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The Lost Jewels | Summary | Title | Characterisation

The Lost Jewels Introduction

Rabindranath Tagore the author of the lost jewels was an eminent Indo-Anglian poet, author, philosopher, educator, and artist. He was born on May 7, 1861 out of an affluent highborn family in Kolkata. Tagore got his initial instruction from mentors at home. At seventeen, he was sent to England for formal tutoring, yet he didn’t complete his investigations there. An energetic peruser, Tagore read broadly on different subjects and began composing verse at an exceptionally youthful age. Notwithstanding his desire abstract exercises, Tagore functioned as a social and religious reformer.

The Lost jewels summary

He began an exploratory school at Shantiniketan. where he attempted his Upanishadic beliefs of instruction, joining Indian and Western idea and culture. It later came to be known as the Visva-Bharati University. Tagore’s first book of sonnets, Kabi Kahini was distributed at an extremely youthful age. His different volumes of verse incorporate Manasi (1890), Sonar Tari (1894), Gitanjali (1910), Gitimalya (1914) and Balaka (1916). In 1913, Tagore was granted the Nobel Prize for Literature for his showstopper Gitanjali. Tagore additionally composed various melodic plays, books, papers, short stories and travel journals. He is generally recognized as the creator of current Bengali short fiction. Tagore kicked the bucket on August 7, 1941 in Kolkata.

The Lost Jewels is one of the best works of art of Tagore. The story starts with a neighborhood schoolmaster educating the storyteller regarding the historical backdrop of Bhusan Saha, a rich beneficiary and about an interesting powerful episode related with him. The vague completion of the story denotes Tagore’s utilization of postmodern account style, where the end is left ‘open’ for the readers’ reaction.

The Lost Jewels Storyline

  • The narrator stops by a village ghat, where he is accosted by a local schoolmaster.
  • The schoolmaster identifies with him the account of one Bhusan Saha, who was an informed and edified man, and furthermore a beneficiary to his rich uncle.
  • Bhusan’s significant other Mani, however delightful, happened to be fruitless and the couple stayed childless.
  • Bored at home, Mani’s solitary friends were her articles of adornments.
  • Once, Bhusan’s business endured a misfortune, and he thought of raising an advance from some more interesting, selling his better half’s adornments.
  • However, his significant other indicated hesitance and Bhusan chose never to specify the gems again. He cleared out for Kolkata to collect the cash.
  • In his nonattendance, Mani counseled Modhu, a cousin of hers who filled in as an associate steward on her better half’s domain.
  • Modhu recommended her to go to her dad’s home with the gems.
  • Mani wore every one of her gems, enveloped her body by a thick shawl, and went to the ghat where Modhu was holding up with the pontoon.
  • Modhu had composed a letter to the central steward, educating him of the purpose behind his nonattendance.
  • The main steward educated Bhusan who was troubled.
  • When Bhusan returned, he didn’t discover his significant other at home.
  • He sent delivery people to Mani’s dad’s home, yet neither Mani nor Modhu were found.
  • After all endeavors to locate the two fizzled, Bhusan surrendered all expectation of regularly discovering his significant other.
  • One blustery night, at the season of the celebration of Krishna’s introduction to the world, as Bhusan sat alone reasoning of his everlasting misfortune, he heard a jingling sound of adornments.
  • The sound originated from the ghat towards the house. There was a progression of noisy thumps on the entryway and, as Bhusan endeavored to open the entryway, he woke up abruptly.
  • It was just a fantasy which was rehashed the following night as well.
  • The third-day Bhusan requested the workers to allow him to sit unbothered for the night.
  • As he sat with his head laying on the back of the seat, he again heard the sound.
  • As he opened his eyes, he saw a skeleton remaining before him, its entire body secured with gold trimmings.
  • Bhusan got up from his chair and followed the skeleton to the river ghat.
  • They went down step by step and descended to the river.
  • Bhusan’s feet touched the water and he woke up with a start. He slipped and fell into the river and drowned.
  • The schoolmaster’s story is finished. He asks the narrator if he believes the story.
  • The narrator reveals his name to be Bhusan Saha and, on being asked his wife’s name, tells that her name is Nitya Kali’.

