Volume 5 - Issue 11
SHIRDI SAI PARTHI SAI
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ACT X SCENE 4
A few years pass. Sathya is now a bit older. The scene is Venkama Raju’s house in Puttaparthi. Seshama Raju has finished his work in Kamalpuram and has now moved on to Uravakonda. The members of the family are discussing what to do about Sathya.
VENKAMA RAJU [to Easwaramma]: Easwari, our Seshama has been transferred to Uravakonda, and soon he will go there. It is good for Sathyam also to go there and continue His studies. That is the only way open. What do you say?
EASWARAMMA: What am I to say? ….. You have already declared that it is good and the only way open.
VENKAMA RAJU: Easwari, you don’t seem to like the idea.
EASWARAMMA: I don’t know….I just don’t understand anything ……You first sent Him to Kamalapuram for study; and now you are saying Uravakonda. …..I only know that my child will be away from me, and that is causing me pain. Other than that, I’ve nothing to say. Who can understand a mother’s anguish!
Seshama Raju enters
SESHAMA RAJU: Have no worry, mother. Sathyam will be with me and study under my care. Will not the elder brother feel responsible and be concerned about the welfare of his younger brother?
EASWARAMMA: Did I not send him to Kamalapuram, believing you would be responsible?
SESHAMA RAJU: Why then are you having doubts now about Uravakonda?
EASWARAMMA: Seshama, it is not a question of doubts or hesitation……. I simply ask: Should a small boy have to go to so many places just to study?
SESHAMA RAJU: Mother, one must go where opportunities for study are available. It is my responsibility to see that Sathyam is properly educated. Just leave it to me and stop worrying.
VENKAMA RAJU: Seshama, as you say.
EASWARAMMA: Seshama, look for a house with good water supply!
SESHAMA RAJU: Mother, did I not tell you before that water scarcity was a problem with those other places? Tomorrow when I go to Uravakonda, my first priority to would be to look for a proper house, OK? ….. Grandfather, why don’t you also come with us to Uravakonda?
KONDAMA RAJU: Me? If you wish, you can come and see me here whenever you feel like it! For me, Puttaparthi is the entire Universe. ….. What do You say Sathyam?
SATHYA: Not only for you, grandfather! No matter where I go, in the end I shall come back to Puttaparthi. Not only for Me but for one and all, this place is the entire Universe.
Sathya goes to Uravakonda with His elder brother Seshama Raju. He is admitted to the High School there.
The scene is the School Assembly that takes place before the classes commence. All the students are assembled there.
The Head Master of the School asks Sathya to lead them all in prayer.
HEAD MASTER: Students, we are reassembling after vacation for school commencement.
We will start with a prayer song by Sathya Narayana Raju, a smart boy from the Kamalapuram High School who has now joined us. Sathyam, come here and sing the prayer song.
Sathya sings, and His singing is greeted with loud applause.
TEACHER: What a wonderful song! My boy, who wrote it? Is it Rabindranath Tagore?
SATHYA: No Master, I wrote it.
TEACHER: You wrote it! Such pure Sanskrit and at such a small age? Amazing! What beautiful lyrics, and how melodiously you sang! Very good, very good.
HEAD MASTER: Students, this small song explains beautifully the concept of National Integration, as also Universal Love and Brotherhood. That is Sathyam’s greatness! From now on, Sathyam will lead the prayer sessions every day. Today’s session is over, and you may now go to your respective classes.
The scene is Seshama Raju’s house in Uravakonda. Sathya is at home. The new academic year has just commenced, and Seshama brings new notebooks for Sathya.
SESHAMA: Sathyam, …..Sathyam, Here are Your notebooks. This one is for English, this one for Telugu, this for composition, this for mathematics, and this for rough work. When did they say they will give the text books?
SATHYA: In another two or three days.
SUSEELA [to husband]: You are just too much! This is only the first day, and He has just returned from attending a new School. Why talk books and lessons so soon?
SESHAMA RAJU: Suseela, why does one go to School? Is it not for study? So, what’s wrong with my asking these questions? …[to Sathya] Well, have they started the lessons?
SATHYA: Today, we had Telugu and geography lessons.
SESHAMA: Very good. Are You paying proper attention to the lessons, or are You thinking about poems and songs?
