Rk narayans short stories an astrologers day
That was the reason why I ran away from home, settled here, and married you. He is alive. We drank, gambled, and quarrelled badly one day why think of it now? Time to sleep," he said, yawning, and stretched himself on the pyol. He allowed himself to get mixed up with the fortunes of the persons to whom he was carrying letters. At No. Thanappa had seen him as a youngster, and had watched him day by day greying on the pial, sitting there and hoping for a big prize to come his way through solving crossword puzzles.
How many children has he now? It doesn't matter. When I bring you your appointment order you must feed me with coconut payasam" And at each of these places he stopped for nearly half an hour. Especially if anyone received money orders, he just settled down quite nicely, with his bags and bundles spread about him, and would not rise till he gathered an idea of how and where every rupee was going. Everybody liked him on his beat. He was a part and parcel of their existence, their hopes, aspirations, and activities.
Of all his contacts, the one with which he was most intimately bound up was No.
Rumanujam was a senior clerk in the Revenue Division Office, and Thanappa had carried letters to that address for over a generation now. His earliest association with Ramanujam was years and years ago. Ramanujam's wife was away in the village. A card arrived for Ramanujam. Thanappa, as was his custom, glanced through it at the sorting table itself ; and, the moment they were ready to start out, went straight to Vinayak Mudali Street, though in the ordinary course over addresses preceded it.
He went straight to Ramanujam's house, knocked on the door and shouted : " Postman, sir, postman. Happy father! After all these years of prayers! Don't complain that it is a daughter. Daughters are God's gift, you know. Kamakshi lovely name! Ah, so shy! Here is your grandfather's card asking for your photo.
Why should he want it, unless it be. Ramanujam looked worried after reading it. The postman asked : " I hope it's good news? Ramanujam said : " My father-in-law thinks I am not sufficiently active in finding a husband for my daughter. He has tried one or two places and failed. He thinks I am very indifferent. But money is not everything. Horoscopes do not agree. They are demanding too much.
An Astrologer's Day by R. K. Narayan, | tukytefogi.tk
Evidently they, do not approve of her appearance. She looks like a queen. Unless one is totally blind. The season would be closing, with only three more auspicious dates, the last being May 2Oth. The girl would be seventeen in a few days. The reminders from her grandfather were becoming fiercer. Ramanujam had exhausted all the possibilities and had drawn a blank everywhere. He looked helpless and miserable. Makunda of Temple Street was after him. Makunda and you are of the same sub- caste, I believe. Over a hundred letters have passed between them already.
But I know they are definitely breaking off. It is over some money question. They have written their last message on a postcard and it has infuriated these people all the more. As if post- cards were an instrument of insult! I have known most important communications being written even on picture postcards ; when Rajappa went to America two years ago he used to write to his sons every week on picture postcards. Let us see. No time to waste now. Open it and tell me what they have written," said Thanappa. He trembled with suspense. So they approve of the photo! Who wouldn't?
I might as well apply for leave till Kamakshi's marriage is over. God knows how many hurdles we have to cross now. Liking a photo does not prove anything. The family was divided over the question. If you stand on all these absurd antiquated formalities, we shall never get any- where near a marriage. It is our duty to take the girl over even to Delhi if necessary. Time was marching. The postman had got into the habit of dropping in at the end of his day's work, and joining in the council.
Listen to me," he said. What you cannot achieve by a year's correspondence you can do in an hour's meeting. I am sure it is from your husband. What is the news? He said : " I have some registered letters for those last houses. I will finish my round, and come back.
An astrologer's day by rk narayan in Hindi short story for class 12th up board
I will offer a coconut to our Vinayaka tonight. We had an idea of doing it during next Thai month. It will be so difficult to hurry through the arrangements now. If it is postponed the boy can't many for three years. He is being sent away for some training. You can't complain of lack of funds now. Go ahead. I'm so happy you have his approval. More than their money, we need their blessings, sir. I hope he has sent his heartiest blessings. Ramanujam, with so short a time before him, and none to share the task of arrangements, became distraught.
As far as it could go, Thanappa placed himself at his service during all his off hours. He cut short his eloquence, advices, and exchanges in other houses. He never waited for anyone to come up and receive the letters. He just tossed them through a window or an open door with a stentorian " Letter, sir. In such a hurry! I will come and squat in your house after that " and he was off. Ramanujam was in great tension. He trembled with anxiety as the day approached nearer.
Nothing should prove a hindrance. You have given them everything they wanted in cash, presents, and style. They are good people. It is the very last date for the year. The boy goes away for three years. I don't think either of us would be prepared to bind ourselves to wait for three years. A quiet had descended on the gathering.
