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And, now that Guali had gone ill indeed, he lay worried. How his sons became so devoid of sentiments? Bisobabu's own physical strength will also exhaust. If anything happened, he will have to depend upon his sons. Thus thinking, he decided it was good to send Gulai to his own village. He wondered if his elder brother was alive. Never did anyone come to see him. He knew Gulai's address. The buffalo he had bought in the animal market of Supaul was of poor man. He had sent Gulai also with the buffalo requesting Bisobabu to take him also with it, adding that Gulai was somewhat foolish but he would never shrink from any heavier work.


With an excuse to consult a good doctor, Bisobabu came to Saharsa with Gulai. However, the main aim was to take Gulai to his village. If his brother was living he would leave him there. He had taken five thousand rupees extra. Through the way, he mustered his curage and began to explain to him, "Gulai, now you are also aged. You can also see what we are, we have no child near us. Now you should also take rest in your village. You must have your own share of land. Your kinsmen will take them also. For the same reason they will also look after you. Whenever you need money, you send me message..... And till I'm living and the hands and limbs are working, I'll always come."


This was Bisobabu's one sided conversation which went on. Gulai did not speak. His face stood paralysed. He never looked towards his master. Gulai's dumbness distressed Bisobabu. The innumerable events involving Gulai, went on moving before him like a cinema reel. Gulai' s feet were lucky on his yards. In Saharsa, after consulting the doctor, Bisobabu stayed at his son-in-Iaw's. The next day he took the train to Supaul and from there he reached his village by the bus. Even after so many years, Gulai's brother recognised him. He looked at Gulai and again at Bisobabu, "Look, master! He has forgotten us all." Bisobabu reproached, "You also never came to see him." Gulai' s brother went dumb, then nodding, said, "That's also right." There was a glow in his eyes, wet, but no tears came. Gulai's nephew, amazed, now looked at Bisobabu and now at Gulai. From the corner, a woman was peering out. Gulai's brother said to his son,"Your uncle... stayed with him... Go, bring refreshments..." Bisobabu stopped him, "No leave it. I have to return also." Then, forming the background, he spoke of Gulai's sacrifice and faithfulness, his illness and now his own helplessness. He went on, "If old age is spent with one's own people, it's so good. Gulai also has hopes from your sons, hasn't he?


Till there is life...... Serve him.... " As he said this he took out the five thousand rupees
from his bag and put into Gulai' s hands, "Keep this, when you need any more, inform me." Gulai held the money mechanically, not a word came out of him. He lifted his head to look into Bisobabu's eyes. It seemed to Bisobabu that Gulai asked innumerable questions simultaneously. Bisobabu could not look towards Gulai and stood up suddenly. He put his hand on the shoulders of Gulai's nephew and said,"Now my body is also frail son, now the onus is on you all............. " Bisobabu did not want to fall into sentiments by standing there for long. Gathering courage, he looked towards Gulai once. There lay Gulai, speechless. But Bisobabu felt to hear him say, "Go.......................... Go............... ..Keep your kingdom!" Bisobabu looked aside and gradually stepped ahead.
Bisobabu felt somewhat lighter indeed but he walked with a heavier gait.

Translated by NARAYAN KUMAR CHOUDHARY