I laughed in great glee at my curious illusion, as I sat over the newspaper at my camp-table, lighted by the kerosene lamp. I opened my eyes and saw that it was already light. That day again at dead of night I heard the stifled heart-breaking sobs of some one—as if below the bed, below the floor, below the stony foundation of that gigantic palace, from the depths of a dark damp grave, a voice piteously cried and implored me: "Oh, rescue me! The Hungry Stones and Other Stories: The Kingdom of Cards, II ; Cite. Kanai Dutt, an upper-class translator from New Delhi, stands on a crowded train platform in Calcutta. What infinite grandeur, what endless servitude! The film is adapted from a story called Hungry Stones by Rabindranath Tagore. Despite the storm and rain I ran to him and asked: "Ho, Meher Ali, what is false? I threw my pen down, closed my ledgers, got into my dog-cart, and drove away. In his days jets of rose-water spurted from its fountains, and on the cold marble floors of its spray-cooled rooms young Persian damsels would sit, their hair dishevelled before bathing, and, splashing their soft naked feet in the clear water of the reservoirs, would sing, to the tune of the guitar, the ghazals of their vineyards. It is but the vast and ​solitary quarters of cess-collectors like us, men oppressed with solitude and deprived of the society of women. Language: English And when I was very depressed, or if at any time the light of my devotion became dim, and I pitied my evil fate, then I made my mind utter these sentences, one by one, as a child repeats a story that is told. I saw that the day had dawned, and Meher Ali was going round and round the palace with his usual cry in that dreadful weather. The Hungry Stones The Victory Once There Was A King The Home-coming My Lord, The Baby The Kingdom Of Cards The Devotee Vision The Babus Of Nayanjore Living Or Dead? 450 by the discharge of my duties as collector of cotton duties, and driving in my dog-cart to my office every day in a short coat and sola hat, appeared to me to be such an astonishingly ludicrous illusion that I burst into a horse-laugh, as I stood in the gloom of that vast silent hall. The desolate halls of the palace banged their doors, and moaned in the bitterness of anguish. Barich is a lovely place. As the sun sank behind the hill-tops a long dark curtain fell upon the stage of day, and the intervening hills cut short the time in which light and shade mingle at sunset. Perhaps the process had begun as soon as I set my foot in the house, but I distinctly remember the day on which I first was conscious of it. I got up noiselessly, and, though not a soul save myself was there in the countless apartments of that deserted palace with its slumbering sounds and waking echoes, I feared at every step lest any one should wake up. I could not go out for my ride, and the next day I gave up my queer English coat and hat for good. The river was perfectly calm, but I felt that its still, shallow, and clear waters were stirred suddenly by the splash of many an arm jingling with bracelets, that the girls laughed and dashed and spattered water at one another, that the feet of the fair swimmers tossed the tiny waves up in showers of pearl. Where didst thou flourish and when? The servants were all in the office, and there was no one to light the lamps. Though I could not see my fair guide, her form was not invisible to my mind's eye,—an Arab girl, her arms, hard and smooth as marble, visible through her loose sleeves, a thin veil falling on her face from the fringe of her cap, and a curved dagger at her waist! I fancy that the extraordinary man saw this, and was a little pleased with it. I asked: "Is there no means whatever of my release?" By what cool spring, under the shade of what date-groves, wast thou born—in the lap of what homeless wanderer in the desert? The day had just closed, and the lamps had not yet been lighted. Most of the rooms of the palace were always kept closed, and I had never entered them. I passed it off with a light laugh. I saw nobody, but felt as if some one was gently pushing me. Directed by Tapan Sinha. For this reader, the latter was far superior to the former, which the author appeared to not know how to end. A terrific scream made me jump, and I saw I was sitting on that camp-bedstead of mine sweating heavily; and the crescent moon looked pale in the morning light like a weary sleepless patient at dawn; and our crazy Meher AH was crying out, as is his daily custom, "Stand back! A few concerned ghosts or the macabre, as told by a narrator similar to Tagore ("The Hungry Stones") or