An Astrologer's Day
The young smart bridegroom from Delhi was seated in a chair under the pandal. Fragrance of sandal, and flowers, and holy smoke, hung about the air. People were sitting around the bridegroom talking. Thanappa appeared at the gate loaded with letters. Some young men ran up to him demanding : " Postman! I know to whom to deliver. The bridegroom looked up at him with an amused smile and muttered : " Thanks. I have known that child, Kamakshi, ever since she was a day old, and I knew she would always get a distinguished husband," added the postman, and brought his palms together in a salute, and moved into the house to deliver other letters and to refresh himself in the kitchen with tiffin and coffee.
Ten days later he knocked on the door and, with a grin, handed Kamakshi her first letter : " Ah, scented envelope! I knew it was coming when the mail van was three stations away. I have seen hundreds like this. Take it from me. He said, turning away : " I don't think there is any use waiting for you to finish the letter and tell me its contents. My uncle, my father's brother, is very ill in Salem, and they want me to start im- mediately. Thanappa looked equally miserable.
Ramanujam rallied, gathered himself up, and turned to go in. Thanappa said : " One moment, sir. I have a confession to make. See the date on the card. I was unhappy to see it. They will dismiss me. It is a serious offence. Ramanujam watched him dully for a while and shouted : " Postman! I am only sorry you have done this. Raman often burst out, " Why couldn't you have come a day earlier? Raman ; for them there was something ominous in the very association.
As a result when the big man came on the scene it was always a quick decision one way or another. There was no scope or time for any kind of wavering or whitewashing. Long years of practice of this kind had bred in the doctor a certain curt truthfulness ; for that very reason his opinion was valued ; he was not a mere doctor expressing an opinion but a judge pronouncing a verdict. The patient's life hung on his words. This never unduly worried Dr. He never believed that agreeable words ever saved lives. He did not think it was any of his business to provide unnecessary dope when as a matter of course Nature would teU them the truth in a few hours.
However, when he glimpsed the faintest sign of hope, he rolled up his sleeve and stepped into the arena : it might be hours or days, but he never withdrew till he wrested the prize from Tama's hands. Today, standing over a bed, the doctor felt that he himself needed someone to tell him soothing lies.
On the bed lay his dearest friend in the world : Gopal. They had known each other for forty years now, starting with their Kinder- garten days. They could not, of course, meet as much as they wanted, each being wrapped in his own family and profession. Occasionally, on a Sunday, Gopal would walk into the consulting room, and wait patiently in a corner till the doctor was free. And then they would dine together, see a picture, and talk of each other's life and activities.
It was a classic friendship standing over, untouched by changing times, circumstances, and activities. In his busy round of work, Dr. Raman had not noticed that Gopal had not called in for over three months now. He just remembered it when he saw GopaPs son sitting on a bench in the consulting hall, one crowded morning. Raman could not talk to him for over an hour. When he got up and was about to pass on to the operation room, he called up the young man and asked, " What brings you here, sir? He rushed off straight from the clinic to his friend's house, in Lawley Extension.
Gopal lay in bed as if in sleep. The doctor stood over him and asked Gopal's wife, " How long has he been in bed? He comes down once in three days and gives him medicine. Why, why, couldn't you have sent me word earlier? There was hardly any time to be lost. He took off his coat and opened his bag.
He took out an injection tube, the needle sizzled over the stove. The sick man's wife whimpered in a corner and essayed to ask questions. He looked at the children who were watching the sterilizer, and said, " Send them all away somewhere, except the eldest. The patient still remained motionless. The doctor's face gleamed with perspiration, and his eyelids drooped with fatigue.
The sick man's wife stood in a corner and watched silently. She asked timidly, " Doctor, shall I make some coffee for you? He got up and said, " I will be back in a few minutes. Don't disturb him on any account. In a quarter of an hour he was back, followed by an assistant and a nurse. The doctor told the lady of the house, " I have to perform an operation.
Will you leave your son here to help us, and go over to the next house and stay there till I call you? The nurse attended to her and led her out. At about eight in the evening the patient opened his eyes and stirred slightly in bed. The assistant was overjoyed. He exclaimed enthusiastically, " Sir, he will pull through. It is only a false flash-up, very common in these cases. At about eleven the patient opened his eyes and smiled at his friend. He showed a slight improvement, he was able to take in a little food. A great feeling of relief and joy went through the household. They swarmed around the doctor and poured out their gratitude.
He sat in his seat beside the bed, gazing sternly at the patient's face, hardly showing any signs of hearing what they were saying to him. The sick man's wife asked, " Is he now out of danger? She felt restless. She felt she must know the truth whatever it was. Why was the great man so evasive? The suspense was unbearable. Perhaps he could not speak so near the patient's bed. She beckoned to him from the kitchen doorway. She asked, " What about him now? How is he? Unless you must know about it, don't ask now. She clasped her hands together and implored : " Tell me the truth.
