The Address Summary In English
This is a moving story of a daughter who goes in search of her mother’s belongings after the War, in Holland. The narrator is the daughter of Mrs. S., who died during the war. The narrator went to number 46, Marconi Street to see Mrs. Dorling who was an old acquaintance of her mother, and who had removed almost all the belongings of her mother during the war to this place. All this was done with Mrs. S’s silent consent as Mrs. Dorling wanted to save her things, which they would lose if they had to leave the place.
The narrator had seen Mrs. Dorling for the first time during the first half of the war. She had come home for a few days and noticed the change in the rooms. She missed various things. Her mother informed her that Mrs. Dorling had moved these things to safety and gave her the address 46, Marconi Street. After the war, the narrator visited the address her mother had given her. She remembered Mrs. Dorling clearly. She was a woman with a broad back. Mrs. Dorling looked at the narrator searchingly and showed no sign of recognition. She kept staring in silence. She saw that the narrator, who had recognized her mother’s green knitted cardigan, was looking at it. She half hid behind the door and refused to see her. She was surprised to see the narrator who had survived the war.
The narrator returned to the station and boarded the train. While on the train she remembered the first time she had seen Mrs. Dorling and how her mother had introduced her to her old acquaintance and given the address.
After the first fruitless visit to Mrs. Dorling’s house, the narrator visited the place a second time. This time, a girl of about fifteen opened the door to her. She asked the girl if her mother was at home. Since she was away, the narrator decided to wait for her.
She followed the girl along the passage. The first thing that struck her was an old-fashioned iron Hanukkah candle-holder hung next to a mirror. Then they went into the living room. The narrator was horrified as she was in a room she knew and did not know. She found herself in the midst of things she had so wanted to see again, but which oppressed her in the strange atmosphere. The tasteless way of arrangement, ugly furniture, and the muggy smell all contributed to arouse this feeling. She didn’t have the courage to look around her. She sat down and stared at the woolen table-cloth. As she followed the lines of the pattern, she remembered that it was their table-cloth, which had a burn mark that had never been repaired. Soon she found the hole.
The girl poured her tea from a white pot that had a gold border on the lid. She opened the box and took out some spoons. The narrator praised the box. Mrs. Dorling’s daughter said that it was an antique. They had got lots more and she pointed round the room. The narrator knew very well which things she meant. She remarked that the cutlery-spoons, forks, and knives was silver. The girl laughed. She walked to the sideboard and wanted to open a drawer.
The narrator fell perturbed. The objects linked with her mother aroused memories of her former life. At first, she was eager to see them, but now they had lost their value since they were severed from her mother and were stored in strange surroundings. Moreover, they were useless to her in her present state. She lived in a small rented room with space for no more than a handful of cutlery fitted in the narrow table drawer.
She resolved to forget the address. She wanted to leave the memories of her mother and the war behind her and decided to move on.
The Address Summary In Hindi