written in the third person ("Living or Dead?"). Of course, I could get no sleep that night. The scene is at the waiting room in a rail station. About 250 years ago the Emperor Mahmud Shah II. After nightfall I was caught and overwhelmed in the snare of a strange intoxication. Barich is a lovely place. The gloomy woods and ​the sooty waters of the Susta were waiting in terrible suspense and in an ominous calm. Hitherto we had been perfectly happy, as we did not know that secret and unheardof forces were at work, that the Russians had advanced close to us, that the English had deep and secret policies, that confusion among the native chiefs had come to a head. No Reviews are Available. So soon? All is false! Next morning the whole affair appeared a queer ​fantasy. The Hungry Stones and Other Stories - Ebook written by Rabindranath Tagore. The Hungry Stones And Other Stories by Rabindranath Tagore. The Hungry Stones, and Other Stories Contents: The hungry stones -- The victory -- Once there was a king -- The home-coming -- My lord, the baby -- The kingdom of cards -- The devotee -- Vision -- The babus of Nayanjore -- Living or dead? 450 per mensem as my salary. I followed breathless and with silent steps my invisible guide—I cannot now say where. The house had such a bad name that even thieves would not venture near it after dark. I sent for my cook and gave orders for a rich, sumptuous moghlai dinner, redolent of spices and ghi. Who am I? As time passes he grows more consumed by the mansion and its air of romance, and the spirits that haunt it, especially a beautiful woman. With a light heart I put on a sola hat like the sahebs, and drove out to my work. As soon as he caught sight of our fellow-passenger, he cried, "Hallo," and took him into his own compartment. Sometimes in the evening, while arraying myself carefully as a prince of the blood-royal before a large mirror, with a candle burning on either side, I would see a sudden reflection of the Persian beauty by the side of my own. Thus, the story keeps the readers engrossed even after its completion. Amazon Reviews. The story uses mystery, myth, and folklore to create a sense of wonderment for the readers but leaves them hankering for more as there is no closure or revelation at the end of it. A stranger or a more bitterly heart-rending tragedy was never enacted on this earth.". During the day I would go to my work worn and tired, cursing the bewitching night and her empty dreams, but as night came my daily life with its bonds and shackles of work would appear a petty, false, ludicrous vanity. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. A fragrant intoxicating vapour, issuing from a strange sort of incense that burned within, almost overpowered my senses. There was nothing there, but a sudden dread froze the blood in my heart—methought I saw there on the floor at the foot of the screen a terrible negro eunuch dressed in rich brocade, sitting and dozing with outstretched legs, with a naked sword on his lap. The Hungry Stones was featured as The Short Story of the Day on Wed, Aug 07, 2019 All is false!! Then, O, thou flower of the desert, swept away by the blood-stained dazzling ocean of grandeur, with its foam of jealousy, its rocks and shoals of intrigue, on what shore of cruel death wast thou cast, or in what other land more splendid and more cruel? Tagore was inspired to write this story after he had stayed in Shah Jahan's Moti Shahi Mahal palace Shahibaug, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, situated near the Sabarmati River (in the story this became the Shusta River). 5 out of 5 stars 5.0 out of 5.0 5 Stars 1 4 Stars 0 3 Stars 0 2 Stars 0 1 Stars 0 Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews. (A poetic translation of a story by Rabindranath Tagore, kśhdhārto pāśhāņa, Hungry Stones, for convenience split in 13 parts) . A wild gust of wind, laden with all the fragrance of hills and woods, would put out my light, and I would fling aside my dress and lie down on my bed, my eyes closed and my body thrilling with delight, and there around me in the breeze, amid all the perfume of the woods and hills, floated through the silent gloom many a caress and many a kiss and many a tender touch of hands, and gentle murmurs in my ears, and fragrant breaths on my brow; or a ​sweetly-perfumed kerchief was wafted again and again on my cheeks. The dark rooms were looking sullen as if they had taken offence. The story is about a tax collector, Srijut, who is sent to a small town and stays at a former palace which is believed to be haunted. Not one of those who lived there for three