Kalpana Kalpana

The Martyr's Corner

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The Martyr's Corner is a short story by R.K. Narayan. The story reflects how external situations that arise can have a dramatic effect on our lives. The story is about the decline in the business of a character named Rama.



Rama is a food vendor, whose delicious food attracts passersby, especially cinemagoers. One day, however, a babbling crowd gathered at the popular corner. A quarrel ensued, and the police came and fired into the crowd, causing deaths. People collected enough money to set up a stone memorial, and decorated it with ornamental fencing and flower pots for their fallen leader. It became a "Martyr's Corner".Rama had to move to a spot a few hundred meters away and he lost his loyal customers. Rama's business was finished. Once a hotel owner himself, he was reduced to queueing up for a job outside a restaurant. mdc;,;,;


The language of the story is vivid and descriptive. The content of the story takes us to the first half of the last century when the coins of annas, paisas and pies were prevalent. Rama is portrayed as a kind hearted person. The hollow eyes and ragged dresses of beggars and boot polish boys rent his heart. The title of the story is sarcastic and points out at the sick mentality of the politicians who give more importance to the dead while ignoring the sufferings and plights of the living.

Although the area was regarded as a "Martyr's Corner" as a result of the deaths that took place there; ironically Rama also paid the price by losing his livelihood, reputation and entire fortune. In a true sense the real martyr is Rama himself.


The Martyr's Corner Wikipedia

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