Mashi, Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
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Mashi is a short story by Rabindranath Tagore. Old Mashi lives with her dying nephew Jotin in what used to be her house, and she is tending to him. His young wife Mani is there too, but she does not care for Jotin and does not visit his sick room.


Rabindranath Tagore



‘Try to sleep, Jotin, it is getting late.’

‘Never mind if it is. I have not many days left. I was thinking that Mani should go to her father’s house. — I forget where he is now.’


‘Oh yes! Sitarampur. Send her there. She should not remain any longer near a sick man. She herself is not strong.’

‘Just listen to him! How can she bear to leave you in this state?’

‘Does she know what the doctors — ?’

‘But she can see for herself! The other day she cried her eyes out at the merest hint of having to go to her father’s house.’

We must explain that in this statement there was a slight distortion of truth, to say the least of it. The actual talk with Mani was as follows: —

‘I suppose, my child, you have got some news from your father? I thought I saw your cousin Anath here.’

‘Yes! Next Friday will be my little sister’s annaprashan ceremony. So I’m thinking — ’

‘All right, my dear. Send her a gold necklace. It will please your mother.’

‘I’m thinking of going myself. I’ve never seen my little sister, and I want to ever so much.’

‘Whatever do you mean? You surely don’t think of leaving Jotin alone? Haven’t you heard what the doctor says about him?’

‘But he said that just now there’s no special cause for — ’

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