The Postmaster Summary by Rabindranath Tagore

Story of Human Feelings

This is a story of human connection and warmth found in the unlikeliest of places. The story revolves around an old postmaster who hails from Calcutta under the British rule. Coming from the big city, he likes to read and write poetry. He is a little antisocial and finds it hard to form friendships

One day, he is commanded to go to a distant village and run the post office in the area. He is nervous and anxious about going to a remote place but follows the orders. Once, he reaches the place, he finds hard to adjust to its life.

The village has a big factory with most of the village men employed in it. These workers are of less literate and refined outlook and the Postmaster finds it hard to adjust to their vulgar means.

Ratan – A Young Girl

Even though he loves poetry, he feels uninspired to write even a few lines. However, in his solitude, there is one person who he establishes a connection with. It is Ratan, a young girl who does his daily household chores. 

Every evening he enjoys the conversation and company of the young maid. He enquires about her family and home and in return, shares his memories and sadness. This creates a relationship between mentorship and guidance between the two.

One day while enjoying the bounties of the village scene, the postmaster asks Ratan if she would like to learn how to read and write. She agrees with delight. She gradually learns how to read and write the language and slowly gets better at it.

Ratan Decides to Go to Calcutta

However, like everything in life, there comes a parting of ways for the too. The postmaster runs into health problems and gets bored with his life in the village. As a last resort, he gives up his job and decides to return home to Calcutta.

Ratan learns about this and tries to persuade him to take her with him. However, the postmaster realizes the predicament of his own life and the life of the big city, so he declines.

The postmaster leaves and Ratan is crestfallen. However, she is optimistic and hopeful of his return and perseveres in his wait. The wait is however painful and futile as he never returns to the village or to his young friend Ratan.

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