramanujam, a senior clerk in Revenue Department, and lives Thanappa , the postman of the town who is a very caring and compassionate person. He is the most awaited guy for everyone because he is the man, who brings them their letters with the news of various moods and reads them aloud if needed. Thanappa takes sincere and genuine interest in the welfare of every resident of Malgudi and always tends to deliver them their letters with the coating of his own views, comments and advice of which nobody seems to feel otherwise. Thanappa too is quite free and comfortable with everyone and spends substantial time while he stops at their doorstep to deliver the post and that is why he takes nearly six hours to finish the round of his small beat which covers Vinayak Mudali Street and its four parallel roads.

Ramanujam is worried about his daughter Kamakshi's marriage. His father in law doubles his trouble by showing his displeasure on this matter through the constant shower of letters that he is not applying full force to find out a suitable match for Kamakshi. He has promised Ramanujam to give five thousand rupees for the purpose to lend him financial support. But despite his sincere efforts he has been unable to find a good match. Thanappa is well associated with the family of Ramanujam from the time when Kamakshi was born in her Grand father's village and at that time it was Thanappa only who had brought the good news to Ramanujam. Thanappa is like a family member and he too is equally concerned for Kamakshi. He feels sorry for Kamakshi that people reject her on petty pretexts like the horoscope doesn't match, the looks of the girl are not good and other times their demand for dowry is too high. Thanappa consoles frustrated Ramanujam and promises him to bring the horoscope of a Delhi based boy from Makunda of Temple Street whose daughter's matrimonial proposal was dropped due to money matters with this party. The efforts of Thanappa are realized and the groom's parents ask Ramanujam to bring Kamakshi to Madras for their approval. Ramanujam's wife and mother disagree with Ramanujam who wants to take Kamakshi to Madras to meet the boy's family. Thanappa counsels them wisely that what one cannot achieve by a year's correspondence one can do in an hour's meeting.

With God's grace the marriage is settled and Ramanujam is nervous as the boy's family is insisting to perform the function on coming 20th May which is the nearest and last auspicious date for the purpose. If the date is missed the marriage will have to be postponed for three years as the boy has to go away for some training. Thanappa boosts the morale of Ramanujam. He reminds him that Kamakshi"s grandfather has sent him five thousand rupees as had promised so his biggest problem is solved. Thanappa cuts short his habit of gossiping while distributing the post and devotes rest of his time to help Ramanujam in full swing to make arrangements for the marriage of Kamakshi. Ramanujam is still nervous that some hindrance might come his way on the last moment and if so happens he would be ruined forever as 20th May is the last auspicious date for the marriage. Thanappa cheers him up and infuses confidence in him.

The wedding is solemnized decently on the fixed date. Everyone is happy .Thanappa meets and admires the groom with folded hands and gives him a bundle of greetings from his well wishers. After ten days Thanappa comes again and hands over a letter to Kamakshi from her husband. She is happy and shies away at his jokes.

On a holiday, when he is sure that Ramanujam would be at home Thanappa hands him a card carrying the news of serious illness of Ramanujam's uncle. Ramanujam is upset and wants to go to Salem immediately to attend his uncle. Thanappa now hands over a telegram to him with the sad news of his uncle's death. The telegram bears the date of 20th May, the date when the marriage of Kamakshi was being held in Ramanujam's house.

Ramanujam is infuriated but Thanappa confesses his guilt and asks Ramanujam to make a complaint against him for which he might be dismissed as well. Ramanujam restrains himself and forgives him although he feels that Thanappa has done something grossly wrong.

The story 'The Missing Mail' is a mirror of the society of that era. It belongs to the first half of the last century. It tells us vividly about the life and psyche of the people of small town for whom the human relationship is always of top priority. The postman is concerned for the marriage of Kamakshi as she is his own daughter. He takes the unpardonable liberty to hide the telegram of the death of Ramanujam's uncle so that the wedding ceremony of Kamakshi is solemnized peacefully. This gives a human touch to the story. The simplicity of the characters of the story touches the hearts of the readers. It presents a sharp contrast of those times from the modern times.

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21 March 2013 at 02:29

Good Work! :D

27 August 2018 at 02:34


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