Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Child's return - English story - improve reading skills


     THE CHILD’S RETURN
         (Adapted from ‘The Child’s Return’
         written by Rabindranath Tagore)

 Raicharan was twelve years old when he came as a servant to
his master’s house. He was given his master’s little son to be looked
after. As time went on, the boy Anukul grew up, got a degree in
law and joined the judicial service. Then he got married and had a
boy baby. Raicharan, with his total loyalty, earned the love of the
child and the confidence of Anukul’s wife

Presently the child was able to crawl and venture outside the  house. Raicharan was amazed at the child calling his father Ba-ba and his mother Ma-ma and Raicharan Chan-na. He enjoyed playing with the child. About this time, Anukul was transferred to a district on the banks of the river Padma. He took charge of the boy and had great pride in taking him out.
Then came the rainy season. The flooded river Padma swallowed villages and cornfields. After a few days the rain stopped and it was cool and bright. The boy climbed into the go-cart for a ride. There was absolute silence on the bank of the river. Suddenly the boy pointed the Kadamba tree in front of him and cried – ‘Chan-na, Pitty fow!’
Raicharan sensing the danger of crossing the mud, tried to divert the child’s attention but it was in vain. He warned the child not to get out of the go-cart. After plucking a handful of flowers, Raicharan reached the go-cart and found it empty. He looked all around but the child was not to be found anywhere. Raicharan froze in fear. He cried, “Master, Little Master,” but no voice answered ‘Chan-na’.
As the evening crept on, Anukul’s mistress became very anxious. She sent people everywhere to search for Raicharan and the baby but they could find only Raicharan. Besides the opinion that the Padma had swallowed the child, there was suspicion over the gypsies around the village. But the mother suspected that Raicharan might have taken away her son. Anukul persuaded her not to suspect Raicharan. Yet Raicharan was dismissed.
Raicharan went back to the village of his birth and joined hiswife. After a year his wife gave birth to a son and died. He felt that it had come as a usurper in place of the little master. He thought it would be an offence to be happy with a son of his own after what had happened to his master’s little child. Every action of his son, Phailna, reminded him of his master’s child. He was constantly reminded of the accusation of Anukul’s wife. He firmly believed that Anukul’s son had been reborn in his house.

He began to bring him up as if he were the son of a rich man. He sold his small piece of land and went to Calcutta. He found employment as a servant and sent Phailna to school. He was determined to give the best to him. Meanwhile he himself lived on a mere handful of rice.

Twelve years passed by. He became incompetent at his work and decided to go to Anukul’s place. When he went there he found Anukul’s wife still grieving over the lost child. Anukul was ready to take him back as a servant but his wife was not prepared to forgive him. He decided to bring back happiness to Anukul and his wife by informing them that the child was still alive. He made a false confession, “It was not the Padma that stole your baby. It was I. He is with me. I’ll bring him the day after tomorrow”.

As promised he brought Phailna to them. Anukul’s wife, without questioning his identity, took the boy into her arms and was wild with excitement. Though Anukul brimmed over with a sudden gush of affection, he asked for proof. Raicharan only replied, “It was not I that did it. It was God. It was my fate.” Though Phailna was angry initially for having been denied his noble birthright, probably he wanted to be grateful and asked his father to forgive   Raicharan and recommended a monthly pension.

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