The way Rabindranath leads his readers through this is unbelievable. Talking of Noshtoneer, one is naturally tempted to mention Satyajit Ray’s Charulata which is one of the finest movies made by Ray. But Charulata is not Noshtoneer. The medium of film is different from the medium of literature. Again the inseparability of form and content comes to my mind. Shakespeare in print is not the same as Shakespeare on stage. Charulata is wonderful. Noshtoneer is dazzling.
When the Postmaster drops the news of his departure, he drops, albeit unknowingly, a ton of bricks on the head of the poor child who shows no emotion on receiving it, and gives the world no clue to the tumult inside her. The kind words uttered by the Postmaster while leaving are all that is needed to make the girl break down inconsolably, and thus the author discovers a woman in love in this young child. The economy and simplicity of style with which the story is told leave me breathless and, while reflecting on Postmaster, all I can do is to recall Wallace Stevens’ saying: “A poem of the mind in the act of finding what will suffice” (Of Modern Poetry).