The tattered blanket’ symbolises the relationship between the mother and the son. Just as the blanket was old and worn out, their relationship was strained. Gopi had not written a single letter to his mother, nor did he take the initiative of visiting her.
The Tattered Blanket Summary
Gopi was a government officer living in Delhi. He married Vimala. district collector Nambiar’s eldest daughter. They had four children. Gopi’s old mother was living in the countryside along with her eldest daughter Kamala, a widow. After attending a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, he dropped in on his way back. His mother saw him getting down at the gate and asked Kamala to see who he was.
Kamala walked slowly to the gate reluctantly. She recognised Gopi and asked him unpleasantly why he made a sudden unexpected visit. But Amma did not recognize him. Gopi tried to tell her that he was her son. Kamala told Gopi that that Amma was often like that those days. She didn’t recognize anybody. When Amma asked Kamala if her son (Gopi) had sent a letter, Kamala told her everything was fine with him. But Gopi didn’t write any letter to her. When Kamala told Gopi all these things, he replied that he was on his toes always as he got promotion the previous year. So he didn’t get any time to write letters.
Again Amma asked who he was. Gopi told her that he was her son Gopi and he had come from Delhi. She even forgot his wife’s name. She used to think that Gopi wrote letters to him every day. So she asked Kamala if he wrote a letter that day. Gopi kept his briefcase on the thinna, opened it and pulled out his contents such as clothes, files, a shaving set, etc.
Amma told Gopi that her son Gopi was a government officer in Delhi and had Kesariyogam. She asked him to send her a new red blanket to protect herself from a cold mist. Her old blanket, which was brought by Gopi when he was studying in Madras, was all tattered. Actually Gopi didn’t come to the village too see her Amma. He didn’t have any affection and love towards his Amma. He gave more importance to status. He wanted to raise some money by selling his share of the family property. He came to talk it over with his sister. Kamala knew that he would never come there anymore after selling his land. When she told Gopi the same, he answered that he would come when he got time. He said that Amma couldn’t remember who he was. Actually it was he who didn’t remember his Amma.
My tattered blanket is an exquisitely written emotional story written by Kamala Das about a old mother, her son who is least bothered about her and the widowed daughter of the old lady. Gopi is a government officer staying in Delhi, and leads a very good lifedrops with his wife Vasanta and his four children.