Philosophy of Value-Oriented Education -Theory and Practice - Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education





Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education



1.The industrialized society and the present day crisis in Values.

2.Values are relative and subjective and individuals should be left to themselves to determine their own value-system.

3.Educational institutions should confine themselve only to those studies where objective knowledge is discernible or determinable.

4.Self-centered liberalism leading to anti-judgment phobia.

5.Democracy cannot survive without an extra-political normative moral order and also by going beyond the material utility of life.

6.Value-oriented education as an inbuilt aspect of the course curricula and as co- or extra-curricular activities in educational institutions.

7.Is the whole question of value-oriented education of recent origin and has come in our agenda recendy because of certain political dispensation? A detailed study of the subject as elucidated by the various commissions since 1949 will help in the objective presentation of the facts.

8.Various core values: Values of peace, non-violence, freedom, truth, righteous conduct, love and scientific temper.

9.Religious education and rationalistic intuitionism. Views against it are based on the mode of implementation, i.e. of imposing Hindu view on Non-Hindus.

10.Mis-information regarding the use of Sanskrit terms in the National Curriculum Framework of Education, November 2000. There are many who think that terms, like Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Panthnira-peksha, Seva,etc. are religious based Sanskrit terminology.

11.Fundamentalist Hindu view is 'minoritarian' and nor 'majoritarian' Hindu view. It makes people suspicious of spiritual education and tradition: Man does not live by bread alone. He has over and above a physical dimension, a mental, an intellectual and spiritual dimension.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

12. A holistic approach to education by aiming at uniting science and humanism, ethics and aesthetics, material welfare and spiritual wel-

13.Globalizaion and the clout of popular culture and the emergence of a new scale of values. A subculture of youth. But those youth who are properly entreched in their roots and traditions are in a position

to make pragmatic reconstitution betweem the new values and the tradition. This is the major advantage of fostering values based on our heritage and composite culture. Because of this the impact is

adoptive rather than substitutive.

14.The secret of teaching values: one's own example and mastery of knowledge. Value-based education should not be prescriptive but propositional.

15.Two ways of imparting value-based education:

a) Integrated approach

b) Indirect approach

Integrated approach:

Knowledge, sincerity, perfection and truth and peak of excellence.

Five Koshas: Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya. The ultimate aim is the perception in bliss. The disappearance of ego.

Indirect approach:

Educati on in human values through literature done informally and in an indirect way making the whole thing implies. This approach can work in an institutional climate, without any compulsion and is helpful in

the healthy moral influence and habits of the mind.

16. The use of literature in


a)Integrated approach

b)Indirect approach

(i)Morning Assembly

(ii)Thought for the day


(iv)Study of great books


Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

17.Should a writer be socially, morally, ethically committed for promoting highest aspiration and fostering the growth of values?

18.Creative process can only grow in freedom. The two terms for writer Manishi and Brahman. In Indian context any intellectual activity is an activity which gives you freedom but at the same time which

makes one responsible to the society. Freedom cannot he unrestricted freedom. But a writer does everything implicidy.

19.Literary examples should be explained in a symbolic way with a particular strategy to enable critical examination of these literary references from the point of view of developing values.

20.Literature helps in realizing:

(i)Self is one of pure potentiality

(ii)Intension and desire are to be regulated with a sense of detachment

(III) Values like truth, righteous conduct, peace, love, non-violence, freedom and scientific temper may lead the student to realize the deeper self.

(iv) The value of serving and the law of giving.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Professor Kireet Joshi presented the following two stories at the Seminar. Narrating these stories in brief, he pointed out that these stories had certain qualities, which render them into a model of the kind of the stories that should be promoted for Value-Oriented Education.

Firstly, they are both written with consummate skill and art and the language is chaste, vivid and honest. Secondly, characters in the stories passed through experiences that evoke deep human interest. Thirdly, they impart to the readers some kind of dramatic participation in the development of emotions and attitudes that lead to ultimate sense of ennobling upliftment and liberating harmony.

Both the stories provide freshness that emerges from the experience of understanding which has the power to disperse clouds and apathy, conflict, and even tumult and storm of unhappiness and suffering. Lessons of life that emerge from these stories come to readers without prescription, but they whisper them inwardly in their hearts through vibrations of transforming power.

Professor Joshi pointed out that anthologies of stories that need to be prepared for Value-Oriented Education should be guided by the qualities that are so prominently present in these stories.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education








Shyamlal, a village elder

Narayani, his wife

Ramlal, his younger step-brother

Nrityakali (Netya), their maid

Bhola, their servant

Bhoga Bagdi, a fisherman

Govinda, the five year old son of Shyamlal and Narayani

Nilmoni Sarkar, a village doctor

Digambari, Narayani's widowed mother

Surodhuni, Narayani's younger sister

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education


Randal's years were few but his genius for mischief incalculable. The villagers dreaded him. No one could possibly foresee when he would be up to his pranks again.

His older step brother, Shyamlal, was a village elder. Though not exactly a man of peace by temperament, life had early schooled him in toleration and he was loth to give severe punishment for light offences. He was employed in the village as the landlord's agent but he also looked after his own lands. Apart from a pond, a garden and rice-fields, he had a few low-caste tenants and some surplus cash to fall back upon.

Shyamlal's wife, Narayani, had come to her husband's a little over twelve years ago, before his widowed mother died, bequeathing to her daughter-in-law, just turned thirteen, her lisping infant Ram, with all the rest of a big humming household.

At the time this story begins there were bad fevers about, and Narayani was one of the victims. The villagers had to share the services of the quasi-qualified physician, Nilmoni Sarkar, whose fees, as a result, shot up from one to two

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

rupees, and quinine powders grew more and more to resemble mouldering arrowroot or stale wheat-flour.

Seven days passed, but Narayani's fever never once flagged. Even Shyamlal began to feel anxious. And then Nrityakali, the maid of all work who had gone to fetch the doctor, came back complaining that the fellow had paid her scant courtesy, preferring—to all intents and purposes—an affluent patient who had wooed him with a fee of four solid rupees.

Shyamlal grew angry. "But I, too, could have given him four rupees!" he railed. "Which comes first, life or money? Go, fetch him, the heartless vulture!"

Narayani, who was within earshot, protested weakly from her bed, "Why worry so much? Let him come tomorrow; a day sooner or later can't make much difference."

Suddenly, Ram, who had been making a bird-cage under a guava-tree at the edge of the courtyard, looked up. "You stay at home, Netya!" he cried, "I'll see to it."

Narayani sat up in alarm and squeaked an instant appeal to her husband. "Do stop him!" Then louder, "Oh, Ram, let him be, I say, Ram! I beseech you; stay where you are, my pet! Why fall foul of people?"

But Ram paid no attention and was on the point of leaving, when Govinda, his five-year-old nephew, who had been loyally holding the sticks, demurred, "Won't you finish the cage, Uncle?"

"Loads of time," returned the uncle as he bounded off.

Narayani, on the verge of tears, now struck her forehead. "Why on earth didn'tyou stop him?" she squealed, addressing her husband, "Who knows what new mischief he'll brew?"

Her husband, unwilling to admit his helplessness, became angry. "What could I do?" he exploded, "Do you really think he would have listened to me when he ignored you?"

"But why didn'tyou catch hold of him, or do something—anything?" She began crying disconsolately, "Oh, how my poor head aches! I don't want to live—I don't, really—and all because of that impossible boy, I tell you. Netya, don't stand there gaping. Go and fetch Bhola; he must find Ram and cajole him to return. Bhola may not have gone out with the cows yet. Do run as fast as you can."

Thus adjured, the maid ran in search of the servant, Bhola.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education


Presently Ram appeared at the doctor's and found him presiding, over his

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

dispensary—or, more exactly, at a rickety table in front of a mouldy cabinet from which he was busy doling out medicines to a group of eager patients, who watched him with respect. He cast a sidelong glance at the newcomer, and went on calmly as before. "Well", cut in Ram abruptly, unimpressed, "why on earth doesn't my sister's fever go?"

The physician gave an involuntary start but choosing to ignore the crazy boy, replied, with his eyes riveted on his scales, "What can I do? I send her medicines all right..."

"All wrong," corrected the other. "You don't call stale flour the right medicine for fever, do you?"

Nilmoni forgot his weights and scales and stared speechless, at the heckler. A boy of thirteen to criticize his medical omniscience! Recovering his presence of mind he rolled his red eyes and bellowed, 'Then why come for the rotten flour? And why on earth does your brother appeal to me like this on his bended knees?"

"My brother sends for you because there is no other doctor about," returned Ram, "otherwise he would not have bothered."

The rustic audience watched in thrilled consternation. Ram shot a look of contempt at them and went on, "You come of a low caste, that's why you know no better than to talk disrespectfully of my brother. My brother never bends his knees to anyone. As I was leaving my house my sister-in-law begged me to control myself, otherwise I would have knocked out every tooth in your head here and now. But I'll give you one more chance—the very last! Shily-shally no longer; come with real medicines, mind. If her fever doesn't come down by tonight—well, you see those nice mango-plants you have got over there? Tender and succulent, are they not? Yes, but one single stroke of an axe... you get me?" He went on, a little faster, "Not one plant shall survive, I tell you, after tonight. And tomorrow I'll call again and smash up all your blessed bottles and things." With this he vanished like a summer gale.

The healer of men, sat stupefied, his scales in his hand, till an old man thought fit to grunt, "My good doctor, sir," and continued, hesitantly, "I would, if I were you... well, for example, bring out my best medicines and—toe and line, go, don't you know? For nothing else will stop the hand of that limb of Satan. "The doctor jumped up and said, in a tone of finality, "Where I am going to is the police station. And you shall be my witness in the case."

"Witness!" cried his counsellor, aghast. "Has anyone ever heard the like? My ears are buzzing with quinine—how could I have heard what he said? Besides, what good would the police officer do, sir? Our high and mighty devil's

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

disciple may be small in stature, but his gang of low-caste imps—how shall I put it? If they choose set our houses on fire and burn us to cinders—well, you may be sure no one from the police station will be about at the time, far less any one to lend a hand with a chance bucket of water. No, thank you, doctor, sir, we'll have nothing to do with it—not we, sir! We are all—to put it mildly—-just scared of the Holy Terror, don't you know? But," he smiled ingratiatingly, "if you won't heed my advice, will you have just one last look at my pulse? And tell me, doctor, couldn't I do with some bread tonight?"

The doctor's head buzzed. "Fools!" he fumed, "You won't be witnesses? Then get out of my sight. I shan't look at anybody's pulse again or dispense a drop of medicine even if you die like so many flies, and then we '11 see who saves you when you squirm and screech in your filthy beds!"

The old man took up his stick, sighed and tottered upto his feet. "It is not our fault, sir. He is the devil's own brat, haven't you noticed? So, for my part, I must make haste to report to him, or he may get it into his head that it's we who have been egging you on to lodge a complaint with the police. I have sown an acre with brinjal seeds and they are coming up a real treat, they are! Well, he might uproot all that during the night, don't you see? They never sleep at night, these grinning goblins, sir! So, hadn't you better be going, and put off the police station to some other fine day! Now is the time to get hold of a bottle of your best, and go—run like a mad wind to appease the dwarf demon." The old man left, closely followed by the rest.

Nilmoni heaved a sigh and muttered to himself the last word in human wisdom, the richest aphorism of worldly sagacity: "Never do good to others." Then he went indoors and opened his safe.


Narayani had been a fidget on her lonely bed a good hour, her eyes fixed anxiously on the flitting shadows outside, when Ram returned and gave the order to his little nephew, "Govinda, come on; hold the sticks again!"

"Ram, I want you here!" cried Narayani, in a temper. Ram passed a stick carefully through a twig and replied, "Later! I'm busy now."

"Come, this instant, I say!" she rapped out angrily.

Ram pulled a long face, put down the sticks, made his way into his sister-in-law's room and sat down on the edge of the four-poster, near her feet. "Did you find the doctor at home?" she asked.


"What did you tell him?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Nothing. Just asked him to come."

"Was that all?" She asked incredulously. "Come! Out with it!" Ram shook his head, "I won't tell you."

At this point Nrityakali sailed in and announced: "The doctor, in person!"

Instantly the landscape changed; the cross-questioner reverted to her status as invalid, and, throwing a coverlet over herself, dived deep into her pillows, her face to the wall; the maid stood to attention on the threshold, within call, and Ram flung out of the room before one could say knife. A moment later, the ruler of the house stepped in with a heavy tread, the medico close at his heels.

"My good daughter," said the latter after he had examined Narayani with meticulous care, "is it for us humans, to order a fever or whatever else off the premises? Your brother-in-law has given me an ultimatum: either your temperature goes down by tonight or he makes a bonfire of my house and possessions."

"D-don't take him so seriously," she faltered out dying of shame. "It's only his—his way of—talking."

The doctor shook his head ruefully. "But he has a ga—I mean a band of followers, who will do anything on earth at his bidding, they say; that's why I'm nervous. I can only dispense medicines—not life."

She made no answer, only brooded the more gloomily. For this opened up an old sore and she decided, more convinced than ever, that the enfant terrible was heading straight for the abyss. She only feared whether he could insist on her bearing his company all the way down the slope!

Nilmoni, that angel of patience and rectitude, went on explaining elaborately when, how often and in what manner his medicines should be administered (He had come equipped this time with his very best drugs.) When Shyamlal offered him four rupees for his pains, he threw up his hands.

"Lord of the just!" he exclaimed in an access of piety. "My fee is just one rupee and I dare not accept a pice more. I am a God-fearing person, are'nt I?" And he added ponderously, "Shyamlal! Money lasts for a day or two, but honour lives forever!" In his religious rapture he conveniently forgot that barely a few days ago he had felt no scruple in exacting a rupee twice over from these very clients! But Shyamlal—who was no fool and could put two and two together—kept his own counsel.

Narayani was soon well again and her world went on as before.


About two months later, Narayani returned one morning after her usual bath

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

in the river and setting her full pitcher, asked Nrityakali peremptorily to summon "that monkey of monkeys" at once. Everyone in the house knew who was meant by this sobriquet.

The maid began looking about. "Why, surely the young master was here a minute ago! Where can be have—ah, there he is making a kite!"

Narayani shouted angrily, "Come here, you little horror, come here at once! Must I take all your beatings for you?" Ram left the kite, and went to her, a picture of innocence, calmly extracting gum from a bel fruit, prodding it with a small twig.

Narayani frowned. "Why did you cut down that cucumber plant the good people over there had trained over their trellis?"

Ram, cool as a cucumber, said : "Did they see me cut it down?" "They may not have, but I did, I may tell you."

Ram considered this for a few seconds, then changed his tactics. "Why did the insulting old hag call me names, I should like to know?" "Insulting?" Narayani retorted astonished now.

"What!" he stared. "You call it stealing, if I just help myself to a cucumber— a trifle like that?"

Narayani, now in a blue fury, said, "A trifle, you say! You—you little wretch, if it is not stealing... Oh, do leave off twisting the truth as you do, you are surely old enough to know better! Stand there on one leg, you wicked owl, stand there, I say, till I tell you to go. And catch me letting you off so lightly next time!

In this house, Govinda, Ram's little nephew, was his uncle's playmate, valet and guide rolled into one. In other words, he had to be at his uncle's beck and call. All this time he had been waiting, holding his master's kite as directed. But curiously got the better of him when the rising hubbub inside the house reached him. He threw down the kite, came in and, breathless with interest, stood near his mother, watching keenly, missing nothing. Observing, Ram's hesitation, he stepped forward sympathetically to his aid, and said, "Uncle, do stand on one leg, it's very very easy, done like this, look!" and he demonstrated the posture, to be helpful. Ram slaped his cheek hard and then, making a half-turn, stood on one leg facing the wall. Narayani suppressed a smile and, picking up her own woebegone child, went into the kitchen. Returning a couple of minutes later, she saw the offender still standing on one leg, wiping his eyes vigorously with a corner of his dhoti. "That'll do, then, for this time," she said, wagging a finger, "but remember this in future, won'tyou?" Ram made as if he hadn't heard a word and stayed standing on one leg, wiping his eyes more energetically than ever. Narayani relented and, coming closer, pulled him

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

coaxingly by the arm. He stood rigid and then violently pushed her away. She laughed and tried to give him a hug, whereupon he shook her away more violently still and dashed out of the room.


When Nrityakali came to call an hour later, she found him sulking in a deserted part of the outhouse, his back leaning against a post and his legs sprawling in front of him. She drew near gingerly and craining her neck forward asked, "Isn't it time you went to school, young master?" Then, after an expectant pause, "The mistress sent me round to remind you."

Ram maintained a glum silence, taking no notice of her. Nrityakali, taking her courage in both hands, ventured another step forward and shouted, "The mistress says you are to come in and have your bath and breakfast."

"Go away!" Ram snarled.

Nrityakali receded a few steps and said with a droop in her voice, "I am going. But have you heard what the mistress told me to tell you?"

"No," he growled. "And you may go and tell her—I shan't have my bath, shan't eat my breakfast, I shan't do a thing." He cleared his throat and added portentously, "So now you know."

"Well", she answered with a shrug, "I'll go and tell her."

She had already turned her back when Ram leapt up as though electrified and making a bee-line for the backyard pond, which had not been dredged for years, plunged straight into its reeking water and then returned to his post, lolling there with clothes and hair all dripping. Nrityakali ran back into the house to tell her mistress the latest.

Narayani rushed out, horrified. "What have you done, you crazy baboon? she cried, in a half-choked voice. "People are afraid of washing even their feet in that poisonous pond and you go deliberately and dive in! Why? To spite me? " She sent for some thick towels with which she wiped him dry. Then she dragged him into the bathroom to change his clothes. When she emerged, she led him into the kitchen where she served him his food on a plate. But Ram merely sat in front of it, gazing stubbornly into vacancy.

His meaning was not lost on the anxious women who was watching. She moved closer and, placing her hands on his head, said, "Dear boy, do eat by yourself now .... Tonight I promise to feed you with my own hands. But you see, I have not finished my cooking yet. Do get on with your breakfast alone, there's good boy." The pampered boy complied at last. Then he relented even more and, putting on his shirt, went off to school.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Nrityakali, having witnessed the entire scene, could not contain herself. "It's because of you, Mistress," she blurted out, "that he is getting into bad habits. Which mother on earth takes a big boy like that on her knee and spoonfeeds him? Why do you pander to him so, when he gets the sulks? Really, it's beyond me, that is all I can say."

Narayani forced a half-apologetic simple to her lips. "You see, Netya," she pleaded, "he has become a little—difficult, that is why I have to truckle to him at times. What I mean is, if I hadn't coaxed him, he would have just gone on sitting there, all humpred and hungry."

Nrityakali shook her head and laughed. "A lot you know about big boys and what their hunger makes them do. And a boy of his age."

'You people willkeep on harping on his age! Narayani interjected acidly. "But what about his judgement, I ask you? Wait until he has a little more sense, and then won't he himself be ashamed of these things? Can a grown-up possibly relish sitting on somebody else's knee and being fed or dandled?"

"I meant no offence, Mistress," the other said soothingly. "I only meant that a little firmness on your side would have done the trick. Besides, when—on your own showing—one has no sense even at the age of twelve or thirteen, don't you think something ought to be done about it?"

Narayani was stung to the quick. "All don't cut their wisdom teeth at the same age, Netya," she countered. "Some wake up a couple of years late. But", she added resentfully, "what I can't understand is—why you must all conspire to go on and on nagging like this!"

Nrityakali was upset. "O Mistress, surely you know that I meant it all for the best? I swear I told you what I did because, in the end, it is you yourself who will have to pay for it all—you who are making a rod for your own back. Our good neighbours all say it's because you don't see how you spoil him—"

"Oh, these neighbours," cut in Narayani, flustered. "How I wish to goodness they'd let me be—these priceless critics who notice only how I spoil him! What about the way I discipline him, I ask you—you who have at least a pair of eyes, if no brains, in your head? Tell me, would you have had me send him famished to school after having made him stand the whole morning on one leg—one who courts suicide, diving into that reeking pond? God alone knows if he is not in for malignant malaria now." She paused for breath, then added with a toss of her head: "But why must I go on putting up with reproaches from all sides?" Her voice choked her, and she wiped her eyes hastily with the hem of her sari.

Nrityakali was utterly at a loss. "But Mistress," she apologized, "why be so

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

upset? You ought to know better than to think that I could wish to hurt you. Tongues do wag, and so I spoke—at any rate, just hinted—"

Narayani's eyes filled again but she had a firmer grip on herself this time. "God doesn't mould us all alike, Netya," she sighed. "And it's because he was born perhaps somewhat—intractable, that I put up with these naggings from all and sundry who don't understand. But why must they insinuate that it's I who spoil him?" Looking at Nrityakali full in the face she added with a challenge in her voice, "What would they have me do, pray? Do they expect me to hack him to pieces to be flung in to the river?" A scornful smile spread over her face. "If I did, they would come out to applaud, I suppose, in full chorus!" Without waiting for a reply she made straight for her bedroom.

The maid watched her go, discomfited, and sighed, in her turn. "Well! " she said to herself ruefully, and shaking her head, muttered, "but why can't she—who has such oceans of sense and mountains of patience—see what is plain as the nose on her face? Why flare up like a volcano the moment a remark is passed on the brat's ways? She went on grumbling, "Discipline my foot! The boy stands crying on one leg for half a minute and it's she who faints as if the bottom had dropped out of the world!"


Ram did not relish dining in his elder brother's company. Tonight Narayani deliberately laid their plates side by side and sat watching nearby.

The moment Ram entered the room he came to a halt and said, "Oh no!

No! I won't—never. I see what you are up to But nothing will make me eat,

sitting like that."

Narayani said dryly, "In that case, go straight to bed."

Her tone stopped Ram's grubling instantly, but he did not sit down to dinner, only stood where he was, waiting in glum silence. As soon as Shyamlal came into the kitchen, he left the room. The master of the house sat down to his meal slowly and quietly, brooding. "Where has Ram disappeared?" he remarked presently, for something to say. "Won't he have his dinner?"

"He will have his dinner with me," Narayani replied evasively.

No sooner had Shyamlal gone after the meal, when Ram appeared with a handful of ashes. "Catch me letting anybody have dinner!" he announced darkly. "How would it be now if I threw ashes on all the plates?"

Narayani met his challenges with a hard stare and answered, "You just try it! You shan't—a second time, I warn you!"

Ram paused, deflated for a moment, then went off, at a tangent, "But you

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

did trick me into eating my breakfast this morning," he snivelled. "And now look, you are at it again, putting me off with a bluff!"

Narayani could not help an amused smile. "But why did not eat by yourself, may I ask?"

"Because you gave your word that tonight—"

"But you're big boy now. Aren't you ashamed of being spoon-fed by other people?"

Ramlal was genuinely astonished.

"Other people? What do you mean? You said—" Narayani had to unbend at last. " All right," she patted him, on the head. "Just go and throw away those ashes and wash your hands. I will give in for the once—but this is the last time, mind!" Ram was mollified at once.

Before the end of the meal Nrityakali found an excuse for passing the door and looking in on her way to the other verandah. Narayani's eyes met the maid's which were sparkling with derision. Stung, she looked helplessly at Ram and said, "Ram! Will you never behave yourself? The way you make people talk is getting simply unbearable."

Ram gulped down his mouthful indignantly. "What people?" he challenged. "Give me their names." Narayani heaved a sigh of despair. 'That's you, all over! I have to supply you, have I, with a long list of the culprits?"


A few months later, things took an unexpected turn.

Narayani's widowed mother, Digambari, had lived in her own brother's house, with a daughter, Surodhuni, now nearly ten. This brother dying suddenly, Narayani sent for them, with her husband's permission. No sooner had Digambari been installed in the house, however, than she began changing all her daughter's arrangements, and she itched to ride roughshod over Ram as well. Between these two it was a case of hate at first sight.

It so happened that, one fatal morning, Ram brought in a banyan sapling two or three feet high and set about planting it in the middle of the courtyard. Digambari, telling her beads in the little open space in front of the kitchen, was a keen spectator. "Ram, whatever are your doing?" she asked testily.

Ram looked coolly at her. "When this tree grows bigger," he answered solemnly, "it will give us some lovely shade. My teacher says it's wonderful—the shade of the banyan tree! Govinda, go and fetch a can of water. Bhola, cut down a nice thick bamboo and bring it, quickly! We must put a fence round it, or our cow Kali will eat up my tree."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Digambari was in a sizzling temper that morning, "A banyan tree in the middle of the courtyard! I never heard of anything so absurd in my life."

Ram made as if he had not heard. Meanwhile Govinda had fetched a tiny potofwater. Ram tookitwith an indulgent smile. "Howfar do you suppose that will go towards watering a tree?" he said. "Oh you stay here. I'll go myself and fetch a barrel."


When Ram had finished planting his shoot and had poured bucket after bucket of water over it, muddying the whole courtyard, Narayani appeared, returning from her bath. All this time Digambari had been fuming because Ram's unwanted act of benevolence from beginning to end had been performed directly under her nose. As soon as she saw her daughter she exploded:

"Look, Narayani, just look what your paragon has been doing! Planting a banyan tree in the centre of the courtyard, saying it will 'give us something lovely shade!' And look at that rouge Bhola—dragging in a whole bamboo grove to serve for fence!"

Narayani looked, Bhola was, indeed, towing in an enormous bundle of bamboos—and looking nearly as juvenile as his master, being actually of about the same age. Narayani rippled with laughter. With her mother's indignation and anxiety on the one hand and Ram's tomfoolery on the other, the whole affair appeared to her exquisitely comic. Next she assumed a serious tone and asked, "What will you do with a tree in the middle of the courtyard, Ram?"

Ram was amazed. "What will I do? Why, think what soothing shade we are going to have when the tree grows! Hah, Govinda don't point at it! And . . . and... when it grows big, I'll... well, for one thing, hang up a hammock there for Govinda. Bhola! the fence must be at least this high, or the incorrigible Kali will stretch out her neck and eat it up.... Give it to me, give me the axe, you can't manage it, you toddling baby!"

The bamboo cutting went on with a terrific clatter. Laughing once more, Narayani went away to put the pitcher of water she had brought in the kitchen.

Digambari was blue and green with rage. "Why didn't you stop him?" she asked her daughter angirily, "Does the tree really have to grow here?"

Narayani laughed. "Why take it all so seriously, Mother? Can a banyan tree as big as that draw enough sap here? Water alone can't keep it alive without deep-buried roots. It will just wither away—in a day or two."

But Digambari would not be appeased. "Wither away? But why wait for that? You ought to root the thing up and throw it away here and now."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"God in heaven!" interjected the other with a sharp intake of breath. "That can't be done!"

"What nonsense!" hissed her mother. "I ask you: does the house belong to that buffoon? And must he be allowed to go on planting trees in the middle of the courtyard whenever the fancy takes him? Are you a nonentity—my Givinda a mere cipher? Merciful heavens! All the crows and vultures on earth will nest in the tree and foul the place with their droppings and bones and I don't know what else! In that case, Narayani, I shall—I must—decline to go on living here!" She waited for a litde and then rushed on, "Why must you be such a doormat for everybody? If it were my house I would make the child see once and for all what a pest he is. And I assure you he would not have to be told twice!"

Narayani saw into her mother's heart as in a crystal, and stpod horrified for a full minute. Then she forced a smile. "What sense has he, Mother?" she pleaded. "Does any responsible person plant trees in the middle of a courtyard? Why not simply ignore the whole thing? In a day or two he will probably have thrown it away himself."

Digambari's nostrils quivered with anger. "Thrown it away himself ? But why give him the choice? Why shouldn't we throw it away here and now?"

Narayani shuddered and cried out, "Oh, Mother, Mother, you mustn't— on no account, I tell you. You don't know him as yet. No one here would dream of doing such a thing, not even his own brother. Let the thing be—at least for today, I beseech you!"

Digambari gave a grunt of disgust. "Oh, all right, all right. You go and change your wet clothes," she said.


Close, upon midday, Narayani was in her room, busy sewing a pillow-case, when Netya rushed in. "Mistress, we are in for it now! Your mother has torn out the young master's sapling and thrown it away! What won't he do when he gets back from school?"

Narayani dropped her sewing and ran out... Alas, it was but too true; the sapling was nowhere to be seen! She sought out her mother and asked where it was.

"There!" came the icy answer as Digambari pointed her finger at the dustbin.

. Narayani's heart skipped a beat. She drew near and saw that the branch had not only been uprooted but deliberately and cruelly twisted out of shape.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Gingerly she lifted it and flung it far out. Thereafter she retired, heart-sick, to her own room brooding.

The first thing Ram did, on returning from school, was to pay an eager visit to his new love. No sooner had he discovered his loss than he sprang up, bereaved, and yelled, "Sister! My darling banyan tree—!"

Narayani came out from the kitchen and beckoned to him.

"Come here," she said, "I have something very serious to tell you."

"I won't—till you tell me where my tree is."

"But I will tell you, I promise. Come along!" She went forward, caught hold of him by the hand and led him into her room. She seated him on her knee tenderly and said, accusingly, "O Ram! Ram! How could you plant a banyan tree on a Tuesday? Nobody does."

"Nobody?" asked Ram nervously, "Why, what happens?"

"You mean to say you don't know?" she answered reproachfully. "Why, the oldest daughter-in-law of the house dies, that's all."

Ram turned white as a sheet and could think of nothing by way of reply. Then he pulled himself together and said, "Oh, rubbish!"

"It isn't," insisted the other, gravely. "She can't help dying: it's written in large script in our sacred Vedas."

"Vedas?" he looked at her suspiciously. "Let me see the page."

Driven to a corner, she gave a startled cry, "What sort of a boy are you! Good people darn't even pronounce the letters VEDAS

Ram went to pieces completely. How could he betray his ignorance before a servant? He twined his arms round the neck of his monitress who was more than a mother to him and, his face, nestling in her bosom, said in deep embarassment, "Well, I too know, really—only I just happened to forget." Then after a brief pause, he asked anxiously, "Tell me, though: the oldest daughter-in-law doesn't come to harm, does she, if one throws the things away?"

Narayani pressed his head in her bosom and answered, "No, for then the evil is warded off, don't you see?" Her eyes grew moist.

"Ram," she added in a husky voice, "what will you do when I am dead?"

Ram caught his breath and raised his head instantly. "Don't be silly," he said angrily. 'You mustn't say such wicked things."

Narayani wiped her tears away unnoticed and said, "But I am getting old, my poppet, so one day I must die, mustn't I ?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

It dawned on Ram in a flash that she was joking and he said, with a sudden guffaw of relief, "You—getting old?—you who haven't lost a single tooth! Why, you haven't got one grey hair on your head, Sister!"

"But you are forgetting: I'll have to drown myself before my hair turns grey. No, listen Ram," she added ominously, dropping her voice, "one day, when I go for my bath, I shall never never shall come back!"

"Never come back?" asked Ram, in real trepidation this time. "But why?"

"Because you hate my mother and are always at odds with her, that's why. But it'll be nothing to giggle at, I warn you, when I—when I won't be coming back!"

Although Ram could not quite made up his mind whether or not she was in earnest, he deemed it safer not to debate the point. "All right," he conceded. "I promise not to fall foul of her any more. But why must she go on nagging at me all the time in that loathsome nasal tone of hers?"

"But why mustyou mind if she does? After all she is my mother, isn't she?— You must love her as you love me. Come, promise, won't you?"

Ram buried his head in her bosom again. Thus had he grown, for thirteen long years, under her wings of purity and tenderness. How could he, at this late day, bring his tongue to utter any such infamous falsehood? He only snuggled against her the more in silence.

Narayani insisted coaxingly, "It won't do just to hide your face." She waited expectantly for a second or two, then added, "Come! Won't you promise?"

Suddenly the spell was broken by the shrill harsh voice of Digambari. "Oh, my eye! Is thatyou, my dear?" she asked sarcastically. "Evidently, you don't lack leisure to grow lachrymose over your pet foster-child. It is only when your own flesh and blood are in trouble that you behave as though there is nothing to worry about!"

Ram lifted his face at once. His eyes burned like a panther's. Pressing his face back into her bosom, Narayani placidly asked, "But what kind of trouble are they in, Mother, my own flesh and blood?"

"What kind of trouble? " exclaimed Digambari. "Well—er..." Narayani held her eyes with a fixed stare.. . . Unable to think up any convincing catstrophe, her mother beat a hasty retreat in order to invent some story at leisure.

Ram raised his head, struggling furiously. "I am going to throttle that ugly witch!" he hissed.

Narayani covered his mouth with her palm. "Hush! She is my mother. Have you forgotten so soon?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

d-dared, if you hadn't p-put him up to it? To call me a w-witch who should be thrown out! Oh, very well, very well, I am g-going! We are l-like millstones round your necks, d-don'1

Narayani held her mother's feet with both hands. "Forgive us this once, Mother," she said, "and wait, at least, till my husband is back; then do whatever is arranged between you." With this she led her indoors again, entreated her to be seated, pured water over her feet and dried them tenderly with the end of her sari. Then she fanned her gently, and wiped the tears from her eyes.

The temperature of Digambari's rage fell for the time being, but as soon as Shyamlal was called in to his midday meal, she began sobbing again audibly from her seat near the door. At first Shyamlal was at a loss to know what he should do; when he was told the whole story at last, he suddenly hoisted himself out of his seat and left in a huff. Narayani, knowing who was the real target of his anger, sighed helplessly and got up also. But Netya's straightforward nature could not let all this pass without a comment. "The fat's in the fire now and no mistake!" she shouted. "Surely your tears were in no danger of drying up at their source? You might at least have waited a few minutes before unleashing them!"

Digambari pulled a long face and stayed silent.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education


At noon Ram returned from his wanderings and, after a little hunting about, discovered Narayani lying down in her private room with little Govinda by her side. He drew the right conclusion from the all-too-familiar red signal, and began mumbling, "But I am so hungry!" Narayani made no answer. He pressed his cause a little louder: "What can I eat?"

Narayani did not stir. "I don't know," she murmured. "Leave me in peace."

"But I tell you—I'm hungry!" he importuned.

"And I tell you, I don't want to be bothered. Be off with you! There's Netya, go to her for food."

Ram went without further protest. He found Netya, and pouted. "Am I to starve, or what?" he said querulously. Evidently Netya had had her instructions, for she produced at once a cup of milk, with some puffed rice and four or five coconut cakes.

"Is that all?" he growled.

She raised her eyebrows and said sternly, "Look here, little Master! I'd be on my best behaviour for a change, if I were you! There is some trouble brewing, I warn you! The master has gone out without his dinner. The mistress is resting with Govinda without having had hers. If you provoke her once more

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

and she leaves her bed, well, there'll be trouble in the offing for you, that's all I can say."

Chastened, Ram instantly drank some of the milk put the puffed rice and sweets into a satchel, and listlessly sauntered out to the edge of the pond, where he sat under a tree, brooding. He had lost his appetite altogether. But while absently eating some puffed rice, it suddenly occurred to him that had he only learnt magic like the sages of old, he could have promptly appeased his fasting sister's hunger even from this distance. Being, however, neither a sage nor a magician, he found it far from easy to decide what his next move should be. He certainly shied away from the idea of going back and imploring her to eat. Besides, since his elder brother had also gone off without eating, he knew that entreaty would be of little avail. Presently, he scattered what remained of his rice and sweets in the water and sighed. Then he got up and wandered about aimlessly. But his mind continually flew back to the tragic fact that sister had not touched food since morning. And the more he dwelt on the thought the

less he liked it.


Shyamlal, entering the room, frowned. "I am not going to put up with all this any more," he said, looking at his prostrate wife. "The boy is simply impossible!"

Narayani caught her breath; she was so taken aback that she could hardly believe her ears. "Who are you talking about?" she asked nervously.

Shyamlal made a wry face. "What a question! Ram, naturally. For the last four or five days your mother's been telling me how he has treated her. He is evidently set on insulting her at every turn. So I will get the property divided as soon as I can and let him fend for himself. I cannot sit by any longer and see things drifting to ruin. One must draw the line—somewhere."

Narayani was dazed. "Draw the line?" she echoed mechanically. "Are you suggesting that we ought to disown him?" As he did not reply she added, "But how can you even utter such an absurdity? He's only a child. How would giving him property teach him how to fend for himself?"

Shyamlal rasied his eyebrows. "Only a child?" he said acidly. "He is a mature enough nuisance, at any rate. But I have had my fill of his vagaries." Then he added lamely, "He can find out for himself what to do with his property."

Narayani fixed him with a long stare. "Was it my helpful mother who put these ideas into your head?"

"Not exactly" he replied evasively. "What I mean is—well, surely one has eyes in one's head."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"One may have," she answered. "But the point is: who would he live with? He has no mother, no sister—not even a distant aunt to turn to. Who, for example, is going to cook a bowl of rice for him?"

"Well—er—that's none of my business," he faltered, driven into a corner.

But although his tongue disowned responsibility, his heart could not. After all, there is no answer to the unanswerable. Narayani tried to follow up her advantage, but her voice quavered. She bit her lip and then said, in a husky voice, "I had just turned thirteen—an age when most girls still play with dolls— when your mother died after putting me in charge of this household she had grown to love so much. She can judge from where she is how I have acquitted myself. You know I have borne and brought up children, done my duty to society and guests and run this household myself. At twenty-six I feel quite worldly-wise and middle-aged. If you try to interfere in my affairs now—I tell you I will just drown myself in the river. I dare say you'll then marry again, turn the orphan out and run your household to perfection—I won't be there to cry halt. But not till then shall you get your wicked way, I warn you!"

Shyamlal beat a dignified (if hasty) retreat as best as he could, manfully turning a blind eye to the fact that he stood a bit in awe of his wife.


"I'll tell you what, Ram: you are grown-up now and ought to go and live somewhere else. Couldn't you, my pet?"

Ram smiled, Ram beamed, Ram nodded with alacrity.

"Of course I could," he answered. 'You and I and Govinda—and of course Bhola must accompany us, Oh, tell me Sister: when—when shall we be starting?"

Narayani hung her head. What could she say in reply to this? But Ram could not let it go. "Do tell me, Sister: when are we going—when?" he repeated wistfully.

In answer she drew his head into her heaving bosom and said in a moved voice, "But couldn't you manage to live by yourself without your everlasting old sister?"

Ram shook his head with finality. Then he raised his head and turned his face away.

Narayani insisted, "But what is your answer ?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education




"But suppose this sister were to die?"

He laughed derisively. "As if such a thing could happen!"

Narayani smiled. "All right," she said. "One of these days perhaps, when

you've disobeyed me, you will see—and then you'll be sorry!"

"When have I ever disobyed you" asked Ram naively.

She gave a rueful smile. "Ask me rather when and where you have ever obeyed me!" Then, with a sigh, "Haven't I told you, for one thing—time and time again—to be good to my mother? But you pay no heed! Hush! You keep on taunting and defying her—you know. But." She wagged a menacing finger, "I tell you—and for the last time—do it once more and I go straight away wherever my feet take me."

"I will follow you."

"But how will you know? I will go without telling a soul." "And Govinda?"

"He will stay with you. You will have to bring him up."

Ram shook his head. "I won't!"

"But you will have to!" she insisted, laughing.

As soon as he saw her laugh he beamed. "I see," he laughed back, "you are just kidding me."

Narayani shock her head, her face serious once more. "I mean it," she said portentously. "You will know—when I am gone."

The wind was completely taken out of his sails now. His voice quavered. "But if I really—really and truly—always and every time do what you tell me, from now on?"

Her face lit up instantly and she gave him a rare smile. "In that case I will not go away and you won't have to bring up Govinda."

"Done!" he exclaimed rediantly, clapping his hands. "You just watch me, Sister—from this day on!"


Eight days had passed without a hitch. Not that Digambari, spoiling for a fight, did not try to rake up old grudges, but Ram did keep his head, loth to retaliate. For thought he had felt that Narayani was onlyjoking when she made her dark

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

threats, he was still far from sure that his appraisal was right. Were the gods turning against him? In his bones he dimly felt some untoward fate on the way.

And now Digambari was giving a formal feast to some holy Brahmins in memory of her father, whose spirit, after having remained long in peace in home of his son and heir, had lately thought fit to begin haunting the house of his son-in-law. The visitation, it was true, had so far only appeared in the land of dreams; still, something had to be done by the wakeful about laying the ghost.

Ram was busy doing his sums when Bhola burst in with the news. "Young master, come and look! Bhoga Bagdi has just turned up with his nets to catch your Kartik and Ganesh."

These were two ancient whit fish (a kind of carp) which frolicked and pirouetted near the steps to the pond. They were not in the least afraid of human beings and, accordingly, proclaiming them creatures immeasurably more marvelous than ordinary fish, Ram had named them after gods: Kartik and Ganesh. There was not one good neighbour who had not been primed by Ram about the wonderful virtues of the pair, and few, if any, had missed visiting, inspecting and admiring them. Of course, no one but Ram their devotee, could adequately enlarge on their manifold merits, still less distinguish between the two. Even Bhola could not always tell them apart; no wonder, then, his ears were so often boxed by Ram; the expert. Narayani had often said, in jest, that some day Ram's Kartik and Ganesh, fried, would do honour to her funeral feast.

Far from feeling upset by Bhola's news, Ram went on with his work unperturbed, and said, "Just let them try! If they were caught, my glorious twins would simply burst the net and escape."

"Oh, but young Master," Bhola demurred, "these nets they are using now, are as strong as iron. Bhoga has borrowed them from a first-rate fisherman."

"All right," said Ram nonchalantly, putting his slate away. "Let's go and have a look."

But on reaching the pond, Ram's sang-froid was shaken and Bhola was horrified by the craft and subtlety of Bhoga's plot to entrap and unsuspecting

-was waiting for them even now with his uplifted net. Ram gave him an

Bhoga turned blue with fear. "It's the master's orders," he mumbled, on the verge of tears. "We couldn't get fish anywhere else, young Master!"

Ram wrenched the net from his hands and flung it away. "Get out!" he

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

hissed, and Bhoga, recognizing discretion as the better part of valour turned tail.

Ram returned to the house and, though a little flurried, dutifully sat down once more to his arithmetic. Had he not promised he would not be provoked into losing his temper again?


Digambari had ended her prayers early so as to be ready for feast in good time, when Netya put in an appearance with her bombshell.

"They couldn't get any fish," she said. "The young master turned Bhoga Bagdi away."

Now Digambari had long had a covetous eye upon those fat rohit fish. It being hardly permissible to pry too far into a pious vegetarian's intentions regarding two such temptations, let us charitably concede that her desire had only been vicarious and that, for a long time, she had only harboured within her heart the intention of enhancing her reputation for good cooking by preparing them with her own hands and serving them up to the Brahmins on some special occasion. The previous day she had won her son-in-law's consent—without giving the slightest hint that her plan concerned Kartik and Ganesh—for the fisherman's strong nets to be fetched. She had also, with the promise of a solid tip of four annas, managed to get round the notorious tenant Bhoga Bagdi to use them. All morning she had been watching the delicious pair nosing round the steps of the pond while she sat there devoudy telling her beads with God's own cheer in her optimistic soul. What wonder that she should see red at finding her long-cherished dream ruined. Her nostrils quivered, her heart palpitated and clutching at the beads round her neck, she screeched, berserk with rage. "Oh, God, myjust God! I have not touched food or water since sunrise; if you are alive there in your Heaven meting out justice, hear me and before three nights are out, may your thunder and lightening strike the accursed boy dead!"

Narayani, peeling potatoes not far off, leapt up as though she had touched a live wire. "Mother!" she cried out, horrified.

It has been said that the word "mother" uttered by an offspring has an evocative power no language can convey. In any event, Narayani's exclamation had that profound power now. The mother's heart stood still for a second; and the daughter burst into tears.

For a time Narayani looked a picture

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Scared out of his wits, Ram dropped his slate, jumped up and bolted without making the slightest attempt to clear himself. Left quite ignorant of the real state of affairs, Narayani pondered a little, then went back and sent for Bhoga Bagdi. It was she herself now who gave him authority.

Bhoga Bagdi collected his tackle again, and it seemed no time at all before he was carrying in on his shoulder an enormous rohit fish, which he threw down with a loud thump in the middle of the courtyard.

Narayani stared, an icy shiver running down her spine, "Bhoga" she gasped, hoarse with apprehension. "You didn't catch him near the steps, did you? I mean, it isn't Ram's Kartik or Ganesh by any chance, is it?"

The other, proud of his big catch, clicked his tongue. "That's right, Mistress," he said, with an ingratiating grin. "He's a whale of a size, surely!" Then pointing at Digambari, he added, "And the very catch the great lady asked for."

Narayani felt giddy. As for Nrityakali, though there had never been much love lost between her and Ram, she could not bridle her temper. "Well," she rasped out, "the biggest fool around here knows about young master's fishes and yet you had to go and—" she bit her tongue, and sighed. "Oh, how could you? Surely there are not so few fish in the world but you must have that one? And why a fish that weights half a maund for a bare dozen guests? Well, what's done is done, I suppose! But, for mercy's sake, do hide it away now—immediately. The young master may look in any minute."

Digambari made an ugly grimace. "Gods in heaven!" she cackled shrilly. "The way you folks wag your tongues one would think the entire house had toppled into the abyss! To think that all this fracas is made over a mere fish! 'Hide it away' indeed! Are we in Bedlam? I ask you. What about the good Brahmins we have invited?"

"There's loads of time," returned Netya. "Your Brahmins will not be here, anyway, before two or half-past. By then let the young master be sent off to school again or it'll be hell let loose for us all. Bhola! Oh, my dear life! The fellow was here a minute ago! He must have gone to tip off our young master—" she paused and then appealed to Narayani, "Mistress, of course you'll do what you think is going to help, but whatever it is, I would look sharp if I were you— that is all I can tell you."

Bhoga Bagdi, who had borrowed the net for the sake of the princely four-anna tip he had been promised, had an inkling by now of how matters stood. So he abandoned all hope of realizing his happy dream, took up the net and slunk away.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education


Meanwhile, Bhola, who always knew where to find Ram, had, at a run, reached the guava tree at the north end of the garden. There, lo, he saw the prodigal seated on a branch, his legs dangling, munching guavas—the very picture of bliss! Out of breath as he was, Bhola was still able to retail the news.

'Young Master, young Master!" he gasped. 'The worst, the very worst has happened! Come quick! Bhoga has caught your Kartik!"

The guava slipped from Ram's hand. "Have you lost your head, you dolt?" he said laughing. "Mad is a mongoose—aren't you?"

"No, young Master," Bhola protested. "I'm quite sane. Mistress ordered him to be caught and he is hiccoughing in the courtyard now, poor darling! Come and see for yourself."

Ram leapt off his perch and ran home like lightning. Halting in the courtyard, he stood petrified for an instant and then gave a piercing scream, "My pet! My Ganesh, adorable Ganesh!" Then flinging an angry look at Narayani, "O Sister, Sister! That you should have sanctioned such a thing! My Ganesh, my glorious Ganesh! Oh... Oh..." With this funeral moan he threw himself on the ground and, lying on his chest, flung his legs about like a half-decapitated buck. Even Digambari must have found it difficult to doubt the genuineness of his grief.

For the rest of the day he fasted like a bereaved bride. Not even Narayani with her blandishments could induce him to touch a morsel of food.


Night came, but it brought no peace. Digambari deeply veiled and crouching, went after a time to Shyamlal in his sitting-room. "Do ask Narayani to eat," she pleaded. "No one else can persuade her. And she has eaten nothing all day. She is—she is fasting, you see."

"Fasting?" he asked, surprised. "What on earth for?" Unable to produce any real tears, Digambari substituted a lachrymose drawl. "I confess," she moaned huskily, "I am very largely to blame. But how could I foresee that to catch a stray fish from the tank for the Brahmin's feast would spell the end of the world?" Unable to understand her Shyamlal summoned Netya.

'The 'stray fish'," explained Netya tersely, "Was the young master's Ganesh."

"Not one of Ram's famous twins?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

The maid nodded. No further clarification was needed. Shyamlal thought for a moment, then said. "I supposed Ram has eaten nothing either?" "Nothing, Master," the maid returned.

Shyamlal looked at his mother-in-law and said, 'Then whatever is the good of my asking her to eat? If Ram has not eaten, do you think she will agree to so much as sniff at a meal?"

Digambari was not to be daunted so easily. "If I had known what a fuss there would be," she drawled on, "of course, I wouldn't even have dreamt of feasting the Brahmins. But I suppose Narayani knows best why she chooses to behave as she does when it is she herself who ordered the fish to be caught! As for me, I never uttered a word—and everyone knows it, though I am the only to be blamed and made the scapegoat! Send us away, son! It is no use outstaying a welcome!" She caught her breath, and trailed on, "If my stars hadn't been crossed, would myjewel of a brother have been carried off and I left to live on insults and curses? But I am quite a destitute, son, so I implore you, with folded hands, to make some litde provision for us. You will, I hope?"

Shyamlal was now thoroughly flustered but could think of nothing helpful to say. Narayani, who had stood within earshot and had overheard everything, tingled with shame at her mother's duplicity and play-acting. She sent back and knocked at Ram's bolted door. "My dear good brother, open the door, just for a minute!"

Ram, though wide-awake, made no reply.

"Do get up, Ram and open the door. There's a Darling."

"I won't," he snarled. "Go away. You are all my enemies, every one of you."

"All right, if you say so. But do open the door. Do, do, do!"

"I tell you: no, no, no!"

Shyamlal who had overheard the altercation from his room, said, when Narayani came, "Either you do something to stop these constant upsets, or I leave. This life is unbearable."

Narayani sat with bowed head, brooding in silent anguish.


When, even after the passage of three days and nights, Ram still stayed in the doldrums, little by little Narayani's heart began once more to harden. On the fourth evening he did not return from school. When darkness fell, she became anxious as well as annoyed. It so happened that, at that very moment, Digambari—after bathing in the river and gleaning many interesting items of

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

gossip there about the world at large; airing her mature verdict on a certain local "archfiend" and impressing on her audience the dire consequences of her daughter's fantastic disposition to shield him; attributing the premature greyness of her hair to her deep sympathy with the afflicted and lasdy, after edifying her companions with a vivid but not truthful history of her soverign rule in her late brother's household—had just arrived at the peak of her eloquence, when she heard a rumour which sent a thrill of rapture coursing through her ample frame. She all but ran through the open streets to be the first to convey this delightful news to her daughter—her only fear being that after all it might prove to be too good to be true. Her voice rang out exultandy as she lumbered into the main courtyard. "Oh my dear! The disgrace! Have you heard the news?"

Narayani's heart skipped a beat. "No," she answered faindy. "What has happened?"

"What, after all, but the inevitable?" Digambari said triumphandy. 'They have dragged him down to the police station." And then, pontifically, "But I had forseen it, make no mistake! Humph! How else could it all end? No doubt they will keep him in jail now. Ah, the good God exists, Narani, and—and didn' 1

But before she could reveal this long-cherished knowledge, Narayani had swung round and cried out, "Netya! Netya! Oh, there you are! Listen, go at once—without a moment's delay—and find Bhola and send him instandy to— to wherever your young master may happen to be, you understand? Oh, for mercy's sake, don't keep staring like a fish! Run!" She stamped her foot. "I won't have you standing there gaping, there's not a moment to be lost. Run, run like the wind, Netya!" Completely nonplussed, Netya obeyed, in deep dismay.

Digambari, catching her daughter's eye', tried a new approach. "What has happened, Narani, is like this—" she began, this time not unsympathetically, but Narayani cut short her speech crossly. "Do go and change, Mother," she snapped. "Gossip can wait." And with this she turned away, unceremoniously.

Furious at being abrupdy left without anybody to discuss the thrilling news with, Digambari muttered, "What senseless spite! No wonder she has been taught a lesson." Unfortunately, however, even this profound philosophic reflection brought her little peace. For unable to discharge the delectable gossip seething within, she felt, indeed, fore and more like an over-inflated balloon ready to burst.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education


Briefly, what had happened was this. The eldest son of the local zemindar—the prize boy—attended the village school. That day, during the luncheon recess, Ram had an argument with him. The subject was as delicate as it was complicated and the debate instead of leading to an understanding, culminated in a fight. The zemindar's first-born had said that it was written in the scriptures that Kali, the Destroyer, was more powerful than Kali, the Preserver. "And the reason is," he said, "that Her tongue is both redder and longer." This Ram hotly challenged, contending that the destructive deity's tongue might be a trifle redder but it was by no means as long as the other's and, for that matter, not even nearly as thick (It must be noted that a few days earlier the people of the neighbourhood had contributed money for a fete in celebration of the glory of Kali, the Preserver, and the memory of Her mighty tongue was still present in Ram's mind). But the zemindar's son averse to a compromise on so important an issue, snapped his fingers at Ram and said contemptuously that the other Kali's tongue was "that small!" which was the beginning of the grisly end, because Ram happened to be Ram.

"Shut up," he blared in anger. "It's damn sight longer than your blessed head. How on earth could she ever protect the tallest of men, I say, with a tongue so tiny? And isn' t it because she protects the world that she is called Kali, the Preserver? " So words ran high till at last they came to blows. The zemindar's son, being the weaker of the two, of course got the worst of it; indeed, blood was soon flowing freely from his snub-nose. Nothing so horrific has ever occurred in the annals of the little school! "Red blood pouring down from the snub-nose of the boy to whose father the school belongs—fancy that!" cried the boys in shocked chorus. Naturally, the horrified headmaster had to close the school and improvise a tribunal.

But the delinquent had absconded before the judges could foregather.


When, a litde later, Shyamlal returned, his face wore a mask of impenetrable gloom. Standing in the courtyard, he looked round and groaned:

"Are you there, Narayani?" he said, looking into the kitchen. "I want to speak to you... It looks to me as though we will have to leave now bag and baggage. I must say I am sorry. I have worked hard in this place and reaped the reward of my labours, such as they are. But now we are in for it—oh where are you? I am calling—"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Narayani came out of the prayer-room, but did not move forward. Leaning against the doorpost for support, she asked in a husky voice, "Is he in police custody?"

Shyamlal heaved a grateful sigh. "He has been let off lighdy with a reprimand. Our zemindar is veritable saint—the soul of forgiveness! But he isn't the only one to be reckoned with, and life with the rest will soon be next to impossible if our stormy petrel goes on like this, making trouble day after day." As Narayani made no answer, he asked, after a pause, "Where is he now?"

"How can I say?" Narayani answered drily. "Must be lying low somewhere. He isn't home yet."

Shyamlal said angrily, "Well, whether he scamp lies low or high, it's his own affair from now on. From today I wash my hands of him." Then more emphatically, "I had to be more indulgent than—er—perhaps I ought to have been, because—well—I mean—because he, being my step brother, I just had to do my best to give the lie to uncharitable criticisms of neighbours. Yes, yes that's why I have tolerated the intolerable for so long. But a line has to be drawn somewhere; I cannot afford to condone him any more. Henceforward we have to look at our own side of the question, if only to stave off disaster."

Here Digambari, who had been eavesdropping from the kitchen, butted in with, "And one must also sometimes think of one's own flesh and blood, mustn't one?"

Shyamlal took the cue. "One certainly must. Well then, that's final. Tomorrow I will invite five men of standing and have the property divided. Once and for all, Narayani, I won't have try to reform him any longer with blandishments, advice or 'persuasion". From now on he can do what he likes, for all we care." His voice hardened. "Oh, the young ruffian, to manhandle the son of the most honoured man of the district!"

Digambari's joy knew no bounds. "Ruffian is the night epithet!" she crowed. "That is why I often ask myself how Narayani can imagine she does any good by trying to tame him. The very sight of her bandying words with him fills me with dismay. And who," she raced on, "has contrived as yet to make, as the saying is, 'a silk purse out of a sow's ear'? Is the swine who goes on, day after day, pitching into me—me, mind you—likely to spare my daughter? For my own part, I prefer a little retiring self-respect. That is why I keep telling myself: 'Find a shelter elsewhere, my shy soul, and beware of insults from the rag-tag and bobtail'!"

Shyamlal hummed and hawed, realizing that Digambari had overshot the mark. "In any event," he said—looking simultaneously nowhere and

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

everywhere—"there is surely no need to have anything to do with him once we are rid of his presence. After that leave him alone, I say."

Silent and motionless, like an image of marble, Narayani listened to the duologue. She turned round and, with a sigh, resumed her household chores. Nothing ever made her neglect what her exacting standards prescribed as her duty.


An hour or so later, Netya came in and, bending close to Naryani, whispered, "Mistress, the young master's back."

Without a word, Narayani rose and made straight for Ram's room. He was seated on his bed, brooding, when he heard the door creak. He started and, looking up, saw her, with a strong cane in her hand, lock the door. His face became deathly pale. In a moment he had jumped over the bed and stood still on the other side.

Narayani pointed her cane at him.

"Come here!" she commanded in a quavering voice.

Ram folded his hands.

"Let me off, Sister!" he supplicated. "Just this once! I promise I'll never do it again."

But the iron had entered into Narayani's soul.

"If you come now," she said slowly, "I may let you off somewhat lightly. But if you don't, I swear I will go on until I have broken this cane over your back." He stood still, goggling at her, numb with terror.

