Detailed Summary of When the River Sleeps – Chapter II




Villie – a lone hunter living in the forest

Chapter II
Ville’s Dilemma

The second chapter throws light on Ville’s dilemma, that happened in the second year of his lonely dwelling in the forest, whether to return back to his village or remain in the forest.  Now he is 48 years old after spending 25 years in the forest.  He did not marry in spite of his mother’s and of his aunts’ compulsion.  In the second year, he stops some construction work on his forest house as he begins to feel lonely due to the thoughts of his happy village way of life battering his mind. 

His thoughts swing back nostalgically to his village recollecting mundane life of women, men, and children.  Late afternoons older women would be prodding the hearth to prepare meal, workers from fields would be returning with hunger, and children would be eagerly waiting to meet the field-goers of their family members.  Apart from this, other ordinary things that grip his thoughts are: children fetching water in their small pitchers, neighbours calling out to each other, and village animals being shooed from the paths.

He helps the Forest Department and Village Council in taking care of gwi and tragopans, and if he leaves the forest for his village, they will have to find somebody else to oversee them.  Then the thought ‘The Forest is my Wife’ dissuades his tormenting mind and gives peace of mind to do his pending works.  He packs necessary things in an old canvas travel bag for his journey in search of the sleeping river.  The following day he mends holes in wire fence and replaces rotten wooden planks in the porch and feels relieved and relaxed for having accomplishing unfinished work on his house.  


Page 9

1. TragopansNoun
Meaning – a kind of bird
Example: The forest Department can easily find someone else to come out and camp here at intervals and keep track of the tragopans.

2. GwiNoun
Meaning – mithun, a variety of mountain cattle
: The village council too had earlier coped without his help in looking after the gwi.

About diarysketches (25 Articles)
I Teach English Language and Literature in a college.

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