Characters

Satish: The main protagonist and a very sensitive and delicate boy who had the drawback of being deaf.

Surender: A friend of Satish who came to visit him.

Inder: Elder brother of Satish.

Avtar Narain: Satish’s father who didn’t believe that being an artist can be a career choice.

Mother: Satish’s mother who considered painting as a means of entertainment for her son.

Introduction

The passage is about the childhood days of the famous foremost artists of India. The readers get encouragement from the hero of the lesson, i.e., Satish Gujral. This is the real incident that happened, in the first part, we see that Satish had met with an accident when he went hiking with his father. He had multiple fractures and was confined to bed. It affected his hearing so he talks with his friend Surender. The present prose proves that physical disability is no barrier to success. Satish was eight years old; he didn’t attend school one day. His friend Surender came to visit him and asked the reason for his absence.

Summary

Accident

Poor Satish was lying on the bed, he was unable to hear when Surender called him three times. After that Satish replied that he was not feeling well. Surender got concerned asked about the reason for his illness. Satish was unsure of the reason and told him that he had terrible headaches and felt everything is going dark and silent. He questioned Surender why did he speak so softly. Surrender had a strange look and wondered himself that Satish might have lost his hearing.

A year ago, Satish went to Kashmir with his brother and father during holidays where he had met with an accident. When he wept walking with his father and brother, they wanted to cross a bridge that was weak. Both stood on the bridge and looked down the swirling water below. Satish pointed out a spot to his brother, just then his foot slipped, and losing his balance, he fell into the dangerous part of the river. When he regained consciousness, his legs were injured. His head also hurt, he was injured and badly hurt all over.

He had several operations and his legs healed but still remained weak. After that, frequently he was ill and had infections in his ears. Satish was suffering from pain. Surender got up and asked whether he will come to school the other day. Satish shook his head and Surender left. Satish was suffering and felt that some huge weight was pressing upon his head, making everything seem far away and silent. He was upset and helpless. A slow tear came down drop by drop on his cheek. He felt the silence was worst as he had been confined to bed. He wanted to scream to break the silence but he couldn’t. Everything looked like the scenes from some dramatic show.

Permanent Damage

This was very terrible for the eight-year-old boy. According to the doctor, all this was caused by the side effects of the medicine given at the time of treatment for his legs. Doctors didn’t diagnose the correct cause. Because of his illness, he was irregular to his school and had a hearing problem. So, the school authorities couldn’t keep Satish in their school. His father decided to look for a new school but Satish didn’t want to go to a new school because he didn’t want to talk to the new children and had a fear that they would make fun of his deafness. But there was no other way, his father made a lot of effort to convince him, at last, he agreed to join the school.

They had to face the same situation in the new school as well. The headmaster said that was the school for normal boys, why didn’t they take him to a deaf and dumb school? Satish’s father Avtar Narain got angry and said that his son was not dumb. Almost all schools rejected Satish which made them feel helpless. After this, Satish became very moody. He couldn’t talk freely and at this stage, he didn’t hear a single word.

Fatherly and brotherly Love

His elder brother Inder accompanied him, hours together, and sat beside him. He talked, taught, and make an effort to learn the pronunciation of the words. Satish did not go to play with his neighbours because he was unable to bear their talents and the teasing of other children. He had a very delicate mind and was too sensitive. His father and his brother spent their time with him and taught him many things. His father brought many books to read and said that he can learn a lot of things through the books reading. From that day onwards, he read many books. By reading, a whole world was opened for him. He became a voracious reader. He read The Life of Garibaldi, works of Munshi Premachand, Sarat Chandra, and several others. The reading made him feel depressed and left a deep impression upon his sensitive mind. He came to know another world of suffering and trouble while his own world looked comfortable in comparison.

After some days Satish again struck and confined to bed. At this stage, he could sit, look out of the window or read the books. One day he saw a rare bird that was flying here and there. It had a long tail and black crest. It had restless energy and to flight at any moment. He Was attracted by the bird and sketched the bird from his memory. He liked his sketch and kept it beside his bed on the pile of books. He had discovered his past time by filling the pages with pictures and patterns of his thinking. He was good at Urdu writing and sketching which came naturally.

But his father thought that it was an idle pastime. Instead of this, it was better to read books. Satish however refused to stop drawing even though his father opposed it. His mother said to his father why did he take away his son’s source of entertainment. His father’s concern was about his future. How can he lead his life as an artist? Artists had very less income and his hearing may return at any time and he had to study to make something out for his life. Mother asked how it was possible that he can recover his hearing. He had become ill for 3 years. She lost her hope but his father didn’t lose his hope. His father said why should they decide that he is going to remain deaf all his life, instead of what they should be optimistic and gently scolding his wife.

Opposition by Father

Though they visited doctors several times, his condition was not improving. He remained in his silent world. The only comfort in his life was painting. His father was opposed but he managed to paint and draw. One day his father observed his son’s talent and decided to encourage him. He asked his son about his painting; Satish was astonished that his father was not angry with him. After a few hours, the father brought paints, brushes, drawing sheets, etc., and carefully set them on his table. Satish came and hugged his father with love. His father said those things for him. His father found the best school of Arts and his son made his life in his way.

At last Satish’s father accepted his son’s wish to become an artist. Satish learned more than painting in that school and also learned about life. The boy, now popularly known as Satish Gujral. He was one of the few artists, famous for painting, sculpture, and architecture. He was also a writer. His works were displayed in prestigious museums like the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Hiroshima collection. Washington and the National Gallery of Modem Art, New Delhi. He had published four books of his works in the various arts. He was awarded the Order of the Crown for the best architectural design of the 20th century for his design of the Belgian Embassy in New Delhi. He was honoured with “Padma Vibhushan”. He was a good example for the disabled could also achieve the best. Disability was no barrier to success.

Conclusion

Satish Gujral is among the foremost artists of India. He is one of the few artists who is accomplished in several art forms like painting, sculpture, and architecture. Exhibitions of his works have been held all over the world and displayed in prestigious museums like the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Hiroshima Collection, Washington, and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. He has also published four books of his works in the various arts. He was awarded the Order of the Crown for the best architectural design of the 20th century for his design of the Belgian Embassy in New Delhi. He has also been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan.