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Leela's Friend

-----R.K.Narayan-------

R.K.Narayan is a noted name as an Indian author of English stories, particularly of young boys and girls. The present short story, Leela's Friend,is a great example in this respect. The main characters of the story are Leela, a little girl in her fives, and Sidda, a young boy little older than she is. he is also Latler engaged as a young servant of the family.Any financial or social distinction can't stop the growth of the instinctive relation between the two children.Two young minds, with childlike dream and imagination,develop a natural relation

Narayan's Life And Works

R.K.Narayan is a name of repute in the Anglo-Indian literature. The full name of this writer is Rashipuram Krishnaswami Narayan. He has shown the authorship in the world of novel and short story. Narayan was born in Madras in 1906. Originally, his father and mother were the residents of Rashipuram, a village in South India. Subsequently, they came to Mysore. His father Krishnaswami worked as a school teacher.The family was not well off, but well cultivated,and Narayan could carry on his college education. The teaching job in that school had not given him the job satisfaction. He had to give up the job at last. Then he had shown interest in writing, which brought fame and reputation to him. He was deeply shocked and anguished at his wife's sudden death of typhoid. But he continued his literary career upto his old age,with his creative energy and literary skil,still remaining unaffected in the least by the odds of life. He passed away on May 13, 2001 at the age of ninety-five. His remarkable literary creations include : Novel: Swami and Friends (1935),The Bachelor of Arts (1937), The Dark Room (1938), The English Teacher(1946), The Guide (1958) etc. Short Stories : Malgudi Days (1941), An Astrologers Day (1947), A Horse and Two Goats.

Introduction of the Story

Bacground of the story : The story is set probably in the town of Mugudi located in southern India. Mr. Sivasanker with his family lives in the aristocratic quarter of the city. They have a big house with a veranda and agarden, and they are quite rich.
---Characters-----
Leela : Leela is the only daughter of Mr.and Mrs. Sivasanker. Her parents tend to easily succumb to her whims and wishes. Whenever she wants something, She gets it.
Sidda :Sidda is a young servant in this family. He is a representative of a low class people in social font. He appears to be quite intelligent. But he is a criminal, and is known to police.
Mr.sivasanker : He is a rich man and a office goer.
Mrs.sivasanker She is a house wife. She is a representative of those Indian women who are very anxious for their own happiness.

Substance of the Story

Sivasanker, a quite well-off personality is in need of a servant for domestic duties. Fortunately he comes across a bodyy Sidda who needs a job. Sivsanker consults his wife and finally, at the recommendation of his daughter, Leela, appoints him as a petty servant. He is to get rupees four a month and two meals a day.

Theme of the Story

There are many themes explored in this short story. ---
1)The class ridden society
2)Difference due to possession of wealth
3)Parents-child relationship.

Estimate of the Poem

Word Notes and Annotation

hanging about-loitering; ঘরাফেরা করা । gate-সদর দরজা । moment- সময় । standing-দাঁড়িয়ে থাকা।