यह एक ऐसी बेटी की हृदयस्पर्शी कथा है जो हालैंड में युद्ध के उपरांत अपनी माँ की संपत्ति (वस्तुओं) की तलाश में जाती है। कथाकार श्रीमति एस० की पुत्री है जिसकी युद्ध के दौरान मृत्यु हो गई। वर्णनकर्ता मारकोनी स्ट्रीट के 46 नंबर मकान में उस श्रीमति डोरलिंग से भेंट करने गई जो कि उसकी माँ की पुरानी परिचित थी तथा जो युद्ध के दौरान उसकी माँ की सभी वस्तुओं को यहाँ ले आई थी। यह सब श्रीमती एस० की मौन स्वीकृति के साथ किया गया क्योंकि श्रीमति डोरलिंग उन वस्तुओं को बचाना चाहती थीं जिन्हें वे खो देते यदि उन्हें वह स्थान त्यागना पड़ता। वर्णनकर्ता ने श्रीमति डोरलिंग को पहली बार युद्ध के पूर्वाद्ध में देखा था। वह अपने घर पर कुछ दिन के लिए आई थी तथा उसका कमरों में परिवर्तन की ओर ध्यान गया। उसे कई वस्तुएँ नदारद (गायब) मिली। उसकी माँ ने उसे सूचित किया कि श्रीमति डोरलिंग इन वस्तुओं को सुरक्षित स्थान पर ले गई थी और उसे पता बताया- नंबर 46, मारकोनी स्ट्रीट।
युद्ध के उपरांत वर्णनकर्ता उस पते पर पहुँची जो उसकी माँ ने उसे दिया था। उसे श्रीमति डोरलिंग स्पष्टतया याद थी। वह चौड़ी पीठ वाली महिला थी। श्रीमति डोरलिंग ने वर्णनकर्ता को खोजने की दृष्टि से देखा किंतु पहचान के कोई भाव प्रकट नहीं किए। वह चुपचाप घूरती रही। उसने देखा कि वर्णनकर्ता, जिसने अपनी माँ का सलाइयों से बना हरा कार्डिगन पहचान लिया था, इसे ध्यान से देख रही थी। उसने स्वयं को आधा दरवाजे के पीछे छिपा लिया तथा उससे भेंट करने से मना कर दिया। उसे उस वर्णनकर्ता को देखकर आश्चर्य हुआ जो युद्ध के बाद जीवित बच गई थी।
वर्णनकर्ता स्टेशन पर लौट आई तथा रेलगाड़ी में सवार हो गई। जब वह गाड़ी में थी तो उसे श्रीमति डोरलिंग के साथ प्रथम भेंट याद आई और यह कि किस प्रकार उसकी माँ ने उसको परिचय अपनी पुरानी परिचित से कराया था तथा उसे यह पता दिया था।
श्रीमति डोरलिंग के घर, प्रथम निष्फल भ्रमण के उपरांत, वर्णनकर्ता दूसरी बार उसके घर गई। इस बार 15 वर्षीय एक लड़की ने उसके लिए दरवाजा खोला। उसने लड़की से पूछा कि क्या उसकी माँ घर पर थी। क्योंकि वह बाहर गई हुई थी, वर्णनकर्ता ने उसकी प्रतीक्षा करने का निर्णय किया।
वह लड़की के पीछे-पीछे गलियारे में गई। पहली वस्तु जिसने उसका ध्यान आकर्षित किया वह था पुराना लोहे का हानुका शमादान-नुमा फानूस जो एक दर्पण के समीप लटक रहा था। फिर वे बैठक में चले गए। वर्णनकर्ता भयभीत हो गई क्योंकि वह एक ऐसे कक्ष (कमरे) में थी जिसे वह जानती भी थी और नहीं भी। उसने स्वयं को उन वस्तुओं के मध्य में पाया जिनको देखने की उसकी इतनी अधिक चाह (इच्छा) थी, किंतु वे इस विचित्र वातावरण में उसे सता रही थीं। वस्तुओं को सजाने का रुचिहीन क्रम, भद्दा फर्नीचर तथा सीलन की दुर्गन्ध-सभी ने इस भावना को उभारने में योगदान दिया। उसमें अपने चारों ओर देखने का साहस नहीं रही। वह बैठ गई तथा ऊनी मेज़पोश को घूर घूरकर देखने लगी। जब वह नमूने की रेखाओं का ध्यान से अनुसरण करने लगी, तो उसे याद आया कि यह उनको ही मेज़पोश था, जिसमें जल जाने का ऐसा चिह्न था जिसकी कभी मरम्मत नहीं की गई थी। शीघ्र ही उसे वह छेद मिल गया।
लड़की ने उसके लिए एक सफेद चायदानी से चाय डाली जिसके ढक्कन पर सुनहरा किनारा था। उसने डिब्बा खोला तथा कुछ चम्मच निकाले। वर्णनकर्ता ने डिब्बे की प्रशंसा की। श्रीमति डोरलिंग की पुत्री ने कहा कि यह एक अति प्राचीन वस्तु थी। उनके पास काफी अधिक और भी थे तथा उसने कमरे के चारों और इशारा किया। वर्णनकर्ता को भली-भाँति ज्ञात था कि उसका तात्पर्य किन वस्तुओं से था। उसने कहा कि चम्मच, काँटे, छुरी आदि ये उपकरण चाँदी के थे। वह लड़की हँस पड़ी। वह साथ रखी दराजों वाली मेज के पास चलकर गई और उसने इसका एक दराज़ खोलना चाहा।।
वर्णनकर्ता परेशान (विचलित) महसूस करने लगी। उसकी माँ से संबंधित वस्तुएँ उसके विगत जीवन की स्मृतियों को उभारने लगी। पहले वह उन्हें देखने को लालायित (उत्सुक) थी, किंतु अब वे अपना मूल्य गंवा बैठे थे क्योंकि वे उसकी माँ से पृथक् हो गए थे तथा उन्हें अज़नबी वातावरण में सहेजकर रखा गया था। इसके अतिरिक्त, उसकी अपनी वर्तमान स्थिति में, वे उसके लिए बेकार थे। वह किराए के एक छोटे से कमरे में रहती थी जिसमें तंग दराजों वाली मेज में मुट्ठीभर चाकू, काँटे, छुरी आदि रखने से अधिक स्थान नहीं था।
उसने इस पते को भूल जाने का निश्चय किया। वह अपनी माँ तथा युद्ध की स्मृतियों को पीछे छोड़ना चाहती थी और उसने आगे बढ़ने का निर्णय लिया।
QUESTIONS FROM TEXTBOOK SOLVED
Question 1: ‘Have you come back?’ said the woman, ‘I thought that no one had come back.’ Does this statement give some clue about the story? If yes, what is it?
