The postmaster, who comes from the city, finds life in the village dull and lonesome. The other men work all the time in the indigo factory, and in any case, he has little in common with them. He tries to write poetry. He cooks his own meals and shares them with the orphaned girl Ratan, who also does menial work for him. He then starts to spend more and more time with Ratan.
The postmaster asks Ratan about her past and her family, and she shares stories with him. He also tells her about his family, whom he misses, and she gets to the point of feeling she knows them. Later, the postmaster fills in his empty time by teaching Ratan the alphabet and to read. Finally, the postmaster can't stand it anymore. He longs for just one person to be close to and so puts in for a work transfer. When this is rejected, he tells Ratan he is going home.
This is a story about not seeing what is right in front of you. The relationship the postmaster longs for he already has with Ratan, but he just can't see it. She wants to come with him, but to his mind that is impossible.