"I p-promise, Sister,"he stammered out, "it will—n-never happen ag-again. I s-swear in the n-name of—"

Before he could finish she had leant over the bed and brought the cane down on his back, after which whack followed whack, as relentlessly as blows of fate. Reaching a door on the other side of the room he tried to escape, but found it locked from the outside. Helpless, he ran all round the room, seeking respite from the mounting pain till, at last, he fell prone at her feet and screamed. Meanwhile Netya had rushed down the back corridor and was looking at the window. "Oh, Mistress, let him go!" she pleaded, in tears. "I beg your forgiveness for the young master! Do have mercy, this once!"

But Digambari swooped down on her from nowhere. "You filly's filth!" she said, gnashing her teeth. "Why must you interfere? It's none of your business."

Shyamlal darted out of his room. "What on earth are you up to?" he shouted, in dismay. "Are you going to beat the breath out of his body?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Ignoring him, Narayani dropped her whip. Ram stared at her, as though hypnotized.

"You'll remember that, won'tyou?" she muttered, wagging a finger at him.


A whole day passed without any untoward incident. But the day after, when Ram was bending over his dish of rice, Digambari, watching from her place near the doorstep, began suddenly:

"Why, I wonder," she said, as though thinking aloud, "must one soil one's hand with beating a ne'er-do-well whom even his own brother abhors?"

Netya, wiping the platters near by, made a wry face. The merciless beating had made her thoroughly sick and put a raw edge to her nerves. She tossed her head defiantly and held the other's eyes.

"I must say," she said hotly, "you are a queer one! You know perfecdy well who put the idea into the mistress's head."

"What do you mean, you impudent hussy?" said Digambari fiercely.

But the maid didn't flinch. 'You know full well what I mean," she said. "And the whole household knows who always starts the mischief, keeps on nagging or telling tales about the young master to the only one who can lay hands on him."

Ram raised his eyes and made a grimace. "She knows all right, Netya!" he echoed and then, aping Digambari's nasal voice, "and she knows something else, too: she knows she has come to eat us all up alive—one and all—till nothing is left—the old ogress!"

Digambari gave a hideous scream. "Narani! Narani! Come and listen to your reformed brother-in-law!"

Narayani, who was going to the river for the bath, paused at the doorstep. "Netya!" she said with a weary sigh. "I'll have no rest till I die. This can't—it simply can't—go on any more." She flashed an angry glance at Ram. "You shameless owl! Aren't the blisters I made on your back still raw? And yet, it seems, you have learnt nothing!"

Ram sullenly began eating again.


There was a guava tree at one end of the quadrangle facing the kitchen. After his midday meal Ram suddenly decided that this was more attractive than the school-house and, climbing it, he began indiscriminately picking ripe and

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

unripe fruits. He nibbled some, threw away the rest after a single bite, quickly starting on another—and all this under the serpent gaze of Digambari whose very vitals burned with indignation while she watched the miscreant. She thought it wiser, however, to bide her time till her daughter should return from the river. But, in the end, exasperation got the better of her.

'Thanks to you, my dear," she railed, "ripe guavas come our way but seldom. What is the point, though of wasting even the green ones?"

In his best moods Ram hated her caustic tongue for every nasal syllable it shaped but now that Netya had put him wise to what was going on behind the scenes, and Digambari's role as the arch-informer, all he desired was to get even with his tormentor. He curled his lips in contempt and shouted back, "It's quite simple: I do as I like. Understand, ugly witch?"

Digambari loathed this above all epithets. "Is that so? You do as you like!" she snarled. "Well, when my daughter is back, we will see who gets his way." She spat on the ground, adding venomously, "But was there ever a more shameless cur? Two days ago his hide was fairly flayed off, yet there he grins and gorges as usual as though he were everyone's darling!"

"While she goes on hissing and stinging, as usual—the treacherous viper!" parried the other from his point of vantage. The shaft went home. Digambari went red with rage. "You—you—pig's pollution! Get down! Come out of the tree, I say—this moment—"

"Why?" he flashed back, grimacing. "Does the tree belong to your scarecrow of a father, you shark's spittle?"

"You... you you," she foamed at the mouth, "how dare you insult my

dead father's hallowed name?" She turned to Netya who had just arrived from the house, 'You hear, Netya? You are my witness. I—I—" but before she could think of a sufficiently forceful conclusion to her indictment, Narayani had entered the courtyard. The tail end of the altercation must have reached her ears and made her hurry—for she was evidently a little out of breath—but she forgot her deep alarm for a moment in sheer astonishment. "What?" she exclaimed, starting up at the shaking guava tree. "How do you come to be here instead of being at school?"

Ram had been sadly let down by fate. His original plan had been to bolt as soon as Narayani's figure appeared over the fence skirting the yard, but alas, he had become too engrossed in his wordy duel to keep an alert enough watch. No wonder his juvenile presence of mind deserted him suddenly, under the stare of the one person on earth whom he feared. "I—I—I am eating guavas," he faltered out.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"That I can see very well," Narayani said sternly. "What I don't see is why you should be monkeying about up there instead of going to school."

"The f—fact is I—I had a—terrible belly-ache," he pleaded, lamely.

"No wonder you are gorging yourself with guavas after a full meal!"

By this time Digambari, having recovered ambled up to her daughter. "Narani," she said, "he has been calling your grandfather names. He dubbed him a 'scarecrow'!"

Narayani focused her glance on Ram. "Did you say that?"

"No-no, Sister, I d-didn't," Ram stammered.

"You liar!" screamed Digambari. "Netya's my witness. You did." And contorting her face to mimic his accent, she went on in her strident nasal tone, "When blows are falling, one squirms and shrieks. "Oh, Sister, I will never never do it again! I p-promise!". One bleats when in trouble, and barks when let off. Eh, loathsome mongrel?"

It took Ram on the raw. He was holding a substantial green guava. Suddenly he took aim and hurled it straight at his heckler. But it whizzed past the target and caught Narayani over her right eyebrow. In a moment everything went black in front of her eyes and she collapsed in a dead faint. Digambari screamed. Netya dropped her work and began running hither and thither aimlessly; and Ram, unnerved, scrambled out of his tree and, the next moment, was nowhere to be seen.


Shyamlal, on his return found the house silent. He felt catastrophe in his very bones, and then—he" saw! . . .

His wife lay in bed, a picture of prostration! Her right eyebrow was so swollen that its protuberance overhung the seemingly shrunken eye. Netya, who had put a wet rag on the wound, was fanning her briskly. It was she who explained what had happened.

The master of the house lost his usual self-control. He approached the bed with a somber scowl, examined the wound, and then in a hard, solemn voice addressed the limp figure of his wife, "I tell you on sacred oath today: If ever again you give him food, if ever again you speak to him, if ever again you have anything to do with him, no matter for what reason, may God split my head!"

Narayani shuddered and cried out, "Hush! You must not say such things— no, not even think them. Such thoughts are prompted by—by the devil."

But Shyamlal continued unheeding. "If you take no notice of my oath then I tell you, Narayani, you will soon look upon my dead body."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

And without waiting for her answer, he went off to fetch the doctor himself.


Meanwhile Ram, going round and round the mango groves, trudging from river banks to private ponds and footpaths and, in the end, finding everything growing dark under the eye of the blazing sun, was busily conjuring up thoughts of impossible remedies. Finally, just after nightfall, the surreptitiously crept back into the house.

He could hardly believe his eyes: the house had been bisected by an improvised partition of split bamboos running more or less down the middle of the courtyard! He tried to dislodge it—but it had been solidly built and stood almost as immovable as a brick wall.

There was a light in the kitchen. He peeped stealthily in and saw that the same arrangement had been made there. A mass of brass and copper utensils lay on the floor. No one was in the room. Although be could not fully grasp the situation, there was something in the air that made his heart sin!, as when one deduces a burning corpse from the sight of a funeral pyre.

He made his way into his own room and sat listening for a sound or movement from the other half of the house. He had forgotten that he had come in ravenous for food. It was perhaps nine o'clock when he went round to the back on tiptoe and knocked softly at the outer door. Netya opened it and then, ominously, shuffled aside. He asked where Narayani was.

"In bed," she answered laconically.

Ram could hear his own heart-beats. He pondered, took a couple of steps forward, then went back, came forward and again retreated until, at last, growing desperate, he plunged headlong into her room where a sole candle flickered, casting more shadows than light.

There, in front, he could see her in bed lying on one side, her face averted; Digambari and her younger daughter talked in whispers, seated on a mat on the floor; little Govinda was playing near them. He ran towards Ram in great joy and, hanging playfully on his arm, said, "Uncle, that half is yours and this is ours. Father says he will break your legs if you come into our half."

Ram ignored him and edged up to the bed. As he gently sat down on it near Narayani's feet, she withdrew them. Deeply hurt, he waited, saying nothing. Digambari nudged her younger daughter, "Go on, Suro, tell him."

"You see," the girl began at once with her ready volubility, "it's quite true. Brother-in-law says you are not to step into this side of the house and tomorrow the—all the—what, Mother?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Property and things," prom ted Digambari.

"Yes, property and things are going to be divided and—and—what else, Mother?"

Digambari frowned. "You silly girl! The oath, the oath!"

Surodhuni swept on delightedly as she had been coached. 'Yes, brother-in-law took a fearful oath in the name of God!—Sister must not give you food, she must not speak to you—never, never, never again—and—brother-in-law said—"

Narayani cut in irritably, "That will do. You go to bed now."

But Digambari could not leave this heart-warming theme. "It's perfecdy true," she improvised on her own, judicially. "Since you will run amuck, murdering good folk, right and left, what on earth are they to do but take oaths? Whatever some people may say, I for one can't blame him. Anyway, you are not to come here any more. You are not to speak to her and you are not to have your meals with us. She must respect her husband' s oath, come what may."

Surodhuni butted in with, "What about my food Mother? Come—"

"Wait, girl!" snapped the other. So long as her pet abomination was about, could she afford to be away even for a split second? Certainly not—not even if the house itself were on fire!

Ram sat motionless, dumb and dispirited, his tears choked back, feeling ready to burst under the unbearable pressure. Digambari's nasal mimicry, this morning, of his agony of two days ago made any more tears impossible and, for once, he dared not even say, "Sister! I will never do it again!" How often had that simple cry had his saving in the past! And who could know its magic power better? For all that, he just could not utter it now, however much the desire stifled him. He sat on without a word, not knowing what to do or say next.

Suddenly Narayani, unable to bear the tension any longer, stirred in her bed. "Suro!" she said "Ask him to go."

Conquering his desire to cry, Ram said, "Ask him to go, indeed! As if it isn't hours and hours now since I've had anything to eat! I'm simply dying of hunger."

A slight shiver shook Narayani's limp frame as she answered him in the third person. "Why didn't he kill me outright?" she said. "For then, surely, he might have gone on glutting himself!" A sigh escaped her the next moment as she added, "Let him leave me in peace and go to Netya."

"I won' t go to Netya. I won' t go to anybody. I won' t eat at all. I will go to bed, starving." With this parting shot Ram left, shaking the whole house with his thumping tread, and flung himself down on the bed in his new living-room.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

A few minutes later Netya brought him some food on a brass plate and called, "Come along, young Master! Get up! Here's some food for you."

Ram sprang up in fury. "Clear out at once," he yelled. "I hate the whole pack of you."

The other vanished in fear, leaving her platter on the floor. This, with a tumbler of water, Ram hurled away, with a deafening clatter, into the courtyard.


"What do I care about oaths? Tut tut! After all, what is an oath? And then who is he to take oaths? What right has he over me? Is he my own brother? Heavens, no! He's only a step-brother—less than nothing at all! And what have I to do with oaths, anyway? Besides, I only aimed at the old witch, but it hit Sister by mistake. Why then take a foul oath about it?"

No one made any answer. No voice contradicted. He resumed his monologue in a different key.

"All right! What does it matter? In a sense, I'm rather glad. And I don't care a row of pins if she doesn't speak to me or give me my meals! Can't I cook for myself? I will live like a prince! I will get rice, lentils, juicy vegetables and fat fish and eat them all by myself. And I will eat as much as I like. Corgeous!"

Still no answer! He then went into the kitchen and with an enormous and deliberate clatter began collecting his dishes and pots and cooking. Then after shouting to Bhola and wash the rice and cut up the vegetables, he announced with loud dignity, "Don'tforget, Bhola, you are my servant. You are not to tread on so much as the shadow of the other side of the house, and if any one from there comes fraying into our half, maim him for life, you understand?"

Narayani, seated on the verandah, missed nothing of all this. Every now and then, Digambari peeped inquisitively through chinks in the partition. Presently she edged up to her elder daughter and whispered, 'The 'cooking for a prince', it seems is a pan of rice to be boiled in a spoonful of water! Cooking for himself, he has measured out enough for a party often at least, and nearly dry rice on his roaring fire! What a smell there'll be presently! And he boasts of his fine cooking!" she chortled, gloating, and raced, "Unfortunately, great cooks are born not made, my precious prince! Just so much water, no more, and the rice cooks itself—when I am cooking! Oh, I can challenge you to a contest!"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Narayani, heart-sick, turned away, gazing vacantly at the cruel fence. So near—yet so far away!... It was Netya, standing within earshot, who flashed back, "How you do chatter! How can you expect a boy who has never so much as poured himself a glass of water to turn into a chef overnight!" She had worked in the house for over ten years, and her loyal if simple soul revolted at what seemed to her the utter unnaturalness of this punishment.

Meanwhile Surodhuni, following her mother's example, had also been peeping furtively through the partition slits. About an hour later, she ran to her sister and pulled her by the arm.

"Sister!" she cried. "Do come and have a look! He's simply gobbling up uncooked rice! And fancy he's got nothing to eat it with! Tell me, sister, won't he have a colic pain after eating raw rice like that ?"

Pushing the girl away, Narayani threw herself on her bed. Who could know better than she how hungry he must have been to bring himself to devour uncooked rice!


Then Shyamlal had left after the midday meal, Digambari began insisting again, "Do eat a little, Narani. It's only the inflammation which makes you feverish. There's no harm in eating, now, I tell you. I am your mother, aren't I?"

The other wrapped herself up more tightly in her coverlet and said wearily, "Oh, don't bother me, Mother! Go and have your own meal."

'Tell me then, would you rather have some bread?" Digambari insisted. Narayani shook her head firmly.

"Well, if that is not perversity!" the other acclaimed, deeply aggrieved. "You've touched nothing since yesterday morning. It won't do to fast like this!"

Narayani still made no answer. Netya, observing, came to her rescue. "You are protesting in vain," she cut in sharply. "Even if you stand there insisting; you are blue in the face, you won't get her to it ? Besides, she is feverish. Why not let her alone?"

Digambari, piqued, went away mumbling, "Who is not feverish after an injury? But nobody starves two days on that account. At any rate, / don't."

In the afternoon, Narayani sat in the kitchen-varandah again. Whenever her eyes met Netya's she looked as if she wanted to say something—but did not know how.


Ram, on returning from school, washed his face and hands and then went to a shop nearby to buy some puffed rice. As he ate this, he tossed his head.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Well," he spoke loudly, addressing the partition wall, "I don't seem any the worse for their malice, do I?" Then defiantly, "See, I had my rice and went to school and now I am back again and eating. What could possibly be better?" He knew that ears were registering all this over the wall, but when once again no one paid any heed, he became seriously annoyed. "This side of the boundary is mine, I tell you!" he cried in a loud voice. "And if Netya or anyone else trespasses—I'll break her leg and neck, I warn all!"

Even this hit no target, nor was it even original since, in the course of his misery, he had voiced this threat already in the morning, and more than once. Nevertheless, he waited hopefully for a few minutes in case somebody had been impressed by his threats. But apparently, nobody had. At last as the shadows lengthened over the landscape, he lit his lantern and went into the kitchen...

"Where is the firewood?" his angry voice rang out. "How can I cook without fuel? Where is my grinding stone? How do they expect me to grind my spices if I don't have it?"

A response came at last. Netya shouted out to him, "Young Master! The mistresss promises to buy you a new grinding stone tomorrow morning."

"I don't want a new one", he flung back at her petulantly, and began to whimper. Then he came out of his kitchen to vindicate himself. "Why did they catch my Ganesh? Why did the old witch pitch into me with her beastly nasal whine? I simply paid her back in her own coin...yes, just cursed her... and I'd do it again." He paused, pondered and wondered about the worst possible fate that could overtake a portal. The inspiration came. "When she dies, the old hag", he declared prophetically, "she shall haunt the cemeteries, a hungry ogress!"

Digambari's eyes rolled. "Did you hear that, Narani? What did I tell you? A fiend in flesh and blood, I call him!"

Narayani went on gazing into space with unseeing eyes...


Early next morning, Ram's attitude changed somewhat. Two whole days had passed and Narayani had not called him, scolded him, or given him food not once! Never had he considered this as even distantly possible. Today he was really frightened. He sat in the kitchen doorway making all sorts of excuses for himself. Once he said that he had thrown the guava at a cat; then, that it had slipped from his hand by mistake; next, that he had thrown the unripe guavas at random for fun—and so on. Then, going off on another tack, he said he had never sworn at anybody in his whole life except once, at Bhola. All to no

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

purpose: no one answered from the other side of the wall, no one challenged his statements, no one even noticed. At last, after a bitter struggle, he threw dignity to the four winds and promised he would never do it again. Still no one responded. He sobbed, and no one heard.

Then, he started thinking and thinking hard. What could he do to regain Narayani's affection? Had she really irrevocably disowned him? If so, where was he to eat, how live, with whom? He could find no solution. He lost heart and sat brooding, made no pretence, even, of cooking, did not go to school, but bolted himself in his room and lay flat on the floor without a flicker of hope.


Narayani's fever, in the meantime, had gready increased and she had a splitting headache, due partly to fever and pardy to restless nights broken with fits of silent weeping. At midday, Digambari brought her a cup of milk.

'You must drink it," she pleaded. "I simply can't stand by and see you die of starvation."

This time Narayani made no protest. She took the cup, drank a little of the milk and then turned on her side again, averting her face from her tormentress. Refusal would have meant starting a new argument all over again, which by this time, she had grown to abhor.


It was close upon nine at night when Netya went on tiptoe to her mistress, her eyes dark with apprehension.

"Mistress", she whispered, "I can't hear a sound, on the other side. And somehow—I don't like the look of it. It's late now, you know."

Narayani started up and burst into tears. "Dear Netya, do go—go, for heaven's sake, and find out what he's doing. He must be in his room—or somewhere about."

The maid's eyes, too, were moist with tears. She wiped them away with her hand and answered, "I haven't the courage, Mistress, but I'll do my best."

With a lantern in her hand she stepped out furtively. She did not go direcdy to Ram. She walked gingerly to the far end of the vaerandah where Bhola lay on his cot fast asleep, and tapped him gently on the arm. He started up.

"Who's there—?"

"Sh-h", shushed Netya. "The mistress has sent me to enquire..." Bhola got up. "He is in his room all right", he whispered sympathetically. "He is asleep... but he looks all in, my poor master!"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

When Netya reported this, Narayani silently folded her two hands in prayer, touched the ground with her forehead and lay down again, but not to sleep. She only prayed and—wept.


"Haven't you got fever, Narani?" she asked, harshly.

"No", came the curt reply.j

"But didn't you fast for the last three days?" She persisted. "What can be the meaning of all this—to get up so early, bathe and set about—God knows what?"

