Shukumar is the "mediocre," procrastinating, and "elusive" student and Shoba is the disciplined worker Lahiri 4. I found Shoba to be a woman who thrived on order and the "specificity of her task" Lahiri 4.
This couple has been together for years. She reminds Shukumar that he also has a dentist appointment next Friday. Then he really gets into it.
The image he thinks about most is Shoba waving at him as his cab pulls away from the house. So now Shoba does her own thing and Shukumar does his. And for Shukumar, that means being a mediocre, year-old, graduate student unable to finish his dissertation. They barely connect anymore.
That same night, Shukumar prepares dinner for the two of them he does the cooking while Shoba showers. Since the blackouts will occur during dinner, Shoba suggests candles. We also learn that Shoba used to do the cooking, but after the baby died, things changed. In fact, when Shoba was pregnant, things were very romantic between the two of them.
She did things like throw him a surprise birthday party, walk hand-in-hand with him. You get the picture. The candles are, by the way, birthday candles.
Clearly, Shukumar and Shoba have communication issues. However, Shoba does talk about India a lot. Then Shoba gets an idea for a conversation starter: Shukumar then tells about the time they had dinner at a restaurant and he forgot to tip the waiter, so he rode a cab all the way back to the restaurant just to leave a tip.
Why did he forget? Because it was the first time he thought he might marry Shoba and so he got distracted. Go ahead; say "Awww. Instead, she tells him that she lied to him one night when his mom was visiting and she stayed out late with her girlfriend for a drink.
Shukumar, on the other hand, admits he cheated on his Oriental Civilization exam in college.
Shoba cuddles up closer to him. So each night, the two of them confess something to the other and they seem to become more intimate as a result. They get so intimate that they end up doing it. Normally, not a big deal for a married couple, but for these two, a very big deal.
On the fifth day, Shukumar gets a notice that says the rolling blackouts are ending, which puts a damper on their little game. Shukumar gets back at her and in a big way.
She had never known the sex of their baby and had never wanted to know. She thought they were lucky not to have known, but little does she know that Shukumar had actually arrived at the hospital in time to hold their dead baby boy before he was cremated.
Shukumar had vowed never to tell Shoba because he loved her back then.
Shukumar tells her—nay—describes to her what their baby boy looked like. Shoba reacts by turning off the lights and crying. The story closes with Shukumar sitting next to her and doing the same.A Temporary Matter is a story about grief and the secrets people keep from one another.
Husband and wife Shukumar and Shoba are reeling from the loss of their child six months earlier. They avoid each other and their friends, Shoba filling her time with work and .
An extension of “A Temporary Matter:” From the View of Shoba // An extension of “A Temporary Matter:” From the View of Shukumar I wept. Not only for what Shukumar had revealed to . “A Temporary Matter” first appeared in the New Yorker magazine in and is the first story in Jhumpa Lahiri's debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies ().
The story is about a couple, Shoba and Shukumar, who tell each other secrets during nightly blackouts. Shoba is a. matter’ means that it is their separation, and not their marriage, that is temporary. This is reinforced by Shoba’s declaration that “she needed some time alone” (21) not .
In “Temporary Matter”, we encounter Shoba and Shukumar going through a turbulent relationship. The reason for this discord is Shoba’s anger and frustration on the loss of her son. Since the death of her son, she has been getting distant from Shukumar and hardly speaks to him.
In Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story A Temporary Matter, from Interpreter of Maladies, Lahiri narrates the story of Shoba and Shukumar, an Indian couple living in the United States, as they struggle.