A New End for the “Year’s End”

That night when we returned, we couldn’t see your car. Suddenly my body froze. I was blinded. I knew something has happened. I had always had a hunch that something will happen. I could feel it whenever you were looking at me comparing me with Parul. I knew you didn’t like to see me be walking in the home, that someday your mother had been. But at least I was a human and deserved to be respected. However, I could understand how hard it was to spend days with the woman and girls whom you had never seen before, yet they were supposed to be your family.

Chaudhuri rushed to the house and called for you and the girls. I dragged myself inside. No one answered. He ran to the girls’ room and opened the door hastily. “They have slept.” He whispered back. This news released the pain striking my heart. “But…Kaushik?” I asked, shocked. “He has left home.” he said. “Finally, he did!” Taking a deep breath, and holding his head, he sat on the sofa. We both had realized that you are not happy at home, but we had this right to choose our way and had given this right to you as well. I went to girls’ room. The moment I opened the door, I saw them pulling the quilt over their faces. The bad feeling returned to my heart. “Why did you come so late?” said Piu running to me crying. “I don’t like you to leave us.” Piu told me the whole story, the story that didn’t surprise me _ that I was waiting for.

That night I couldn’t sleep. I was cursing myself one second and consoling the other second. I don’t know how I passed that night, but I remember the next day when Chaudhuri went out I called girls and talked to them. I reminded them the life before my marriage with your father. I reminded them how hard it was when they had no one to say “Daddy” to him. I told them that now you feel the same, so they must try to understand you.I wanted them not to talk to anybody about the words that you had told them. That moment, I wasn’t sure that they can understand me but now I believe they had _ in the best way.

Zahra Saifey

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My response to “Year’s End”

While reading “Year’s End” by Jhumpa Lahiri, I reminisced about my cousin. My cousin’s and Kaushik’s family has some similarities. Like Kaushik, my cousin also lost her mother when she was in grade 9. She was the only daughter of my uncle and aunt. After my aunt’s death, my cousin became so depressed that she didn’t used to talk to others and wanted to stay alone. My uncle used to work in office. He was also sad about his wife’s death. They both missed her a lot. After one year of my aunt’s death, my uncle married other women. At first, he disagreed to remarry but after seeing my cousin’s situation he agreed. Everyone thought that she needed a mother, and my uncle was also alone. After their marriage, she became more frustrated. She couldn’t study and eat properly. My new aunt was a kind person and she tried to convince her and make her happy. On the other hand, she was so indignant with her that she didn’t listen to her and her father. Now, she stays with her grandmother, her mother’s mother, in India. 

I really enjoyed reading this story. I felt sorry for Kaushik that he lost his mother and couldnot see other women as his mother in his house. I can undersatnd his feelings as I also lost my father when I was twelve. However, the sort of problems he faced in his life, I did’t have to face. My mother, I and my brother struggled hard for some years in his absence, but it was not as hard as it was for Kaushik’s family. In the story, Kaushik’s father removed all his wife’s memories from his life, but my mother saved all the memories of my father. We often talked about him and about the dreams he had for us. She wanted us to remember those times that we spent together we eachother. As my brother was small at that time, he hardly have any memories about our father as I do. he only knows those things that we had told him and talked about. If my mother had also removed all the memories of our father like Kaushik’s father, then he wouldnot have known anything about our father. I wonder why Kaushik’s father removed all his wife’s memories if he loved her. Today, because my mother saved all  my father memories, we still feel his presence of him in our life.

Digya Shrestha

Chitra and My Mother

Year’s End

I enjoyed reading the novel, “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri. I am much impressed by the skillful and persuasive organization and plots of the events in the novel. However, I am not satisfied with the marriage of Kaushik’s father and Chitra. While I was going through “Year’s End,” a number of questions were lingering in my mind. Some of the questions are: “Is Chitra really so much helpless that she has to marry Kaushik’s father?”, “Why don’t Chitra and Kaushik’s father think about their children?”, “Why don’t they recon how their children will feel about their marriage at such an old age?”, and “Do people have to remarry to revert to joy and happiness if one of the spouses dies?”

When I was reading “Year’s End,” I had my mother’s image in my mind comparing with each and every moment of Chitra with my mother’s life. Unlike Chitra, my mother is a divorcee, and she works in a low- paying job. Nevertheless, she is very optimistic and hopeful that she will have a vivid future. She strongly loathes remarriage, as she is much concerned about my life, career, and feelings.

