Summary of The Lost Jewels by Rabindranath Tagore

Introduction:

In Rabindranath Tagore’s short story The Lost Jewels, Tagore allows the reader to consider the endless possible outcomes to his story and the message or central idea and theme that he imparts. The central idea is considered in the title and reveals the context of the poem. The central idea is a more direct interpretation than the theme which helps the reader understand the broader or universal appeal of the story. Tagore allows himself the ease of using many Hindi words like Ghat in the stories. The usual setting of his stories is a river ghat and a rural village; not to mention the middle people for it is obvious. He has a nerve to glorify his female character and make the males characters suffer in most of his work. A story is a hundred times its worth when the writer touches upon the internal world of the characters rather than just sticking to the externals. Tagore has this wonderful blend of characteristics with which he spins his yarns to mesmerize the reader. The Lost Jewels is no deviation from this trend. Being born in an enslaved British India he was skeptical and apprehensive of the Americanization sweeping the lengths and breadths of the country. The Lost Jewels merely serves as a surrogate though which he shoots his arrows of sarcasm.The inception of the story is typically Indian. The narrator comes and sits near the author (presumably). He was a sort of person who was bubbling with inquisitiveness right from the top to bottom. The sequence of questions and answers is again a typical Indian gossip.

Summary of The Lost Jewels:

Rabindranath Tagore’s story,  “The Lost Jewels,” incorporates a healthy dose of mysticism and mystery.On the proverbial dark, stormy night, a school teacher walking along a river encounters a man on a boat and engages him in conversation.  The mysterious stranger tells the teacher about the history of a nearby Gothic old dilapidated house that shows signs of having once been the domain of wealthy people.  The house, as described by the stranger, once belonged to a couple, Bhusan Saha and his wife, Mani.  A member’s Bengal’s elite, Bhusan and Mani live an isolated existence, surrounded by the trappings of wealth. Mani spends much of her time handling and admiring her jewels. A fire destroys one of Bhusan’s factories, leaving the couple destitute, with Mani jewels representing their sole remaining source of wealth.  Fearful of Bhusan’s desire to sell the jewels for much needed money, Mani chooses to protect them by wearing all of them at once, and promptly disappears.  Increasingly despondent, Bhusan descends into a virtual state of emotional paralysis, unable to function in the absence of his wife and his wealth.  The story reaches its climax when a ghost-like figure visits him one dark and stormy night and seizes the one final piece of jewelry that was still in the house and departs, leaving Bhusan alone and terrified..and However, as the schoolmaster finishes telling the story, there is darkness and silence all around and then he says that the gentleman apparently does not believe his story. When asked back whether he himself believed in the story just concluded, the schoolmaster replies that he does not because Dame Nature does not have the leisure to write stories, and secondly the gentleman in the boat interrupts to inform him that his own name is Phani Bhusan Saha. Without showing any embarrassment, the schoolmaster says that he had guessed that and wants to know the real name of Phani Bhusan’s wife. The answer is ‘Nritya Kali’. The whole game about names at the end of this story hinges on the false name the gentleman had given to the schoolmaster at the beginning of their conversation.


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Characters in The Lost Jewels:

Bhusan Saha- A very educated and modernized man. He was proper gentle man and also very rich as he inherited a large property and the business of his uncle. He spoke fluent English and conversed with the Britishers without any difficulty. He was so westernized that he entered the sahibs’ offices with his shoes on.He  had a beautiful wife. His ways of living were unnecessarily extravagant. And so were his gifts for his wife Mani (Nritya Kali). Bhusan was excessively possessive of Mani and altogether too submissive. he was a man that scarcely belonged to the century in which he was born. Bhusan foolishly have her thinking that the way to get is to give.

Mani- The beautiful wife of Bhushan Saha, a modern and well-educated businessman. Mani does not reciprocate her husband’s love.that she viewed her husband as a “machine” from which she obtained her fine clothes and jewels. But she did not show gratitude for such presents.Although being such a gifted woman she was an utter failure in her life. She had no children to look after save her jewelry which grew from year to year as though it were her very children! Feeding religious mendicants was not her way. She never gave any alms nor did she mix much with the neighbors. All that she cared for in her life was the jewelry.

Theme of The Lost Jewels:

“This a story of greed and it reflects on the
relationship between a husband and wife and their
loveless marriage.”
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 Solved Questions from The Lost Jewels:

1.Why did Bhusan’s wife, mani left her husband’s house?

Bhusan had brought his beautiful wife in a separated house from his birth place house.this lonely place made Mani very distressed. She had no one to love as she had no child. Bhusan could not spend time with Mani. He thought if he could give her costly jewels,she would love him. She began to think her husband as machine of turning costly things. In the lonely house she had been obsessed with he ornaments.and she got everything without feeling any hardship.she became very indifferent toward her husband’s business.suddenly a tangle occurred in Bhusan life and found it difficult to get credit from the market so he thought he would raise a loan but to get a loan the money lender would be bound to give some satisfactory security so he gently asked her wife if she would give him some jewels for a security to raise loan, as Mani had no consciousness on the family burdens she turned her face hard without a word. Bhusan felt hurt but did not force her as the other husband do.on such circumstances Mani consulted with his cousin and left her husband’s house.

2.Describe Bhusan Saha mental condition after his wife’s disappearance?

When Bhusan return home after raising loan from the market. He heard from the steward that Mani left home with her cousin but she did not reach in her father’s house. There were many attempts to find out them. Bhusan had been very obsessed for his wife. Then entered into a mental disorder. He began to think perhaps her wife had died plunging into the river water when Modhu forced to snatch away the ornaments. Yet he sat alone in his deserted room beside the window and hope that his Mani would come back. One night he dreamed as if a jingling sound of ornaments was coming out from the bathing ghat. He reached the door but could not open it because it was his dream. Next day Bhusan wanted to sleep but he did not and heard the same noise, he went in his sleep and the jingling sound entered the room. In his sleep he saw a skeleton  standing near his chair. He saw the skeleton wrapped with many kinds of ornaments all over its bony figure. And again it was a dream.

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