Karma | Essay

Karma is a short story written by Kushwant Singh in 1950 and later published in 1989 in “Singh’s The Collected Stories”.

The short story takes place in India during British colonial rule. The main character in the short story is Sir Mohan Lal, an Indian man who acts British because he is ashamed of his own culture.

The short story takes place on a train and a railway station in India. We see how there is a distinct difference in social classes between the Indians and the British.

The train is divided into first-class and second-class sections, with most of the Indians sitting in the second-class section. We first get introduced to Sir Mohan when he is looking at himself in the mirror.

Sir Mohan criticizes the mirror, saying, “You are so very much like everything else in this country, inefficient, dirty, indifferent.” (Line 6). The mirror is a symbol of the Indian culture, which Sir Mohan dislikes and tries to distance himself from.

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