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Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of nine short stories Either set in India or the United States these stories mostly concern characters of Indian heritage Many of Lahiris short stories incorporate the difficulty of communication which leads to misunderstanding between couples and even failed relationships or marriages This indicates that people are responsible for communicating with and understanding others Lahiri suggests that in A Temporary Matter Interpreter of Maladies and This Blessed House destruction of relationships often result from a lack of communicationA recurrent pattern or issue in Lahiris short stories is the difficulty communicating with others which leads to misunderstanding In A Temporary Matter Shoba and Shukumar are an Indian couple that become distant after having a stillborn child six months earlier The pain from the loss of their child caused difficulty in communication between them They do not comfort each other in sorrow and grief and they avoid each other to prevent any awkward encounters Shukumar often thought Of how he and Shoba had become experts at avoiding each other in their three-bedroom house spending as much time on separate floors as possible He thought of how he no longer looked forward to weekends when she sat for hours on the sofa with her colored pencils and her files so that he feared that putting on a record in his own house might be rude He thought of how long it had been since she looked into his eyes and smiled or whispered his name on those rare occasions they still reached for each others bodies before sleeping 5Shoba rarely talked and expressed her feelings about the stillbirth to Shukumar Shukumar took this as a sign to not talk and their relationship started to fade In Interpreter of Maladies Mr Kapasi an Indian tour guide and interpreter for Gujurati-speaking patients drives Mr and Mrs Das and their children around for the day Mrs Das thinks his job is romantic
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