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  • Writer's pictureMadhusudan

The foolish human heart

An excerpt from ‘The Postmaster’ by Rabindranath Tagore:

He felt a deep pain in his heart. The grief stricken face of a mere village girl seemed to express a great, mute heartache pervading the whole world. For once he wished ardently to go back and bring along with him that orphan girl abandoned by the world. But already the wind had filled the sails, the river of the rainy season was flowing swiftly, the village had been left behind, and the cremation ground on the riverbank had come into view. In the pensive heart of the traveler, floating along the current of the river, there arose the reflection that there were so many separations, so many deaths like this in life. What was the point of going back? Nobody belonged to anybody on this earth. But no such philosophy dawned on Ratan. She was going round the post office building with eyes flooded with tears. Perhaps she had a faint hope that Dadababu might come back. This made it impossible for her to go away. Oh the foolish human heart! Illusion is hard to dispel and it takes very long for rules of logic to enter the head. Even strong evidence is disbelieved and a false hope is desperately embraced in one’s heart. When at last one day it runs away, severing all the artities and draining the heart’s blood, then one comes around and the heart longs to be again entangled in another snare of delusion.

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