"I'm just cooking", Narayani answered, placidly.

"I can see that for myself, having a pair of eyes in my head. What I don't see is the motive. Is it that you don't want to eat any food cooked by me?" The other, ignoring this, went on calmly with her work.


Almost the whole of the previous day Ram had been wondering how much he had actually hurt his sister-in-law, and had tried to find out by repeatedly striking his forehead with an upripe guava. In the night he began asking himself how he could not only undo the consequences of the deed, but atone for the deed itself, or, at any rate, make a repetition of it impossible. He had a sudden brain-wave: a few days ago, she had asked him not to stay there. That's gave him a clue and around midnight, the lonely boy decided, that if he went away, she would be happy, at long last.

His mother's relatives lived in a small village near Tarakeswar. He did not know the exact address but he could easily find out. He tied up a few articles in to a bundle and sat waiting for daybreak.

Narayani had just finished her cooking and was neatly arranging food on a plate when Bhola crept cutively up to the door.

"Mistress," he whispered from the threshold. Narayani gave a violent start.

"Oh, is it you, Bhola?" she said in a quivering voice. "What is it?" Her heart pounded away against her ribs. For some days now Bhola had been out to the field grazing the cows. What did his sudden appearance mean? Had anything happened to Ram? Her face went deathly pale...

Bhola bowed his head before her searching gaze. "I have a message for you", he said in a low, melancholy voice, peering about him suspiciously.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Message"? She asked, mystified.

He noticed and added, "And very private."

Sick with anxiety, she dropped everything and went up to him. "Private?" "Yes, if you will give just two rupees, then what you're been hoping for will happen."

Her heart skipped a beat. "Happen?" She asked mystified. "What will happen" And two rupees? Who is to have them?"

Bhola was surprised. "Didn't you lately ask the master to go away"? Then more confidentially, "Well, he is ready to do your bidding. So if you can't give him the two rupees he needs for the journey, you can surely spare him one, can't you?"

Narayani's heart, thumping, nearly choked her. 'The journey? But where is he?"

"He's waiting over there under the guava tree," Bhola answered, "His mother's relatives, he says, live somewhere by the Lord's temple—atTarakeswar."

"Oh, Bhola!" she cried out, forgetting all caution. "He mustn't, on any account do that! Go at once! Fetch him! Yes, yes, right here—what are you afraid of? Run, run and bring him to me. Say anything. Say I must see him—this instant."

Bhola fitted quietly away, Narayani stood petrified, like a statue, waiting. When, directly afterwards, Ram came up timidly with his litde bundle dangling over his shoulder, she smuggled him into the kitchen without a word. But Digambari, who had smelt something and had been on the qui vive, followed. The moment, however, that she spotted her Enemy Number One in her daughter's lap again, with the beautifully arranged plate of food set in front of him, she felt giddy and clutched at the door-post. What she saw when she opened her eyes was not pleasant to her. Ram, whose face was not visible was ensconced in the tender bosom of the one woman who had sheltered him all along against everything but she saw the other's tears falling thickly on his head and thence coursing down his bare back.

Digambari lost her head completely. Her eyes emitted sparks of hatred, her breath came in short gasps, her lips quivered.

"Now, everything's explained," she hissed, with a sharp intake of breath. 'The meaning of the early start, the elaborate cooking—everything! Very touching and perfect, I'm sure! Only, there's just one fly in the ointment: my son-in-law's solemn oath. But I suppose you have very conveniently forgotten that?"

Narayani's eyes met her mother's. "Why should you think I have forgotten?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

she answered in an inruffled voice. "I have not disobeyed him. For three days I have taken no food nor given him any."

Digambari frowned. "And now? What, may I ask in the name of good sense, are you doing? Did you get his permission for this great banquet?"

Narayani's lips trembled but, pulling herself together, she answered suavely, "I have." She paused and then added, "Now you know."

Digambari gave an incredulous grunt. "I was not born yesterday, Narani!" she rasped out, her face avidwith rage "Are you really trying to tell me you got authority on the sly to feed this blasted baboon and that I have heard nothing about it?"

Narayani's voice rang out crisp and clear.

"How can an outsider hear or understand, Mother, when and how one gets authority from the One Who dwells within?" Then, dropping her voice, she added, with a hint of irony, "Mother, anyone with a tongue in his head can take on oath". She lifted Ram's head, nestling tenderly in her bosom, kissed his forehead, then resumed, "But the One Who presides within you—if you fail to cherish Him through a motherless child, He gives in your keeping then you can never know how to cherish any other. It's He Who gives permission and He alone knows how or why. So you need hardly lose your sleep, questioning—and for mercy's sake, Mother, do leave us alone—leave us in peace, I implore you! I must give him his food now. He hasn' t had any for three lonely days, my poor, wounded nesding!"

Digambari stood like one transfixed. Her desiccated lips were parted but no sound issued. Then, suddenly, she came to and—spat.

"Well, if that's your attitude", she exploded, "I'll pack off at once—at once, mark my words! You can't possibly live cheek byjow! with someone whose very shadow you loathe."

Narayani spoke in a very firm accent.

'You never spoke a truer word, Mother," she smiled ruefully. "And, perhaps for the first time in my life, I see eye to eye with you. Also, I am glad on your account, that you have at least made it a bit easier for me by suggesting the way out yourself. I mean, I fully agree that this is not the place for you." She brushed away her tears and added, "My little poppet has dwindled to half his size under your venomous hate. He maybe—oh, call him anythingyou like, but I simply will not have him bullied under my roof. Pack up today and go tomorrow. I will make you a monthly allowance, I promise. You will not want for anything that I can provide. But you must go—and the sooner the better for everyone."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Digambari stared for a few seconds with unseeing eyes. Then she gave an involuntary shiver, turned her back upon the scene and lumbered, out of the room, swaying like a sleepwalker.

Snuggling up to his one and only refuge upon earth, Ram smiled, his eyes glistening with unshed tears.

"Let her stay, Sister", he pleaded, his voice hardly above a whisper. "Give me one more chance. I will behave myself, I promise and—you will see I won't let you down again—ever."

She tilted his face up and, touching his brow with her lips, answered, "Well, we'll see about that!" Then, smiling through her tears, "You must eat. Come along, my starveling! Fall to!"

* * *

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education




Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Callaghan's overpublicized friendship with Hemingway and his links with the between the wars expatriate group have not worked entirely to his advantage. It is in the light of this background that he has been too often viewed. He is not a second-order Hemingway but an authentic Canadian voice. Like Hemingway.he tends to handle seamy characters in lowlife situations. But that's a poor reason for refusing to judge him on his own terms.

A quite, uninsistent writer in the mainstream realistic tradition, he is not really much influenced by the Hemingway techniques of condensation and omission. Perhaps his major achievement lies in his effect on Canadian literature. He helped to redirect its rather uncertain course. He brought to life, particularly for American readers, a whole city, Toronto. To him the brilliant post-Callaghan group of Canadians—Robertson Davies, Moradecai Richler, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood—owe much. "A Cap for Steve " is a simple story about simple people. It deals, however, with large themes: boyhood, paternity, trust, loyality, and the traps in which ordinary lives may be caught. Its unforced "happy" ending moves us. It is honest.

DAVE DIAMOND, a poor man, a carpenter's assistant, was a small, wiry, quicktempered individual who had learned how to make every dollar count in his home. His wife, Anna, had been sick a lot, and his twelve-year-old son, Steve, had to be kept in school. Steve, a big-eyed, shy kid, ought to have known the value of money as well as Dave did. It had been ground into him.

But the boy was crazy about baseball, and after school, when he could have been working as a delivery boy or selling papers, he played bail with the kids. His failure to appreciate that the family needed a few extra dollars disgusted Dave. Around the house he wouldn't let Steve talk about baseball, and he scowled when he saw him hurrying off with his glove after dinner.

When the Phillies came to town to play an exhibition game with the home team and Steve pleaded to be taken to the ball park, Dave, of course, was outraged. Steve knew they couldn't afford it. But he had got his mother on his side. Finally Dave made a bargain with them. He said that if Steve came home

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

after school and worked hard helping to make some kitchen shelves he would take him that night to the ball park.

Steve worked hard, but Dave was still resentful. They had to coax him to put on his good suit. When they started out Steve held aloof, feeling guilty, and they walked down the street like strangers; then Dave glanced at Steve's face and, half-ashamed, took his arm more cheerfully.

As the game went on, Dave had to listen to Steve's recitation of the batting average of every Philly that stepped up to the plate; the time the boy must have wasted learning these averages began to appal him. He showed it so plainly that Steve felt guilty again and was silent.

After the game Dave let Steve drag him onto the field to keep him company while he tried to get some autographs from the Philly players, who were being hemmed in by gangs of kids blocking the way to the club-house. But Steve, who was shy, let the other kids block him off from the players. Steve would push his way in, get blocked out, and come back to stand mournfully beside Dave. And Dave grew impatient. He was wasting valuable time. He wanted to get home; Steve knew it and was worried.

Then the big, blond Philly outfielder, Eddie Condon, who had been held up by a gang of kids tugging at his arm and thrusting their score cards at him, broke loose and made a run for the club-house. He wasjostled, and his blue cap with the red peak, tilted far back on his head, fell off. It fell at Steve's feet, and Steve stooped quickly and grabbed it. 'Okay, son," the outfielder called, turning back. But Steve, holding the hat in both.hands, only stared at him.

"Give him his cap, Steve," Dave said, smiling apologetically at the big outfielder who towered over them. But Steve drew the hat closer to his chest. In an awed trance he looked up at big Eddie Condon. It was an embarrassing moment. All the other kids were watching. Some shouted. "Give him his cap."

"My cap, son," Eddie Condon said, his hand out.

"Hey, Steve," Dave said, and he gave him a shake. But he had tojerk the cap out of Steve's hands.

"Here you are," he said.

The outfielder, noticing Steve's white, worshipping face and pleading eyes, grinned and then shrugged. "Aw, let him keep it," he said.

"No, Mister Condon, you don't need to do that," Steve protested.

"It's happened before. Forget it," Eddie Condon said, and he trotted away to the club-house.

Dave handed the cap to Steve; envious kids circled around them and Steve said, "He said I could keep it, Dad. You heard him, didn't you?"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Yeah, I heard him," Dave admitted. The wonder in Steve's face made him smile. He took the boy by the arm and they hurried off the field.

On the way home Dave couldn't get him to talk about the game; he couldn't get him to take his eyes off the cap. Steve could hardly believe in his own happiness. "See," he said suddenly, and he showed Dave that Eddie Condon's name was printed on the sweat-band. Then he went on dreaming. Finally he put the cap on his head and turned to Dave with a slow, proud smile. The cap was away too big for him; it fell down over his ears. "Never mind," Dave said. 'You can get your mother to take a tuck in the back."

When they got home Dave was tired and his wife didn't understand the cap's importance, and they couldn't get Steve to go to bed. He swaggered around wearing the cap and looking in the mirror every ten minutes. He took the cap to bed with him.

Dave and his wife had a cup of coffee in the kitchen, and Dave told her again how they had got the cap. They agreed that their boy must have an attractive quality that showed in his face, and that Eddie Condon must have been drawn to him—why else would he have singled Steve out from all the kids?

But Dave got tired of the fuss Steve made over that cap and of the way he wore it from the time he got up in the morning until the time he went to bed. Some kid was always coming in, wanting to try on the cap. It was childish, Dave said, for Steve to go around assuming that the cap made him important in the neighbourhood, and to keep telling them how he had become a leader in the park a few blocks away where he played ball in the evenings. And Dave wouldn' t stand for Steve's keeping the cap on while he was eating. He was always scolding his wife for accepting Steve's explanation that he'd forgotten he had it on. Just the same, it was remarkable what a little thing like a ball cap could do for a kid, Dave admitted to his wife as he smiled to himself.

One night Steve was late coming home from the park. Dave didn't realize how late it was until he put down his newspaper and watched his wife at the window. Her restlessness got on his nerves. "See what comes from encouraging the boy to hang around with those park loafers," he said. "I don't encourage him," she protested. "You do," he insisted irritably, for he was really worried now. A gang hung around the park until midnight. It was a bad park. It was true that on one side there was a good district with fine, expensive apartment houses, but the kids from that neighbourhood left the park to the kids from the poorer homes. When his wife went out and walked down to the corner it was his turn to wait and worry and watch at the open window. Each waiting moment tortured him. At last he heard his wife's voice and Steve's voice, and he relaxed and sighed; then he remembered his duty and rushed angrily to meet them.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"I'll fix you, Steve, once and for all," he said. "I'll show you you can't start coming into the house at midnight."

"Hold your horses, Dave," his wife said. "Can't you see the state he's in?" Steve looked utterly exhausted and beaten.

"What's the matter?" Dave asked quickly.

"I lost my cap," Steve whispered; he walked past his father and threw himself on the couch in the living-room and lay with his face hidden. "Now, don't scold him, Dave," his wife said.

"Scold him. Who's scolding him?" Dave asked, indignantly. "It's his cap, not mine. If it's not worth his while to hang on to it, why should I scold him?" But he was implying resentfully that he alone recognized the cap's value.

"So you are scolding him," his wife said. "It's his cap. Not yours. What happened, Steve?"

Steve told them he had been playing ball and he found that when he ran the bases the cap fell off; it was still too big despite the tuck his mother had taken in the band. So the next time he came to bat he tucked the cap in his hip pocket. Someone had lifted it, he was sure.

"And he didn't even know whether it was still in his pocket," Dave said sarcastically.

"I wasn't careless, Dad," Steve said. For the last three hours he had been wandering around to the homes of the kids who had been in the park at the time; he wanted to go on, but he was too tired. Dave knew the boy was apologizing to him, but he didn't know why it made him angry.

"If he didn't hang on to it, it's not worth worrying about now," he said, and he sounded offended.

After that night they knew that Steve didn't go to the park to play ball; he went to look for the cap. It irritated Dave to see him sit around listlessly, or walk in circles, trying to force his memory to find a particular incident which would suddenly recall to him the moment when the cap had been taken. It was no attitude for a growing, healthy boy to take, Dave complained. He told Steve firmly once and for all that he didn't want to hear any more about the cap.

One night, two weeks later, Dave was walking home with Steve from the shoemaker's. It was a hot night. When they passed an ice-cream parlour Steve slowed down. "I guess I couldn't have a soda, could I?" Steve said. "Nothing doing," Dave said firmly. "Come on now, "he added as Steve hung back, looking in the window.

"Dad, look!" Steve cried suddenly, pointing at the window. "My cap! There's my cap! He's coming out!"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

A well-dressed boy was leaving the ice-cream parlour; he had on a blue ball cap with a red peak, just like Steve's cap. "Hey, you!" Steve cried, and he rushed at the boy, his small face fierce and his eyes wild. Before the boy could back away Steve had snatche the cap from his head, 'That's my cap!" he shouted.

"What's this?" the bigger boy said. "Hey, give me my cap or I'll give you a poke on the nose."

Dave was surprised that his own shy boy did not back away. He watched him clutch the cap in his left hand, half crying with excitement as he put his head down and drew back his right fist: he was willing to fight. And Dave was proud of him.

"Wait, now," Dave said. 'Take it easy, son," he said to the other boy, who refused to back away.

"My boy says it's his cap," Dave said. "Well, he's crazy. It's my cap."

"I was with him when he got this cap. When the Phillies played here. It's aPhilly cap."

"Eddie Condon gave it to me," Steve said. "And you stole it from me, you jerk."

"Don't call me a jerk, you little squirt. I never saw you before in my life." "Look," Steve said, pointing to the printing on the cap's sweatband. "It's Eddie Condon's cap. See? See, Dad?"

"Yeah. You're right, Son. Ever see this boy before, Steve?" "No," Steve said reluctantly.

The other boy realized he might lose the cap. "1 bought it from a guy," he said. "I paid him. My father knows I paid him." He said he got the cap at the ball park. He groped for some magically impressive words and suddenly found them. 'You'll have to speak to my father," he said.

"Sure, I'll speak to your father," Dave said. "What's your name? Where do you live?"

"My name's Hudson. I live about ten minutes away on the other side of the park." The boy appraised Dave, who wasn't any bigger than he was and who wore a faded blue windbreaker and no tie. "My father is a lawyer," he said boldly. "He wouldn't let me keep the cap if he didn't think I should."

"Is that a fact?" Dave asked belligerently. "Well, we'll see. Come on. Let's go." And he got between the two boys and they walked along the street. They didn't talk to each other. Dave knew the Hudson boy was waiting to get to the protection of his home, and Steve knew it, too, and he looked up apprehensively at Dave. And Dave, reaching for his hand, squeezed it encouragingly and strode along, cocky and belligerent, knowing that Steve relied on him.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

The Hudson boy lived in that row of fine apartment houses on the other side of the park. At the entrance to one of these houses. Dave tried not to hang back and show he was impressed, because he could feel Steve hanging back. When they got into the small elevator Dave didn't know why he took off his hat. In the carpeted hall on the fourth floor the Hudson boy said, 'Just a minute," and entered his own apartment. Dave and Steve were left alone in the corridor, knowing that the other boy was preparing his father for the encounter. Steve looked anxiously at his father, and Dave said, "Don't worry, son," and he added resolutely, "No one's putting anything over on us."

A tall balding man in a brown velvet smoking-jacket suddenly opened the door. Dave had never seen a man wearing one of thosejackets, although he had seen them in department-store windows. "Good evening," he said, making a deprecatory gesture at the cap Steve still clutched tighdy in his left hand. "My boy didn't get your name. My name is Hudson."

"Mine's Diamond."

"Come on in," Mr. Hudson said, putting out his hand and laughing good-naturedly. He led Dave and Steve into his living-room. "What's this about that cap?" he asked. 'The way kids can get excited about a cap. Well, it's understandable, isn't it?"

"So it is," Dave said, moving closer to Steve, who was awed by the broadloom rug and the fine furniture. He wanted to show Steve he was at ease himself, and he wished Mr. Hudson wouldn't be so polite. That meant Dave had to be polite and affable, too, and it was hard to manage when he was standing in the middle of the floor in his old windbreaker.

"Sit down, Mr. Diamond," Mr. Hudson said. Dave took Steve's arm and sat him down beside him on the chesterfield. The Hudson boy watched his father. And Dave looked at Steve and saw that he wouldn't face Mr. Hudson or the other boy; he kept looking up at Dave, putting all his faith in him.

"Well, Mr. Diamond, from what I gathered from my boy, you're able to prove this cap belonged to your boy."

'That's a fact," Dave said.

"Mr. Diamond, you'll have to believe my boy bought that cap from some kid in good faith."

"I don't doubt it," Dave said. "But no kid can sell something that doesn't belong to him. You know that's a fact, Mr. Hudson."

"Yes, that's a fact," Mr. Hudson agreed. "But that cap means a lot to my boy, Mr. Diamond."

"It means a lot to my boy, too, Mr. Hudson."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Sure it does. But supposing we called in a policeman. You knowwhat he'd say? He'd ask you if you were willing to pay my boy what he paid for the cap. That's usually the way it works out," Mr. Hudson said, friendly and smiling, as he eyed Dave shrewdly.

"But that's not right. It's not justice," Dave protested. "Not when it's my boy's cap."

