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‘The Night Train at Deoli’ by Ruskin Bond is a story of juvenilely extravagant passion exhibiting unbridled obligation of the protagonist endowed with great sensitivity. Love is an emotion interlaced with a web of perplexing components that is very difficult to unravel. Infatuation lacks depth of love, and it is based on appearance and selfish desire. True love is based on commitment, understanding and entering into another’s feelings, and compassion. In this short story, Ruskin Bond recounts his teenage experience during one of his train journeys to Dehra.
He tells us that he used to spend his vacation every summer in his grandmother’s place in Dehra and had to pass a small lonely station, Deoli amidst the jungle on the way. This station appeared strange to him as no one got on or off the train there & nothing seemed to happen there. He wondered why the train stopped there for ten minutes regularly without reason and felt sorry for the lonely little platform.
Juvenile love is based on appearance; it is distinctly reflected when the author expresses his feelings for the girl at first sight. On his journey to Dehra, the author happens to see a pale-looking girl selling baskets. She appears to be poor, but with grace and dignity. Her shiny black hair and dark, troubled eyes attracts the author. The girl offers to sell baskets to him. He initially refuses to buy and later when she insists, happens to buy one with a little hesitation, daring not to touch her fingers while taking the basket from her hand.
Both of them just look at each other for quite some time, just as it strikes a chord of affection between them.
He longs to see her, her searching and eloquent eyes, again on his return journey. The meeting helps to break the monotony of his journey & brings in a sense of attachment & responsibility towards the girl. Fondness is a kind of feelings of affection or love. Here, in the story, the author’s fondness for the girl was unreasoning. Generally, fondness for anything in particular drives a man to be gradually desperate for achieving the thing the person is fond of. But, here author’s fondness for the girl is somewhat imaginative, and the writer shows that he is unwilling to discover what has happened with the girl. He does not want to proceed with an enquiry into the cause of absence of the girl, but instead he decides against going into the village adjoining the station to know the truth. Though, apparently, it looks like an infatuation, yet the writer’s feelings for the girl comes out as selfish desire as he wants to live with his imagination only, and the writer apprehends to get hit with a bare reality. True love seems to be absent in a relation that is not based on commitment, and there was no sign of responsibility shown from the narrator’s part. – See more at: http://aidtoed.blogspot.in/2012/12/isc-english-literature-2013-night-train_12.html#sthash.oI4KPBc7.dpuf
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