Gandhi Quiz


Scared Speechless!

Savitribai was a frail, old lady who lived peacefully in a quiet little town with her retired husband, Ratanlal. Sometimes, their two grandchildren came to visit them, bringing a whiff of liveliness into the old couple's otherwise humdrum existence.
One evening, Savitribai sat alone on the verandah of her secluded two-storey bungalow wondering when she would see her beloved grandchildren again when Ratanlal joined her, remarking lightly, "It's a nice, dewy night." He sensed his wife's unusual silence and said, "You seem tired, my dear. I think you need to sleep." He took her hand and led her inside as she suppressed a laugh. Her husband always assumed that he knew everything and he seldom stopped to take her opinion. For instance, right now she wasn't remotely tired, yet he was putting her to sleep. Nevertheless, she allowed her know-it-all husband to tuck her in and turn off the lights. She lay in bed thinking of her grandchildren for a long time before sleep claimed her consciousness.
It was a little after midnight when Savitribai awoke, feeling thirsty. She got out of bed soundlessly, careful not to wake her sleeping husband. On her way to the kitchen, something strange caught her eye- the doors of her cupboard stood wide open! She squinted in the dark to have a better look and was shocked to see a figure emerge from the shadows. In the dim moonlight, she saw that the figure belonged to a heavily-built, masked burglar carrying a sack- probably filled with all that he had taken from her cupboard.
Suddenly, as if he had sensed her presence, the burglar looked around. Their eyes met and he froze. Savitribai tried to scream, but no sound came out of her lips- she felt paralyzed with fear. The burglar soon recovered his senses and dashed towards the open bedroom window. Savitribai followed him, still unable to speak. With one cat-like leap, he caught hold of the water pipe adjoining the window and slid deftly to the ground. He looked up, gave her a parting salute and disappeared into the bushes, thanking his lucky stars that the batty old lady was really dumb.
In a desperate effort to raise an alarm, Savitribai managed to let out a feeble croak. Ratanlal awoke almost immediately and spotted his wife leaning out of the window. He went to her and asked anxiously, "Are you feeling okay?" Savitribai merely looked at him and then looked outside, making odd little gulping sounds. Ratanlal looked concerned, "What is it, dear? No, wait- I know- you are feeling nauseous, aren't you? Stay where you are, I will get some water for you." He passed the open cupboard without a second thought and entered the kitchen, shaking his head and muttering to himself, "I really shouldn't have given her that extra gulabjamun during dinner tonight."
He was soon back by his wife's side who was still agitatedly croaking and pointing outside the window. "There, there," said Ratanlal soothingly, "It's alright. We can't go outside at this hour- you'd better relieve yourself here." He made her drink the water and then proceeded to rub her back to curb her 'nausea'.
After a while, Savitribai gave up trying to speak knowing that the thief would be miles away by now. She slumped against the windowsill and her husband, thinking that she was feeling better, led her back to bed. He gave her a comforting pat on her hand and commented cheerfully, "I'm glad you didn't throw up after all, my dear. The gulabjamuns were really too delicious to be wasted like that...."

-Dolly Pahlajani

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