Interpreter of Maladies (Lahiri)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
Interpreter of Maladies
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A family hires a guide for their trip to India, where tension becomes evident as the wife confesses to the guide about her extramarital affair and illegitimate son.

Mr. and Mrs. Das, a young Indian American couple, along with their three children, visited India for their vacation.

Mr. Das — the father; an American tourist of Indian origin; in his early 30s; innocent, naive.
Mrs. Das — the mother; American tourist of Indian origin; wears red checkered skirt and a fitted blouse; disillusioned, deceitful.

They enlisted Mr. Kapasi, who was a tour guide and an interpreter, to aid them in their sightseeing itinerary.

Mr. Kapasi — the tour guide; middle-aged, Indian, fluent in English; intrigued by Mrs. Das.

The family was unconventional - the kids seemed more independent and neglected while the couple engaged in petty bickering and showed a disgraceful lack of parental interest. Their trip included a visit to the Sun Temple at Konarak and later, they proceeded to the ancient hills at Udayagiri and Khandagiri.

As they travelled together, Mrs.Das opened up to Mr. Kapasi and disclosed a painful secret that her son Bobby was conceived with a Punjabi friend of her husband's, which led to ongoing guilt.

Don't you see? For eight years I haven't been able to express this to anybody, not to friends, certainly not to Raj.

Expecting consolation from Mr. Kapasi, she meant to initiate a communication channel through which they could discuss their respective disappointments and disillusionments with life.

It means that I'm tired of feeling so terrible all the time. Eight years, Mr. Kapasi, I've been in pain eight years. I was hoping you could help me feel better, say the right thing. Suggest some kind of remedy.

Later, during their visit to the hills, Bobby was left unattended and a group of monkeys approached him for food, an event that left him frightened and shaken. Mrs. Das tended to her child dutifully yet exhibited indifference to the scary incident. As they departed, Mr. Kapasi witnessed the slip of paper containing his address fly away in the wind, symbolising the unexpected end to the potential bond he envisioned forming with Mrs. Das.