'Walking into the small house that Sabitri had built after retirement on the plot where her parents' mud hut had once stood, Bipin Bihari knew he was too late. Not because the front doors were carelessly ajar on their hinges. Not because there was a gaggle of servant women, Rekha in their center, gathered in the courtyard, rocking back and forth, keening. Not even because of the body laid out on a mattress on the floor, covered with a white sheet. He knew it because his heart had not stuttered and stumbled the way it always did when he was about to see her. His heart, now reduced to a mere muscle, resigned for the rest of Bipin Bihari's life to the task of stolid pumping.'
The situation described is of an old man who has arrived at the house of the woman he loved for the past 15 years. He discerns various changes in the house that were evidently the signs of her death, but the emotional connect that he had with this woman that would make his heart skip a beat every time he was about to see her - seemed missing now. For now his heart is just an organ good for pumping blood. Because when you love something/someone passionately and completely, your heart performs some extra-normal functions that define the intensity of your emotions you inhold for it/him/her.