Gandhi Quiz


The Guru

It was a cold December morning. Ten year old Shankar was peeping out of his room's window, wondering what to do to amuse himself. His Christmas holidays had started and most of his close friends were out of town. Shankar felt very bored. What to do? Mom did not allow him to go outside to play on such a cold and foggy day.
"You'll catch cold which would result in high fever..." she had forbidden as always when he asked for her permission and at home, Daddy didn't allow him much of T.V and computer. He always insisted on books. He often said, "Try to read at least ten pages a day other than your course books. Books are our best friends."
But Shankar finds it a boring business. How can one just sit at one place and read? Even if he could, he would have banned all the books and more preferably, would have closed all the schools forever. He did not like going to school. He only liked to play, chat with his friends and watch action movies. He often thought, "What a wonderful place this world would have been if there were no schools to go to and no books to read!".
He was thinking of the various plans to be carried out during the holidays, when he heard someone knocking at the door. Mother was busy in the kitchen so Shankar had to go to see who was there at the door. When he opened the door, he was shocked to see a boy of his own age, standing there half-naked, shivering with cold. He also seemed to be hungry since ages as his stomach was almost touching his back. Shankar stood there for some moments, unable to speak. How could anybody bear such cold without proper clothes? Shankar regained his senses only when the boy asked him for some food.
Horrified at his condition, Shankar at once ran inside to fetch some food from his mother. On hearing a quick description of the poor boy, mom herself brought some food and few old clothes of Shankar.
Shankar was hiding behind his mother, watching the poor chap with interest. The boy seemed very content after eating and wearing Shankar's old clothes. Now Shankar couldn't resist the urge of asking about him.
The boy, whose name was Chhotu, lived in the nearby slum area with his widow mother and a baby sister.
"Mummy, may I chat with him for some more time?" Mother nodded when Shankar asked her. He felt very pleased. At least he had got somebody to spend a little time with on such a dull day.
He came to know that Chhotu's father died of tuberculosis last year and his mother was a maid in some houses of their locality. She had been ill for two days and so couldn't cook for the children. They even did not have enough clothes. In such circumstances, he had no other option but to move out in the same way for some food.
Shankar was also amazed to know that despite living in poor condition, Chhotu studied in the government school and was very determined to become a doctor someday. Then he would be able to provide her mother and sister with all the comforts of life. He had also planned to provide free treatments and medicines, so that no other poor should die of illness as his father did.
"Bhaiya, can you please give me your old books and some story books too, if possible?", Chhotu pleaded. "I love reading. I want to learn as much as I can because only then I shall be able to get whatever I want to achieve in my life." Shankar was spell bound for a moment. What an amazing boy he was! Wanted to study when he had the excuse of poverty for not going to school! Wanted to become something just to bring happiness in the lives of his beloved ones and also the other people of the society!
As Chhotu found no response on Shankar's side, he turned back to leave, feeling disappointed. But Shankar held his hand. When he looked back, he saw that Shankar's eyes were gleaming. He just gave Chhotu a tight hug and ran inside to fetch some books for this little fellow, who was still trying to overcome the shock of that unexpected hug.
From that day, even till now, whenever somebody asks Shankar the reason of his sudden increased interest and improvement in his studies, he just answers back with the same gleam of his eyes, "The credit for this goes to my GURU..."

Priyanka Gupta

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