The chapter “Lalajee” is Short Story 5 taken from Tulip Series English Book 7 for students of Class 7th from JKBOSE. The story is written by a British hunter, naturalist, and author Jim Corbett. This post is precisely about Lalajee Class 7 Line by Line Explanation. In my last post, you read about Question Answers of Short Story Lalajee. Let’s get started with today’s post:
Lalajee Class 7 Line by Line Explanation
The Chapter “Lalajee” is written by a British hunter and author Jim Corbett who met a stranger. He was suffering from cholera and the author helped him in his illness. The stranger a merchant one-time flourished grain businessman. but later he was cheated on by his partner. The author helped him in starting his business and he became a successful businessman once again.
Detailed Explanation of Short Story 5 Lalajee
I met a strange person at the foot of the gangway when he disembarked the steamer at Samaria Ghat. It was the mango season, the hottest time of the year when cholera is always at its worst. When the man passed me at the foot of the gangway, I suspected he was suffering from cholera, and my suspicions were confirmed when I saw him being violently sick. In reply to my questions, the man said he was travelling alone and had no friends at Mokameh Ghat, so I helped him to his feet and led him to the two hundred yards that separated my bungalow from the Ganges. Then I made him comfortable in my punkah coolie’s house, which was empty, and detached from the servant’s quarters.
Explanation: The author of the story met an unknown person on the bank of Ganga at Samaria Ghat. It was mango season, the hottest time of the year and cholera used to spread at that time of the year. When that unknown person went past the author, he suspected him to be suffering from cholera and he was true. The stranger told the author that he was travelling alone and had no friends of his there. The author took him to his bungalow. He made him comfortable in his punkah coolie’s house, which was empty, and separate from the servant’s quarters.
I had been at Mokameh Ghat for ten years, employing a large labour force. Some of the people lived under my supervision in houses provided by me. I had seen enough cholera among my people and the villagers.
Explanation: The author of the story had been serving at Mokameh Ghat for ten years and had employed a large force there. Some people would live under his supervision in the houses provided by him. He had seen cholera abrupt every year among his own people and villagers for so many years now.
Few will agree with me that of the tens of thousands of people reported as having died of cholera each year at least half die not of cholera but of fear. We who live in India, as distinct from those who visit the country for a longer or shorter period, are fatalists, believing that a man cannot die before his allotted time. This, however, does not mean that we are indifferent to epidemic diseases. Cholera is dreaded throughout the land, and when it comes in the epidemic form as many die of stark fear as die of the actual disease.
Explanation: The author believed that half of the people that died in the cholera epidemic every year died due to fear, not due to disease but only a few people agree with it. The people in India were having a strong belief that life and death of human beings are in the hands of God and no one can die before the allotted time. But the author said that it does not immune them to diseases like cholera and so when the disease spread in an epidemic form several thousand died out of fear.
There was no question that the man in my punkah coolie’s house was suffering from a bad attack of cholera. If he were to survive, his faith and my crude treatment alone would pull him through, for the only medical aid within miles was a brute of a doctor, as callous as he was inefficient.
Explanation: The stranger whom the author had made to stay in his punkah coolie’s house was also suffering from cholera and the author felt if he were to survive it was only due to his willpower, faith in himself and crude treatment of author. It was because there was no better health facility for miles in that area.
I could not spare much time to ‘nurse the thin man for I already had three cholera patients on my hands. From my servants, I could expect no help, for they were of a different caste to the sufferer, and further, there was no justification for exposing them to the risk of infection. However, this did not matter, provided I could instil sufficient confidence into the man that my treatment was going to make him well. To this end, I made it very clear to him that I had not brought him into my compound to die and to give me the trouble of cremating him but to make him well, and that it was only with his co-operation that this could be affected.
Explanation: The author did not have much time to take care of the stranger because he had already three cholera patients to take care of and he could not expect much from his servants. It is because they behave differently from the sufferers also, they may also face the risk of infection while taking care of Lalajee (stranger). But author felt that their care did not matter if the author could fill the confidence in the stranger that his treatment will make alright. He boosted his confidence by making it clear to the stranger that he had brought him to his compound to cure his illness and not let him die and give himself the trouble of cremating him. He further said that he needs his cooperation to cure his illness.
That first night I feared that in spite of our joint efforts he would die, but towards morning he rallied and from then on his condition continued to improve and all that remained to be done was to build up his strength, which cholera drains out of the human body more quickly than any other disease. At the end of a week, he was able to give me his story.
Explanation: During the first night, the author was afraid of his death despite their joint effort to cure him but as the morning approached the author felt him getting stronger and better and after that, his condition improved. He has become so weak due to disease and needs to build up his strength. The author helped him with energy-rich foods and medicines and within one week he was able to narrate his story to the author.
He was a Lala, a merchant, and at one time possessed a flourishing grain business. Then he made the mistake of taking as a partner a man about whom he knew nothing. For a few years, the business prospered and all went well, but one day when he returned from a long journey, he found the shop empty, and his partner gone. The little money in his possession was only sufficient to meet his personal debts and bereft of credit he had to seek employment. This he found with a merchant with whom he had traded, and for ten years he had worked on seven rupees a month, which was only sufficient to support himself and his son – his wife having died shortly after his partner robbed him. He was on his way from Muzaffarpur to Gaya, on his master’s business, when he was taken ill on the train. As he got worse on board the ferry steamer, he crawled ashore to die on the banks of the sacred Ganges.
