Story in a Nutshell

The ‘Attic’ is a story that represents a child’s psychology with the help of its characters. While returning from their new factory of Deodarganj, the narrator with his friend and business partner Aditya drove along National Highway 40 and decided to take the road to the right. The road led to the native place of Aditya at Bramhapur. His father used to be a landlord there.

Later, they shifted to start a business in Calcutta. Aditya tried to recollect his old memories – his two hundred years old big ancestral house, school, schoolmates and the tea stall of Nagen uncle. He feared that they had changed with time and the sweet memories of the past might just be a dellusion now.

Characters

  1. Aditya: The main protagonist of the story
  2. The Narrator: Aditya’s business partner and friend who travels with him to his native place 
  3. Nagen Uncle: Owner of the tea stall near Aditya’s old school 
  4. Sasanka Sanyal: Aditya’s childhood classmate and competitor who won against Aditya in a poetry reciting competition

Aditya’s Ancestral place

The story begins when the narrator and his friend as well as his business partner Aditya were travelling home from the sight of their factory. On the way they pass Aditya’s hometown and decide to stop by. Aditya wasn’t sure if his house and school would be still there after twenty-nine years yet he hopes to visit Nagen Uncle’s tea shop.

It was the month of February and the area was filled with paddy fields. Aditya felt that everything had changed including his school. The narrator out of curiosity asked him if he was a good student to which he replied that he was always second.

They pass the school gate and head to the tea shop whose owner was Nagen uncle, he had almost turned sixty and didn’t recognize Aditya but offered the tea and savoury nonetheless. There was only one more customer besides them, Mr. Sanyal who had poor vision and a little deaf too. Suddenly, Mr Sanyal loudly recited the poem “Panraksha” by Tagore in the tea stall.

Aditya’s encounter with Mr. Sanyal

Aditya’s expressions changed soon when he heard Mr. Sanyal recite his poem. He got to know about Mr. Sanyal’s mental condition after spending all his money to get his daughter married and lost his son and wife the previous year and now stays with his father’s friend. After having their tea, Aditya wanted to visit his old home even when he clearly didn’t wat to visit earlier. The narrator followed as Aditya showed his favourite room, “The Attic” and pulled an article. They both take the article to a jeweller where they were told that it was an antique.

They then decide to visit Mr. Sanyal’s place for once. Aditya did not reveal his identity and asked Mr Sanyal if he remembered “Aditya Narayan Chowdhury” thinking he wouldn’t recognize him. Turns out, Mr Sanyal did remember Aditya as a spoiled child of affluent parents. Aditya did not disagree and simply handed him 150 rupees saying it was from Aditya.

Aditya then revealed to the narrator that Mr. Sanyal was a classmate of Aditya’s who had won the poetry reciting competition and that he had taken his silver medal to show it to his father and never returned to Mr. Sanyal saying that he lost it all because he couldn’t bear to have lost the competition.

The owner of the silver medal

Aditya was returning rupees 150 to Mr. Sanyal as the cost of the silver medal. Mr. Sanyal confesses that he had recognized Aditya instantly and recited that same poem from the competition in the tea stall just to remind him and acted as if he didn’t know him to express the hurt caused to him by Aditya.

Mr. Sanyal did not accept the money as it will soon be spent and asked for the actual silver medal instead. Aditya respected his demand and after twenty-nine years the medal was finally restored to its rightful owner “Sriman Sasanka Sanyal”.

Conclusion

The story depicts importance of human values.  Human values are the virtues that direct us to consider the human behaviour while we interact with other people. It is with these human characters that one becomes truly able to put into practice his/her ethical values in a problematic situation. This is personified in Sanyal’s character.

When Aditya offered him Rs 150 as a price for the silver medal, Sanyal refused it. All he wanted was his lost glory back, which was the medal. When Sanyal got back the medal, he was happy.