Rabindranath Tagore

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Present a character sketch of Mani from Rabindranath Tagore's "The Lost Jewels" based on the statement, "Mani did not understand Bhusan, that's true."

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Mani is described as a selfish woman who only takes from her husband, Bhusan, rather than giving anything in return. The story also describes her as viewing her husband as "a mere machine for turning out her Dacca muslins and her bangles—so perfect a machine, indeed, that never for a single day did she need to oil its wheels." As the story progresses, Tagore also notes that Mani is not overly talkative or social. She tries to avoid interacting with her neighbors and seems unaffected by her isolation. Another notable fact about her character is that she never appears older than sixteen, even after many years had passed. Tagore uses this suspension of youth as a metaphor for Mani's frozen heart.

Tagore also describes Mani as a character who is efficient and dedicated to her work. She does not hire more servants than necessary and she is not "distracted by love." In light of the statement, "Mani did not understand Bhusan, that's true," it is easy to see that her relationship with Bhusan is strained. While he adores her, Mani's selfish character keeps her from being a loving partner and she does not return his affections. For his part, Bhusan's weakness leads him to spoil Mani, which prevents her from growing as a person and as a wife. The statement also serves to illustrate the emotional differences between husband and wife. While Mani does not understand Bhusan's gentle nature, it is clear that he is equally oblivious to her callousness.

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