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One day, the lovers of new fashion decided to play a game of hockey. The idea was suggested by those who liked hockey. After all, the sport required skill; why not display this skill? A good performance in the game, perhaps, might do the trick. The game started, and the ball began to be knocked around like an apprentice in an office.
Hockey was a strange sport in the principality of Deogarh. The educated people played serious games like chess and cards. They felt that games that involved running and jumping were for children to play.
The game continued with great excitement. When the attackers rushed into the rival team's territory to score a goal, it seemed as if a massive wave was surging forward. But the defenders also stopped this wave as if they were an iron wall.
This situation continued till the evening. The players were drenched in sweat, their eyes and faces were puffed up, and they were panting for breath. But neither team had managed to score a goal.
Dusk had fallen. A short distance away from the ground was a shallow nullah without a bridge over it. Pedestrians had to walk through the nullah to cross over to the other side. The hockey game ended, and the players were resting to catch their breath. Just then, a farmer in a cart loaded with grains arrived at the nullah. There was mud in the nullah, and it was also somewhat at a higher level. The farmer's cart could not climb up. The farmer sometimes exhorted his oxen and sometimes pushed the wheels of the cart with his hands. But the cargo was heavy and the oxen weak. The cart could not move forward; even if it did climb up a little, it would soon roll down. The farmer kept trying his strength, and he hit the oxen in frustration. But the cart refused to budge. The poor fellow looked around in hopelessness but could find no assistance.
He could not go away, leaving the cart there. He was in deep trouble. Meanwhile, the players, with hockey sticks in their hands, passed him. They leisurely made their way to their rooms. The farmer looked at them hopefully but could not muster up the courage to ask for help. The players also looked at him but with unseeing eyes. Their eyes held no sympathy. The eyes had selfishness and arrogance but not a trace of compassion.
But one person among the players had courage and compassion in his heart. While playing hockey, he had injured his leg. He walked slowly with a limp. He caught sight of the cart and stopped. One look at the farmer was enough to tell the injured hockey player what the matter was. He kept his hockey stick aside. He removed his jersey, and going up to the farmer, asked him, "May I help you pull your cart?"
The farmer looked at the strong and tall man before him and bowed his head.
"Sir, how can I ask you to do such a thing?"
The young man said, "It seems you have been stuck here for a long time. Climb into the cart and manage the oxen while I push the wheels; the cart will get on top within moments."
The farmer got into the cart, and the youth pushed a wheel with all his strength. The ground was very muddy, and the young man's legs sank into the mud up to the knees, but he did not give up. He once again pushed the wheel, and the farmer urged the oxen to move. The oxen, finding support, picked up the courage. They bent their shoulders and pulled the cart with all their power, and the cart was atop the nullah.
The farmer stood before the young man with folded hands.
"Sir, you rescued me from great trouble today; I would have had to spend the night here if you had not helped me."
The young man laughed and said in jest, "Would you like to reward me?"
"If God wishes, the dewan's post will be yours," the farmer said gravely.
The youth looked intently at the farmer; he had a sneaking suspicion that the man before him was Sujan Singh. The voice matched, and the face was also quite similar.
The farmer also looked at the youth with piercing eyes. Perhaps, he could guess the doubt that had crept in the young man's mind. He smiled and said, "You have to dive into deep waters to find a pearl."
The period of one month was over. It was now time to announce the name of the selected candidate. There was great excitement among the candidates since morning to know what fate held in store for them. Time seemed to crawl. There was hope or despair on every face. No one could say whose fate would shine today; no one could say whom Goddess Laxmi would bless.
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