Back to: Kerala Board Class 10th English Guide and Notes
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Things change in Kiran and Sharat’s household when a stranded shipwreck survivor enters their house and lives.
Nilkanta- The New Guest
It was a stormy hour in Chandernagore when Kiran and Sharat were having a heated argument. Kiran, who had recently recovered from a severe illness wanted to return to her native home but Sharat believed she needed more rest and should stay at their house. Just then they heard a call and went outside to see a young boy in the garden, a survivor of an upturned boat in the storm.
His name was Nilkanta and he belonged to a theatrical group. Kiran showered him with hospitality. The boy joined their household and at first, everyone was content. But in a short while, Sharat and his mother began to rethink and longed for his departure. Nilkanta was awfully mischievous and picked all sorts of trouble and made wrong friends. The house was flipped upside down by his friendship with the village mongrel dog. But Kiran found joy in assisting the boy.
Kiran’s attempts to instil educational values in him all failed. Kiran was overjoyed by the presence of her brother-in-law Satish, who came to spend the vacation with them. After Satish’s arrival, Kiran seldom got time to spend with Nilkanta. Meanwhile, Nilkanta started behaving very aggressively. He would hide Satish’s things.
The decision to return home made everyone busy packing up. Satish was going with them. Nilkanta was asked to return to his own home. This left Nilkanta with a bleeding heart seriously thinking about how to burn Satish into ashes. Satish had brought a grand inkstand with him, his great favourite, from Calcutta. The inkpot was set on a pearl boat drawn by a silver goose supporting a pen-holder.
The day before they were about to depart, the inkstand was missing. Satish knew whose doing this was and immediately fired on Nilkant. Kiran greatly distressed with this privately asked Nilkanta to quietly return it so no one would know, but Nilkanta started to weep. Kiran’s heart swelled with compassion for the poor boy. She bought two new suits of clothing, a pair of shoes, and a bank note as a surprise gift and planned to place them in his box.
When she unlocked the box, the lid sprung up, jumbling all the items. She began to take everything out of the box and arrange it in order. The lost inkstand resurfaced at the bottom. Behind her Nilkanta was stood and watched her discover the missing inkstand, he had intended to throw it into the river as revenge. He managed to slip out of the room without Kiran noticing. Kiran stuffed all items back into the box.
The boy was nowhere to be found the next day. Even the cops were unable to locate him. Sharat insisted on looking through his box to learn more about him, but Kiran’s unwillingness caused him to leave. She dumped the missing items into the river. The family returned to their own home. Nilkanta’s starved mongrel prowled around the riverbank with heart-breaking whines.
Nilkanta was receiving all the love and hospitality from Kiran but he should have understood his role in the family and not taken advantage of her kindness towards him. Besides, when Kiran attempted to educate him, he wasted both their time not concentrating and always being distracted. He was just a guest and should have known that he could not always stay with them.