Summary of the Story Fritz by Satyajit Ray

Summary of the Story:

The short story ‘Fritz’ written by Satyajit Ray was published in his book ‘Collected Short Stories’. It is about a Swiss doll named Fritz. In the story, the two friends plan a trip and decide to visit Bundi which is a village in Rajasthan. Jayanto, who has often visited the place during his childhood days, recollects the memories about the place and things.

Summary of the Story Fritz by Satyajit Ray
Summary of the Story Fritz by Satyajit Ray

 Two Childhood Friends ' (Jayanto and Shankar) Visiting Bundi: 

Jayanto (the protagonist of the story) and Shankar (the narrator of the story) were childhood friends. They had got their primary and higher education in the same school and college. Jayanto worked in the editorial section of a newspaper and Shankar was a school teacher. Both of them had managed to get some time to go on the trip together. While most of the people visited famous places like Jaipur, Udaipur or Chittor in Rajasthan, Jayanto insisted on going to Bundi. Though Shankar was somewhat puzzled at Jayanto's choice for the trip, he obliged, but somehow Shankar agreed to accompany him at the place of his choice. While travelling by train, Jayanto told Shankar that when he was six years old, he had visited Bundi with his father who worked in the Archaeological Department. So he always longed to visit Bundi once again as an adult. By making his visit to Bundi again, he wanted to compare the changes of the modern Bundi with the image which he had preserved in his childhood when he visited the place thirty one years ago with his father. 

The two Friends’ Staying in a Circuit House and Jayanto's Being Engrossed in Thoughts: 

Jayanto and Shankar stayed at the Circuit house (a kind of guest house) where Jayanto had stayed before in his childhood due to his father's trips there. While having tea in the circuit house, Jayanto seemed to be engrossed in some thoughts. He also looked somewhat restless as the expressions on his face were indicating. The narrator felt that Jayanto was contemplating over something. Shankar (the narrator) inquired to know what was bothering Jayanto so much. He replied by saying that the faint memories of his visit to Bundi were rushing into his mind.

Jayanto's Recalling Many things Related to the Circuit House: 

After having tea, both the friends decided to take a stroll outside in the open. Suddenly, Jayanto seemed to be struck by the memory of a Deodar tree that used to stand around that place. He looked somewhat bewildered and looked around to find the tree. After a few moments, he succeeded in finding it out and seemed to be quite excited to discover the Deodar tree there. After this incident, his memories of the place began returning one by one quickly. Then he recollected that he had an encounter with an European there. The narrator's surprise mounted. Jayanto struggled to recollect what really had happened then. The two friends returned to their room. Later in the evening while they sat at the oval dining table having dinner, Jayanto recollected that the cook they had in those days was called Dilawar. He also recalled the appearance of the cook. He told Shankar that the cook had a scar on his left cheek and his eyes were always red, but he was an excellent. Jayanto's memories began returning one by one soon after dinner when they went back to the drawing room. Jayanto could recall where his father used to sit and smoke a cheroot, where his mother used to knit and what magazines lay on the table. 

Jayanto's Recalling the Doll Named Fritz: 

As the past recollections were rushing in his mind, he recalled a beautiful doll named Fritz which his uncle had brought for him from Switzerland. It was a twelve - inch long figure of an old man attired in traditional Swiss style. It looked as real as living being. The stuff it was made of rendered it very flexible and elastic. One could bend it or twist it at will. The most peculiar thing about the doll was that the man who sold it to Jayanto's uncle told him to call it ' Fritz ' as it would not respond to any other name. Jayanto, as a child, took great fancy with Fritz. He treated it as his friend. He grew so fond of Fritz that he gave up all other toys and began to spend all his time with Fritz. Jayanto's parents frowned to see their little son so attached to the doll. Shankar (the narrator) took great interest in his friend's infatuation with the Swiss doll. 

Jayanto's Losing Fritz and His feeling Great Sorrow at the Loss: 

Jayanto was still engrossed in his memories of Fritz. When Shankar asked Jayanto as to what happened with the doll. Jayanto told Shankar that once he was taking tea with his parents in the garden, the tea got spilled on his pants and he rushed inside to change, leaving his doll on the grass. For a moment, he had taken his eyes off the doll. A group of stray dogs came from nowhere and snatched the doll. They bit and dragged Fritz with savage force. Poor Fritz endured the excruciating pain silently. When he came back just minutes later, he found that Fritz's clothes were torn apart and its face was disfigured beyond recognition. Jayanto was profoundly shocked to see such a pitiable state of Fritz. Fritz did not exist for him anymore. It was dead. 