"I know it isn't right. But that's what they do."

"All right. What did you say your boy paid for the cap?" Dave said reluctantly.

'Two dollars."

"Two dollars!" Dave repeated. Mr. Hudson's smile was still kindly, but his eyes were shrewd, and Dave knew the lawyer was counting on his not having the two dollars; Mr. Hudson thought he had Dave sized up; he had looked at him and decided he was broke. Dave's pride was hurt, and he turned to Steve. What he saw in Steve's face was more powerful than the hurt to his pride: it was the memory of how difficult it had been to get an extra nickel, the talk he heard about the cost of food, the worry in his mother's face as she tried to make ends meet, and the bewildered embarrassment that he was here in a rich man's home, forcing his father to confess that he couldn't afford to spend two dollars. Then Dave grew angry and reckless. "I'll give you the two dollars, he said.

Steve looked at the Hudson boy and grinned brightly. The Hudson boy watched his father.

"I suppose that's fair enough," Mr. Hudson said. "A cap like this can be worth a lot to a kid. You know how it is. Your boy might want to sell—I mean be satisfied. Would he take five dollars for it?"

"Five dollars?" Dave repeated—"Is it worth five dollars, Steve?" he asked uncertainly.

Steve shook his head and looked frightened.

"No, thanks, Mr. Hudson," Dave said firmly.

"I'll tell you what I'll do," Mr. Hudson said. "I'll give you ten dollars. The cap has a sentimental value for my boy, a Philly cap, a big-leaguer's cap. It's only worth about a buck and a half really," he added. But Dave shook his head again. Mr. Hudson frowned. He looked at his own boy in indulgent concern, but now he was embarrassed. "I'll tell you what I'll do," he said. "This cap—well, it's worth as much as a day at the circus to my boy. Your boy should be recompensed. I want to be fair. Here's twenty dollars," and he held out two ten-dollar bills to Dave.

That much money for a cap, Dave thought, and his eyes brightened. But

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

he knew what the cap had meant to Steve; to deprive him of it now that it was within his reach would be unbearable. All the things he needed in his life gathered around him; his wife was there, saying he couldn't afford to reject the offer, he had no right to do it; and he turned to Steve to see if Steve thought it wonderful that the cap could bring them twenty dollars. "What do you say, Steve?" he asked uneasily.

"I don't know," Steve said. He was in a trance. When Dave smiled, Steve smiled too, and Dave believed that Steve was as impressed as he was, only more bewildered, and may be even more aware that they could not possibly turn away that much money for a ball cap.

"Well, here you are," Mr. Hudson said, and he put the two bills in Steve's hand. "It's a lot of money. But I guess you had a right to expect as much."

With a dazed, fixed smile Steve handed the money slowly to his father, and his face was white.

Laughing jovially, Mr. Hudson led them to the door. His own boy followed a few paces behind.

In the elevator Dave took the bills out of his pocket. "See, Steve," he whispered eagerly. 'That windbreaker you wanted! And ten dollars for your bank! Won't Mother be surprised?"

"Yeah," Steve whispered, the little smile still on his face. But Dave had to turn away quickly so their eyes wouldn't meet, for he saw that it was a scared smile.

Outside, Dave said, "Here, you carry the money home, Steve. You show it to your mother."

"No, you keep it," Steve said, and then there was nothing to say. They walked in silence.

"It's a lot of money," Dave said finally. When Steve didn't answer him, he added angrily, "I turned to you, Steve. I asked You, didn't I ?"

'That man knew how much his boy wanted that cap," Steve said.

"Sure. But he recognized how much it was worth to us."

"No, you let him take it away from us," Steve blurted. 'That's unfair," Dave said. "Don't dare say that to me."

"I don't want to be like you," Steve muttered, and he darted across the road and walked along on the other side of the street.

"It's unfair," Dave said angrily, only now he didn't mean that Steve was unfair, he meant that what had happened in the prosperous Hudson home was unfair, and he didn't know quite why. He had been trapped, not just by Mr. Hudson, but by his own life. Across the road Steve was hurrying along with

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

his head down, wanting to be alone. They walked most of the way home on opposite sides of the street, until Dave could stand it no longer. "Steve," he called, crossing the street. "It was very unfair. I mean, for you to say..." but Steve started to run. Dave walked as fast as he could and Steve was getting beyond him, and he felt enraged and suddenly he yelled, 'Steve!" and he started to chase his son. He wanted to get hold of Steve and pound him, and he didn't know why. He gained on him, he gasped for breath and he almost got him by the soulder. Turning, Steve saw his father's face in the street light and was terrified; he circled away, got to the house, and rushed in, yelling 'Mother!"

"Son, Son!" she cried, rushing from the kitchen. As soon as she threw her arms around Steve, shielding him, Dave's anger left him and he felt stupid. He walked past them into the kitchen.

"What happened?" she asked anxiously. "Have you both gone crazy? What did you do, Steve?"

"Nothing," he said sullenly.

"What did your father do?"

"We found the boy with my ball cap, and he let the boy's father take it from


"No, no," Dave protested. "Nobody pushed us around. The man didn't put anything over us." He felt tired and his face was burning. He told what had happened; then he slowly took the two ten-dollar bills out of his wallet and tossed them on the table and looked up guiltily at his wife.

It hurt him that she didn't pick up the money, and that she didn't rebuke him. 'It is a lot of money, Son," she said slowly. 'Your father was only trying to do what he knew was right, and it'll work out, and you'll understand." She was soothing Steve, but Dave knew she felt that she neede to be gentle with him, too, and he was ashamed.

When she went with Steve to his bedroom, Dave sat by himself. His son had contempt for him, he thought. His son, for the first time, had seen how easy it was for another man to handle him, and he had judged him and had wanted to walk alone on the other side of the street. He looked at the money and he hated the sight of it.

His wife returned to the kitchen, made a cup of tea, talked soothingly, and said it was incredible that he had forced the Hudson man to pay him twenty dollars for the cap, but all Dave could think of was Steve was scared of me.

Finally, he got up and went into Steve's room. The room was in darkness, but he could see the outline of Steve' s body on the bed, and he sat down besid e him and whispered, "look, Son, it was a mistake, I know why. People like us—in circumstances where money can scare us. No, no," he said, feeling ashamed

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

and shaking his head apologetically; he was taking the wrong way of showing the boy they were together; he was covering up his own failure. For the failure had been his, and it had come out of being so separated from his son that he had been blind to what was beyond the price in a boy's life. He longed now to show Steve he could be with him from day to day. His hand went out hesitandy to Steve's shoulder. "Steve, look," he said eagerly. 'The trouble was I didn't realize how much I enjoyed it that night at the ball park. If I had watched you playing for your own team—the kids around here say you could be a great pitcher. We could take that money and buy a new pitcher's glove for you, and a catcher's mitt. "Steve, Steve, are you listening? I could catch you, work with you in the lane. May be I could be your coach . . . watch you become a great pitcher." In the half-darkness he could see the boy's pale face turn to him.

Steve, who had never heard his father talk like this, was shy and wondering. All he knew was that his father, for the first time, wanted to be with him in his hopes and adventures. He said, "I guess you do know how important that cap was." His hand went out to his father's arm. "With that man the cap was—well it wasjust something he could buy, eh Dad?" Dave gripped his son's hand hard. The wonderful generosity; of childhood—the price a boy was willing to pay to be able to count on his father's admiration and approval—made him feel humble, then strangely exalted.

* * *

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education





There are four essentials that we must not forget while restructuring or reforming the educational system. Firstly, we must reognise that the child and its latent potentialities and its quiet yet perseverant soul are to be subserved; we must not build a system that would suffocate or smother that litde child, that little prince.

This essential point is brought out forcefully by Rabindra Nath Tagore in his short story 'The Parrot's Training". It is so instructive that we may recount it in full.

Once upon a time there was a bird. It was ignorant. It sang all right, but never recited scriptures. It hopped pretty frequendy, but lacked manners. Said the Raja to himself: "Ignorance is cosdy in the long run. For fools consume as much food as their betters, and yet give nothing in return." He called his nephews to his presence and told them that the bird must have a sound schooling.

The pundits were summoned, and at once went to the root of the matter.

They decided that the ignorance of birds was due to their natural habit of

living in poor nests. Therefore, according to the pundits, the first thing

necessary for this bird's education was a suitable cage.

The pundits had their rewards and went home happy.

A golden cage was built with gorgeous decorations. Crowds came to see it

from all parts of the world.

"Culture, captured and caged!" exclaimed some, in a rapture of ecstasy, and burst into tears.

Others remarked: "Even if culture be missed, the cage will remain, to the

end, a substantial fact. How fortunate for the bird!"

The goldsmith filled his bag with money and lost no time in sailing


The pundit sat down to educate the bird. With proper deliberation he took his pinch of snuff, as he said: 'Textbooks can never be too many for our purpose!"

The nephews brought together an enormous crowd of scribes. They

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

copied from books, and copied from copies, till the manuscripts were piled up to an unreachable height.

Men murmured in amazement: "Oh, the tower of culture, egregiously high! The end of it lost in the clouds!"

The scribes, with light hearts, hurried home, their pockets heavily laden. The nephews were furiously busy keeping the cage in proper trim. As their constant scrubbing and polishing went on, the people said with satisfaction: 'This is progress indeed!"

Men were employed in large numbers, and supervisors were still more numerous. These, with their cousins of all different degrees of distance, built a palace for themselves and lived there happily ever after. Whatever may be its other deficiencies, the world is never in want of faultfinders; and they went about saying that every creature remotely connected with the cage flourished beyond words, excepting only the bird. When this remark reached the Raja's ears, he summoned his nephews before him and said: "My dear nephews, what is this that we hear ?" The nephews said in answer: "Sire, let the testimony of the goldsmiths and the pundits, the scribes and the supervisors, be taken, if the truth is to be known. Food is scarce with the fault-finders, and that is why their tongues have gained in sharpness."

The explanation was so luminously satisfactory that the Raja decorated each one of his nephews with his own rare jewels.

The Raja at length, being desirous of seeing with his own eyes how his Education Department busied itself with the little bird, made his appearance one day at the great Hall of Learning

From the gate rose the sounds of conch-shells and gongs, horns, bugles and trumpets, cymbals, drums and kettle-drums, tomtoms, tambourines, flutes, fifes, barrel-organs and bagpipes. The pundits began chanting mantras with their topmost voices, while the goldsmiths, scribes, supervisors, and their numberless cousins of all different degrees of distance, loudly raised a round of cheers.

The nephews smiled and said: "Sire, what do you think of it all?" The Raja said: "It does seem so fearfully like a sound principle of Education!" Mightily pleased, the Raja was about to remount his elephant, when the fault-finder, from behind some bush, cried out: "Maharaja, have you seen the bird?" "Indeed, I have not!" exclaimed the Raja, "I completely forgot about the bird."

Turning back, he asked the pundits about the method they followed in instructing the bird.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

It was shown to him. He was immensely impressed. The method was so stupendous that the bird looked ridiculously unimportant in comparison. The Raja was satisfied that there was no flaw in the arrangements. As for any complaint from the bird itself, that simply could not be expected. Its throat was so completely choked with the leaves from the books that it could neither whistle nor whisper. It sent a thrill through one's body to watch the process.

This time, while remounting his elephant, the Raja ordered his State Earpuller to give a thorough good pull at both the ears of the fault-finder. The bird thus crawled on, duly and properly, to the safest verge of insanity. In fact, its progress was satisfactory in the extreme. Nevertheless, nature occasionally triumphed over training, and when the morning light peeped into the bird's cage it sometimes fluttered its wings in a reprehensible manner. And, though it is hard to believe, it pitifully pecked at its bars with its feeble beak.

"What impertinence!" growled the kotwal.

The blacksmith, with his forge and hammer, took his place in the Raja's

Department of Education. Oh, what resounding blows! The iron chain was

soon completed, and the bird's wings were clipped.

The Raja's brothers-in-law looked black, and shook their heads, saying:

'These birds not only lack good sense, but also gratitude!"

With textbook in one hand and the baton in the other, the pundits gave

the poor bird what may fitly be called lessons!

The kotwal was honoured with a title for his watchfulness and the blacksmith for his skill in forging chains. The bird died.

Nobody had the least notion how long ago this had happened. The faultfinder was the first man to spread the rumour.

The Raja called his nephews and asked them: "My dear nephews, what is this that we hear?"

The nephews said: "Sire, the bird's education has been completed."

"Does it hop?" the Raja enquired.

"Never!" said the nephews.

"Does it fly?"


"Bring me the bird," said the Raja.

The bird was brought to him, guarded by the kotwal and the sepoys and the sowars. The Raja poked its body with his finger. Only its inner stuffing of book-leaves rustled.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Outside the window, the murmar of the spring breeze amongst the newly budded asoka leaves made the April morning wistful." The second essential point to be noted is that the child is like a closed bud that grows slowly or swiftly and opens.

* * *

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education


Presented by


A big, tough Samurai once went to see a litde monk. "Monk," he said, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience, "teach methodology about heaven and hell!"

The monk looked up at this mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain, 'Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn't teach you about anything. You're dirty. You smell. Your blade is rusty. You're a disgrace, an embarrassment to the Samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can't stand you."

The Samurai was furious. He shook, got all red in the face, was speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword and raised it above him, preparing to slay the monk.

'That's hell," said the monk softly.

The Samurai was overwhelmed. The compassion and surrender of this little man who had offered his life to give this teaching to show him hell! He slowly put down his sword, filled with gratitude, and suddenly peaceful. "And that's heaven," said the monk softly.


* * *

A man found an eagle's egg and put it in the nest of a backyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.

All his life the eagle did what the backyard chickens did, thinking he was a backyard chicken. He scrateched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe. "Who's that?" he asked.

'That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbour, "He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth—we're chickens." So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that's what he thought he was.


* * *

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

A Zen master was invited to a great Catholic monastery to give instructions in Zen practice. He exhorted the monks there to meditate and try to solve their koan or Zen question with great energy and zeal. He told them that if they could practice with full-hearted effort, true understanding would come to them. One old monk raised his hand. "Master," he said, "our way of prayer is different than this. We have been meditating and praying in the simplest fashion without effort, waiting instead" to be illuminated by the grace of God. In Zen is there anything like this illuminating grace that comes to one uninvited?" he asked. The Zen master looked back and laughed. "In Zen," he said, "we believe that God has already done his share."


* * *

A young man who had a bitter disappointment in life went to a remote monastery and said to the abbot: "I am disillusioned with life and wish to attain enlightenment to be freed from these sufferings. But I have no capacity for sticking long at anything. I could never do long years of meditation and study and austerity; I should relapse and be drawn back to the world again, painful though I know it to be. Is there any short way for people like me?" 'There is," said the abbot, "if you are really determined. Tell me, what have you studied, what have you concentrated on most in your life?" "Why, nothing really. We were rich, and I did not have to work. I suppose the thing I was really interested in was chess. I spent most of my time at that."

The abbot thought for a moment, and then said to his attendant: "Call such-and-such a monk, and tell him to bring a chessboard and men." The monk came with the board and the abbot set up the men. He sent for a sword and showed it to the two. "O monk," he said, "you have vowed obedience to me as your abbot, and now I require it of you. You will play a game of chess with this youth, and if you lose I shall cut off your head with this sword. But I promise that you will be reborn in paradise. If you win, I shall cut off the head of this man; chess is the only thing he has ever tried hard at, and if he loses he deserves to lose his head also." They looked at the abbot's face and saw that he meant it; he would cut off the head of the loser.

They began to play. With the opening moves the youth felt the sweat trickling down to his heels as he played for his life. The chessboard became the whole world; he was entirely concentrated on it. At first he had somewhat the

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

worst of it, but then the other made an inferior move and he seized his chance to launch a strong attack. As his opponent's position crumbled, he looked covertly at him. He saw a face of intelligence and sincerity, worn with years of austerity and effort. He thought of his own worthless life, and a wave of compassion came over him. He deliberately made a blunder and then another blunder, ruining his position and leaving himself defenceless.

The abbot suddenly leant forward and upset the board. The two contestants sat stupefied. "There is no winner and no loser," said the abbot slowly, "there is no head to fall here. Only two things are required," and he turned to the young man, "complete concentration and compassion. You have today learnt them both. You were completely concentrated on the game, but then in that concentration you could feel compassion and sacrifice your life for it. Now stay here a few months and pursue our training in this spirit and your enlightenment is sure." He did so and got it.


* * *

Two disciples of an old rabbi were arguing about the true path to God. One said that the path was built on effort and energy. 'You must give yourself totally and fully with all your effort to follow the way of the Law. To pray, to pay attention, to live righdy." The second disciple disagreed. "It is not effort at all. That is only based on ego. It is pure surrender. To follow the way to God, to awaken, is to let go of all things and live the teaching. 'Not may will but thine,"

As they could not agree on who was right they went to see the master. He listened as the first disciple praised the pathof wholehearted effort and when asked by this disciple, "Is this the true path?" and the master replied, 'You're right." The second disciple was quite upset and responded eloquently the path of surrender and letting go. When he had finished he said, "Is this not the true path?" and the master replied "You're right." A third student who was sitting there said, "But master, they can't both be right," and the master smiled and said, 'You're right too!"


* * *


Hasan of Basra relates:

"I had convinced myself that I was a man of humilitry and less than humble

in my thoughts and conduct to others.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Then one day I was standing on the bank of a river when I saw a man sitting there. Besides him was a woman and before them was a wine-flask.

"I thought, 'If only I could reform this man and make him like I am instead of the degenerate creature which he is!"'

"At the moment I saw a boat in the river, beginning to sink. The other man at once threw himself into the water where seven people were struggling, and brought six of them safely to the bank."

'Then the man came up to me, and said:

"Hasan, if you are abetter man than me, in the Name of God save that other man, the last remaining one."

"I found that I could not even save one man, and he was drowned."

"Now this man said to me: 'This woman here is my mother. This wine-fiask has only water in it. This is how you judge, and this is what you are like.'

"I threw myself at his feet and cried out; 'As you have saved six out of these seven in peril, save me from drowning in pride disguised as merit!"

'The stranger said: 'I pray that God may fulfil your aim.'


Imam Ali, according to the Durud'-i-Qasimi, admitted a barbarian stranger to his presence, in spite of the trepidation of those around him. Less than fifteen minutes had passed before that Imam said to his companions:

'This man will become a saint when he leaves this house, and his powers will seldom be excelled."

Since Hadrat Ali had done no more than raise his right hand over the newcomer's head, his disciples asked one another why they could not receive a similar blessing, so that they could instantly be transformed in a like manner.

Ali said:

'This man had humility. As a consequence I was able to impart Baraka to him. Failure to exercise humility has made you difficult to act upon, because you are your own barrier. If you want proof of this arrogance, here it is: the humble man would assume that he could not learn without great effort and much time. Consequently he will learn easily and quickly. The arrogant imagine that they are ready, and agitate for the Baraka, refusing to entertain even the thought that they are unworthy. To be unworthy is one thing; to fail to realize that it is possible is another, and worse. Even worse is to imagine that one is humble or trying to be sincere when one is not. Worst of all is to think

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

nothing until one sees someone—such as the barbarian stranger—to whom one feels so superior that one's actions become uncontrolled."