The Lost Jewels Story in Details

    1. Description of the setting: The story opens with a description of the background. A narrator is sitting alone on the steps of a river ghat. The time is dusk; the sun has set. The boatmen are reciting their evening prayers. The warning light is reflected on the calm surface of the river. The old bathing ghat, where the narrator’s boat is moored, is almost in ruins. In front of the narrator, is a huge old house with broken windows and tumbledown verandas.
    2. The narrator’s encounter with the schoolmaster: The gloomy setting seems to cast its spell even on the narrator, and he begins to feel sad. Suddenly, he is startled by a man who asks him where he has come from. The narrator answers that he has come from Ranchi. The narrator observes that the newcomer seems half-starved and out of the fortune. He is wearing a dirty and greasy coat of Assam silk, which is open at the front. It is the time of evening meal, but this man is taking a walk by the riverside. During further conversation between the two, the narrator reveals that he is a merchant—a dealer in cocoons and timber, and has come to the place for a change of air. When asked his name, the narrator gives a false one. The newcomer is the schoolmaster of the place.
    3. The schoolmaster relates a story: When the schoolmaster asks the narrator where he will stay there, the narrator points to the tumbledown house above the ghat. At this, the schoolmaster begins to narrate a story related to the dark, empty, ghostly house, that stands in front of them. About ten years ago, there lived in the house, a wealthy businessman named Bhusan Saha. He was a modernized Bengali—educated, English-speaking, with a beard, and one who freely associated with the Sahibs. Bhusan was the heir to the large property and business of his uncle, Durga Saha, who was childless.
    4. Bhusan’s wife: Bhusan had a beautiful wife named Mani, who was pampered by him. They had an extravagant life, which was reflected in their style of food, dress and Mani’s jewels. The couple was childless, and the only object of Mani’s love was her adornments, her material riches. Bhusan was a powerless and genuine spouse, and Mani had not to make a decent attempt to get his affection. She got her Dacca muslin sarees without shedding tears for it; her bangles too without striving for them. The straightforward soul that Bhusan was, Mani started to view him just as an instrument for getting material advantages from him. Bit by bit, the lady in her, and her affection became not interested in Bhusan. She ended up utilized just to getting and tolerating favors, without giving anything consequently.Bhusan’s main residence was in Phulbere, where he had a few close relatives and different relatives. He never brought home his beautiful spouse to visit them, and liked to hush up about her. Mani was not extremely chatty. She didn’t blend around much with the ladies of her region. She would never inspire herself to give something on philanthropy to Brahmins or to any other person. Nothing at any point got squandered by her hand. She accumulated everything with mind, aside from her significant other’s friendship. Surprisingly, she had even figured out how to save her wonderful and energetic flawlessness, not losing even a particle of her excellence throughout the years.
    5. Decay of Bhusan’s business: The gigantic and complex business of Bhusan Saha was once looked with a trouble. Bhusan couldn’t get credit in the market. He needed to raise a lakh and a half rupees to spare his business from the cataclysm. He couldn’t obtain from the known moneylenders, keeping in mind that the general population would become more acquainted with of it, and his business would endure all the more. In the event that he wanted to raise a credit from outsiders, he would need to contract something. The best alternative was to contract adornments, for it would spare the marking of muddled reports, and furthermore take less time. With this end in see, Bhusan moved toward Mani and asked for her to give him her adornments. Anyway Mani set her face hard, and did not give any answer. Bhusan was profoundly harmed, however he didn’t react inconsiderately, as he was not rash like other men. He even disguised his injured sentiments, where another man would have taken the gems by constrain. He couldn’t propel his better half, on the off chance that she would not like to give him her gems. Keeping his pride, Bhusan chose to go to Kolkata and attempt some other method for collecting the cash.
    6. Mani goes out: While Bhusan was away, Mani swung to her inaccessible cousin, Modhu, for exhortation. Modhu used to fill in as a collaborator steward on Bhusan’s home. He was not the persevering kind, but rather he could get his compensation, and something more, based on his family relationship. Modhu watched that his lord could never have the capacity to get enough cash, and should fall back on Mani’s adornments. Mani acknowledged that it was conceivable, and she ended up stressed. Modhu prompted her to go to her dad’s home with her adornments. He offered to push her down the stream. In his true inner being, Modhu valued the expectation that he would eventually acquire the bigger part of Mani’s adornments.One stormy night, towards the finish of summer, Mani put on the entirety of her adornments, and, enveloping herself from make a beeline for foot by a thick shawl, achieved the ghat. Modhu was holding up there with a vessel. He requested the container of gems yet Mani disclosed to him that she would offer it to him later. Modhu had composed a letter to the central steward, clarifying his nonattendance from work. The main steward on the double educated Bhusan of Mani’s mystery flight for her dad’s home with Modhu. Bhusan was all the more upset to realize that his better half still presumed him.
