The Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe

 Church Going
by Philip Larkin

 Frost at Midnight
by Samuel Coleridge

 I sit & look out
by Walt Whitman

 The Lady of Shallot
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

 Telephone Conversation
by Wole Soyinka

 Going Places
by A.R. Barton

 Village Cricket Match
by A. G. Macdonell

 The Night Train at Deoli
by Ruskin Bond

 Growing Up
by Joyce Cary

 The Castaway
by Rabindranath Tagore

Page 2

The Night Train at Deoli

-by Ruskin Bond

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(Continued from Page 1)

This time on returning home, the narrator did not forget her. He took a fancy to the girl and his hardly communicated longing turned into a feverish desperation in love. He was impatient for the term to finish finally and left for Dehra Dun. He was agitated, yet resolute to tell her about his feelings.

I was determined that I wouldn't stand helplessly before her, hardly able to speak or do anything about my feelings.

The climax of the story is reached when the narrator does not find the girl at the station. He wonders what might have happened to her and he suddenly felt tenderness and a sense of responsibility for her. He enquired about her but to no avail. Limited time as he had, he had to abandon his search and run up to his train to catch it. As the train sped through the jungles, the narrator brooded over the suspense of the girl not being at the platform. On his way back, he made another attempt to know more about her. However, the new station master and the tea-stall owner could not help him much and the train too, never stopped long enough for him to complete his enquiry. Hence the mystery of the girl remained unsolved.

What could I do about finding a girl I had seen only twice, who had hardly spoken to me, and about whom I knew nothing, absolutely nothing-but from whom I felt tenderness and responsibility that I had never felt before?

The narrator condoled himself with a resolve to break his journey there once and spend a day in the village to find out more about her but it never happened so.

Somehow, I couldn't bring myself to break journey at Deoli and spend a day there.

He never met the girl ever again but every time he travelled past the Deoli station, he hoped and dreamt of meeting her, and seeing the same unchanged face of the basket seller smiling at him. Her memories remained with him like a dream in the corner of his mind and the feeling of passion for the mysterious girl pervaded his spirit, refusing to fade into oblivion, which like a deep-rooted lingering obsession that he continued to cherish. As a romantic he sought to escape the bitter reality which once unveiled, might account for extreme disappointment and deep disillusionment.
Romanticism is quite often defined as the love for strange and unknown & the pursuit of a beautiful story that eludes us. The atmosphere of mystery is built up at the outset of the story with the portrayal of the remote station of Deoli. The essence of the author's romanticism lies in representing a strange, meeting artistically-the unspoken words, the eloquent conversation, the pale beauty of the girl, the light in her eyes when she meets the author, the narrator's impulse to take her with him, the intense eagerness to see her and finally the unknown destiny of the girl- all add to the feeling of romance.
The narrator admits that he would never break his journey at Deoli as it would spoil his 'game'- the game of trying to spot the familiar and cheerful face of the girl at the station and experiencing a thrill of expectation surging through him, from which he seemed to derive contentment.
The faint and bright memories of the dream like encounter create a world where passion reigns supreme. The end too remains enveloped in mystery and the author lets it remain so like a beautiful and curious dream, the memory of which creates an elusive and mesmerizing effect.

Page 2

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