"She came back to the table and sat down, and after a moment Shukumar joined her. They wept together, for the things they now knew." - Extracted from Jhumpa Lahiri's short story, 'A Temporary Matter'.
This story is without doubt, one of the finest short stories I have read. Certainly nothing dramatic, or even life-altering. Except that it is. The varied range of emotions Jhumpa inspires in you, by simply painting an ordinary (even mundane) event in the daily course of life, is bound to leave you wistful. Each sentence is quotable, each sentence applies to you in a twisted, inexplicable manner.
What constitutes a person? Why is it that our lives are thought to be part of a rigmarole? Isn't it a wonder just to be alive, just to experience? Most importantly, who needs fantasy when you have real people with their awe-inspiring tales?
I don't know the answer to those questions, I do not know if they hold relevance. But each time I read any of Jhumpa Lahiri's works, I find myself asking these same questions, over and over again. Perhaps therein lies the beauty if her work, not in incidents but in the course of incidents. Not through powerful emotion, but with a perpetually nagging feeling.
If you haven't read the story yet, please do, here: A Temporary Matter.