Jayanto's Burying Fritz under Deodar Tree and the Visit of a Strange Creature:

 As Jayanto had assumed that Fritz had lost its existence in the world, he decided to bid his friend a final good - bye. He arranged to have it buried in the compound of the circuit house, under a deodar tree. At last, the mystery of deodar tree was solved. Both the friends went to bed at around ten. Not being used to doing a lot of walking, the narrator was feeling rather tired after the day's activities. Besides, the bed was comfortable. He fell asleep barely ten minutes after. A slight noise woke Shankar a little later. He turned on his side and found Jayanto sitting up on his bed with anxious look on his face. When Shankar asked what happened with him, Jayanto, instead of answering the narrator's question asked him if he (the narrator) thought that the circuit house had small creatures like rats and cats. Jayanto had felt a small creature walking over his chest when he was asleep. This had woken him up. Jayanto was undoubtedly frightened. Jayanto told Shankar that this was the second time he had got up from his sleep. He had heard an unusual shuffling noise the first time. Since the door was close, Shankar looked around the room for the creature, but the search was futile. Jayanto was still disturbed. In order to prove that someone was there, he showed the cover of his quilt that had some faint marks pointing to the fact that a small animal had walked over it. Shankar said that those could have been made by a cat. Jayanto did not say anything. It was obvious that something had deeply disturbed him. But it was two - thirty in the morning. Shankar simply had to get a little more sleep as he knew he would just keep feeling tired and they had plans of doing a lot of sightseeing the following day . So, after murmuring a few soothing words, he went to sleep.

The Two Friends’ Visiting the Fort and Jayanto's Still Remaining Lost in Thoughts: 

Shankar (the narrator) slept soundly for the rest of the night. Jayanto did not tell him about any further disturbances. He could see in the morning that Jayanto had not slept well. They finished their breakfast by nine as they had to leave for the fort. A car had already been arranged. Jayanto again seemed immersed in his old memories of the place. He looked excited to re - discover the statues, the bed made of silver and the throne. All the while, Jayanto appeared a bit lost too. The two friends began to walk back very leisurely. Shankar was so engrossed himself that he did not notice Jayanto at first. But, while walking through a hall and looking at the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, he (the narrator) suddenly realised Jayanto was no longer walking by his side. The guide told Shankar that Jayanto had gone out on the terrace. Shankar came out of the hall and found Jayanto standing absent - mindedly near a wall on the other side of the terrace. Jayanto did not seem to notice Shankar's presence even when he went and stood beside him. Jayanto startled when Shankar called him by his name. Shankar felt that Jayanto seemed to be fully plunged in some thoughts. He stood absent minded. The two friends decided to return, although Shankar wanted to stay in the fort a little longer. Jayanto was perturbed by some unknown thoughts. 

Shankar's Worrying about Jayanto's Restlessness and Jayanto's Revelation: 

Shankar and Jayanto were returning to town. Both the friends were sitting in the back of the car. Shankar offered Jayanto a cigarette, but Jayanto showed no interest in smoking the cigarette and he bluntly refused Shankar's offer. Shankar noticed a veiled excitement in the movement of his hands. One moment Jayanto placed his hands near the window, then on his lap and, immediately afterwards, began biting his nails. Though Jayanto was quiet by nature, this odd restlessness in him worried Shankar (the narrator). When it became unbearable for Shankar, he asked Jayanto that if he (Jayanto) told him about his problem, he could do something. Jayanto shook his head. Jayanto told Shankar that it is no use telling him, for he (Shankar) would not believe him. When Shankar insisted his friend to tell him what lay behind his disturbed mind, Jayanto opened up. He told Shankar that Fritz, the long - lost doll came to their room the night before. He also revealed to Shankar that those little marks on his quilt were the footprints of Fritz. The narrator began to feel annoyed at his friends’ irrational fear. He thought that he needed to be given some medicine to calm his troubled mind. 

Shankar's Suggesting to Exhume Fritz: 

Shankar (the narrator) hit upon an idea that could dispel the fear of the dead and destroyed Fritz from his friend's mind. Shankar suggested a plan of digging the ground where Fritz was buried thirty - one years ago. This plan of digging Fritz appealed to Jayanto. They called the gardener of the Bungalow to help them in the task of digging. Then they went to the exact spot where Jayanto felt his Fritz was buried. At the pointed place, the gardener started digging. The gardener had a sense of humour. As he lifted his spade he asked if there was hidden treasure under the ground and if so, whether they would be prepared to share it with him. Shankar had to laugh at this, but Jayanto showed no sign of amusement on his face. He remained silent. Though it was the month of October and not at all warm in Bundi, the collar of his shirt was soaked in sweat. He was staring at the ground unblinkingly. After not much digging, the gardener hit upon the object. What the gardener retrieved from the soil was not some rusted metal piece, but a tiny human skeleton of a foot length. It was so real, but so frightening that the two friends recoiled in horror. They had no answer of this mysterious incident. A question was still lingering in the minds of the friends if Fritz was a human who still longed for Jayanto's company. 

Saurabh Gupta

My name is Saurabh Gupta. I have designed this blog to help those students and people who are greatly interested to get knowledge about English Literature. This blog provides precious knowledge and information about English Literature and Criticism.

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