consecutive nights could escape these cruel jaws, save Meher Ali, who had escaped at the cost of his reason. The Hungry Stones is based on Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s short story Kshudhita Pashan, which was originally published in 1895.KDT has reimagined its 1994 production with all new choreography and set design. Now, Karim Khan, the old clerk of my office, warned me repeatedly not to take up my abode there. When the train reached the junction, we assembled in the waiting-room for the connection. Like fragrance wafted away by the wind they were dispersed by a single breath of the spring. The old man said: "There is only one means, and that is very difficult. ", The man answered nothing, but pushing me aside went round and round with his frantic cry, like a bird flying fascinated about the jaws of a snake, and made a desperate effort to warn himself by repeating: "Stand back! I was to have written my quarterly report that day, and expected to return late; but before it was dark I was strangely drawn to my house—by what I could not say—I felt they were all waiting, and that I should delay no longer. ​The oppressive closeness of the evening was broken by a sudden gust of wind, and the still surface of the Susta rippled and curled like the hair of a nymph, and from the woods wrapt in the evening gloom there came forth a simultaneous murmur, as though they were awakening from a black dream. At last my fair guide stopped abruptly before a deep blue screen, and seemed to point to something below. The discussion that followed ended in a lifelong rupture between my theosophist kinsman and myself. It was then 10 P. M., and as the train, we heard, was likely to be very late, owing to something wrong in the lines, I spread my bed on the table and was about to lie down for a comfortable doze, when the extraordinary person deliberately set about spinning the following yarn. Read the full-text online edition of The Hungry Stones: And Other Stories (1916). The Susta had shrunk and sunk low; a broad patch of sand on the other side glowed with the hues of evening; on this side the pebbles at the bottom of the clear shallow waters were glistening. "Pass the day there, if you like," said he, "but never stay the night." One evening I decided to go out on my horse—I do not know who implored me to stay—but I would listen to no entreaties that day. ​As with trembling heart I made an attempt to step across the outstretched legs of the eunuch, he woke up suddenly with a start, and the sword fell from his lap with a sharp clang on the marble floor. Whatever belonged to the present, whatever was moving and acting and working for bread seemed trivial, meaningless, and contemptible. Hungry stones by Rabindranath Tagore is the compilation of stories with a varied tune and diverse mood that aids the reader to gain a rather deep insight into the haze of the mind of men. This is a story that reveals the trap that is formed by materialistic desires and bodily lusts for a human being. And O, the history of that place! On one side there was a bluish crystal tray on which a few apples, pears, oranges, and bunches of grapes in plenty, two small cups and a gold-tinted decanter were evidently awaiting the guest. He discoursed upon all subjects so confidently that you might think the Disposer of All Things consulted him at all times in all that He did. As I awoke she said not a word, but beckoned me with her five fingers bedecked with rings to follow her cautiously. The Hungry Stones and Other Stories - Kindle edition by Tagore, Rabindranath. Adapted from a Rabindranath Tagore story. XI Yet, by the eve giddy minded I grew, And felt as if I had a tryst to keep, Office work seemed an act of bread from blue, Then slowly a mysterious serpent would twist her stupefying coils about me; and heaving a heavy sigh, I would lapse into insensibility, and then into a profound slumber. But I used to think over words like these for days and days together. Break through these doors of hard illusion, deathlike slumber and fruitless dreams, ​place me by your side on the saddle, press me to your heart, and, riding through hills and woods and across the river, take me to the warm radiance of your sunny rooms above!". "Hungry Stones" (Bengali: Kshudhita Pashan or Khudito Pashan) is a Bengali short story written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1895. -- "We crown thee king" -- The renunciation -- The Cabuliwallah [The Fruitseller from Cabul]. The story has been adapted a number of times as listed below: Tagore wrote several other ghost stories, including The Skeleton, Lost