She apparently found comfort in the oil lamp, with the thought of Minocher being around at the back of her mind. “But the little oil lamp became a source of comfort in a house grown quiet and empty for the lack of one silent feeble man, one shadow” (Page 63). The shadows kept reminding her of the past, and she found solace in it. The ‘pugree’ is another major symbol which Daulat associates with Minocher. At the end of the story, when she gives it away to the young man, we can see a transformed Daulat. It seemed like she was in a battle of minds before the act.
So, the final act of giving away the pugree (and later on of putting off the lamp) signifies her decision to put aside her past and start living in the present. Thus, both these symbols link the past and present, and bring about a change in the protagonist. While the lamp itself brings the two worlds together for the period of four days, the pugree raises questions in Daulat’s mind, which finally results in her decision to accept reality. Thus, both symbols create hybridity in duality. Imagery in ‘Lend me Your Light’ also plays a vital role in portraying the dual identities of the characters.
Jamshed and Percy are shown to be best friends at the start of the story. Very hyphenated images of Jamshed are given, which very well makes up the reader’s mind about him. “His food arrived precisely at one o’clock in the chauffeur-driven, air-conditioned family car, and was eaten in the leather-upholstered luxury of the back seat, amid this collection of hyphenated lavishness” (Page 174). On one level, hyphenation operates in the literal sense, and on the other level, it augments the character’s identity.
We come to acknowledge Jamshed’s luxurious lifestyle, what with images such as ‘model-airplane kits’, ‘original soundtrack of My Fair Lady’ and so on. In stark contrast to Jamshed is Percy, with the primary image of Navjeet’s death summing up all perceptions of Percy’s character. “After a while he looked up and said, “They killed Navjeet. ” No one spoke for the next few minutes. ” (Page 191). The strength and resolution within Percy is evident and the lifestyle he leads is very much in contrast to Jamshed’s. Thus, the duality in the characters is explored through Mistry’s use of imagery.
It is an irony that these two characters were best friends in their childhood years, which in itself brings about hybridity, as in bringing together two diverse characters and bonding them through friendship. It is another matter they drifted apart in their adulthood… “Rohinton Mistry was born in Bombay in 1952 and has lived in Canada since 1975”. This line in itself sums up his intention of exploring such themes as duality and hybridity. It seems that Mistry has integrated the Canadian culture in him; but his writing of this book and such themes clearly indicates that deep within him, he wants to come back to his mother country.
Though we can’t place this as a fact, we can see why he would like to explore such issues. The book might be a means for him to merge with his true identity, to vent out his feelings to the world. Thus, Mistry explores these issues as it may relate to his own life to a certain extent, though not as explicitly as portrayed in the stories. Overall, both stories ‘Condolence Visit’ and ‘Lend me Your Light’, very extensively explore the theme of duality and hybridity, or rather, hybridity in duality. Mistry does so by the use of characters, symbolism and imagery.
He relates them to ‘being between two worlds’ and thus brings about a whole cycle. Mistry – somewhat cunningly – handles this theme in a unique way, linking hybridity and duality when they are, essentially, two separate themes entirely.