Answer: Yes, this statement gives some clues about the story. During the early part of the war, Mrs. Dorling had shifted the important belongings of her acquaintance, Mrs. S, from her house to 46, Marconi Street. These included table silverware, antique plates, and other nice things such as the iron anukkah candle-holder, woolen table cloth, and green knitted cardigan with wooden buttons. Since Mrs. S. had died during the war, Mrs. Dorling did not expect anyone to come back and claim her costly belongings as she thought no one else knew her address.
The statement indicates the greedy and possessive nature of Mrs. Dorling. She did not open the door to the daughter of her former acquaintance nor did she show any signs of recognition. She did not let the girl in. She refused to see her then saying it was not convenient for her to do. The narrator had gone to this address with a specific purpose—to see her mother’s belongings.
Even when she told Mrs. Dorling that only she had come back, the woman with a broad back did not soften a bit. Thus the clash of interests is hinted at by the aforesaid statement.
Question 2: The story is divided into pre-war and post-war times. What hardships do you think the girl underwent during these times?
Answer: During the pre-war times, the narrator lived in some other city far away from home and she visited her mother only for a few days. During the first half of the war, the narrator’s mother was always afraid that they might have to leave the place and lose all valuable belongings. The narrator lived in the city in a small rented room. Its windows were covered with blackout paper. She could not see the beauty of nature outside her room. The threat of death loomed largely.
After liberation, everything became normal again. The bread was getting to be a lighter color. She could sleep in her bed without any fear of death. She could glance out of the window of her room each day. One day, she was eager to see all the possessions of her mother, which she knew were stored at number 46, Marconi Street. She went to that address. She felt disappointed when Mrs. Dorling neither recognized her nor let her in. She asked her to come again someday. It was evident she wanted to put her off. She was eager to see, touch, and remember her mother’s possessions. So, she had to take the trouble of visiting the place again.
Question 3: Why did the narrator of the story want to forget the address?
Answer: The narrator remembered the address her mother had told her only once. It was number 46, Marconi Street. Her mother’s acquaintance Mrs. Dorling lived there. She had stored the valuable belongings of the narrator’s mother there. After her mother’s death, the narrator had an urge to visit the place. She wanted to see those things, touch them, and remember. She went to the given address twice. She was successful in her second attempt to enter the living room.
She found herself in the midst of things she wanted to see again. She felt oppressed in a strange atmosphere. Everything was arranged in a tasteless way. The ugly furniture and the muggy smell that hung there seemed quite unpleasant. These objects evoked the memory of the familiar life of the former time. But they had lost their value since they had been separated from her mother and stored in strange surroundings. She no longer wanted to see, touch, or remember these belongings. She resolved to forget the address. She wanted to leave the past behind and decided to move on.
Question 4: ‘The Address’ is a story of the human predicament that follows war. Comment.
Answer: The war creates many difficult and unpleasant situations for human beings. Sometimes it becomes difficult to know what to do. The human predicament that follows war is amply illustrated through the experience of the narrator. The war had caused many physical difficulties as well as emotional suffering to her. She had lost her dear mother. She went to 46, Marconi Street to see her mother’s valuable possessions. How greedy and callous human beings can become is exemplified by the behavior of Mrs. Dorling. She had stored all the valuable belongings of the narrator’s mother, but she refused to recognize the narrator. She did not even let her in. The presence of her mother’s possessions in a strange atmosphere pained her. Now, these valuables had lost all their importance for her as they had been separated from her mother. She could get no solace or comfort from them.