SATHYA: I listen carefully in the class. And brother, I sang the prayer song. The Head Master liked it very much and has asked Me to sing the prayer song everyday. The Telugu Teacher asked Me who wrote the song.
SESHAMA: Who wrote the song?
SATHYA: I wrote it.
SESHAMA: Fits in! …… That’s why I keep on stressing that what You need are not songs, poems and prayer but study. Study is most important; concentrate on that!
SUSEELA: Sathyam, what’s that prayer song? Sing it once.
SESHAMA: Very good! You sang very well.
SUSEELA: My dear boy, the song is very nice!
SESHAMA: In addition to singing, concentrate also on Your studies. Mother and Father have entrusted You to my care. Therefore, study hard and make sure I get a good name!
SATHYA: Have no fear, brother. In days to come You will know more about Me, and then you will recognise Who exactly I am.
SESHAMA: I don’t want words but action!
SATHYA: You will see for yourself!
Sathya’s class in the Uravakonda High School.
TEACHER: Among the Nations of the world, our sacred land of Bharat has a unique place. Our culture and strict adherence to moral values have earned great fame for the country. You must speak in English about the greatness of Bharat. Can you explain the geographical greatness of our country? English only. Who will do it? You Suresh, ….. Gafar Khan, …… Krishna Rao, ……..Ramesh, …..Ramesh,…Subba Reddy, ….Bangaru…..Sit down, you useless fellows! Is there no one who can say what I want in English?
SATHYA: I can explain, sir.
SATHYA: [Speaks in English].
TEACHER: Very good! Did you notice how beautifully Sathyam spoke? And you, all of you are absolutely useless! Teaching you is like making an offering to stone. Yesterday, I wore my throat out, teaching you that lesson; and today, when I ask you to repeat it, you are all standing like flag-posts! …. I know how to punish all of you….Sathyam, come here….. Look, squeeze the nose tight with Your left hand, and slap hard on the cheek with Your right. They will not get any sense till they are punished…….. Why this stony stare? These are Your teacher’s orders; go ahead and do as told.
Teacher calls out the serial number of the students, while Sathya pretends to punish. This makes the teacher angry.
TEACHER [to Sathya]: What’s the meaning of this? When I tell You to slap, You are patting their cheeks as if You are applying sandal paste! Don’t You know how to slap? … Come, I’ll show You…COME HERE!
Teacher repeatedly slaps Sathya very hard.
TEACHER: This way, this way, this way, this way! ………It is a student’s duty to obey the Teacher’s command, understand? Now go and sit in Your place.
The bell rings, and the teacher leaves. Students then crowd around Sathya.
RAMESH: Raju, why were You so silent when the Master was thrashing You so severely? You did not even cry; why?
SATHYA: The teacher is Guru, and Guru is equivalent to God. It is therefore not proper to insult or show disrespect to the teacher. The teacher did not punish Me for lack of knowledge of the subject. I was at fault; I did not exactly do what the teacher commanded Me to.
Seshama Raju’s house in Uravakonda. Seshama comes home from outside. He calls and his wife opens the door. As per Indian custom, he washes his feet before entering. His wife is concerned that Seshama is using too much water.
SESHAMA: Suseela, …….Suseela!
SUSEELA: Yes, …coming!
Seshama washes his feet.
SUSEELA: Great! There is only one pot of water left, and if that also is exhausted, we will have no water for tomorrow.
SESHAMA: That’s no problem. We can always send Sathya to fetch more water; if He makes two trips, we will have four pots. Where is He?
SUSEELA: It’s an hour since He went out. I sent Him to get a bundle of firewood, since our stock is exhausted.
SESHAMA: I wonder whether He is fetching firewood or lost in storytelling.
SUSEELA: There He comes, even as we are speaking about Him!
SESHAMA: Why so much delay in getting the firewood?
SATHYA: Brother, near our house there were only small twigs. So I walked a mile to collect these. They are from the forest and will burn well.
SESHAMA: Hmm…. There is no water in the house. Get up early in the morning, and bring four pots. Don’t forget!
SATHYA: Brother, I don’t forget anything!
SESHAMA: Alright. Deposit the firewood in the kitchen, wash Your hands and feet, and come. Your sister-in-law will give You something to eat. After that, go and study Your English lessons. Go now.
(To be continued)
- Heart2Heart Team
Vol 5 Issue 11 - NOVEMBER 2007
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