Bengali meaning of the Poem

Sidda was hanging about the gate at a moment when Mr.Sivasanker was standing in the front veranda of his house, brooding over the servant problem. “Sir, do you want a servant?” , Sidda asked . “Come in,”said Mr.Sivasanker .As Sidda opened the gate and came in, Mr.Sivasanker subjected him to a scrutiny and said to himself, “Doesn’t seem to be a bad sort … At any rate, the fellow looks tidy.” “Where were you before?” he asked. Sidda said, “In a bungalowthere, “and indicated a vague somewhere, “in the doctor‘shouse.” “What is his name?” “I don’t know master,”Sidda said. “He lives near the market.” “Why did they send you away?” “They left the town,master,” Sidda said, giving the stock reply. Mr.Sivasanker was unable to make up his mind. He called his wife. She looked at Sidda and said,“He doesn’t seem to me worse than the others we have had.” Lela, their five –year –old daughter,came out, looked at Sidda and gave a cry of joy . “Oh Father!” she said, “I like him .Don’t send him away .Let us keep him in our house.”And that decided it. Sidda was given two meals a day and four rupees a month , in return for which he washed clothes , tended the garden , ran errands , chopped wood and looked after Leela “ Sidda , come and play !” Leela would cry, and Sidda had to drop any work he might be doing and run to her , as she stood in the front garden with a red ball in her hand . His company made her supremely happy. She flung the ball at him and he flung it back. And then she said,“ Now throw the ball into the sky .” Sidda clutched the ball, closed his eyes for a second and threw the ball up . When the ball came down again, he said,“ Now this has touched the moon and come. You see here a little bit of the moon sticking.” Leela keenly examined the ball for traces of the moon and said, “ Idon’t see it.” “You must be very quick about it, “said Sidda, “Because it will all evaporate and go back to the moon . Now hurry up…” He covered the ball tightly with his fingers and allowed her to peep through a little gap. “Ah yes, said Leela. “I see the moon, but is the moon very wet?” “Certainly it is,” Sidda said. What is in the sky,Sidda?” “God,” he said. “If we stand on the roof and stretch our arms, can we touch the sky?” “ Not if we stand on the roof here,” he said . But if you stand on a coconut tree you can touch the Sky .” “Have you done it ?” asked Leela. “Yes many times,” said Sidda . “Whenever there is a big moon , I climd a coconut tree and touch it.” “Does the moon know you?” “Yes, very well .Now comes with me. I will show you something nice.” They were standing near the rose plant . He said ,pointing , “ You see the moon there, don’t you ?” “Now come with me ,” he said , and took her to the backyard. He stopped near the well and pointed up .the moon was there ,too. Leelaclapped her hands and screamed in wonder , “The moon here ! It was there !How is it.” “I have asked it to follow us about.” Leelaran in and told her mother , “Sidda know the moon .” At dusk he carried in and she held a class for him . She had a box filled with catalogues , ill ustrated books and stumps of pencils . It gave her great joy to play the teacher to Sidda . She made him squat on the floor with a pencil between his fingers and a catalogue in front of him . She had another pencil and a catalogue and commanded , “Now write.’’ And he had to try and copy whatever she wrote in the pages of her catalogue. She knew two or three letters of the alphabet and could draw a kind of and crow . But none of these could Sidda even remotely copy . She said , examining his effort “ Is this how I have drawn the crow ? Is this how I have drawn the B?” She pitied him , and redoubled her efforts to teach him . But the good fellow , though an adept at controlling the moon was utterly incapable of plying the pencil . Consequently , it looked as though Leela would keep him there , pinned to his seat till his stiff , inflexible wrist cracked . He sought relief by saying , “ I think your mother is calling you in to dinner .” Leela would drop the pencil and out of the room , and the school hour would end . After dinner Leela ran to her bed .Sidda had to be ready with a story . He sat down on the floor near the bed and told incomparable stories : of animals in the jungle, of gods in heaven , of magicians who could conjure up golden castles and fill them with little princesses and their pets …. waking hours . She was at his side when he working in the garden or chopping wood, and accompanied him when he was sent on errands . One evening he went out to buy sugar and Leela went with him .When they came home, Leela’s mother noticed that a gold chain Leela had been wearing was missing . “Where is you chain?” Leela looked into her shirt, sear5ched and said , “ I don’t know .” Her mother gave her a slap and said , “ How many times have Itold you to take it off and put it in the box?” “Sidda!Sidda !she shouted a moment later . As Sidda came in, Leela’s mother threw a glance at him and thought the fellow already looked queer . She asked him