Evolution of Emotion

Posted: June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Extracted from the book ‘A Town Called Dehra’ by Ruskin Bond

Chapter: Coming home to dehra, Page 6


One day my class teacher sent for me.

‘I want to talk to you, Bond,’ he said. Let’s go for a walk.’

I knew immediately that something was wrong. We took the path that went through the deodar forest, past Council Rock where Scout meetings were held. As soon as my unfortunate teacher (no doubt cursing the Headmaster for having given him this unpleasant task) started on the theme of ‘God wanting your father in a higher and a better place’, as though there could be any better place than Jacko Hill in mid-summer, I knew my father was dead, and burst into tears.

They let me stay in the School hospital for a few days until I felt better. The Headmaster visited me there and took away the pile of my father’s letters that I’d kept beside me.

‘Your father’s letters. You might lose them. Why not leave them with me? Then at the end of the year, before you go home, you can come and collect them.’

Unwillingly I gave him the letters. He told me he’d heard from my mother that I would be going home to her at the end of the year. He seemed surprised that I evinced no interest in this prospect.

At the end of the year, the day before school closed, I went to the HM’s office and asked for my letters.

‘What letters?’ he said. His desk was piled with papers and correspondence, and he was irritated by my interruption.

‘My father’s letters,’ I explained. ‘I gave them to you to keep for me, Sir – when he died…’

‘Letters. Are you sure you gave them to me?’

He grew more irritated. ‘You must be mistaken, Bond. Why should I want to keep your father’s letters?’

I don’t know Sir. You said I could collect them before going home.’

‘Look, I don’t remember any letters and I’m very busy just now, so run along. I’m sure you’re mistaken, but if I find your letters, I’ll send them to you.’

I don’t suppose he meant to be unkind, but he was the first man who aroused in me feelings of hate…


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