Saeeda’s mother had been ailing for a long time — fever, cough, body-ache, painful joints and what not. Treated by a variety of physicians for weeks, she often showed signs of improvement but soon relapsed into her old, sick self, one complaint substituted by another. Though weak and colourless, she was forbidden normal food and was under strict orders to remain perpetually confined to her small, dingy room with doors and windows fastened, deprived of sunshine and fresh air.
When she became critical, her relatives and neighbours persuaded her to consult a specialist even though his fee was likely to be high. Life is more precious than money, they said. Saeeda’s mother was poor but she heeded their advice and sold a few trinkets to pay the doctor’s fee and the cost of medicine.
We are introduced to two characters here. They are Saeeda and her mother. Saeeda's mother was very sick. She had been suffering from all kinds of illness, namely, fever, cough, body-ache, painful joints, etc.
Saeeda's mother was very ill
Although the mother had consulted several traditional doctors, none were able to fix her health. While she got better, she eventually fell sick again. Her mother was very weak. Moreover, she looked pale due to her sickness.
But the most terrible thing about her mother's life was that she wasn't allowed to eat proper food, nor was she allowed to leave her room.
Saeeda's mother had to eat plain porridge
The doctors had asked the mother to get bed rest inside her small dark room. That prevented her mother from getting fresh air and sunlight.
Saeeda's mother had to live in her dark room with windows shut
Despite following the doctor's instructions, the mother's health condition became critical. Her concerned neighbours and relatives asked her to consult a specialist instead of the traditional doctors. Unfortunately, the fee was very high, and Saeeda's mother was poor. But her friends persuaded her by saying that life was more important than money.
Mother decided to listen to their words. She sold some of her ornaments and secured enough money to pay the doctor's fee and the cost of medicine.
Saeeda's mother sold some of her jewellery
Meanings of difficult words:
|Ailing||In poor health condition|
|Ache||A continuous or prolonged dull pain in a part of one's body|
|Physician||A person qualified to practise medicine, especially one who specializes in diagnosis and medical treatment as distinct from surgery|
|Relapse||Someone's health condition turning bad after a temporary improvement|
|Forbidden||Something which is banned|
|Perpetually||In a way that never ends or changes|
|Confined||Restricted in area or volume|
|Deprive||To prevent somebody from having something|
|Precious||Something which is very important|
|Dingy||A room or place that is dark|
|Fastened||The act of shutting and securing doors and windows with bolts or locks|
|Heeded||Pay attention to; listen to|
|Trinkets||Small ornaments that is of little value|
|Critical||Serious or severe|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). A Pact With The Sun. (pp. 28-32). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.