A terrible wailing shot through the still house ; the patient stirred and looked about in bewilderment. The doctor got up again, went over to the kitchen door, drew it in securely and shut off the wail. When the doctor resumed his seat the patient asked in the faintest whisper possible, " Is that someone crying? You mustn't talk. It was already agitated by the exertion. The patient asked, " Am I going? Don't hide it from me.
He had never faced a situation like this. It was not in his nature to whitewash. People attached great value to his word because of that. He stole a look at the other.
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The patient motioned a finger to draw him nearer and whispered, " I must know how long I am going to last. I must sign the will. It is all ready. Ask my wife for the despatch box. You must sign as a witness. You must be quieter. I can trust your word. I can't leave my property unsettled. That will mean endless misery for my wife and children.
You know all about Subbiah and his gang. Let me sign before it is too late. Tell me. He walked off to his car, sat in the back seat and reflected. He looked at his watch. If the will was to be signed, it must be done within the next two hours, or never. He could not be responsible for a mess there ; he knew too well the family affairs and about those wolves, Subbiah and his gang. But what could he do? If he asked him to sign the Will, it would virtually mean a death sentence and destroy the thousandth part of a chance that the patient had of survival.
He got down from the car and went in. He resumed his seat in the chair. The patient was staring at him appealingly. The doctor said to him- self, " If my word can save his life, he shall not die. The will be damned. He stooped over the patient and said with deliberate emphasis, " Don't worry about the will now. You are going to live. Your heart is absolutely sound. He asked in a tone of relief, " Do you say so? If it comes from your lips it must be true.
You are improving every second. Sleep in peace. You must not exert yourself on any account. You must sleep very soundly. I will sec you in the morning. On his way home he stopped for a moment at his hospital, called out his assistant, and said, " That Lawley Extension case. You might expect the collapse any second now. Go there with a tube of From his car he made a dash for the sick bed. The patient was awake and looked very well. The assistant reported satisfactory pulse. The doctor put his tube at his heart, listened for a while, and told the sick man's wife, " Don't look so unhappy, lady.
Your husband will live to be ninety. He will live to be ninety. He has turned the corner. How he has survived this attack will be a puzzle to me all my life," replied the doctor. This is what happened to ex-gateman Govind Singh. And you could not blame the public either. What could you do with a man who carried about in his hand a registered postal cover and asked : " Please tell me what there is inside? Everywhere the suggestion was the same till he thought everyone had turned mad.
And then somebody said : " If you don't like to open it and yet want to know what is inside you must take it to the X-ray Institute. It was explained to him. But before saying anything further about his pro- gress, it would be usefiil to go back to an earlier chapter in his history. After war service in , he came to be recommended for a gatekeeper's post at Engladia's. He liked the job very much. He was given a khaki uniform, a resplendent band across his shoulder and a short stick.
And when his chief's car pulled up at the gate he stood at attention and gave a military salute. The office consisted of a staff numbering over a hundred and as they trooped in and out every day he kept an eye on them. At the end of the day he awaited the footsteps of the General Manager coining down the stairs and rose stiffly and stood at attention, and after he left the hundreds of staff poured out. The doors were shut ; Singh carried his stool in, placed it under the staircase, and placed his stick across it.
Then he came out and the main door was locked and sealed. In this way he had spent twenty-five years of service, and then he begged to be pensioned off. He would not have thought of retirement yet, but for the fact that he found his sight and hearing playing tricks on him ; he could not catch the Manager's footsteps on the stairs, and it was hard to recognize him even at ten yards.
He was ushered into the presence of the chief, who looked up for a moment from his papers and muttered : " We are very pleased with your work for us, and the company will give you a pension of twelve rupees for your life. This was the second occasion when the great man had spoken to him, the first being on the first day of his service. As he had stood at his post, the chief, entering the office just then, looked up for a moment and asked " Who are you?
And he spoke again only on this day. Though so little was said, Singh felt electrified on both occasions by the words of his master. In moments of contemplation Singh's mind dwelt on the words of his master, and on his personality. His life moved on smoothly. The pension together with what his wife earned by washing and sweeping in a couple of houses was quite sufficient for him.
He ate his food, went out and met a few friends, slept, and spent some evenings sitting at a cigarette shop which his cousin owned. This tenor of life was disturbed on the first of every month when he donned his old khaki suit, walked to his old office, and salaamed the Accountant at the counter and received his pension. Sometimes if it was closing he waited on the roadside for the General Manager to come down, and saluted him as he got into his car. There was a lot of time all around him, an immense sea of leisure.
In this state he made a new discovery about himself, that he could make fascinating models out of clay and wood dust. The discovery came suddenly, when one day a child in the neighbourhood brought to him its little doll for repair. He not only repaired it but made a new thing of it. This discovery pleased him so much that he very soon became absorbed in it. His backyard gave him a plentiful supply of pliant clay, and the carpenter's shop next to his cousin's cigarette shop sawdust. He purchased paint for a few annas.