about the chain . His throat went day . He blinked and answered that he did not know. She mentioned the police and shouted at him. She had to go back into the kitchen for a moment because she had left something in the over .Leela followed her, whining, “Give me some sugar , Mother, I am hungry ,” When they came out again and called , “ Sidda , Sidda !” there was no answer. Siddahad vanished into the night . MrSivasanker came home an hour later , grew very excited over all this , went to the police station and lodged a complaint . After her meal Leela refused to go to bed . “ I won’t sleep unless Sidda comes and tells me stories . I don’t like you, Mother . you are always abusing and worrying Sidda . Why are you so rough?” “ But he hes taken away your chain ….” “ Let him. It doesn’t matter . Tell me a story .” “ Sleep, sleep,” said Mother, attempting to make her lie down on her lap . “Tell me a story, Mother,” Leela said . It was utterly impossible for her mother to think of story now . Her mind was Disturbed . The thought to think of a story Now . Her mind was disturbed . The thought of Sidda made her panicky . The fellow , with his him knowledge of the a villain she been harbouring all these day. It was God’s maercy that he hadn’t killed the child for the chain. “ Sleep, Leela, sleep,” she cajoled. “Can’t you tell the story of the elephant?” Leela asked. “No.” Leelamade a noise of deprecation andasked , Why should not Sidda sit in our chair, Mother?”Mother Didn’t answer the question. Leela said a momentIater, “ Sidda is gone because he wouldn’t be allowed to sleep inside the house just as we do. Why should he always be allowed to sleep inside the house just as we do.Why should he always be made to sleep outside the house, Mother? Ithink he is angry with us, Mother.” The time Sivasanker returned, Leela had fallen asleep .He said, “ What a risk we the time Sivsankar returned , Leela had fallen asleep. He said, “ What a risk we the time Sivasanker returned, Leela had fallen asleep. He said, “ What a risk we took in engaging that fellow. It seems he is an old criminal. He has been in jail half a dozen times for stealing jewellery from children. From the description I gave, the inspector was able to identify him in a moment,” “Where is he now?” asked the wife. “The police know his haunts. They will pick him up very soon, don’t worry. The inspector was furious that I didn’t consult him before employing him….” Four days later, just as Father was coming home from the office, a police inspector and a constable drought in Sidda. Sidda stood with bowed head. Leela was overjoyed. “ SIdda! Sidda!” she cried, and run down the steps to meet him. “ Don’t go near him,” the inspector said, stopping her. “Why not?” “He is a thief. He has thken away your gold chain.” “Let him. I will have a new chain.”Leela said, and all them laughed. And then MrSivasanker spoke to Sidda ; and then his wife addressed him with a few words on his treachery. They then asked him where he had put the chain.” “ You are not at all a reliable prosecution witness, my child.” Observed the the inspector humorously. “No, he hasn’t taken it!” Leela screamed. Her father said, “ Baby , if you don’t behave, I will be very angry with you.” Half an hour later, the inspector said to constable, Take him to the station. I think I shall have to sit with him tonight.” The constable took Sidda by the hand and turned to go. Leela run behind them crying, “ Don’t take him. Leave him here, leave him here,” She clung to Sidda’s hand. He looked at her mutely, like an animal .MrSivasanker carried Leela back into the house. Leela was in tears. Every day when MrSivasanker came home he was asked by his wife, “ Any news of jewel?” and by his daughter, ‘ Where is Sidda?” “ They still have him in the lockup, though he is very stubborn and won’t say anything about the jewel,” said MrSivasanker. “ Bah! What a rough fellow he must be! Said his wife with a shiver. “Oh, these fellows who have been in jail once or twice lose all fear. Nothing can make them confess.” A few days later putting her hand into the tamarind pot in the kitchen, Leela’s mother picked up the chain. She took it the tap and washed off the coating of tamarind on in. It was unmistakably Leela’s chain. When it was shown to her, Leela said, “ Give it here. I want to wear the chain.” How did it get into the tamarind pot?” Mother asked. “Somehow,” replied Leela. “ Did you put it in?” asked Mother. “Yes.” “ When?” “ Long ago, the other day.” “Why didn’t you say so before?” “I don’t know,” said Leela. When Father came home and was told, he said, “ The child must not have any chain hereafter. Didn’t I tell you that I saw her carrying it in her hand once or twice? She must have dropped into the pot sometime … And all this bother on account of her.” “ What about Sidda?” asked Mother. “I will tell the inspector tomorrow … in any case, we couldn’t have kept a criminal like him in the house.”

Short Question and Answer

M.C.Q of the Poem

Long Question And Answer

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