Rohinton Mistry’s Of White Hairs and Cricket: Narration and Point of View
The short story ‘Of White Hairs and Cricket’ by Rohinton Mistry (b. 1952 – ) is one of the Firozsha Baag stories from his collection of short stories Tales from the Firozsha Baag published 1987. It is an early work and evocatively captures what life was like growing up in a Parsi apartment complex in Mumbai, India (then known as Bombay).
In Of White Hairs and Cricket, I will be focusing on Mistry’s narrative strategy as far as type of narration and point of view.
The ‘official’ first-person narrator is a 14-year-old boy – the second son in a family consisting of the father, mother, maternal grandmother and two sons (Percy, a college student, and the narrator). Because the story is narrated in the first person, everything in the story, except the dialogue, is presented and filtered through the narrator’s point of view. This pattern of immature point of view (limited point of view) expressed in the register of a mature narrator occurs throughout the story.
The writer wants to show that the narrator-protagonist is maturing and beginning to assert an identity of his own while, simultaneously, expressing an understanding/realisation of the process of aging and mortality.
Task 1: Questions
- Explore this story as a story of coming of age (rite of passage). Especially focus on: unawareness to awareness.
- The boy has to come to terms with the passing of time and the loss involved. Focus: cricket matches and the boy’s dad.
- Later in the story, the boy starts to mature and changes his perspective of life. Focus on: infinitude vs finitude and fantasy vs reality.
- Explore the specular moment and the 2 epiphanies the boy has.
- Explore the significance of the title.
The following presentations will help you
Rite of Passage in the story
These 2 videos will also help you
Task 2: Essay writing: choose an option to write between 250 and 350 words
- How does the writer deal with the subject of mortality and acceptance of the pure reality in the story “Of White Hairs and Cricket”?
- “Of White Hairs and Cricket” portrays the emotional difficulty of a young boy when he sees his father as a mortal being.
- Comment closely on how the writer of the story “Of White Hairs and Cricket” depicts the boy coming of age.
- Explore how the writer of “Of White hairs and Cricket” deals with the passing of time.