The Journey is a philosophical coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old boy named Jostein who embarks on a journey of self-discovery after receiving a mysterious package in the mail. The letters and assignments in the package challenge Jostein to think about his life and the world around him in new ways, and he learns about philosophy, religion, and the meaning of life along the way.
The Journey Summary
‘The Journey’ is written by Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi and is translated by D. P. Nath. Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi is a prominent name in Assamese literature. In this lesson, the narrator tries to bring out some of the adverse effects of education and how the old people are ill-treated. He tries to present how human relations are affected by one’s education.
The narrator was a government officer and he came to his village that time to get married. He got married and spent six months at home. Though it was the time for his joining the duties, he didn’t want to return. He didn’t want to leave behind his newly-wed wife. At first, he wanted to extend his leave but decided against it because marriage had increased his responsibilities and he had got into debt.
The bus stop was a long way from his home and the problem for him was that he couldn’t find anyone who would help him carry his trunk to the bus stop. He thought that his education had made him avoid physical labour. He could have easily carried his luggage but the thought of people seeing him carry it stopped him from doing so. Finally, his father told him that he would carry his luggage upto bus-stop.
Though the narrator protested, his father decided to carry the chest. His father had started before him and a large crowd wished him luck at the time of his leaving. He walked speedily to catch up with his father. By the time he met his father, he was tired. His father laughed at him as he sat down on a rock. His father drank a mug of wine and they resumed their walk.
While they were walking, the narrator thought that it was improper for him to let father carry the luggage. He wanted to tell his father that he would like to carry the trunk himself but his guilt and shame did not allow him to do so. His education and his job made him think that the whole world would laugh at him if he carried the luggage.
According to the narrator, his parents had earned a greater degree of admiration and respect from the villagers because of him only. He thought that his father would not like to see him carrying luggage. Though he was young and strong, he was physically useless. Finally, they reached Dirang but the bus had not yet arrived. They entered a tea shop and ordered tea.
Then the narrator’s father asked him for a pair of old shoes. The narrator noticed that his father’s feet had developed cracks as he had never worn shoes. The narrator wanted to give his father money to buy a new pair of shoes but he protested. He didn’t want his son to spend money on new shoes. Hence, the narrator gave him his hunting boots and made his father happy.
The narrator got into the bus and it started moving. The narrator thought that their (the narrator and his fathre’s) journeys were in two opposite directions; his way was a luxurious one where as his father’s way was laborious and difficult one.
In the conclusion of The Journey, Jostein has completed his journey of self-discovery and learned that life is a journey, that we should enjoy the process of learning and growing, and that we are all connected and have a responsibility to each other and to the world around us.