“Karma” By: Khushwant Singh
Karma is a story about Sir Mohan Lal (Native Indian) who looks down on his fellow countrymen including his wife and embraces the English ways and culture. He had a reservation on everything Everything English like English cigarrete, Whiskey, The Times News Paper and clothing. When the train was about to leave two English soldier goes to the cabin the he is occupying and threw him out of the train with his lag-gauge. It may be true that moral-seekers are apt to find Khushwant Singh’s “Karma” a little too predictable, even simplistic. For them, Sir Mohan Lal’s is just another story of pride that goes before a fall. In its widely understood sense, “karma” is “the sum total of the ethical consequences of a person’s good and bad actions . . . that is held in Hinduism and Buddhism to determine his specific destiny in his next existence” (“Karma”). On this count, Lal’s sin of pride is punished when two British soldiers throw him out of a first-class compartment. His wife’s karma, it would seem, enables her to have a safe and comfortable journey in a ladies’ compartment. Even Vasant Shahane’s more sophisticated reading of this story assumes that karma is the “nemesis” that overtakes a wrongdoer. It’s not that bad embracing different culture even though it is not your own native one, but what is really unacceptable is that embracing other culture and forgetting what is really is yours. The nemesis itself is part of [Lal's] “Karma,” the unexpected turn of his fate and, is also the inevitable outcome of his actions and thoughts.
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