* * *

In the last century, a tourist from the States visited the famous Polish rabbi Hafez Hayyim. He was astonished to see that the rabbi's home was only a simple room fdled with books. The only furniture was a table and a bench. "Rabbi, where is your furniture?" asked the tourist. "Where is yours?" replied Hafez. "Mine? But I'm only a visitor here." "So am I," said the rabbi.


* * *

It is said that soon after his enlightenment, the Buddha passed a man on the road who was struck by the extraordinary radiance and peacefulness of his presence. The man stopped and asked, "My friend, what are you? Are you a celestial being or a god?"

"No," said the Buddha.

"Well, then, are you some kind of magician or wizard?"

Again the Buddha answered, "No".

"Are you a man?" "No".

"Well, my friend, what then are you?"

The Buddha replied, "I am awake."


* * *


A Sufi Master once announced that he was reviving the ceremony of the gifts in which, once a year, offerings were brought to the shrine of some celebrated teacher.

People of all ranks came from miles around to give their presents and to hear, if it were possible, something of the teaching of the Master.

The Sufi ordered the gifts to be placed in the middle of the floor of his audience—hall, with all the donors in a circle around them. He then stepped into the centre of the circle.

He picked up the gifts one by one. Those which had a name on them he returned to the giver. "The rest", he said, "are accepted".

"You have all come to receive a teaching, and here it is. You may now learn the difference between the lower conduct and the higher conduct.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

'The lower conduct is what is taught to children, and it is an essential part of their preparation. It is to take pleasure in giving and receiving. But the higher conduct is to give without attaching, in words or thought, any obligation. Rise, therefore, to the second conduct, from the lesser to the greater.

"Whoever continues to take his refreshment from the lesser will not rise. You cannot receive payment in satisfaction on the lower level as well. That is the meaning of the teaching of restraint. Detach from lesser pleasures, such as thinking that you have done good, and realize greater attainment—that of really having done something useful."


* * *

Nasrudin was now an old man looking back on his life. He sat with his friends in the tea shop telling his story:

"When I was young I was fiery—I wanted to awaken everyone. I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change the world."

"In mid-life I awoke one day and realized my life was half over and I had changed no one. So I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change those close around me, who so much needed it."

"Alas, now I am old and my prayer is simpler. 'Allah,' I ask, 'please give me the strength to at least change myself."

* * *

A modern master described how the Buddha had encouraged his monks by stating that those who practiced diligently would surely be enlightened in seven days or, if not in seven days, then in seven months or seven years. Ayoung American monk heard this and asked if it was still true. The master, Achaan Chah promised that if the young monk was continuously mindful without break for only seven days, he would be enlightened.

Excitedly the young monk started his seven days, only to be lost in forgetfulness ten minutes later. Coming back to himself, he again started his seven days, only to become lost once more in mindless thought—perhaps about what he would do after his enlightenment. Again and again he began his seven days, and again and again he lost his continuity of mindfulness. A week later, he was not enlightened but had become very much aware of his habitual fantasies and wandering of mind—a most instructive way to begin his practice on the Path to real awakening.


Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

* * *

Two monks journeying home came to the banks of a fast-flowing river, where they met a young woman unable to cross the current alone. One of the monks picked her up in his arms and set her safely on her feet on the other side and the two monks continued on their travels. The monk who had crossed the river alone could finally restrain himself no longer and began to rebuke his brother, "Do you not know it is against our rules to touch a young woman? You have broken the holy vows."

The other monk answered, "Brother! I left that young woman on the banks of the river. Are you still carrying her?"


* * *


The ancient Sufi Junaid taught by demonstration, through a method in which he actually lived the part which he was trying to illustrate. This is an example:

Once he was found by a number of seekers, sitting surrounded by every imaginable luxury.

These people left his presence and sought the house of a most austere and ascetic holy man, whose surroundings were so plain that he had nothing but a mat and a jug of water.

The spokesman of the seekers said: 'Your simple manners and austere environment are much more to our liking than the garish and shocking excesses of Junaid, who seems to have turned his back upon the Path of Truth."

The ascetic heaved a great sigh and started to weep.

"My dear friends, shallowly infected by the outward signs which beet man at every turn," he said, "know this, and cease to be unfortunates! The great Junaid is surrounded at this moment by luxury because he is impervious to luxury; and I am surrounded by simplicity because I am impervious to simplicity."


* * *


A mystical master, as soon as he attained the secret knowledge of the Inner Truth which few people find, settled in Basra.

There he started a business and over the years his affairs prospered.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

A dervish who had known him in former years and yet was himself still on the road of the seekers called upon him one day.

"How sad to see that you have abandoned the Search and the Mystic Way", said the dervish. The merchant-sage smiled, but said nothing on this subject.

The dervish passed on his way, and often afterwards spoke in his lectures of the one-time Sufi who had settled for the lower aim of commerce, being, it seemed, lacking in the necessary resolution to complete the journey.

But this wanderer at length fell in with Khidr, the secret Guide, and begged him to direct him to the Sage of the Epoch from whom he could obtain enlightenment.

Khidr said: "Go and sit at the feet of such-and-such a merchant, performing whatever menial task he needs done."

The dervish was amazed. "But how can he be one of the Elect, let alone the Great Teacher of the Age?" he stammered.

"Because", said Khidr, "when he gained illumination he also achieved objective knowledge of the world. He saw clearly for the first time that saintly behaviour attracts the greedy posing as the spiritual, and repels the sincere who have no taste for outwardness. I showed him how religious teachers may be drowned by their followers. So he teaches in secret, and looks, to the superficial, like a mere merchant."


The Rhodes were not rich—few farmers were in 1960. They could just pay their bills and keep their son David decendy clothed to attend school in Twin Banks, three miles away.

When it came to buying him a jacket, though, a woolly red-checked Mackinaw jacket like the ones that loggers wear, Dad simply said no.

David took itin good part. Dad hadn'tforbidden the coat, only the money. So he hit on the idea of selling his bicycle.

David had the mail order all written out, ready to mail as soon as the bike was sold.

The last day of school, David came rushing into the house, wild and furious. 'That little sneak has stolen my bike!" he shouted.

He was breathing hard. "After school we went out, and the bike was gone. One of the boys said he had seen the Hadely kid wheeling a bike like mine. He was probably on his way to sell it."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Now", he continued, looking Dad straight in the eye, "I know what you'll say about turning the other cheek, and, I've always done things your way. But I want my bike back, and I'm going to teach that little thief a lesson."

Dad set down his coffee cup and gave David look for look. "I hope you want me on your side. You won't need me when you corner the boy, but there may be a father who won't approve of your actions. I think I should be on hand."

David calmed down. Now he was feeling better about it. Dad was not going to argue or preach. "We'll do things my way. Do you agree to that?" David asked.

Dad saluted. "Every step!"

The belligerence went out of David, and part of the fury. "Now, Dad," he said, "there's no point in doing anything until the morning. Meanwhile I'd better change clothes if I'm going to help with the haying."

When David went to bed that night, he was calm in his mind, so he could think over his plans for tomorrow. First of all, he would not call in the law. The boy was only about eleven, and a kid of that age couldn't stand being shut up with bars at the windows.

Well, then, what should he do? First, of course, the money must be taken from the kid. That was only justice. It was not punishment. Then David would turn the boy over his knee and whale the daylights out of him. Meanwhile, Dad would stand off the father, if there was one. Then they'd just go on home.

Somehow, though, this didn't sound like Dad. David remembered the time a tramp had stolen Dad's woolen trousers off the line.

Next day there'd been a call to say the man had been caught.

Then what had Dad done, but get the man let off in his care. He had brought him home, cleaned him up, and given him a big meal. Then Dad gave him the stolen trousers, even putting money in the pockets to last until the man got a job.

David tried to imagine himself going to the Hadley boy with the bicycle pump and the tool kit, saying, "Here, kid. These go with the bike." No, he wasn't up to that. He wanted his money and the pleasure—or perhaps it was a duty—of teaching the kid a lesson.

The next day Dad hitched up Prince, and they rode off through the freshness of the June morning.

In town, Dad stopped before Duncan's store and went around to help Mom out. "I'll find out more about the Hadleys while I'm here."

Mom gave David a loving smile. "Take your time. I'll visit here until you and Dad come back."

Dad returned soon, looking grave. "They certainly do have a bad record,"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

he said. "Ever since Mr. Hadley disappeared this spring, things are continually being stolen around town—chickens, garden truck, and so on."

"And school lunches," David said tightly, "and my bicycle".

They turned down a side street and stopped before the shack at the edge of the Dooley orchard. Trampled grass led to the broken steps.

A girl of seven or so answered David's knock. "Are you the doctor?" She asked anxiously.

Dad asked, "Is someone ill?"

"It's Ma", the child said, moving back so they could come in.

A voice called from the bedroom. "Whoever it is, come here."

David stepped back, abandoning leadership. He looked about while Dad went into the bedroom.

There was no furniture except a rusty stove and a packing case. Two small twin boys were using the box as a table as they scraped at a dish of mush between them.

Dad came out rapidly and said, "David, this woman is sick. Get Dr. Mumford right away. Then go to the store and get your mother."

David ran. Dr. Mumford's office was on the main street. The doctor, a stocky man with bright eyes, was out the door with his bag before David finished speaking.

David went on to the store. Mom was chatting with Mrs. Haines, the preacher's wife.

"Dad needs you at the Hadleys', quick," David said, "Dr. Mumford has already gone."

Mom looked at Mrs. Haines and said, "We'd better round up some of the others to help. We may have to stay the night."

Mrs. Haines stopped at home to gather food and furnishings. Meanwhile, Mom passed the word among what seemed to be a whole group of families who stood by one another in emergencies. Marveling, David listened to the arrangements. Here was an adult kind of helpfulness he had never noticed, though it must have gone on around him for years. Then they nipped along to the shack.

Mom hurried in and came out almost instantly. "David, I'll be busy here for quite a while. Can you take the children away?" "Where to?" he asked.

"To our house. I'm sorry, but this is an emergency, and there's no time to arrange anything else." She vanished inside the shack.

David approached the little girl cautiously. "Mom says to take you and the twins home with me."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"O.K., but they'll be hungry in a little while," she said.

The twins came scampering with happy grins and swarmed up behind old Prince. David took the back road, hoping not to be seen with these ragged creatures.

At home, David unloaded them in the yard and put Prince into the pasture. When he came back, the little group was standing huddled together, staring about at the flowers, the busy chickens, the barn and stables. They looked completely abandoned and unprotected.

"Which is Earle and which is Merle?" David asked, with a stirring of pity. Sally pointed to the twin with the broader face and more turned-up nose, "He's Merle."

"I'm Earle", he said giggling. She smiled anxiously at David. "They do that all the time to mix us up. But I can tell."

David squared away at his job, somewhat distastefully. "Get up at the picnic table. I'll bring you something to eat."

He loaded a tray with bread, spread with butter and jam, leftover ham, cupcakes, and glasses of milk.

Then, leaving them to make the best of it, he changed into his overalls and set out the wash tub in the woodshed. He hunted through Mom's storeroom for odds and ends of old clothes that they could wear while their rags were being washed.

Back at the table, the Hadleys hadn't left a crumb, and their eyes were fixed on his face expectantly.

"That's all the food for now," he said firmly. "Sally, you wash in the shed. I'll scrub the twins."

The water in the horse trough was warm. He peeled off the ragged overalls, and the twins climbed in, splashing each other and David.

He soaped and scrubbed them, marveling that the dirt came off and left them as pink and clean as if they had never been dirty.

He could count the bones in their little bodies, and he toweled them, frowning heavily. No calf, nor pig, not even the barn kittens, ever showed their bones like this on Dad's farm. He felt a quick rush of tenderness that was like a pain. By the time he had two of his old shirts wrapped around them, David had lost all his indifference.

Sally came out shyly, with a shirt of Dad's bundled around her thin body, and hung her own clothes on a bush behind the house.

"What shall we do now?" asked David, teasing the twins.

"Eat!" said Merle. He was the bolder one. Already David could tell them apart. Laughing, he went into the kitchen to get more food.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Now he sat with them, not eating, but taking an odd delight in watching them eat. Sally made sure the boys had plenty before serving herself. She was anxious over the way they stuffed the food in.

"We haven't taught them any manners," she explained. "All we had was mush, and sometimes milk or stuff my brother brought home. You can't learn manners without dishes and things to eat."

"They're fine," said David, annoyed that she should find fault with them.

Where it came to the last cup-cake, Earle murmured. 'That's his." Merle told David " It's yours." So David ate the cupcake, and they watched every bite.

Then he told the boys to go play while he and Sally cleaned up.

In the kitchen, Sally gazed longingly at the clean floor and the bright rug, the tablecloth on the table, the flowers in the window.

"It's beautiful," she said in a hushed voice. "May be when we get to Grandma's, we'll have a flower in the window, and everything."

Then they went outside and she talked about Grandma and Gandpa, back in Indiana, who had sent money for everybody to come home to them. But when Pa disappeared, Ma had to use some of the money.

Now Lester, the eleven-year-old brother, was trying to get more so they could go on the train. At Grandma's there'd be lots of milk and baby chicks and vegetables in the garden, and beds for everybody.

She worried beyond her years. Then suddenly, she was asleep.

The twins were asleep too, nestled together in one little heap. David looked down at them with a queer pain in his middle. What had Lester been up against, with no money or food of these kids?

Looking up, David noticed a movement in the grass near the barn. He circled back around the stable and leaped on to a thin figure worming its way through the grass. It was Lester Hadley. David gripped him by the shoulder and propelled him to the back porch.

"I hate you!" the boy snarled, and hid his face in his arms.

"I suppose they told you the kids were here, and you were scared to come in the front way," David said. "That's the trouble with stealing and sneaking around. Soon you can't face decent people, and you've got to be running away and hiding. Why didn't you ask someone for food for the kids?"

Lester wasn't going to answer. David paced about uncertainly trying to think how to make him understand. He must make the boy admit his guilt, so he could be forgiven and start over. How can you forgive anybody if he just sits there, hiding his face and hating you?

Then he heard a rig coming up the lane. Mom was home. She would put everything right. David would watch Mom and learn how to do it.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

It was Preacher Haines's rig, pausing to let Mom down.

She gave David an affectionate look and said, 'You've been wonderful." Then, hugging Sally to her, she announced, "Mrs. Hadley is out of danger." Without changing her tone, she went on, "Lester, you have had a hard job laid on you. I don't say you did everything right, but you did your best, and we'll say no more about it. We're arranging about the train fare, so you won't need David's money."

"Now," she said, springing up briskly, "Is anybody hungry?"

The twins heard, clear across the yard, and came running.

Mom laughed, "Sally, dress the twins, will you dear? David, you and Lester start the chores. Lester! Chop some wood for the stove but be careful of your clean overalls. Now, hop along, everybody. I'll have supper ready in no time at all."

Lester dived for the woodshed. Behind him on the porch lay a little bundle of money. Mom jerked her head to David, meaning for him to take it and say nothing.

He went upstairs slowly, pondering. First, Mom had told Lester about his mother, as if he had a right to know. Then she'd said he had done wrong, but it would be different next time. And she had restored his dignity by mentioning his clean overalls.

All the while, she had sounded as if she liked Lester. He belonged here along with David, with a right to eat supper and be given chores. So that was how it was done!

He came down, the mail-order catalog in his hand, and found Lester at the wash stand.

"Lester", David said politely, "you got two dollars more for the bike than I was going to sell it for. I thought may be we'd buy some stuff for the twins to wear on the train. What do you think?"

By the time Mom came to call them to supper. Lester, the twins, and Sally were piled around David, studying the catalog. Two dollars hadn't gone very far, so David was throwing in the Mackinaw.

Catching Mom's eye, David got pink. "This isn't duty, it's fun."

"Certainly," she said, over their heads, "That's the real secret. Now you belong to the brotherhood. Welcome, brother! Now, bring your brood in to supper."

Grinning, and feeling six feet tall, David herded them in.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

[Though Yajnavalkya seems by far to be the most dominant personality in the Brhadaaranyaka Upanisad, Aruni's power of exposition in the Chandogya is very refreshing. He is easily the most brilliant rishi in the latter Upanisad. By a number of homely illustrations he conveys to his son the subtle knowledge of the Atman and impresses upon him the fact that, in essence, he too is the Atman. "That thou art" is the burden of his talk. The affectionate father repeats it at the end of each of his illustrations and through this pregnant phrase he preaches the gospel of the one God, transcendant and immanent in all things.]

"No idiot has yet been born in our line nor has any in our family neglected the study of the Vedas. So, young soul, go to a gurukula, be a brahmachdri and learn the Vedas." The sage Uddalaka Aruni thus addressed his young son Svetaketu when he attained the proper age to go to a preceptor for study.

The dutiful son obeyed his father. After studying all the Vedas for twelve long years at the feet of his guru, he came home. When the father saw him, he could at once perceive that his son had become a man of learning but that he had missed spiritual training and teaching. Instead of humility he had developed conceit and instead of peace, there was turmoil in his mind.

One day the father said to him, "Dear child, did you not ask your guru to teach you that mystic wisdom which is the key to all other knowledge, to all other thought, and that wisdom which unfolds the Unknown to man?"

Svetaketu was not a little surprised when, he was thus accosted by his father. He instinctively felt that something was lacking in his own education. So he said to his father, "Dear father, what is that wondrous knowledge that you speak of? Do teach me that yourself. Obviously my guru did not know the knowledge you refer to, otherwise he would not have failed to impart it to me."

"Dear child, it is something like this. You know that these earthen pots and toys are made of clay. Once you understand the essential nature of the clay of which these are all made, you know and understand all these things also. Then all these are mere forms and names of forms, which the clay has assumed. The essence of them all, the thing that matters is the clay. So too if you understand the nature of a particular metal, everything that is made of that metal is known to you. The various things that are made of that metal are then mere names and forms. What matters is the metal and its nature. Take the various things made of steel such as a sword, a razor, a knife, a needle. When you know the nature of steel, all these are but names and forms, which that steel assumes. What

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

matters is the steel and your knowledge of it. That is the essential truth. All else is mere verbiage. So you should get to know the essence of things, the one thing that underlies this vast and multitudinous mass of name and form.

"In the beginning of things there was pure Being, one without a second. It willed that it should become many. Then it manifested itself in many forms, such as light, liquid, solid and so on. This rich variety of things came into existence by permutation and combination of these forms. Then life appeared, and among the living beings, man with his varied powers and functions."

After listening to all this the son said, "Father, all this is very interesting. Excuse me for a question. Where does a man go when he sleeps?"

Uddalaka replied, "When a man sleeps he becomes for the time being one with the Spirit or one with the one eternal Being. He is merged in himself as it were. A man's mind is like a beast tied to a peg by a long rope. It turns round and round the peg but cannot get away. So too does the mind turn round the prana or the vital power in the body but cannot leave the body. When a man is about to die, his power of speech is merged in his mind, his mind is absorbed in the prana, the prana is again in its turn merged in light and this light merges in the power beyond That power is subtle. It pervades the universe. That is the Truth. That is the Spirit. That thou art, O Svetaketu!"

The son again said, "I am not fully satisfied. Tell me more of this great wisdom, so that I can understand."

