1. Short summary of Khushwant Singh’s short story “Karma” (1950).

2. Essay, analyses, and interpretation of the short story “Karma” By Khushwant Singh’s

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“Karma” by Khushwant Focuses on two main characters Sir Lal and Lakshmi Lal who is the wife of Sir Lal. The story opens with a scene where Sir Lal is looking at himself in the mirror of a first-class railway waiting room.

He criticizes the mirror but admires his own appearance. Then we are introduced to Lakshmi, dressed in a traditional Sari who calls a coolie to take her luggage.

When arrived two English soldiers get into compartment, and they refuse to overlook Sir Lal’s Indian origin and treat him as they would treat a native.

Sir Lal pleads his affinity, but they refuse to recognize him as one of them. They throw him out of the train. The story ends with Lakshmi spitting out the red juice from the betel leaf.


Karma” is told by a third-person narrator. The story is mainly told through the perspectives of the two main characters -Mohan Lal and Lakshmi Lal.

The narrator has mixed dialogue and uses Oxford English and Indian dialogue: “Janta – Reserved. Army – Fauj’ exclaimed Jim, pointing to his khaki shirt. (…)”, “‘I say.

I say, surely,’ protested Sir Mohan in his Oxford accent.” The characters are shown through dialogue, for example when Lakshmi tells the coolie about herself:

“‘I am only a native woman. I can’t understand English and don’t know their ways, so I keep to my zenana interclass.’”