Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"The Death of an Indian" a short story by Khishori Charan Das. (1957)

One of my reading hopes for this year is to read a large number of the short stories in the seven anthologies of Indian Subcontinent short stories in my collection.  I firmly believe in a multicultural approach to the literary universe, feeling one cannot understand literary works of one culture in isolation from others.  No culture has literary roots older than that of the Subcontinent.

Most of the stories I will post on for this project cannot be found online but all are available in Kindle collections of short stories. All of the stories in The Reading Life Guide to Getting Started in the Indian Short Story can be found online.

"The Death of an Indian" is about an Indian family living for three years in Washington D.C. While the husband works for the Indian embassy.  The couple has two children.  As the story opens the wife and kids are badgering the husband to give them money so they can take advantage of sales.  The wife tries to shaker her husband by talking about how the wives of other embassy employees have nicer clothes than she does. She is also pressuring him to by a car, saying almost all the other Indiand in Washington have a vehicle.  The wife feels isolated, wives do not mix much in embassy functions. The weatherman predicts snow, something no one in the fami,y has ever seen.   The man gets word a coworker at the embassy has passed away.  The story closes with a view of the events at the funeral.  The widow, in a shocking to most decision, refuses to return to India to live among her in laws.  All in all a decent story for sure worth your time. 


Born on 1st March 1924 in Khatbin Sahi of Cuttack city Sri Das is a versatile genius and a distinct talent in Oriya story literature. In this permissive society when depression, doubt predominates the society, one can be relieved of his pain, if he reads Kishori Charan’s Story. He was proficient in experimenting and analyzing the present state of the society, he has become successful by writing stories on different states of mind of a person. He has made a close view to the present state of mind of the person and basing upon that he has constructed his edifice of stories. In 1969 for his story book MANIHARA he was adorned with Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award. Subsequently in 1974 he received the Jhankar Award of Prajatantra Prachar Samiti. In 1976, he was adorned with Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for his story book THAKURA GHARA. In 1986, he was also bestowed with the presitigious Sarala Award for his story book ‘BHINNA PAUNSHA’. His story collections include  He left for his heavenly abode on 17.8.2004.

Mel u

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