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The Grass Eaters is a short story written by Krishnan Varma that took place in Calcutta, India in 1985. The author wrote about Ajit Babu and his wife Swapna, a couple left their home city running from the war between Muslims and Hindus.
The poor family is struggling to find a better place to live secure and stable and suffering to survive on the poor pension they gets. Ajit Babu’s family had a lot of difficulties to find a better place to live running from a war between Muslims and Hindus.
First, when they came to Calcutta they had no place to stay. The couple were looking for more stable, more secure and more private home, therefore they were forced to live in a different places starting from a very crowded foot path “if you got up at night to relieve yourself you could not be sure of finding your place again” p167, moving to an abandoned wagon at the railway terminus and ending in an old pipe.
Ajit Babu is an optimist person who always sees the bright side. Thus, he still happy with his life despite of loosing his four children and living a miserable life.
Motivated by his pregnant wife Ajit Babu was searching for better place to live in order to provide stability, security, privacy and comfort. Ajit Babu is a retired teacher and his wife does not work, the pension they get from the government is not enough for anything.Theycannot even fulfill the daily basic needs.
Therefore, they are trying to economize the money; they are feeding on boiled grass mixed with spices instead of normal food, collecting pieces of coal from the railway track and eat rice gruel when the prices get higher.
Moreover, the poor man is eating less and less food every day. Despite their horrible life with no home and no food moving from a place to other looking for safety and stability. However, Ajit Babu still happy to have something to eat and a son that could do their funeral rites when they die believing in the next reincarnation and that his could be born again into a higher state.
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