"The House of Wax" is a short story by Subodh Ghosh, translated from Bengali to English by Somrita Ganguly. It's about a man and woman who meet at a train station years after getting divorced from each other and both re-marrying.

A few paragraphs of the story cover their memories of some of the bad moments in their marriage which provided to them "real, empirical proof" that their love had faded:

One day Madhuri had sat immersed in a book in her room while Shatadal packed his clothes in a suitcase in another room. He was leaving for Bhubaneswar for a week to supervise an archaeological survey. Madhuri had not come out of her room, not even once, as he was about to leave. Shatadal had found the sunshine that had crept in through the window that early winter morning and spread itself out on the floor absolutely meaningless.

Later that year, in spring, one Sunday evening had also wrought havoc in their lives. Madhuri, like every other week, had dressed up that evening as well, ready to go out, waiting in her room. Shatadal had remained in the other room making sketches, with intense concentration, of the foundations of temples from the Chalukya dynasty. He had forgotten all about the evening plans. Madhuri had looked out of her window at the sky and thought how meaningless it was for the setting sun to color the clouds crimson. It was merely a tease. Soon darkness would envelop everything. Why did the sun play these tricks, then? It would have been so much better if it set all at once, swiftly.

Both of these memories give significance to sunlight: Shatadal "found the sunshine [...] absolutely meaningless" when his wife didn't pay attention to him, and Madhuri "thought how meaningless [the sunlight] was" when her husband didn't pay attention to her.

What is the importance of the sunlight in this passage? Does it tie in to the other metaphors used in the story? Elsewhere similes and metaphors like the titular house of wax are used, but this seems to be the only place where the characters dwell entirely on sunlight without the connection with their emotions and personal lives being commented.


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