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Ruskin Bond's "The Night Train at Deoli" is a romantic coming-of-age story. Its central geographic location is the small village of Deoli.
Bond's narrator describes Deoli is mystical because it's so desolate and there's so little activity. The narrator finds a beautiful girl selling baskets amidst this nothingness. The stark background makes her seem even more special and beautiful, almost like an angel . The narrator observes when the train stops at Deoli that: "nobody got off the train and nobody got in... The guard would blow his whistle, and presently Deoli would be left behind and forgotten." The place itself is like a dreamland, somewhere that sticks in your memory only when you're actually there. When you leave, it seems to just shimmer away like the still and quiet landscape of a dream.
When the student finally meets the girl who sells baskets, their conversation adds a temporal aspect of mysticism. He says to her: "I have to go to Delhi." She replies simply: "I do not have to go anywhere." The statement reinforces that she is a part of this simple landscape; she stays there in Deoli while the student rushes ahead to his family and obligations. There's a space and time barrier between them: he can't stay with her, and she won't go with him.
The girl is like a pretty painting: lovely to look at, sparks the imagination, but ultimately stationary.
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