English  Easy Winner

 English notes for the +1 and +2 students of  J.J.M.M.H.S.S. Yendayar

+ 1 Lessons

 

+ 2 Lessons

 

 

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Karma

Sir Mohan Lal looked in the mirror of the first class waiting room. The mirror was made in India. The red oxide at its back had come off at many places. So Mohanlal tells the mirror that it is like many other things in the country, inefficient, dirty and indifferent. The mirror replies him aying that he is distinguished, efficient and hand­some. He has a neatly trimmed moustache, fine suit with the carnation in the button hole, the aroma of fine perfume, powder and soap all about him. After adjusting his Balliol (Oxford) tie, he sat down. He orders a 'small' as there was still time for the train.

Outside the waiting room, Lachmi, Mohanlal's wife, sat on grey steel trunk chewing betel leaf and fanning herself with a newspaper. She was fat and short and in her middle 40s. She wore a dirty white sari. On her nose she had a diamond ring. She had several gold bangles on her arms. She calls a coolie and asks him where the ladies' compartment stops. He says it stops at the end of the platform.

The coolie carries the trunk to the end of the platform. Lady Lal picks up her brass tiffin carrier. On the way she buys more betel leaves. When the coolie deposits the trunk, she sits on it and asks him, whether the trains are crowded. The coolie says they are crowded but the ladies' compartment will have seats. She wants to eat the food. She has some chapatties and mango pickle. As she ate, the coolie sat oppo­site. He asks her if she is travelling alone. She says she is with her hus­band. But he travels first class. He is a big man and a barrister. He meets ' so many officers and Englishmen. She is a only a native woman whocan't understand English and their ways. So she travels in the ladies' compartment.

She liked to gossip. But there was nobody to talk to at home. Her husband did not have any time for her. She lived in the upper storey and he lived on the ground floor. He did not like her poor relatives and so they never came. On some nights he visited her and talked to her in his anglicized Hindi. They did not have any children.

The train was about to come. Lady Lal finished her meal, but continued licking the stone of the pickled mango. She gave a loud belch and went to the public tap to wash. She dried her mouth and her hands at the end of the sari. When the train came, there was nobody in the ladies' compartment. She sat near a window. She gave two anna to the coolie. She made her pan and it filled her mouth. She sat and watched the crowd on the platform.

Even when the train came, Sir Mohan Lal was cool. Excite­ment, bustle and hurry were signs of bad bringing up. He spent five years abroad and he picked up the attitudes of the upper classes. He even spoke Hindustani like an English man. He could talk on any subject and his English was excellent. He was happy to hear English people saying that he spoke like an Englishman.

Sir Mohan wondered if would be alone in the first class com­partment. He never showed any sign of eagerness to talk to the English as most Indians did. He was also not loud, aggressive and opinionated like other Indians. He would take 'The Times', fold it in such a way that the name was visible to others, and he did the crossword puzzle. Some­one would like to borrow it, when he put it aside. Someone would rec­ognize his Balliol tie. That would lead him to talk about Oxford colleges, masters, dons, tutors, boat races and rugby matches. If the Paper and the tie failed to attract anybody he would get a Scotch. Whiskey never failed an Englishman. Then he would bring out his gold cigarette case with English cigarettes. He would gladly give away a cigarette for getting an opportunity to talk about the good old days. His five years in England were more than the 45 years in India with his dirty, vulgar countrymen and the fat old Lachmi who smelled of sweat and raw onions.

His luggage was deposited in the first class coupe. The compartment was empty. As he sat with an old copy of The Times, he looked out. He saw two English soldiers coming along, looking into all the compartments for a place. Sir Mohan wanted to welcome them, even though they were entitled to travel only second class. He would speak to the guard.     

One of the soldiers came to the last compartment and looked into it. He called his companion Bill. Bill looked at Sir Mohan and told his friend, "Get the nigger out". They opened the door. Sir Mohan was half protesting and half smiling. 'Reserved,' shouted Bill. 'Janata - Reserved, Army - Fauj,' shouted Jim, pointing to his khakhi shirt. He asked Sir Mohan to get out. Sir Mohan protested in his Oxford accent The sol­diers were drunk. The engine whistled and the guard waved his green flag.

They picked up Sir Mohan's suitcase and threw it on to the platform. They also threw his thermos-flask, bedding and The Times. Sir Mohan was angry. He shouted 'preposterous' and said he would get the soldiers arrested. He called 'Guard, guard'. Jim slapped Sir Mohan ask­ing him to keep his mouth shut. The train began to move, The soldiers caught Sir Mohan by the arms the threw him out of the train. He reeled back, tripped on his bedding, and fell on the suitcase. He lost his speech. He stared at the lighted windows on the train going past him. The tail end of the train came with its red light and the guard standing in the open doorway with the flags in his hands.

In the ladies' compartment was Lachmi. Her mouth was full of betel saliva which she had been storing to spit as the train had cleared the station. As the train cleared the platform, she spat out a Jet of red saliva