The short story authored by Jhumpa Lahiri narrates the story of a young married couple. The story narrates how the couple adjusts to three different continents and adapt to cultural differences. The story deals with the themes of identity, struggles of immigrants and personal relationships. The story is narrated by the unnamed young man who is the protagonist of the story.
The story begins with the narrator telling the readers that he left India to go to England in 1964. While living in London for a few years, he attended lectures at the London School of Economics before immigrating to America. He was offered a full-time job in America to work in the library at MIT. The narrator tells the reader that his wife Mala was still living in Calcutta at that time, waiting for the narrator to settle in a stable residence. For some time, the narrator lived in the boardinghouse run by an eccentric 103 years old lady named Mrs Bancroft before his wife arrived in America. Mrs Bancroft serves as the first exposure to American culture for the narrator. Slowly as the days passed, the narrator developed a fondness for the peculiar landlady. When his wife finally arrived in America, he introduced her to Mrs Bancroft.
This introduction serves as the first sign of intimacy between Mala and the narrator, who were not comfortable in each other's company until then. Mala and the narrator slowly develop a fondness for each other and enjoy their days together. When the narrator learns about Mrs Bancroft's death, he mourns her death, and Mala consoles him. The narrator ends his narration by talking about the present day. He and Mala have been married for decades, and their son is attending Harvard.
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