Interpreter Of Maladies
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Interpreter of Maladies
“Interpreter of Maladies” is a short story, which is a part of the book collection of nine short stories that goes by the same name. All the short stories have been written by an American author of Indian origin, Jhumpa Lahiri and were published in 1999. The book won the Pulitzer Prize of Fiction and became the International Best Seller.
“Interpreter of Maladies” is a tale about a couple of Mr. and Mrs. Das who decide to visit their homeland, India, with their kids Ronny, Bobby, and Tina. They hired a middle-aged tour guide Mr. Kapasi to show them around the sites. Mr. Kapasi also serves as their driver. Mrs. Das, when she was alone in the car with the guide, inquires about his job, and comes to know that he works as an interpreter at a doctor’s clinic. Mrs. Das becomes greatly impressed by his job and admires him for his services to the ill people. Mrs. Das, otherwise a rude and very selfish woman, suddenly becomes very caring and affectionate towards Mr. Kapasi. The tour guide himself become amazed at this change but he finds it pleasant and goes along with the flow.
In my opinion, the change in the behavior of Mrs. Das was only due to her own self-interest. She was a very selfish and self-centered woman and did not think of anyone else beyond her own self, not even of her own kids. Maybe she got a little feeling of empathy and care when Mr. Kapasi told her about his profession but in a bigger perspective, she had neither any interest nor any sympathy for the poor patients that Mr. Kapasi served. The feelings of affection and anticipated trust showed by her towards Mr. Kapasi were purely out of greed and self-interest, as it was her nature.
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