    7. Bhusan returns home: Having anchored the important advance, Bhusan came back to his home following ten or twelve days. He expected that Mani would absolutely be embarrassed to have suspected him, when he had no goal of grabbing her adornments. He discovered her room unfilled and was not at first harried about his better half’s nonattendance, feeling that she would come back to him of her own will. However, the main steward recommended him to send detachments to Mani’s dad’s home to think about her whereabouts. It was found that neither Mani nor Modhu had achieved the place. Bhusan made each conceivable endeavor to discover Mani and Modhu however all futile.
    8. Bhusan’s dreams: Finally, Bhusan surrendered all expectation of consistently discovering his better half. One stormy night, amid the celebration of Krishna’s introduction to the world (Janmashtami), Bhusan entered his left room. A reasonable was going ahead in the town, and Bhusan could hear the sound of far off singing, blended with the sound of exuberant rain. As he sat alone in the dimness at the window, thinking about his unsalvageable misfortune, he heard a jingling sound as of trimmings. The sound appeared to progress up the means of the ghat. Bhusan attempted to puncture through the obscurity with his eyes, yet couldn’t see anything. The sound started to come towards the house. Before long there were noisy jingling blows on the entryway. Bhusan raced to the entryway, which was latched from outside. He shook it energetically, and woke up all of a sudden. He had been sleeping, and this happened to be a simple dream. The following night, Bhusan requested that the corridor entryway be left open throughout the night. The doorman differ and demanded that he would remain back and watch the house for the night. In any case, Bhusan sent him away. He put out the light and sat down again at the open window of his room. Similarly as on the prior night, he heard the clacking and jingling sound that originated from the ghat. The sound moved toward the house and entered the open entryway. Bhusan’s heart started to pound uncontrollably, and he could never again control his energy. As he got up from his seat with a wild cry of ‘Mani’, he understood that it was again a fantasy.
    9. Bhusan’s experience with the ghost: The following day Bhusan requested the hirelings to allow him to sit unbothered in the house for the night. The night was dim and quiet; the stream was overwhelmed after the substantial storm. Bhusan, sitting in his seat, started to think back about the time when he was youthful. Every one of his musings swung to Mani and he felt the aches of division like never before. In any case, his psyche found a sense of contentment and he felt that the time had come when his heart’s desire would be fulfilled. He again heard the sound approaching the house. It crossed the long veranda and paused for a while at the bedroom door. It entered the inner chambers and finally came and stood before Bhusan himself. He opened his eyes and saw a skeleton standing right in front of him. Its whole body was covered with ornaments—rings on all its fingers, bracelets on it wrists, armlets on its arms, necklaces on its neck, and a golden crown on its head. The eyes of the skeleton shone out of the bony face, and seemed to be still living. Bhusan’s blood froze in his veins.
    10. Bhusan follows the skeleton down to the ghat: The skeleton fixed its gaze upon Bhusan’s face and silently beckoned him with its outstretched hands. Bhusan got up from his chair and followed the skeleton. The skeleton left the room, crossed the veranda and, getting down the spiral staircase, entered the hall. It then came out on the garden path and reached the river ghat. The bejewelled skeleton then stepped down to the flooded river, Bhusan following it. As Bhusan’s feet touched the water, he woke up with a start. The skeleton had disappeared, and was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, Bhusan slipped and fell into the river. He was a swimmer, still he couldn’t swim as his limbs were not under his control. He drowned and was engulfed by eternal sleep.
    11. The ambiguous ending: After finishing his story, the schoolmaster becomes silent for a while. Finally, he asks the narrator if he believes the story. The narrator in turn asks whether the schoolmaster himself believes it. The latter replies in the negative saying that Dame Nature does not have the leisure to write stories. The narrator interrupts him saying that he too does not believe the story, for his own name is Bhusan Saha. Without showing any signs of embarrassment, the schoolmaster says that he had guessed that, but adds that he wants to know the real name of Bhusan’s wife. The narrator replies that his wife’s name is Vitya Kali’, and the story ends abruptly.

