The Attic by Satyajit Ray

2 February 2017

While returning from their new factory at Deodarganj, the writer with his friend and business partner Aditya were driving along National Highway 40. As they reached a point of bifurcation, the author asked his friend about his willingness to take the road, that deviated to the right. That road leads to the ancestral home of Aditya, at Bramhapur. His father was a landlord there and later shifted to business at Calcutta. He was born and brought up there, also passed matriculation from the local school, after which he had left for Calcutta to continue his further studies.

Aditya nodded for a positive response to go to the place. He tried to recollect old memories, of his two hundred years old big ancestral house , school, school mates, the tea stall of Nagen uncle. But also feared , they had changed with time and sweet memories of the past might disillusion him . They were driving in the month of Jan-Feb, around 3:30 pm. The Sun was on the western horizon , about to set in. As harvest was over , raw paddy fields were visible on either side of the road. Soon within 10 minutes, they reached the school, stereotyped with a big front iron-gate, playing field, and a two-storied building.

The Attic by Satyajit Ray Essay Example

Aditya explained the change- the old building had another floor now and a new had also been erected. They had a cup of tea with two nankhatai biscuits , sitting on tin chairs at Nagen’s tea stall, next to a grocery shop and opposite to a temple of Lord Shiva. Nagen babu was in mid-sixties with a typical Bengal- village look. Clean-shaven and neatly combed white hair, he was wearing a dhoti, and a blue-stripped shirt , peeping through his green shawl. They met a stranger there, referred to as Mr. Sanyal by Nagen babu. He was a peculiar man.

He was neither eating, nor drinking tea, instead was sitting with head bent over the tea-table, as if daydreaming . He was short of sight and hearing, as explained by Nagen babu, but being a poor man , couldn’t afford to buy a spectacle. Nagen babu requested him to leave the shop as the afternoon customers will be pouring in soon . Crazily the man suddenly stood up, raised his lean right arm and roving dilated eyes began to recite Rabindranath Tagore’s “ Panraksha”. After completion, he left the place with paying a general regard to all with folded hands.

Sasanka Sanyal was a mysterious person living with his friend Jogesh Kabiraj. He had lost his wife and only son last year. He had sold all his lands to get his daughter married. He almost became a pauper and became somewhat crazy since then , due to mental stress. But he didn’t forget any memories of the past and possessed a high self-esteem and respect. He never failed to pay his bill at the tea stall. Aditya explained he wished to meet the man in person and drove to the place. Aditya’s house was surrounded by high walls ,.

Even the ruins could tell the splendor and grandeur of past. They reached the attic, at the second floor of the building. Attic is very favorite for a child, where he reigns supreme and can create a world of his own. The attic was dilapidated, being worst hit by strong wind and rough weather , and a portion of the wall had crumbled creating a window-hole. We could see the sky above, the paddy fields, a portion of the rice mill and the decorated spire of the Shiva temple. The floor was not cleaned for long and studded with straw, twigs, perched leaves and pigeon droppings.

Also there was a broken cricket bat, remains of a former armchair and a wooden packing case. Aditya stood on the packing case and insinuated his hand into the ventilator pole. A sparrow nest was disturbed, a part of which fell on the ground, and he could find the thing, he was looking for- that was an antique inside a jeweler’s box. Then he urged the author to go to Jogesh Kabiraj’s house, where Sasanka Sanyal was living. Sasanka was busy in reciting from Tagore . He permitted them to come in . Except for a lone charpoy, there was nothing to sit on. e could remind Aditya as a spoilt brat of rich parents, who despite being a good student used to lie and was extremely jealous of Sasanka.

Aditya didn’t defy him and told that he wished to give him one hundred fifty rupees. Sasanka laughed at his sudden generosity and enquired , why all these after so many years ? Aditya wanted to protect his stand saying he had changed with years. Sasanka blasted at him saying, he received the prize and Aditya took it from him to show and impress his father and lied that the medal had fallen from the hole in his pocket.

He also explained, the medal cost was not more than 5 rupees. And, he had recognized Aditya by the mole on his right cheek, at the tea stall. He wanted to teach him a lesson and force him remembering his act of treachery . thus he blasted his age old anger and anguish on Aditya. He didn’t need any charity in cash or kind, only needed his lost glory back. He also explained, past was past, he wanted to forget the whole unpleasant incidence. Aditya admitted his fault and accepted Sasanka’s righteous grievances towards him.

He handed over the medal to Sasanka, kept inside the ventilator of the attic , as a hidden treasure for long 29 years. Even time couldn’t damage the engravings on the medal – “ Sriman Sasanka Sanyal- Special Prize for Recitation -1948. “ Morale : The Attic, is a story that depicts the inside of a child’s psychology. Jean Piaget suggested that children actually think differently than adults. On one hand a child is simple, pure, full of life and energy, on the other side , he is jealous, possessive , egoistic.

He wants to excel in all fields, wants to be at the top of the world always, by any means, even by hurting others. He can’t accept any defeat, hence defends his vices by any means. He is not bothered by any crime committed. He is concerned about his prestige in his class and wants to please his friends, teachers and parents. He is ready to commit any sin for that. He has a world of his own, where he is the supreme ruler. The attic symbolizes his own empire, his treasure island. , his hidden desire for supremacy . As age advances , he could understand his misconducts and accepts his past with grace.

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