Indian literature is a treasured collection of stories, novels, poetry and essays. Indian stories are still the best collection of Indian literature as they reflect the lives of the people in the most realistic way. The Indian short stories are thus the most enamouring part of the Indian stories. Some of the best Indian short stories are discussed below:
#1 ‘Girls’ by Mrinal Pandey
‘Girls’ by Mrinal Pandey is a socially relevant and vocal short story that is centered on the theme of oppression of girls in certain sections of the Indian society. The story is narrated from the point of view of an unnamed girl who is unwilling to accept herself as a “nuisance”. She registers her protest by refusing to give in to the hypocrisy of the patriarchal and male dominated society which worships women as goddesses on the one hand, while demeaning them continually in reality.
The story is relevant in the present context of changing scenarios of gender discrimination and the perpetual belief of sexism that exists in our society. It reminds us that there are still many sections of society where the fight and the struggle for gender equality is still in its nascent stages.
#’The Tiger in the Tunnel’ by Ruskin Bond
‘The Tiger in the Tunnel’ by Ruskin Bond is a touching story of the extraordinary courage and responsibility of an ordinary man. It tells the story of Baldeo, a signalman at a small station, who dies ferociously fighting with the deadly tiger. The same responsibility now falls on Tembu, the eight-year old son of Baldeo. Tembu has little time to mourn and grieve for his father’s death for he has to earn a living for supporting his family. Thus, life goes on, uninterrupted by the great tragedies that befall in our lives. This story endeavours to knock on the conscience of people who grumble about their life and attempts to teach us an important lesson of life that it goes on.
#’The Postmaster’ by Rabindranath Tagore
‘The Postmaster’ by Rabindranath Tagore is a touching and wonderfully poignant story of human relationships. It narrates the plight of a young girl Ratan who becomes emotionally attached to the Postmaster whom she serves as the domestic help. This orphaned girl begins to look on him as an elder brother, but alas this bond proves tragic for her naively affectionate heart.
When the postmaster resigns his job and decides to leave, due to lack of adaptability, young Ratan is left alone and in solitary to pine away. Set at a time when society was not prepared to accept relationships that had no conventional name or ties of kinship, the beautiful relationship of Ratan and her dadababu is destined to end abruptly. Nevertheless, the innocent love and affection of Ratan, and her heartrending loneliness cannot fail to touch a chord in every reader’s mind and heart.
# ‘An Astrologer’s Day’ by R.K Narayan
‘An Astrologer’s Day’ by R.K Narayan is a fictional story of suspense, thrill and human psychology. It shows how the wits, power of observation and insight into the human mind can work wonders for a man who is not professionally trained to be an astrologer.
The story is set against the backdrop of an evening when the protagonist (the astrologer) prepares to leave for home after his day’s work, but is accidentally met and stopped by a special customer who wishes to get his future predicted by the astrologer. His interaction with his last customer and the consequences of that, forms the climax of the story. It is surely one of the best Indian short story which wraps suspense in the most enthralling way.
#’The Cleft’ by Prajwal Parajuly
‘The Cleft’ by Prajwal Parajuly is the first story in his collection of eight stories named ‘The Gurkha’s Daughter’. The story is centered around the domestic helper Kaali. The system of domestic helper, which is assumed to be that of slavery and bondage is targeted in this story. Unfortunately Kaali is born with a deformation in her face, yet that does not stop her from dreaming big of a life in the Bollywood. The author has smartly used the character of Kaali and her cleft to highlight the caste problems and prejudices prevalant in the Indian society, despite of the advancement and progress in the technical and social fields.
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