The Lost Jewels Title

The title of the story The Lost Jewels is quite suitable. The story is about a rich businessperson named Bhusan, and his delightful spouse Mani. The couple is issueless and Mani is the main protest of Bhusan’s adoration. In any case, Mani does not esteem a similar fondness for her significant other. The sole question of her adoration is her adornments. Mani is fixated on her gems and can’t part with it at any cost.

At the point when Mani speculates that Bhusan will fall back on selling her adornments for raising credit, she goes out with all her gems. The creator does not disclose to us what really happens, but rather Mani does not return to Bhusan; neither does she contact her dad’s place. Sometime later, a skeleton shows up before Bhusan, all clad in gold and jewels, and takes Bhusan alongside itself to the district of the dead.

The gems which Mani was so attached to, and which soured the connection between the couple, are at last lost, never to be recouped. Therefore, these are the lost gems alluded to in the title. Other than its exacting significance of trimmings, the word ‘gems’ has a few implications. It might allude to Mani herself, whose name in Sanskrit is for ‘diamond’ or ‘gem’. Mani resembles a gem for Bhusan, his most prized ownership, whom he has lost forever.

Essentially, Bhusan’s name additionally implies a gem or decoration. Mani is extremely lucky to have a spouse like Bhusan. He is the sort of spouse a lady should be glad for. Notwithstanding, she neglects to comprehend him and starts to underestimate him. At long last, she loses her confidence in him and furthermore loses him face to face. Thusly, the ‘lost gems’ in the title may allude to the couple who are lost to each other, never to be joined in this life. Further, ‘gems’ may even allude to the attractive estimations of affection and trust which should frame and a vital part of conjugal relationship, however which are someplace lost or ailing in the connection amongst Bhusan and Mani.

The Lost Jewels Characterisation

The story The Lost Jewels exhibits a case of a story inside a story. The external story which is connected by the storyteller prompts another inward story which is told by the schoolmaster. The external, i.e., outline story has the storyteller and the schoolmaster as the principle characters. Both are cryptic, and their characterisation abandons us generally confused.

The Narrator

The edge story is described in the primary individual, and the storyteller alludes to himself as I, in this way leaving him an anonymous character for a larger piece of the story.

A wealthy merchant: The storyteller’s discussion with the schoolmaster uncovers him to be a well off trader who bargains in cases and timber. He has gone to the place from Ranchi and he says that he has come here for a change of air.

An intense spectator: The storyteller’s depiction of the setting, the waterway bank and the schoolmaster’s identity, indicates him to be a significant intense eyewitness. As a fabric shipper, he can make out that the schoolmaster is wearing a layer of Assam silk. He has additionally seen that the schoolmaster is experiencing appetite and disease.

An astute man: When the storyteller experiences the schoolmaster, he doesn’t uncover his genuine name to him, and even tells the perusers that he has given a name that was not his own. This demonstrates he is a canny individual, who is very careful while conversing with outsiders. At the point when the schoolmaster has completed his story, the storyteller stays quiet for quite a while, maybe, to conceal his feelings or the looks all over.

A patient listener: The storyteller is a patient audience. He keeps up idealize quiet as the schoolmaster relates his story. He neither hinders nor makes any remark on the story. It is just when the schoolmaster questions him on the believability of his story that he uncovers his name to be Bhusan Saha, whose story the schoolmaster happens to relate.

The Schoolmaster

Physical appearance: The schoolmaster is depicted as a ‘half-starved’ man with `a tremendous bare head’, and a weather-beaten look all over. His face is thin with hunger and illness, but his eyes shine with an unnatural brightness. He is wearing a greasy coat of Assam silk, which is open at the front.

A poor man: The schoolmaster’s life seems to be steeped in poverty. He appears to have taken up service away from home. The time when he meets the narrator by the ghat, is the time of evening meal. The schoolmaster perhaps has not been able to obtain enough resources for his meal of the day, and is, therefore, taking a walk by the side of the river.

His curiosity: The schoolmaster is quite a curious person. He does not know the narrator but asks him a number of questions as regards his identity, his place of origin and his profession. Perhaps he is ensuring whether the narrator is a proper person to relate his story to.

A master storyteller: The schoolmaster is an expert at the art of storytelling. His story of Bhusan Saha and Mani is quite interesting and it keeps the narrator’s attention arrested throughout. The descriptions add to the eerie atmosphere and create an element of thrill. There is also ample suspense as should mark a ghost story.

His philosophical reflections: The schoolmaster’s comments as he proceeds with his story are quite important. His philosophical reflections on the relationship between husband and wife, show that he does not think very highly of women. He himself seems to have been banished from the company of his wife and lives alone. It is quite natural for him to cherish such bitterness towards the opposite sex.

An odd character: The schoolmaster’s character appears rather strange and puzzling. In the first place, he relates a story to the narrator, with all the necessary details, and then he himself goes out to prove it false. When the narrator reveals his name to be Bhusan Saha, the schoolmaster does not seem to be embarrassed at all. His laid-back attitude is also quite enigmatic. It seems as if he has been in a regular habit of telling false stories to narrators who come to the place.

Characters in the Main Story

The story related by the schoolmaster has three important characters—Bhusan Saha, Mani and Modhu.

Bhusan Saha

Bhusan Saha is the most important character in the core story. It is his life history that the schoolmaster relates.

A wealthy merchant: Bhusan Saha is a wealthy merchant, who owns a prospering business. He is also the heir to the large property of his uncle Durga Saha, who is childless. Bhusan is a sensible businessman and is well aware of the market trends. When his business suffers a decline and he needs to raise credit, he very well understands the demerits of borrowing from known people. He knows that jewellery serves as the best security in case of borrowing from strangers, as it not only saves time, but avoids the complicated paperwork involved.

A modernised Bengali: The schoolmaster describes Bhusan Saha as a modernised Bengali. He has not only gained English  modernised education, but also speaks faultless English and freely associates with the sahibs (i.e., the Englishmen). He has also adopted the way of life of the sahibs. He has grown a beard and his lifestyle too is extravagant.

A docile husband: Bhusan has a beautiful wife named Mani whom he regards with utmost love, respect and care. He is not cruel and barbaric like other males who try to dominate their wives, or show their superiority over women in the household. When Mani shows reluctance in lending her jewellery so that he can mortgage it and raise credit, he decides never to ask her again for it. He doesn’t express how seriously he has been hurt by Mani’s indifferent attitude towards him.

