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After finishing his meals, Shrikanth went to Anandi. She was sitting in the room with suppressed emotions; he, too, was in somewhat a bitter mood.
"How are you? Are you happy?" Anandi asked him.
"I am very happy; but what storm have you raised in the house these days?" Shrikanth said.
Anandi burned in rage. "If I lay my hands on the person who has instigated you, I will burn his face," she said.
Shrikanth: Why are you getting so angry? Tell me what happened.
Anandi: What can I say? This is my fate; otherwise, an illiterate fellow, who is not fit to work even as a peon, would not strut about after hitting me with his sandals.
Shrikanth: Tell me everything clearly; I know nothing.
Anandi: Your dear brother asked me to cook meat for him day before yesterday. There was hardly a quarter kilo ghee, and I used the whole of it to cook the meat. When he sat down to eat, he wanted to know why there was no ghee in the lentils. When I explained, he began to say unkind things about my parental home. I could not tolerate the insults and retorted that a quarter kilo ghee is consumed by barbers and water-bearers in my parental home, and no one keeps an account of it. At this, the unjust man hurled his sandal at me. Fortunately, I could ward off the sandal with my hands, else it would have severely injured me on the head. Go and ask him whether there is even the smallest lie in what I have said.
Shrikanth's eyes were bloodshot with anger. "So much has happened! What impudence!"
As is the nature of women, Anandi burst into tears; tears are ever present in their eyes. Shrikanth was a patient and calm person; rarely did anger get the better of him. But a woman's tears inflame a man's anger. He couldn't sleep well that night. In the morning he went to his father and said, "Father, I cannot live in this house any longer."
Shrikanth Singh, an ardent advocate of the joint family system, had on many occasions chided his friends who had wished to sever ties with their parents. But today, unfortunately, he was proposing exactly the same thing in a flagrant sacrifice of his principles! It is so simple to preach others!
"Why?" Benimadhav Singh was shocked.
Shrikanth: Because I too care a little about my prestige and honour. Your home is getting polluted with injustice and waywardness. Those who ought to show respect to elders care nothing for such etiquettes. I am employed elsewhere and remain away from home; behind my back, sandals and shoes are hurled at women. I don't mind if angry words are exchanged .... I can tolerate that; but I cannot suffer physical assaults on my person.
Benimadhav Singh could find no words to reply. Shrikanth had always respected him. The old thakur was dumb-founded at his son's anger. He only said, "Son, you are sensible but how can you talk like this? Women destroy homes; it isn't wise to give them a free hand."
Shrikanth: I know that; owing to your blessings I am no fool. You know that my advice has helped many homes in this village from breaking up. But I cannot tolerate unjust and inhuman behaviour towards the woman whose honour I have pledged to safeguard before god. Believe me, it is no mean thing for me to let Lalbihari go unpunished.
Now Benimadhav too was angry; he couldn't hear such talk. He said, "Lalbihari is your brother; if he errs you have every right to box his ears, but ......"
Shrikanth: I don't regard Lalbihari as my brother.
Benimadhav Singh: Because of your wife?
Shrikanth: No, not for that reason, but for his cruelty and lack of wisdom.
Father and son remained silent for quite some time. Thakur saheb wanted to pacify Shrikanth, but at the same time he did not wish to admit that Lalbihari had committed any wrong.
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu