THE PRICE OF FLOWERS – PRABHAT KUMAR MUKHOPADHYAY
click here for presentation of the price of flowers
Prabhat K. Mukherjee (1873—1932), a younger contemporary of Rabindranath Tagore, was a popular writer, especially of short stories in Bengali. He was educated in India and in England, but his literary idols, apart from Tagore, were from France: Balzac and Maupassant. He was also known as Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay.
The narrator of this story meets this little girl named Alice and has a lot of sympathy for her and her mother. Alice works as a typist and her mother make cakes to sell them on Saturdays. Because the narrator is an Indian, the mother and daughter expect that he might be able to see a distant person in the ring and what is he doing (the art of crystal gazing!). The narrator realizes that this superstition is not only confined in India! The narrator is not able to see anything in the ring but later on in the story when we see that the mother is ill then, the author lies that his brother is okay. After some time the news of the death of the brother comes and the narrator is ashamed so he doesn’t go to them and the time for his return to India comes. Then in the morning of his last day in London, Maggie comes to say goodbye to him and gives a shilling which she earned with so much hard work so that he could buy flowers for her brother’s grave.
A very sweet and small story which is based on sympathy. After reading this book the reader founds themselves silent for some time because of the silent environment built by the story.