Jewels, In the Middle of the Night and False Hope. If you would only look into them, then your reading and writing would go to the winds." ... "Tell me, mother, a story of some very far-off land." A tax collector posted to a small town puts up at a mansion feared by the locals because it is haunted. The servants said that they would work till dark, and go away at night. The Susta "chatters over stony ways and babbles on the pebbles," tripping, like a skilful dancing girl, in through the woods below the lonely hills. It is difficult to describe or to induce people to believe; but I felt as if the whole house was like a living organism slowly and imperceptibly digesting me by the action of some stupefying gastric juice. A flight of 150 steps rises from the river, and above that flight, on the river's brim and at the foot of the hills, there stands a solitary marble palace. Neel, an ambitious businessman, has bought a crumbling palace to transform into a luxury hotel. Chapter 1: The Tide Country Summary. So after much discussion the four decided that it would be best to say that the body had been burnt. Home » Browse » Books » Book details, The Hungry Stones: And Other Stories Forgive it but this once, burn its wings and consume it in thy flame!". With a red velvet cap on ​my head, loose paijamas, an embroidered vest, a long flowing silk gown, and coloured handkerchiefs scented with attar, I would complete my elaborate toilet, sit on a high-cushioned chair, and replace my cigarette with a many-coiled narghileh filled with rose-water, as if in eager expectation of a strange meeting with the beloved one. The story of The Hungry Stones is a weird experience of a cotton-collector in a medieval pleasure-palace who resides a few days there. I felt as if in the curious apartments of that vast edifice the fragments of a beautiful story, which I could follow for some distance, but of which I could never see the end, flew about in a sudden gust of the vernal breeze. And the mad man cried out: "Stand back! Every night he becomes more consumed by the spirits of the inhabitants of the palace from the Mughal times and a beautiful indian woman. As we had never stirred out of our homes before, the demeanour of the man struck us dumb with wonder. He listened to the tritest saying that fell from the lips of our extraordinary companion with devotional rapture, and secretly took down notes of his conversation. Whom could I console when no one was by? I have no power to describe the marvellous incidents that unfolded themselves, as the gloom of the night deepened. Just at this moment the coolies announced that the train was coming. Then I came under such a spell that this intangible, inaccessible, unearthly vision appeared to be the only reality in the world—and all else a mere dream. My fair guide lightly tripped over his legs and held up a fringe of the screen. Download The Hungry Stones Study Guide Subscribe Now The Hungry stones by the noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore are published by the Rupa publishing house. A strange thrill of delight, slightly tinged with fear, passed through my frame, and though there was not a figure before my eyes, methought I saw a bevy of joyous maidens coming down the steps to bathe in the Susta in that summer evening. I thought of going out for a ride, and was about to get up when I heard a footfall on the steps behind. I looked back, but there was no one. This page was last edited on 14 November 2020, at 15:05. The Hungry Stones; And Twelve Other Stories ... Story. I wished I had a guitar to which I could sing to the unknown: "O fire, the poor moth that made a vain effort to fly away has come back to thee! Not one of those who lived there for … In the dense gloom within I could distinctly feel that a woman was lying on her face on the carpet below the bed—clasping and tearing her long dishevelled hair with desperate fingers. Blood was trickling down her fair brow, and she was now laughing a hard, harsh, mirthless laugh, now bursting into violent wringing sobs, now rending her bodice and striking at her bare bosom, as the wind roared in through the open window, and the rain poured in torrents and soaked her through and through. Suddenly two tear-drops fell from overhead on my brow. “The Hungry Stones” is one of the several stories in Tagore’s oeuvre that depicts functionaries of the Indian government, which Tagore uses to draw a tension between the modernizing Indian state and the types of Indian lives that fall outside the hegemony of that British colonial order. Audible.com Reviews. He fails to realize that the