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The Coolie By Mulk Raj Anand Novel
Museoohe Munona oh Mundu!” shouted Gujri from the verandah of a squat. sequestered, little mud hut. thatched with straw, which stood upon the edge of a hill about a hundred yards away from the village in the valley.
And her eagle eyes explored the track of gold dust which worked its zigzag course through rough scrub, beyond the flat roofs of the village houses, under the relentless haze of the Kangra sun.
She could not see him. Munro the Munoca oh Mundu! where have you died? Where have you drifted, you of the evil star? Come back! Your uncle is leaving soon, and you must go to the town!”
She shouted again with a shrill, hoarse voice. And her gaze traveled beyond the mango grove to the silver line of the river.
Beas and roved angrily among the greenery of the ferns and weeds and bushes that spread on either side of the stream against the purple gleam of the low hills.
‘Munro one Munona!’ she called again, exasperated, and raising her voice, this time, to the highest pitch to which. in her anger and hate.
She could carry it: “Where have you died? Where have you gone, you an ominous orphan? Come back and begone!
The piercing soprano resounded through the valley and fell on Munro’s ears with the deadening effect of all its bitter content. He heard but he did not answer.
He merely turned from the shade of a tree, where he sat hidden, to see her scarlet dress disappearing into the hut.
He had been grazing cattle on the banks of the Beas and had begun to play while the buffaloes and cows in his charge had entered the low waters of the marsh.
Where they now sat chewing the cud of little comfort that the cool of the water afforded against the torrid heat of the morning sun.
The narrow, streets congested with rows of shops, the regular pattern of whose awnings was broken, here by the sudden rift of a shadowy lane or a dark grimy gully, there by glaring patches of sunlight, seemed beautiful to him, especially when a man passed, clad in a silk tunic and dhoti and gold-embroidered shoes, or when a group of women shii/fled along, swinging tlicir elbows and flourishing their green, pink or purple silk veils.
He felt as if he were walking in a dream, in a land of romance where everything was gilded and grand, so different was this world from the world of the mountains.
But, as he entered deeper into the to^ n, and saw some people like himself who had the aspect of hill folk, as they carried weights on their backs, he felt more surprised.
He could not realise the significance of this world.
There was an eager, fluttering sense of anticipation in his heart at the sight of the grand marble building by which Daya Ram had stopped to wait for him.
‘Salaam Pir Din,’ Munoo heard his uncle say as he entered the high-pillared hall of the Imperial Bank.
‘Salaam, salaam, you are late. The Babu Sahib is angry’ because there was no one to go and fetch his food at midday,’ said Pir Din, coughing asthmatically, and smoothing his fiery, henna-dyed beard over the gold-braided red coat which he, too, wore. Munoo guessed this was the head peon his uncle had often spoken about.
‘Is the Babu in the office, tlien?’ asked Daya Ram, with more confidence than usual, guessing how urgent was the Babu’s need for a scT*vant and knowing he had a sure job for his nephew.
‘Yes, yes, he is in there,’ grunted Pir Din, waving his hand. ‘But the bags of money arc to go to the cantonmexTt^and it is the Rnglish-mail day, and’ the Lall^s arc corning in fast for their business. So you had better be quick.’
|Author||Mulk Raj Anand|
|PDF Size||21.2 MB|
|Category||Fiction & Novel|
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