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The Address Class 11 summary
Holland was fighting for independence. The narrator had joined the forces. It was a long drawn and deadly war. Success seemed a far cry. The people doubted if any of the soldiers would return alive.
The narrator had only her mother Mrs S at home. Her mother was worried about the safety of her belongings. She had a lot of silver cutlery and antiques. One day, an old acquaintance of hers turned up unexpectedly. She was Mrs Dorling. She won the confidence of Mrs S and offered to take away Mrs S’s precious things to her own home for safe-keeping. And Mrs S accepted the offer thankfully.
The narrator was home for a few days during the first half of the war. She noticed the change in the room. She missed several things. She surprised the mother by her keen observation. It was then that Mrs S told her about Mrs Dorling who had kindly taken away all the table silver, vases, antique plates, crockery. Mrs Dorling promised to keep all those nice things safely. Mrs S, however, did not get an assurance that those things were returnable. Next morning, Mrs Dorling turned up again. This broad back woman was taking away the heavy suitcase stuffed with things. The mother introduced the narrator to Mrs Dorling. It was the first time the girl had met her. Mrs Dorling lived in Marconi Steet, House No. 46. The mother told the daughter to remember the address. And she did remember it for a long time.
After the war of liberation had come to an end, the narrator returned to her city.
Gradually, everything became more normal again. And one day the narrator was reminded of all her possessions. The mother was no more alive. She was alone, living in a single room. There was no space to recover all those things and keep them in that room. Still, she wanted to see them and touch them once. So she travelled by train to Marconi Street and rang the doorbell of house No. 46. A woman opened the door partly. Through the narrow opening, she studied the visitor. She was Mrs Dorling herself. She hadn’t expected the girl to come back home alive. She refused to recognise the visitor. The narrator for a while wondered if she had come to the wrong place. But her doubt was removed when she saw Mrs Dorling wearing her mother’s green knitted cardigan.
So she had come to the right address. Mrs Dorling could not help asking how she alone had survived the war. She refused to let the visitor into the house. She closed the door also. The narrator looked at the nameplate again. It said Dorling, Number 46. She walked back to the station and travelled back the memory lane. Her first visit to Mrs Dorling’s house was in vain. But she didn’t accept defeat. She decided to try a second time.
This time, Mrs Dorling’s 15-year-old daughter opened the door. Mrs Dorling wasn’t at home. The narrator decided to wait. She followed the girl along the passage. She saw her heavy candle holders hung next to a mirror. She was taken to the living room. She found herself in the midst of things which she wanted to see. But she was pained to see them arranged in a tasteless way. The furniture was ugly and the air was damp smelling. She sat down at a table and noticed that the table cloth was hers. It had a burn mark to the edge, left unrepaired by her mother.
The girl said that her mother would be back soon and she had already made tea for her. The girl offered a cup to the visitor as well. She opened a box and took some spoons out. All those things were a part of the narrator’s mother’s belongings. She realised that one got so very used to things that one didn’t notice them intently. Mrs Dorling’s daughter also never noticed that the cutlery she used every day was silver. She opened a drawer to bring out more spoons and forks. But the narrator didn’t wait to see them. She didn’t want to meet Mrs Dorling. So she jumped up to go to catch her train.
At the corner of the road, she looked up at the nameplate. The address was correct. But she didn’t want to remember it any more. She had no intention to visit that house again. She had lost interest in the things that had been taken away from her house and put in strange surroundings. Moreover, she had no need of them in her small rented room. Only a handful of cutlery fitted in the narrow table drawer. So she made up her mind to forget that address forever, and it was quite easy to do now.