stones come to life each night, engulfing anyone that dares to trespass. As I pushed the door open a great bustle seemed to follow within, as if a throng of people had broken up in confusion, and rushed out through the doors and windows and corridors and verandas and rooms, to make its hurried escape. There was not a breath of wind anywhere, and the still air was laden with an oppressive scent from the spicy shrubs growing on the hills close by. ", I ran like a mad man through the pelting rain to my office, and asked Karim Khan: "Tell me the meaning of all this!". The mental wanderings, passion, anger, emotion and indeed that spiritual aspiration gain a diction in this … An English gentleman, apparently just aroused from slumber, was looking out of a first-class carriage endeavouring to read the name of the station. The story is pure fabrication from start to finish." I gave my ready assent. What Bedouin snatched thee from thy mother's arms, an opening bud plucked from a wild creeper, placed thee on a horse swift as lightning, crossed the burning sands, and took thee to the slave-market of what royal city? The mystic forms that brushed past me with their quick unbodied steps, and loud, voiceless laughter, and threw themselves into the river, did not go back wringing their dripping robes as they went. After I had finished my paper and eaten my moghlai dinner, I put out the lamp, and lay down on my bed in a small side-room. I said: "The man evidently took us for fools and imposed upon us out of fun. I would stay out, and work hard as long as possible, then return home at night jaded and tired, go to bed and fall asleep. Through the open window a radiant star, high above the Avalli hills skirted by the darkness of their woods, was gazing intently from millions and millions of miles away in the sky at Mr. Collector lying on a humble camp-bedstead. The Last Harvest: Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hungry_Stones&oldid=963729112, Articles containing Bengali-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 June 2020, at 13:23. Whence arose this inconsolable grief? The stories contained in this volume were translated by several hands. Standing in the darkness of that vast desolate hall between the rows of those ancient pillars, I could hear the gurgle of fountains plashing on the marble floor, a strange tune on the guitar, the jingle of ornaments and the tinkle of anklets, the clang of bells tolling the hours, the distant note of nahabat, the din of the crystal pendants of chandeliers shaken by the breeze, the song of bulbuls from the cages in the corridors, the cackle of storks in the gardens, all creating round me a strange unearthly music. What endless dark and narrow passages, what long corridors, what silent and solemn audience-chambers and close secret cells I crossed! Suddenly land, water, and sky shivered, and a wild tempest blast rushed howling through the distant pathless woods, showing its lightning-teeth like a raving maniac who had broken his chains. Methought that one of the thousand and one Arabian Nights had been wafted to me from the world of romance, and that at the dead of night ​I was wending my way through the dark narrow alleys of slumbering Bagdad to a trysting-place fraught with peril. We hurriedly packed up our luggage, as the train steamed in. All is false! But our newly-acquired friend said with a sly smile: "There happen more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are reported in your newspapers." The story is pure fabrication from start to finish." A heavy silence was reigning within. Stand back!!" Then I was filled with a lively fear that it was the Muse that had taken advantage of my solitude and possessed me—the witch had evidently come to ruin a poor devil like myself making a living by collecting cotton duties. All is false!!" Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Hungry Stones and Other Stories. Searchable etext. A tax collector posted to a small town puts up at a mansion feared by the locals because it is haunted. He is on his way to visit his aunt in the Sundarbans islands, a collection of tiny islands connected by a maze of rivers. With Madhurima Basak, Arjun Chakraborty, Biswajit Chakraborty, Sanjit Chatterjee. All is false!!". The Hungry Stones: The Hungry Stones And Other Stories > The Hungry Stones and Other Stories: Living or Dead?, I ... and they could hardly persuade him to believe in this ghost story. I wandered from room to room in the dark, with unavailing sorrow. She it was who had saffron-coloured paijamas, white ruddy soft feet in goldembroidered slippers with curved toes, a close-fitting bodice wrought with gold, a red cap, from which a golden frill fell on her snowy brow and cheeks. 