Matchbox Lesson Summary and Explanation in English Class 12th


Women more often than not are taken for granted, Matchbox brings to the forefront the spark within women that they control, which could otherwise set the world on fire.

The Letter

Nomita and Ajit live in a joint family. Following her Sunday morning routine, Nomita is handing over the dirty clothes to the washerman, when she finds a crumpled letter in her husband’s pocket. Upon inspecting she discovers that the letter was received three days ago and was addressed to her. Fuming over her husband’s habit of going through her letter and possessions she decides to confront him.

The letter was from Nomita’s mother, a widow now who is always very pleasantly asking for monetary aid which her husband provides, without any complains. However, Nomita is not one bit pleased with her mother always asking for money. When Nomita confronts Ajit, the conversation soon turns into a heated argument and Ajit begins to defend himself. 

Saree on Fire

The argument goes out of hands when Ajit provokes Nomita by challenging her that no matter what she is powerless and can not do anything to stop Ajit from doing what he wishes. On hearing these demeaning words Nomita sees red and in a fit of rage grabs a matchbox and lights her saree on fire. Instantly it flares up, the very fine anchol of a wealthy wife’s sari. 

The very next instant Ajit jumps to her side and grabs the burning patch and slaps it between his hands and puts out the fire. He looks fearfully at Nomita’s face. He is shocked, never had he thought that his wife was capable of having such a fire within herself.

Who knows what Nomita would have said next, but right then, her niece Rini steps into the room. Rini reminds her that the washerman is still waiting and Nomita quickly gathers the laundry and leaves the room. 

When Nomita goes down stairs she is teased by the family for always being in the room with Ajit and they talk love to each other. At this Nomita just laughs and clarifies that their talks are anything but love and mostly angry. When asked how she burnt her anchol she lies and says she carelessly picked a hot pot and burnt it on the stove.


Women never flare up and burn away the mask of men’s high-mindedness, their huge heartedness, even when they have the elements within themselves to start many blazing flames. They don’t consume their own brightly coloured shells. They aren’t going to burn them; the men are aware of this. That’s why they like matchboxes, scatter women all over the house, in the kitchen, the pantry, the bedroom, and everywhere else.