The Lost Child By Mulk Raj Anand
The winner of Sahitya Academy award, Mulk Raj Anand is one of the greatest Indo Anglican writers. He received international recognition and fame. He became a legend in his lifetime. As a storywriter his contribution is noteworthy. 'The Lost Child' is the first short story of this great author.
Anand has his own conception of the short story form. His stories cover a wide range of subjects, moods and tones. He shifts the tone according to the demand of the theme. He wrote a highly imaginative story like 'The Lost Child'. It throws light o the psychological process of the mind of the child.
'The Lost Child' deals with an interesting story. It tells us that the young and nameless hero is on the visit of a village fair with his parents. On the way and in the fair he is attracted by a number of things. He wants to buy all sorts of things when he is with his parents. By chance he gets lost. Now the boy begins to cry for his parents. He is picked up by a kind old man. He offers many things to the boy but he does not stop crying. All the offers of sweets, balloon and toys prove unavailing and he wants only his parents. The story ends on a sad note with the child still crying,' I want my father, I want my mother'.
In fact, 'The Lost Child' deals with the theme of a child's intense love for his parents. His parents are more precious than all the things of the world. After lostness nothing attracts him except his parents. Here we find reversal in his psychology. In short, the child desires all the worldly things till he is secure with his parents. But as soon as he is lost, he becomes aware of human predicament.
Thus 'The Lost Child' is an exquisite piece of art. It depicts the psychology of a child with great sensitivity. It is full of pathos and irony. The title is also suitable because the story deals with the lostness of a child. On the whole it is an excellent story by Anand.