Explanation: The stranger was ‘Lala’ a one-time established businessman with having flourishing grain business. He made a mistake by making an unknown person his partner. Things were nice for a few years and their business flourished but one day when he returned from a long journey, he found the shop empty and his partner had left. He had cheated Lala and Lala had little money in his possession with which he paid his personal debit and due to a shortage of money he had to look for a job. He had found a job with one merchant whom he had traded in the past and he had worked with him for ten at the wage f rupees 7 a month which hardly meets the need of him and his son. His wife died shortly after his partner cheated on him. He (Lala) was going from Muzaffarpur to Gaya for the business of his master and fell ill on the train. When things got worse, he ferries a steamer and came to the bank of sacred Ganga to die.
Lalajee — I never knew him by any other name–stayed with me for about a month, and then one day he requested permission to continue his journey to Gaya. The request was made as we were walking through the sheds, for Lalajee was strong enough now to accompany me for a short distance each morning when I set out for work. When I asked him what he would do if on arrival at Gaya he found his master had filled his place, he said he would try to find other employment. “Why not try to get someone to help you to be a merchant again?” I asked; and he replied: “The thought of being a merchant once again, and able to educate my son, is with me night and day, Sahib, but there is no one in all the world who would trust me, a servant on seven rupees a month and without any security to offer, with the five hundred rupees I should need to give me a new start.”
Explanation: He (Lalajee) stayed with the author for about one month and when his health got better, one day he seeks permission from the author to continue his journey to Gaya. Lalajee requested it when they were walking through the sheds because now Lalajee was strong enough to accompany him for a short distance every morning when he went to work. The author asked him what will he do if he found that his master had replaced him. He replied that he will look for a new source of employment. He asked him why he did not try to get financial help from someone and become a merchant once again. Lalajee replied that wanted to become a merchant at any cost but nobody was trusting him and he needed at least five hundred rupees to start his business once again.
The train for Gaya left at 8 p. m. and when that evening I returned to the bungalow a little before that hour, I found Lalajee with freshly washed clothes, and a bundle in his hand, a little bigger than the one he had arrived with, waiting in the veranda to say goodbye to me. When I put a ticket for Ġaya and five one-hundred-rupee notes into his hand, his grim face kept glancing, until the bell that warned passengers the train would leave in five minutes rang. Then, putting his head on my feet, he said: “Within one year your slave will return you this money.”
Explanation: The train for Gaya would leave at 8:00 PM and the author returned to his bungalow at about 7:00 PM that evening. When he reached his bungalow, he found Lalajee was dressed up and ready to leave and was just waiting for him to say goodbye. The author then gave Lalajee a train ticket for Gaya and a five hundred rupee note and receiving it Lalajee kept looking at the author till the warning bell of the train rang which mean that train was about to leave in 5 minutes. Lalajee thanked him by putting his head on the author’s feet and said that he will refund the amount within one year.
And so Lalajee left me, taking with him the greater part of my savings. That I would see him again I never doubted, for the poor of India never forget a kindness but the promise Lalajee had made was, I felt sure, beyond his powers of accomplishment. In this I was wrong, for returning late one evening I saw a man dressed in spotless white standing on my veranda: The light from the room behind him was in my eyes, and I did not recognise him until he spoke. It was Lalajee, come a few days before the expiry of the time limit, he had set himself. That night as he sat on the floor near my chair, he told me of his trading transactions and the success that had attended them. Starting with a few bags of grain and being content with a profit of only four annas per bag he had gradually, and steadily, built up his business until he was able to deal in consignments up to thirty tons in weight, on which he was making a profit of three rupees per ton. His son was in a good school, and as he could now afford to keep a wife, he had married the daughter of a rich merchant of Patna; all this he had accomplished in a little under twelve months. As the time drew near for his train to leave, he laid five one-hundred-rupee notes on my knee. Then, he took a bag from his pocket, held it out to me and said, “This is the interest calculated at twenty-five per cent, that I owe you on the money you lent me.” I believe I deprived him of half the pleasure he had anticipated from his visit when I told him it was not our custom to accept interest from our friends.
Explanation: Lalajee left for Gaya taking the major part of the author’s savings. He did not doubt whether he would see him again in the future or not because he knew that the people of India never forget the kindness but he feels that the promise that the author had made was way far from his power of accomplishment. Lalajee proved the author wrong in this case and he returned to the author before the expiry of the time limit, he had set himself. He told the author the whole story of how he started his business and became a successful businessman again. He had married the daughter of a rich merchant of Patna. Before leaving Lalajee put a five hundred rupee note on the author’s knee. He also tried to pay interest for the amount but the author did not accept it saying that it was not their custom to accept interest from their friends.
Before leaving me Lalajee said, “During the month I stayed with you I had talks with your servants, and with your workmen, and I learnt from them that there was a time when you were reduced to one chapati and a little dal. If such a time should ever come again, which God forbid, your slave will place all that he has at your feet.”
Explanation: He told Lalajee that during the month he stayed with him he came to know from his servants and workmen that there was a time when the author was reduced to one chapati and a little dal. Lalajee told the author if such a time should come again in his life, he will place all that he had on the author’s feet.
Until I left Mokameh Ghat, eleven years later, I received each year a big basket of the choicest mangoes from Lalajee’s garden, for he attained his ambition of becoming a merchant once again, and returned to the home he had left when his partner robbed him.
Explanation: After that, till he left the Mokameh Ghat i.e eleven years later every year he would receive a big basket of best mangoes from Lalajee’s garden because it was due to the author that Lalajee had become a merchant once again and returned to the home he had left when his partner had robbed him in business.
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