1 likes. I said: "No, I can stay here no longer." My kinsman and myself were returning to Calcutta from our Puja trip when we met the man in a train. From time to time there was a deep thud, as the river-banks crumbled. My English hat and coat were resting on a rack, and I was about to take them down when a sudden whirlwind, crested with the sands of the Susta and the dead leaves of the Avalli hills, caught them up, and whirled them round and round, while a loud peal of merry laughter rose higher and higher, striking all the chords of mirth till it died away in the land of sunset. The music of the sareng,[1] the jingle of anklets, the occasional flash of daggers and the glowing wine of Shiraz poison, and the piercing flashing glance! Not a sound was in the ​valley, in the river, or in the palace, to break the silence, but I distinctly heard the maidens' gay and mirthful laugh, like the gurgle of a spring gushing forth in a hundred cascades, as they ran past me, in quick playful pursuit of each other, towards the river, without noticing me at all. When, owing to a disagreement about some questions of administrative policy, I threw up my post ​at Junagarh, and entered the service of the Nizam of Hyderabad, they appointed me at once, as a strong young man, collector of cotton duties at Barich. As we got into a second-class carriage, ​we had no chance of finding out who the man was nor what was the end of his story. Suddenly it came to me that perhaps he also had once lived in that house, and that, though he had gone mad, he came there every day, and went round and round, fascinated by the weird spell cast by the marble demon. Call it reality or dream, the momentary glimpse of that invisible mirage reflected from a far-off world, 250 years old, vanished in a flash. Despite advice to the contrary, he moves into a deserted palace that is believed to be haunted. It seemed as if a dark curtain of 250 years was hanging before me, and I would fain lift a corner of it tremblingly and peer through, though the assembly on the other side was completely enveloped in darkness. As evening approached I grew absent-minded; I felt as if I had an appointment to keep; and the ​work of examining the cotton accounts seemed wholly useless; even the Nizamat[3]of the Nizam did not appear to be of much worth. The discussion that followed ended in a lifelong rupture between my theosophist kinsman and myself. What I gathered from that old man was this: That at one time countless unrequited unsatisfied longings and lurid flames of ing pleasure raged within that palace, and that the curse of all the heart-aches and blasted hopes had made its every stone thirsty and hungry, eager to swallow up like a famished ogress any living man who might chance to approach. From his dress and bearing we took him at first for an up-country Mahomedan, but we were puzzled as we heard him talk. It is set in blank verse with stanzas that rhymed in between. The Hungry Tide Chapters 1-10 Summary & Analysis. It is set in blank verse with stanzas that rhymed in between. And so I could breathe once more the serener air of peace and love. I felt a thrill at my heart—I cannot say whether the excitement was due to fear or delight or curiosity. As I sat down again, thinking it to be an illusion, I heard many footfalls, as if a large number of persons were rushing down the steps. And all the same I would wander from room to room in pursuit of them the whole night long. I could catch a glimpse of a part of the room spread with a Persian carpet—some one was sitting inside on a bed—I could not see her, but only caught a glimpse of two exquisite feet in gold-embroidered slippers, hanging out from loose saffron-coloured paijamas and placed idly on the orange-coloured velvet carpet. I noticed that it stopped of itself at the gate of the marble palace just at the hour of twilight. Katha Dance Theatre will present a new version of its award-winning dance-drama, The Hungry Stones, at The Cowles Center in Minneapolis. No work to do his pleasure and luxury the vast and ​solitary quarters of cess-collectors us! Ledgers, got into my dog-cart, and the next day I gave up my abode there followed great! Not venture near it after dark gave up my queer English coat and hat for good packed. The passionate cry stopped abruptly before a week had passed, the story keeps the engrossed. It stopped of itself at the gate of the man in a train him at first solitude... 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