Bhusan’s sense of pride: Bhusan has a sense of pride and decides not to touch his wife’s jewels if she is unwilling to part with them. He goes to Kolkata to try some other way of raising credit. He has full confidence in his abilities and is successful in securing a loan.

Bhusan’s love for Mani: Bhusan cherishes a true and deep love for his wife. He provides her with all the comforts and luxuries of life. Mani gets whatever she wants without even having to ask for it. His meek nature is a form of his love for Mani, which she fails to understand. Bhusan’s decision of not compelling Mani to hand over her jewellery to him speaks of his profound love for her. He is not the person to hold on tightly to his object of love, but lets Mani live a life of complete freedom. When he returns home from Kolkata and finds that Mani has not yet returned frm her father’s house, he is not troubled about her absence, but thinks that she will come back when she wants to.

His possessive attitude: Though Bhusan allows Mani complete freedom, he is also quite possessive about her. He does not take her to his home at Phulbere, where he has plenty of aunts and uncles and other relatives. This is because he wants to keep Mani to himself only. His possessive nature becomes a kind of obsession when Mani never returns. Bhusan is so overwhelmed with grief and so deeply suffers the pangs of separation that he begins to have hallucinations. He sees Mani in his visions and so strong is his desire to be united with her, that he follows her skeletal apparition and is drowned in the river, to be one with his wife in death.

An unconventional male figure: Bhusan has been portrayed as an unconventional male figure. He is not the dominating husband, who would obtain things by force. He does not have the barbaric nature to compel Mani to surrender her jewellery at his feet. He has failed to secure his wife’s trust through the years of their married life. He is therefore, rather unsuccessful as a husband.


Mani is another important character in the story. She has been presented as Bhusan’s wife.

A beautiful woman: Mani has been described as a beautiful woman who looks much younger than her age. She has well maintained her remarkable and youthful loveliness, not spoiling or losing even an iota of her beauty over the years.

Her efficiency: Mani is quite efficient so far as doing the household work is concerned. The author writes:
`She never kept more servants than were absolutely necessary. She thought that to pay wages to any one to do work which she herself could do was like playing the pickpocket with her own money.’
Thus, she is not a spendthrift.

An introvert: Mani is not the outgoing type. She does not talk much, nor does she mix with neighbours. One of the reasons for her introvert nature may be Bhusan’s keeping her solely to himself, and not taking her home to mix with his family members. It is because of her quiet nature that she consults Modhu and not a senior or experienced person who could have offered her a better advice.

Her fondness for material things: Mani is quite fond of material possessions like clothes and jewellery. She loves her jewellery more than anything else. She has no child to love, and her affection for her husband has gradually weakened. In such a case, her jewellery is the only object of her love. When Bhusan is in need and requests Mani to give him her jewellery, she shows such reluctance that he decides never to discuss the matter again. After Bhusan leaves for Kolkata, Mani still feels insecure about her jewellery and after consulting Modhu, decides to go to her father’s house with her jewellery. She is so obsessed with her jewellery that while leaving for her father’s house she does not keep her jewellery in a box, but wears all of it. She thinks that if the jewellery is in a box, it might be snatched away from her hands, but if she wears them on her person no one will be able to take it away without harming her. This shows that she loves her jewellery more than her own life.

Mani’s indifference to Bhusan: Though Bhusan is completely devoted to Mani and looks after her every need, she is rather indifferent towards him. She has all the comforts of life without even having to ask for them. It is for this reason that she has started taking Bhusan for granted. She simply accepts things without giving anything in return. Even after spending several years of her life with him, Mani has not been able to understand Bhusan. Even when he leaves for Kolkata to raise credit, she doubts his abilities and consults someone like Modhu for advice.