Storytelling - 2

Dear Friends,

In the storytelling series I am going to review my second favorite story of all time. Today's story is "The Portrait of a Lady" 

The story has been written by Khushwant Singh. Mr. Khushwant Singh was a renowned Indian novelist. He is the author of famous book “Train to Pakistan” and many more. He passed away on 20th March 2014.

I read the story in school and thanks to CBSE for including such a good story in curriculum. The story is based on relationship of a grandson (Khushwant Singh) and his grandmother. The story is written in plain English, easy to understand by anyone. It’s a gem and if you haven’t read it, dude you are missing something.

I was only four when my grandmother died. My friends used to talk about their grandmother, that how she love them, care for them and I used to feel very sad. When I read this story it made me very happy. I felt like a corner in me was filled.

The story is own experience of author. He loved his grandmother. When he was young he used to live only with his grandmother. She would feed him; get him ready for the school. She was religious lady who always had beads in her hand. Author has very well described his grandmother.  He says that she always seems old. “Her face was a criss-cross of wrinkles running from everywhere to everywhere” says author. It was difficult for him to believe that she was ever young. Similar experience I had with my maternal grandmother (Naani). During summer vacations I used to visit her. When I was five she looked same old, when I became twenty she remained same. I felt that she grew old before her time and that’s why she stayed the same till her last. When she used to tell me stories about her school days I couldn’t believe for a second that she was ever young. I know it’s silly to think that way as we all have same life cycle. Still till date my thoughts haven’t changed. She was also religious lady and will go to temple each day. She used to prepare lot of sweets for me and my sisters.

In the story author’s friendship with his grandmother is disturbed when they go to live with his parents in the city. Although they share same room, still due to his English school they became distant. She doesn't approve of the kind of education he is getting. She thinks that why school isn’t teaching kids about God. He goes to University for higher studies and then he is moved to different room. Author says “The common link of friendship was snapped”. Grandmother accepted everything and kept her busy with her spinning-wheel. She used to talk less to everyone and kept herself busy with spinning-wheel and prayers. She feed sparrows, stays happy. Most touching part is the end of the story. 

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Megha Gupta "


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