The Last Letter to Indira Jawaharlal Nehru Writing letter is a simple activity. But for few it is an intellectual outlet. Jawaharlal Nehru kills the time in prison by writing letters to his daughter Indira. “The Last Letters to Indira”, is a fine example of that kind. First Paragraph
This letter was written from Dehradun prison in 1933. He names the letter “last” because he would be released shortly. He did not know what to do after his release. Most of his countrymen were in prison. Second Paragraph
He brings out world history in his letters. He says that he is neither a historian nor a literary man. He does not enjoy prison life at the same time he is not bored. Third Paragraph
He says about past, present and future. Past cannot be changed. Future can be shaped by us to some extent. One should learn from history. Half the truth is revealed by the past and the other half is hidden by the future. Fourth Paragraph
Thought without action is of no use. It should be put into action. People fear the outcome. No life will be interesting without risk. Fifth Paragraph
Nehru concludes with a verse of Tagore. The former wants to break narrow divisions in Society. Sixth and Last Paragraph
Stanza 1 Because I could not stop for Death-- He kindly stopped for me-- The Carriage held but just Ourselves-- And Immortality .
We slowly drove--He knew no haste And I had put away My labor and my leisure too, For His Civility-- Stanza 2
We passed the School, where Children strove At Recess--in the Ring-- We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-- We passed the Setting Sun-- Stanza 3
Or rather--He passed us-- The Dews drew quivering and chill-- For only Gossamer, my Gown-- My Tippet--only Tulle-- Stanza 4 Gossamer is a thin material made of silk used for clothing. Her gown is made of thin cloth. Tippet is a veil to cover the neck. Her tippet is made of tulle-a soft material silk or rayon.
We paused before a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground-- The Roof was scarcely visible-- The Cornice--in the Ground-- Stanza 5 Cornice- decoration in the wall Or ceiling
Since then--'tis Centuries--and yet Feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses' Heads Were toward Eternity-- Stanza 6 Surmise-to guess
Death appears personified in this poem as a courtly lover who gently insists that the speaker put aside both “labor” and “leisure.” He arrives in his carriage, having stopped for her because she could not have stopped for him, and he even submits to a chaperone, “Immortality,” for the length of their outing together.
This death holds no terrors. Their drive is slow, and they pass the familiar sights of the town: fields of grain which gaze at them, the local school and its playground. Even so, the speaker realizes that this is no ordinary outing with an ordinary gentleman caller when they pass the setting sun, “Or rather—He passed Us—.” She realizes that it has grown cold, that she wears only a gossamer gown and a tulle lace cap.
Death takes the speaker to her new home, “A Swelling of the Ground,” whose roof is “scarcely visible.” Though centuries have passed since the event, the entire episode, including the speaker's awareness of her death, seems less than a day in length. The poem fuses elements of the secular seduction motif, with elements of the medieval bride-of-Christ tradition, arguable through inclusion of details such as the tippet of a nun's habit.