That night when Ramlal consulted his wife, she cried, “Are you crazy? If girls go to school, who will marry them?”
But Ramlal had not the courage to disobey the Tehsildar. At last his wife said, “I will tell you what to do. Send Bholi to school. As it is, there is little chance of her getting married, with her ugly face and lack of sense. Let the teachers at school worry about her.”
The next day Ramlal caught Bholi by the hand and said, “Come with me. I will take you to school.” Bholi was frightened. She did not know what a school was like. She remembered how a few days ago their old cow, Lakshmi, had been turned out of the house and sold.
“N-n-n-n NO, no-no-no,” she shouted in terror and pulled her hand away from her father’s grip.
After hearing the Tehsildar's words, Ramlal spoke to his wife that night. He told her about Tehsildar's suggestion. After hearing that, Bholi's mother shouted at her husband that if girls went to school, who would marry them. From Ramlal's wife's words, one can get a clear picturisation that in their village, females were not permitted to go to school and were married early.
Even after hearing his wife's concern, Ramlal could not listen to her words. The primary reason was that he had a great name in the village and had no courage to disobey the words of the Tehsildar. Once Ramlal's wife knew about the Tehsildar's suggestion, she told her husband to send Bholi to school. She says there is less chance of Bholi getting married because of her ugly face and foolishness. In addition, she told him not to bother her and let the school teachers be concerned about her.
From the above paragraphs, one can see the arrogance of Bholi's mother. Since she was a female, she didn't even care for her daughter. She, too, degraded and insulted her daughter by her appearance. Her mother's behaviour toward Bholi portrays her cruel character.
Ramlal held his daughter's hand the next day and asked her to come with him. He told Bholi that he was going to take her to school. On hearing that, Bholi was scared. She did not know what a school would be like. Since the girls in the village were not sent for schooling, she was unaware of it. Bholi was reminded that their cow, Lakshmi, was sent out of home a few days ago, and her father gained money in return for that. She thought that she was about to be sold like Lakshmi. She then shouted in fear and pulled her hand away from her father's hand.
Bholi's cow Lakshmi
Meanings of the difficult words:
|Consult||To discuss something with someone before you make a decision|
|Courage||The ability to control your fear in a dangerous or difficult situation|
|Disobey||To refuse to do something that you are told to do|
|Ugly||Unpleasant to look at; not attractive|
|Grip||A firm hold on something or someone|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Bholi - K.A. Abbas (pp. 54-62). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.