Free summary and analysis of “A Temporary Matter” in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies that won’t make you snore. We promise. “A Temporary Matter” was originally published in the New Yorker in April and is the first story in Jhumpa Lahiri’s debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies. First of all, although the main action of the short story “A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri revolves around very important life events such as.

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You are commenting using your Twitter account. From childhood, Lahiri made frequent trips to India to visit relatives. Until the nightly power outages began, they avoided each other. He thinks that this is for the best, since his mother was unable to handle her financial affairs when his father died. He was relieved and yet he was sickened. Readers know that Shoba is leading and Shukumar is following jjhumpa before it is clear where they are going. Shukumar seeks to escape his wife’s attention by moving his office to the nursery, a place Shoba avoids.

He knew it was something she forced herself to do. Instead of stocking the pantry and planning parties, she carefully plans how to extricate herself from her marriage.

A Temporary Matter |

Six months before the time of the story, Shoba’s first child was stillborn. During this week, when they must cope with a one-hour power outage each evening, the grief and alienation that the two have suffered since the stillbirth of their child six months earlier builds to a climax. But, on the morning of the fifth night, they receive a notice from the utility company stating that the repairs have been completed early, signaling an end to their apparently rekindled romance.

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The narrator explains that Shoba and Shukumar have been eating dinner separately, she in front of the television set, he in front of the computer.


They are thoroughly modern and secular, and their story could be the story of any educated thirty-something couple. The next mahter, Shukumar goes to the mailbox and finds a notice that the electric repairs have been completed early. Women act; men react.

Lahiri’s father, Amar, is a librarian at the University of Rhode Island, and her mother, Tia, is a teacher’s aide. Wishing to break the awkward silence between her and her husband, Shoba suddenly has the idea that she and Shukumar should pass the evening in the same manner, the only difference being that they must tell each other something they’ve never told before.

Taken together, such details comprise a world that w find familiar. Like Liked by 1 person.

But there is nothing subservient or deferential about this woman. She is kind and patient with him, holding his hand in hers to show understanding, whereas he takes even more pride in planning and preparing the meals they now enjoy by candlelight. It is ironic that Shukumar should make this statement, because he doesn’t know the half of it, for the period of harmony and affection that Shoba and Shukumar have experienced is, like the power outage that brought it about, “a temporary matter,” the calm before the storm—the one that heralds the end of their marriage.

After work, she goes to the gym. Although Shoba has been changed by the loss of her child, she has found the strength and determination to restart her life. When Shoba starts the game of revealing secrets, it becomes the focus of his days. The story opens with Shoba, a thirty-three-year-old wife, arriving home at the end of a workday.

The roles in this marriage, those of the active woman and the passive man, were established long before the tragedy. Shoba does not know that Shukumar held their baby at the hospital while she slept.

The works of Indian American writers and filmmakers have generally been well received by an American public eager to know more about India and about Indian Americans, who are more and more likely to be among their neighbors and coworkers. She tells Shukumar that at family dinners at her grandmother’s house, when the electricity teemporary off, “we all had to say something”—a joke, lhiri poem, an interesting fact, or some other tidbit.


Remy is a freelance writer in Pensacola, Florida.

I have provided a clip below: This blog contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with matter international shipping. This was the point of her game. But Shoba, in making her latest revelation, has unwittingly brought about a reversal in power—the power to wound—which Shoba thinks is hers exclusively. In truth, she is engineering her final separation from him. The narrator mentions that Shukumar has forgotten to brush his teeth that day and often does not leave the house for days at a time, although Shoba stays out more as time goes on.

Though the death of their child has been difficult for Shoba to accept, there is also an undercurrent of resentment, as expressed by her mother, that the loss would have been somewhat easier to bear had Shukumar been at the hospital for the delivery.

Love Stories: A Temporary Matter by Jhumpa Lahiri

As the tempkrary unfolds, Lahiri provides readers with two conflicting sets of clues as to how it might end. The crib in the nursery is made of cherry wood; the changing table is white with mint-green knobs. While Shoba is out interacting with the world and creating a foundation for her future, Shukumar languishes.