The short story "The Postmaster" tells of a young man from the city of Calcutta who arrives at the small village of Ulapur to take up his position of postmaster. He feels out of place in this remote location for several reasons.
First of all, the postmaster comes from the big city of Calcutta. Whether he was well-to-do or not there, he would have lived in a normal house surrounded by many other houses, shops, and offices. In the village, he stays in a thatched shed near a slimy pond surrounded by wild foliage.
In Calcutta he lived with his mother and sister, and he misses them. In the remote village, he has only the orphan girl Ratan, who does odd jobs for him, for company. Additionally, in Calcutta his mother and sister did the cooking, but now he has to cook for himself.
The postmaster from Calcutta does not socialize easily with strangers, and as a result he is lonely. This also makes him feel out of place. Tagore writes:
Nor is a Calcutta boy an adept in the art of associating with others. Among strangers he appears either proud or ill at ease. At any rate, the postmaster had but little company; nor had he much to do.
This brings up another point: the postmaster's boredom causes him to feel out of place. He tries writing verses and eventually resorts to conversing with Ratan and attempting to teach her to read.
After the postmaster's illness, he can't stand to remain in the remote village any longer. When his request for a transfer is rejected, he decides to quit and go home, bringing about the tragic ending of the story in which Ratan feels abandoned.