According to Lahiri, Chitra keeps her daughter under a terror. They are much afraid of her as Chitra is so strict that they never had an experience of buying anything on their own. However, my mother is very liberal. She discusses and shares with me about every issue in my family. Besides, though Chitra is a school teacher and has an ample chance to build a bright future, she becomes hopeless to live on her own after her husband’s demise and gets married to Kaushik’s father. Is it because of gender stereotype that women will have gloomy future if their husbands are dead? Is it because husbands are supposed to be women’s fortune? In the contrary, my mother recons that she ought to be strong enough to live an independent life. Though she is illiterate and does not have a qualified life now, she hopes that she will have a better life in the future. The most exciting and praiseworthy thing is that she wants me to be an independent and well- established person before I get married, so that I won’t be left bewildered and helpless if anything happens in the future.

Response to “year’s End”

The short story “Year’s End” by Jhumpa Lahiri reminded me of my father. My father also faced sort of the same things that happened in Kaushik’s life. When he was in the age of Kaushik, he also left his parents and went to India. He stayed there for ten years and rarely contacted with his parents or other relatives. He was sort of a vagabond that time, but as he grew older, he started to realize the importance of parents in life. So, he decided to move back to his country along with his family consisting of wife and a daughter in 1984. In a stage of life, sometimes we feel like to be a vagabond, forgetting our parents. I believe, we change our mind to be that when we grow elder, when we realize that it is our parents who brought as in this world.

However, after 23 years, in 2007, my dad lost his mother who died for having several diseases. After 3 years of that, everyone realized that his father, I mean my grandfather needs someone to be looked after by because he was already old enough to depend on others. Then one of my uncles advised to get him married as he was living alone in his home. At that time, my father and his other siblings highly opposed this decision because they can’t see anyone else in their mother’s place. After that, one of my aunts (father’s sister) came forward and decided to live with him.

In contrast, I can see many differences between my family and Kaushik’s family too. In the story, Kaushik’s father removes all the memories of his wife after her death, but my grandfather has been preserving his wife’s each and every memory. He doesn’t even want to leave that house and move somewhere else because he feels her presence there, whereas in the story, Kaushik’s father moves to a different house with his second wife. It seems to me very weird that Kaushik’s mother, whom Kaushik and his father used to love very dearly, wanted to get rid of all of her memories after her death. May be her memories used to disturb them and make them realize that she was not with them anymore. On the contrary, it’s also true that when our near and dear ones leave us, it’s their memories that can take us closer to them and make us feel their presence. In the end, I have realized one thing that the feeling of loosing someone is not the same in everyone; it differs from person to person.

My response to Year’s End

           It was surprised to suddenly know that Kaushik’s father got remarried. I had supposed that his father would not get remarried. In the first part of story Once in a Life Time, he had a good link with his wife though he was well known that she was soon going to leave him alone. The way he use to treat with her, the care for her, and the way he did all the possible things to keep her survive had previously suggested that he would not get remarried. Maybe this marriage was just done to fulfill the lack of love and care due to absence of Kaushik’s mother. It was the same case with Chitra( the stepmother of Kaushik). Chitra was also a widow with two daughters. Though she was comparatively younger than Kaushik’s father, she was in need of a person who can take care of her as well as her two daughters. It shows that the necessary leads a person towards the steps which can never be assumed to be followed by that person. Though the remarriage in this case can be taken as positive event to bring happiness in his father’s life and Chitra’s life, it brings more negative impacts on Kaushik’s life. According to me, it would have been better if Kaushik’s father had tried to make Kaushik’s life better by supporting him to collect good memories of his mother and helped him to ride away from the pain he had got due to loss of his mother. He should have helped his son to move in positive path throughout the life so that he could have a bright future. He could also make his life happy though the happiness of his son Kaushik.Well, it depends on the thought of the people.

              It would also have been considered, if he had consulted with Kaushik before he got remarried. He should have convinced Kaushik before he takes the decision to get remarried. I think he has some duty towards Kaushik and he should have fulfilled that first before he thinks about his life. The parents are those who sacrifice their own life to settle children. So, I strongly oppose the role of Kaushik’s father’s role to get remarried.