"Dear child, bees bring tiny particles or droplets of honey from various flowers and store it in the hive. Once in the hive, do the droplets know from which flower they came? Need they know it? So too all these beings when they merge in the ocean of Being, they know not whence they came. They lose all individuality. Whether it is a lion, a tiger, a mouse or a worm before merging, all become one when they have once merged in the ocean of consciousness. That in which all these merge is the One Being. That is subtle. It pervades everything. It is the Spirit or Atman or Pure Consciousness. That thou art, O Svetaketu!

"Dear child, various rivers from the four quarters flow into the vast seas. They all become one with the seas. Can you then make out the waters of the various rivers? No. So is the case with these various beings when they merge in the One Being. That thou art, O Svetaketu!

"If you strike a tree at the root, or in the middle or at the top, some sap oozes out but the tree still lives. If you cut off a branch here and there from the tree, that branch fades and dies away but the tree still lives on. Thus that which is

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

deprived of its life dies but life itself does not die. The power by which life lives eternally is the Spirit. That thou art, O Svetaketu!"

Svetaketu listened to all this very attentively but he was still at a loss to know as to how to comprehened the intangible Atman. So he asked his father, "How to know this subtle thing, dear father? Tell me that."

Then Uddalaka thought of a simple device. He pointed out to a big banian tree nearby and asked his son to bring a ripe fruit from that tree. When he brought the small red berry-like fruit, he told his son, "Split it into two, dear child."

"Here you are. I have split it into two." "What do you find there?"

"Innumerable tiny seeds of course, and what else can these be?" "Well, take one of those tiny seeds and split it again." "Yes, here it is. I have split a seed." "What do you find there?" "Why, nothing at all."

"O dear child! This big tree cannot come out of nothing. Only you cannot see that subtle some thing in the seed from which springs forth this mighty tree. That is the power that is the spirit unseen, which pervades everywhere and everything. Have faith. It is that spirit which is at the root of all existence. That thou art, O Svetaketu!"

'This is something very baffling, father. But how on earth can I realize it, even if I merely know it?"

Uddalaka said, 'Just do one thing. Take a few crystals of salt and put them into a bowl of water while you go to sleep and bring it on to me in the morning."

The obedient son did as he was told and on the next morning took the bowl to his father.

The father said, "Dear son, take out the salt please." Svetaketu felt exasperated and said, "Father, what do you mean? How is it possible to take out that salt?"

"All right. Then just taste the water on the surface. How does it taste?" "It is saltish and is bound to be so."

'Take the water in the middle and at the bottom and tell me how it tastes." "Well, that too is saltish and is hound to be so."

"My dear child, do understand now that the Spirit I spoke of pervades all existence like the salt in this water in the bowl. That is the Subtle Spirit. That thou art, dear Svetaketu!"

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Dear father, how to go about all this? It looks so simple and yet is so very difficult."

Uddalaka said, "Now I shall tell you how to go about trying to realize the Spirit. Suppose we blindfold a man and lead him into an unknown forest away from his usual residence. What would he do? How would he try to find his home? As soon as he is left to himself, he wouldjust remove the cover from his eyes. Then he would wander about inquiring for the region from which he was taken away. He would go from village to village and ultimately he would come across someone who would lead him in the right direction. Thus would he reach his home. That is the way to find out the spiritual home from which we have all strayed into the wilderness. The Spirit is the one reality towards which we have all to direct our steps. That thou art, O Svetaketu!"

Thus spake Uddalaka Aruni in the Chdndogya Upanisad.

* * *


There were just four minutes left in the season's final football game and Springdale High School's Bears were trailing the Wearham Lions 3 to 0. The Bears had the ball on the wearham eighteen-yard line when Jack Major, their captain, called time out.

"We've got to get this touch-down," he told his team, "Our first chance in five years at the county championship is slipping through our fingers."

"Harmon Phipps isjust too good for us," said halfback Glenn Wheeler. "We hold them scoreless for fifty minutes, then whaml He boots a thirty-yard field goal for the Lions, and we're sunk."

"That's no way to talk," said Jack. "You're as good a player as Phipps is. After all, you're tied with him for the outstanding player award. The Bears can win this game, and you can win that award if we just make the touchdown we need in the next four minutes."

The referee's whistle shrilled. The Springdale Bears snapped into their huddle. " We've got two yards to go for a first down," said Jack, "Let's give 'em the fake through centre and a pass to Glenn."

The Bear linemen trotted into position and faced the crouching Lions. As the ball was flipped, Glenn sidestepped wide to his left and drove for the end zone. He saw Jack fall back and fire the ball hard and flat.

In the end zone, Glenn leaped and reached high. The spinning ball was snatched from his finger-tips. Phipps had intercepted for the Lions and was on his way!

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

A crowd of Springdale players closed in on Phipps. He was buried in the pile-up on his own twenty-yard line, but now the Lions were on the march.

"That was my last play for the Bears," sad Glenn as he trotted back into position, " Some way to end my last game for Springdale!"

"The game isn't over yet", muttered Jack, crouching to meet the Lions' attack.

Not quite. There were still two minutes to go. Glenn noted that a deadly silence had fallen on the stands. The Bears dug in, hope fading, but still determined to fight to the last bitter second.

The Wearham centre snapped the ball. Their quarterback faked a line buck and handed off to Phipps. Phipps snaked away from an off-balance tackier and crossed the twenty-yard stripe.

Good blocking took him to the twenty-five. Then Jack Major came flying at him out of nowhere and tackled him cleanly at the knees. Phipps went down hard, and the ball got away from him. Glenn threw himself on it, and every player in leaping distance piled on top of him. But he held tight, and when the official untangled the heap, he pointed at the Lions' goal line.

Springdale's ball again. But the Bears had just fourty seconds to score or lose the championship.

Wearham's linemen dug in. All they had to do was stop this play and the championship was theirs.

The ball was snapped. Glenn faded back. Jack whirled, faked a pass, and flipped the ball to him. Glenn took it on the Wearham thirty-one. The Lions were caught off-balance, and Glenn started to run. Then the Wearham backfield closed in and Glenn saw big Harmon Phipps galloping towards him.

Glenn gave ground toward the left side line. Though his pounding feet were moving with tremendous speed. Phipps was faster than he'd expected. Between a last-second touchdown and defeat, there was now only the one onrushing fullback.

Glenn tight-roped along the edge of the field. The goal line flag was just feet away. Phipps threw himself at Glenn, his arms reaching like steel bars. Glenn leaped over the diving fullback, but Phipps' hand slapped his heel.

Glenn stumbled, caught himself, and swept across the goal line. A great shout rose from the stands. The referee dashed into the end zone, signaling a touchdown.

Walking back from the end zone with the ball, Glenn found his mind spinning. This was unbelievable! Only he alone, of all the people there, seemed to realize that the touchdown was no good. When he'd leaped over

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Phipps, the slap on his heel had made him step just an inch or two out of bounds. But it seemed that no one had noticed—not Harmon Phipps, not the referee, not the field judge.

Should he say nothing and take the honors for an illegal touchdown that would make a hero of him? Or should he tell on himself and lose the championship for the team and the outstanding player award?

As he gave the referee the ball a dozen hands slapped his back.

"Man, what a run!" cried Jack, "You've put the team on top."

He had everything to gain by saying nothing. After all, the refere was the final judge, and he had already called it a touchdown.

A tremendous roar came from the stands, 'Yea, Wheeler!"

Jack looked at him strangely. "What's wrong, Glenn? You should be the happiest fellow here."

Glenn metjack's eyes, then found his own glance dropping to the ground. So this was how it was going to be. He wouldn't be able to look a teammate in the eye.

Glenn's mind was made up. He turned back to the referee. 'That touchdown was no good, Sir. I stepped out of bounds." "Glenn!"Jack gasped.

The referee called another official. "The boy says he went out of bounds before he scored."

A hush fell on the field. Both teams gathered around the referee.

The head official made up his mind. He walked to the five-yard line, placed the ball, and signalled that the touchdown was no good.

A great, sick groan came form the Springdale backers. The Bears gathered in a quick huddle. Ten seconds. They ran into position. Three seconds... two... one...

The crack of the timekeeper's gun signalled the end of the game, and Springdale had lost the championship. The defeated Springdale team walked off the field, pushing through the stunned crowd.

"I can't believe it yet," said tackle Sam Wilson to Glenn in the locker room, "You threw away your chance for the outstanding player award, too. I can't believe it."

The rest of the team were silent. Glenn took his shower, then dressed without a word to anyone.

"What's the matter with everybody?" he asked Jack as they left the school, "The team acts as if Ijust gave the game away. As far as I'm concerned, we never had the six points in the first place."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"I guess you're right," Jack said, "But that was a tough game to lose. Let's forget it and go get a soda."

At the Milk House, the gang was making plenty of noise. But when Glenn and Jack stepped into the room, an uneasy quiet setde over the place. Glenn waved at red-haired Nancy Harris, but she seemed to look right through him.

"You see?" Glenn said to Jack. "She tracked me down at home last Saturday to get a write-up for the school paper. Now she doesn't even see me."

They sat at the counter and ordered chocolate sodas.

'You're being too hard on everybody," said Jack, "We've never come up against anything like this before. Either we won or we lost, but we never—"

"Never just gave the game to the other team. Isn't that what you mean?" Glenn said.

"No, not exactly."

"Come on, Jack. Either you think I was right or you think I was wrong. Which is it?"

"Don't force me to make up my mind right now."

"You mean you have any doubts? I thought you were the best friend I had, Jack. I was sure you would stand behind me."

Glenn put down his glass and walked out before Jack could see the trouble he was having trying to swallow the lump in his throat.

The only person willing to talk about the game was his own father.

"If you think you were right, Glenn, you did the only thing you could. That's all there is to it."

"But that isn't all, Dad. How about everybody else? I didn't think of how they'd feel."

"I don't think it really matters how they fell, does it? You were sticking to rules that were set down to keep a sport from becoming a disorganized scramble."

"Thai doesri X. make \. awy easvex Vo face the orv Yve xe-arcv."

Glenn's father shook his head. "It's never easy to face people when you've done something they don't agree with."

"They do have a point," Glenn said, "I overrode the referee, and he has the final say."

"But you pointed out that you had broken a rule. Wouldn't you report a robbery to the police?"

Glenn slid into a living-room chair. "This was not a robbery, Dad. It wasjust a game."

Before his father could reply, the phone rang. Glenn answered.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

"Glenn? This is Nancy."

"Oh, I didn't think you would bother calling after the way you looked right through me before."

There was a moment of hurt silence at the other end. "I just couldn't face you, Glenn. Not after what the newspaper editors did after the game. You won't have to bring your picture next week."

"Are you killing the story?"

"It isn't killing the story that's so dreadful," said Nancy, "It's killing it when you did what you thought was right." "Do you think I was right?" "Yes," replied Nancy firmly, 'Yes, I do."

Glenn's voice was softer when he spoke again, "I'm sorry I underrated you this afternoon. Nancy, A thing like this shows a fellow who's on whose side."

"Don't talk like that, Glenn. You haven't given people a chance to think things over."

"Nobody's given me a chance except you and Dad. Look at your editors. It didn't take them long to drop the Glenn Wheeler story."

"Forget them. They don't know real news when it happens right in front of them. I'll see you later at the banquet, Glenn. Good-bye." She hung up before he could say he wasn't going. Not this year!

As Glenn walked back into the living room, his father looked up.

'Time for you and me to dress for the victory dinner, son."

"I'm not going."

'Just because Springdale didn'twin? That's ridiculous. You knowwe always have the banquet for both teams, no matter who wins the championship." He paused. "I know this is something you'll have to work out for yourself, Glenn. But you won't help things by not facing up to them." He stood up. "I'll go get ready now. Guess I'll have to go to the banquet by myself."

Jack Major found Glenn still sitting in the living-room chair at six thirty. 'Your dad said you were here, Glenn. What's up?"

"Nothing, Go on, you're going to be late for the banquet."

"It's already started. Come on, boy. Let's get going."

'You've centainly changed your tune since this afternoon, Jack."

The tall quarterback leaned against the living-room doorway, "I should not have said anything right after the game. I should've kept quiet like most of the other fellows. We didn't know exactly what we thought then."

"Do you now?"

Get your good suit on," Jack said, "We have a party to go to."

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

The Wearham Lions were returning to their seats after accepting the championship trophy when Jack and Glenn slid into their seats.

Two tables away, Harmon Phipps grinned at Glenn and waved.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Glenn asked Jack, 'That he's glad I won the game for him?"

Dr. Shields, chairman of the county awards committee, rose to his feet. "Now we come to the outstanding player award trophy," be began: "I want to tell all of you that this year we had a mighty hard time deciding. We had to consider two boys so close in ratings that untill this afternoon we were deadlocked. But today's game decided it for us."

Glenn studied his spoon gloomily. He'd hoped that Dr. Shields would simply award Phipps the trophy and not make any painful remarks about the game.

He glanced up. Across the big room, Nancy smiled at him.

But he already knew how Nancy felt. What about the other people of Springdale? How did they feel about the boy who had thrown away their championship?

'Today something happened," Dr. Shields went on, "that proves our boys still care about sportsmanship, no matter how great their will to win. Today a boy chose to lose the championship rather than win it in a questionable manner."

This wasn't what Glenn had expected to hear. This didn't sound at all like a speech for Harmon Phipps. Suddenly he realized that everyone was looking at him.

Dr. Shields lifted the glittering black-and-gold trophy. "I take special pride in presenting this award to the county's outstanding football player and a fine sportsman—Glenn Wheeler."

It wasn't just applause that broke over the ballroom. It was an out-and-out uproar. And there were many besides Glenn who knew that the shouts of approval, meant more than any cheer heard at the football field that afternoon.

* * *

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education






We do not belong to the past dawns but to the noons of the future.

India will certainly keep her essential spirit, will keep her characteristic soul, but there is likely to be a great change of the body...

Her characteristic soul ?

Spirituality is... the master-key of the Indian mind; the sense of the infinite is native to it. India saw from the beginning,... that the physical does not get its full sense until it stands in right relation to the supraphysical; she saw that the complexity of the universe could not be explained in the present terms of man or seen by his superficial sight, that there were other powers behind, other powers within man himself of which he is normally unaware, that he is conscious only of a small part of himself, that the invisible always surrounds the visible, the suprasensible the sensible, even as infinity always surrounds the finite. She saw too that man has the power of exceeding himself, of becoming himself more entirely and profoundly that he is...

She saw the myriad gods beyond man, God beyond the gods, and beyond God his own ineffable eternity; she saw that there were ranges of life beyond our life, ranges of mind beyond our present mind and above these she saw the splendours of the spirit.

Then with that calm audacity of her intuition which knew no fear or littleness and shrank from no act whether of spiritual or intellectual, ethical or vital courage, she declared that there was none of these things which man could not attain if he trained his will and knowledge;

He could conquer these ranges of mind, become the spirit, become a god, become one with God, become the ineffable Brahman. And with the logical practicality and sense of science and organised method which distinguished her mentality, she set forth immediately to find out the way.

India of the ages...

Spirituality is indeed the master-key of the Indian mind... But that was not and could not be her whole mentality... When we look at the past of India, what

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

strikes us next is her stupendous vitality, her inexhaustible power of life and joy of life, her almost unimaginably prolific creativeness. For three thousand years at least, it is indeed much longer—she has been creating abundantly and incessantly, lavishly, with an inexhaustible manysidedness, republics and kingdoms and empires, philosophies and cosmogonies and sciences and creeds and arts and poems and all kinds of monuments, palaces and temples and public works, communities and societies and religious orders, laws and codes and rituals, physical sciences, psychic sciences, systems of Yoga, systems of politics and administration, arts spiritual, arts worldly, trades, industries, fine crafis—the list is endless and in each item there is almost a plethora of activity. She creates and creates and is not satisfied and is not tired; she will not have an end of it, seems hardly to need a space for rest, a time for inertia and lying fallow.

... she creates and creates...

European critics complain that in her ancient architecture, sculpture and art there is no reticence, no holding back of riches, no blank spaces, that she labours to fill every rift with ore, occupy every inch with plenty. Well, but defect or no, that is the necessity of her superabundance of life, of the teeming of the infinite within her. She lavishes her riches because she must, as the Infinite fills every inch of space with the stirring of life and energy because it is the Infinite.

India of the ages...

India of the ages is not dead...

All that was in India's past is still dormant, it is not destroyed; it is waiting there to assume new forms...

The third power of the ancient Indian spirit was a strong intellectuality, at once austere and rich, robust and minute, powerful and delicate, massive in principle and curious in detail. Its chief impulse was that of order and arrangement, but an order founded upon a seeking for the inner law and truth of things and having in view always the possibility of conscientious practice. India has been pre-eminently the land of the Dharma and the Shastra. She searched for the inner truth and law of each human or cosmic activity, its Dharma; that found, she laboured to cast into elaborate form and detailed law of arrangement its application in fact and rule of life.

The European eye is struck in Indian spiritual thought by the Buddhistic and illusionist denial of life. But... in itself that was simply one result, in one direction, of a tendency of the Indian mind which is common to all its activities,

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

the impulse to follow each motive, each specialisation of motive even, spiritual, intellectual, ethical, vital, to its extreme point and to sound its utmost possibility. ... It knew that without a "fine excess" we cannot break down the limits which the dull temper of the normal mind opposes to knowledge and thought and experience, and it had in seeking this point a boundless courage and yet a sure tread.

Yet it is notable that this pursuit of the most opposite extremes never resulted in disorder.... In every extreme the Indian spirit seeks for a law in that extreme and a rule, measure and structure in its application.

Besides, this sounding of extremes is balanced by a still more ingrained characteristic, the synthetical tendency, so that having pushed each motive to its farthest possibility the Indian mind returns always towards some fusion of the knowledge it has gained and to a resulting harmony and balance in action and institution.

India of the ages...

Mother Durga! Rider on the lion, trident in hand, thy body of beauty armour-clad, Mother, giver of victory, India awaits thee, eager to see the gracious form of thine. Listen, O Mother, descend upon earth, make thyself manifest in this land of India.

O Mother, India awaits thee...

The mass of Indian action is still at the moment proceeding under the impress of the European motive and method and, because there is a spirit within us to which they are foreign, the action is poor in will, feeble in form and ineffective in results, for it does not come from the roots of our being. Only in a few directions is there some clear light of self-knowledge. It is when a greater light prevails and becomes general that we shall be able to speak, not only in prospect but in fact, of the renaissance of India.

India of the ages is not dead nor has she spoken her last creative word; she lives and has still something to do for herself and the human peoples. And that which must seek now to awake is not an anglicised oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident's success and failure, but still the ancient, immemorable Shakti recovering her deepest self, lifting her head higher towards the supreme source of light and strength and turning to discover the complete meaning and a vaster form of her Dharma.

We do not belong to the past dawns but to the noons of the future.

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

Literature And Value-Oriented Education

The Indian Renaissance

The recovery of the old spiritual knowledge and experience in all its splendour, depth and fullness is its first, most essential


The flowing of this spirituality into new forms of philosophy, literature, art, science and critical knowledge is the second.

An original dealing with modern problems in the light of Indian spirit and the endeavour to formulate a greater synthesis of a


society is the third and most difficult.

Its success on these three lines will be the measure of its help to the future of


—Sri Aurobindo

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Literature And Value-Oriented Education

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