And lo! He sat there in the front part of his home, bent over his clay, and brought into existence a miniature universe ; all the colours of life were there, all the forms and creatures, but of the size of his middle finger ; whole villages and towns were there, GATEMAN'S GIFT 27 all the persons he had seen passing before his office when he was sentry there that beggar woman coming at midday, and that cucumber vendor ; he had the eye of a cartoonist for human faces.
Everything went down into clay. It was a wonderful miniature re- flection of the world ; and he mounted them neatly on thin wooden slices, which enhanced their attractive- ness. He kept these in his cousin's shop and they attracted huge crowds every day and sold very briskly. More than the sales Singh felt an ecstasy when he saw admiring crowds clustering around his handiwork. On his next pension day he carried to his office a street scene which he ranked as his best , and handed it over the counter to the Accountant with the request : " Give this to the Sahib, please! It created a sensation in the office and disturbed the routine of office working for nearly half an hour.
On the next pension day he carried another model children at play and handed it over the counter. He made it a convention to carry on every pension day an offering for his master, and each time his greatest reward was the Accountant's stock reply to his question : " What did the Sahib say? A model of his office frontage with himself at his post, a car at the entrance, and the chief getting down : this composite model was so realistic that while he sat looking at it, he seemed to be carried back to his office days. A sudden fear seized Singh and he asked : " The master won't be angry, I hope?
A week later when he was sitting on the fyol kneading clay, the postman came and said : " A registered letter for you. Now a registered letter!
This was his first registered letter. Please take it back. I don't want it," said Singh. Shall I say 'Refused'? Singh seemed to have no option but to scrawl his signature and receive the packet. He sat gloomily gazing at the floor.
His wife who had gone out and just returned saw him in this condition and asked : "What is it? He said: "How should I know. Perhaps our ruin. It cannot be opened. They have perhaps written that my pension is stopped, and God knows what else the Sahib has said. I will never show my face there again. That must also have reached the Sahib's ears. He lost taste for food, wandered about unkempt, with his hair standing up like a halo an unaccustomed sight, his years in military service having given him a habitual tidiness.
His wife lost all peace of mind and became miserable about him. He stood at the cross-roads, clutching the letter in his hand. He kept asking everyone he came across : " Tell me, what there is in this? As he entered the gate he observed dozens of cars parked along the drive, and a Gurkha watchman at the gate. Some people were sitting on sofas reading books and journals.
They turned and threw a brief look at him and resumed their studies. But Singh replied : " They said you could tell me what's inside without opening it " The assistant asked : " Where do you come from? I knew trouble was coming " There were tears on his cheeks. The assistant looked at him curiously as scores of others had done before, smiled, and said : " Go home and rest.
You are not all right. Go, go home. The assistant took it in his hand, examined it and said : " Shall I open it? There was a look of terror in his eyes. The assembly looked up from their pages and watched him with mild amuse- ment in their eyes. The assistant kindly put his arms on his shoulder and led him out. I tell you you are not all right. That's it, is that it? He now understood the looks that people threw at him.
He laughed. He felt a curious relief at this realization.
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He wanted to fly. He swung his arms up and down and ran on with a whoop. He ran through the Market Road. When people stood about and watched he cried : " Hey, don't laugh at a mad man, for who knows, you will also be mad when you come to make clay dolls," and charged into their midst with a war cry. When he saw children coming out of a school, he felt it would be nice to amuse their young hearts by behaving like a tiger. So he fell on his hands and kneels and crawled up to them with a growl.
He went home in a terrifying condition. His wife who was grinding chilly in the backyard looked up and asked : " What is this? He could not answer because he choked with mirth as he said : " Fancy what has happened! Ranged on the floor was his latest handiwork. After his last visit to the office he had been engaged in making a model village.
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Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory GI4N More information about this seller Contact this seller 2. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. The spine may show signs of wear. Creased Cover. Book is warped Next day dispatch. International delivery available. Please contact us with any enquiries. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9.
Published by Penguin Publishing Group. About this Item: Penguin Publishing Group. A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact.
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Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. The dust jacket is missing. Seller Inventory GI5N More information about this seller Contact this seller A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name.
Seller Inventory GI4N A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. Seller Inventory GI3N Trade Paperback. Condition: New. Book is square and solid with a perfect spine. You'll be compelled to hop, skip, and madly cartwheel around the living room once you have this book in your hands!.
From: ilcampo Richmond, CA, U. Clean, unmarked; tight and square. Laxman, R. India Fiction from author's own publishing house; Malgudi. Seller Inventory FE Daily dispatch from the UK. Item added to your basket View basket.