Theme Of Interpreter Of Maladies By Jhumpa Lahiri

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The present study is based on the idea of displacement as the major theme of the selected short stories of Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Interpreter of maladies”. The book contains nine short stories and each one of them deals with the question of identity, alienation, and plight of those who are physically and psychologically displaced. But I would like to limit my studies to the three short stories from the collection viz. “When Mr. Pirzada came to dine”, Interpreter of Maladies”, and “Mrs. Sen’s”. The migration has become one of the most important issues of the contemporary world. Jhumpa Lahiri is also a diasporic writer like Salman Rushdie, V.S Naipaul and Bharati Mukherjee. The characters in the prescribed stories are citizens of more than one country…show more content…
In order to overcome one’s malady, one has to interpret it at first. Mina Das also suffers from a malady. Her malady is deep-rooted and she had been suffering from it since seven years. For the first time in her life, she reveals to Mr.Kapasi that her younger son Bobby was not her husband’s. Raj and Mina got married very young. She was overwhelmed when she conceived very early. She spent her days in her house, nursing the baby and taking care of the house. Raj became very busy with his teaching assignments and life became dull and drab for Mina. Her problems became more complicated when she conceived Bobby because of a sexual encounter with one of Raj’s friend. She kept the secret for eight years and finally revealed it to Mr. Kapasi. She thought that Mr.Kapasi is the right one who could interpret her malady and give proper solutions to her problems- “Eight years, Mr.Kapasi, I’ve been in pain eight years. I was hoping you could help me feel better, say the right thing. Suggest some kind of remedy.” (IOM,65). Mr.Kapasi, because of his typical Indian background and patriarchal ideology could not understand the depth of her problem. Instead he was disgusted. He felt that it was his duty to assist Mrs.Das and said- “Is it really pain you feel, Mrs.Das, or is it guilt?”(IOM,66) Mina Das was not ready to accept that it was her guilt that made her suffer. Mr.kapasi could not understand the fact that it was because of her unhappiness and dullness in her marriage that caused her to have an extra-marital sexual relationship. He considers it as an act of unfaithfulness towards her husband. In the story, Jhumpa Lahiri shows how the Indians and Americans are caught in the middle of two different cultures. Mr.Kapasi wanted to have a close relationship with Mrs.Das, he fantasized about her. But as soon as, he came to know about her secrets of the affair, Mr.Kapasi was disgusted. Mr.kapasi’s relationship
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