Pirzada Came To Dine

Decent Essays
Shukumar’s nutritionally and psychically consumptive and exhaustive presence and practices”. (Williams 72) Jhumpa Lahiri’s second story “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine” presents the relationship between an Indian family and their friend Mr. Pirzada, a Bangladeshi migrant. The narrator of the story is a ten year old girl Lilia who is not aware of the history of the Indian subcontinent related to freedom struggle, civil war of East Pakistani etc. We see that Mr. Pirzada, Lilia’s father and mother take dinner with one another while at the same time they listen to the evening news. Though they are now in America but they want to know what is going on in their native places. It shows their longings for their respective countries though they are…show more content…
They look like Indians as it is obvious because of their Indian roots, but they have dressed themselves in an American way. The way Mr. and Mrs. Das handle their children, clearly shows their American life style with which somewhere in their unconscious mind, they are struggling. In a way, we can say that in the story, Jhumpa Lahiri has presented Mr. Kapasi as an epitome of the Indian culture while on the other hand Das family is presenting the American way of life. Though Mr. Kapasi, the title character, finds an affinity with Mrs. Das but the gap between them can’t be ignored. Mr. Kapasi finds it quite strange and different from the Indian tradition when Mr. Das ask his daughter about Mrs. Das by calling her first name- “Mr. Kapasi found it strange that Mr. Das should refer to his wife by her first name when speaking to the little girl” (45). Further in the story when children see the monkeys, they get excited and shout by referring to them as ‘monkeys’. But Mr. Kapasi tells them- “we call them Hanuman. They are quite common in the area.” (47). Here Jhumpa Lahiri presents the religious aspects with which Indians especially Hindus consider monkeys as a symbol of God Hanuman while for an American or European it is just a common monkey. Even when the children indicate that the driver is sitting on the wrong side of the car, presents a sharp contrast with America. In…show more content…
and Mrs. Das that is completely different from the life of Indian husband and wife. In India, we see that husband and wife don’t express their emotions for each other but in it doesn’t mean they don’t have the emotions or feelings. Though they don’t express themselves apparently, but they keep a strong intimacy, attachment for each other which is beyond the limitation. But in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Das, we see that they are quite frank, behave with their children like an elder brother and sister, not like parents. On the apparent level they have great intimacy but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that they lack the emotional attachment especially from the side of Mrs. Das as she is suffering from a guilt consciousness with which Mr. Das is completely unaware of. She even finds Mr. Kapasi as a suitable person to talk about her past instead of her husband. Interestingly enough, the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Das was not an arrange marriage, rather Mrs. Das had fallen in love with Mr. Das at a young age and later they got married with the permission of their respective families but it can’t be called a typical arranged marriage. Even Mrs. Das frankly talks to Mr. Kapasi about her sexual relation with Mr. Das. This was quite unusual for a person like Mr. Kapasi, who has never seen his wife naked. Even he does not approve the infidelity which Mrs. Das has committed though his own marriage was not a happy
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