2. The house was not electrified; it was a small rented room. I had just set up medical practice and my earnings were meagre. I had about sixty rupees in my suitcase. Along with some shirts and dhotis, I also possessed one solitary black coat which I was then wearing.
3. I took off my black coat, white shirt and not-so white vest and hung them up. I opened the two windows in the room. It was an outer room with one wall facing the open yard. It had a tiled roof with long supporting gables that rested on the beam over the wall. There was no ceiling. There was a regular traffic of rats to and from the beam. I made my bed and pulled it close to the wall. I lay down but I could not sleep. I got up and went out to the veranda for a little air, but the wind god seemed to have taken time off.
There was no electricity in the doctor's room, and so there was no electric light. He resided in a very small rented room with no facilities due to his poor condition. He earned a meagre income from his medical practice in the initial days. His poor state forced him to live in a small, filthy room infested with rats.
He didn't have any savings in that little room, aside from the sixty rupees in his suitcase. Also, he didn't have much in that little room, other than some shirts, dhotis, books, a mirror, a kerosene lamp, and some other belongings. He also had a black coat among them, which he used to wear those days.
He took off his coat, shirt, and vest and then got ready for sleep. He says that the vest was not as white as it should have been, implying that it was filthy. He then flung open the windows in the room. The doctor stayed in an outer room where one of the room's walls faced the garden. The building (doctor's room) had a tiled roof with long supporting gables that were supported by a beam.
The room was devoid of a ceiling. Rats had taken up residence on the beam that supported the gable, and they used it to enter and exit the room. Rats may have entered the room since it was located outside the home, close to the garden, and was not properly maintained.
He placed his bed near the wall in the hopes of getting some fresh air through the window, but unfortunately, it didn't work out. So he went outside to get some fresh air because he had no fan or chiller in his room and it was hot. Even so, there was no wind outside, and so he thought the wind god had gone on vacation. 'Vayu' is the 'God of Wind' in Indian mythology.
Meaning of difficult words:
Take offRemove something, particularly a cloth, from one's body
MeagreSmall in quantity
Solitary Only one
YardA piece of land around a house, usually covered with grass
Gable The top portion of a building's end wall, generally in the shape of a triangle
CeilingThe top inside surface of a room
BeamA long piece of wood, metal, or other material used to support weight, often as part of a building's roof
To take time offTo take a holiday
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Snake and the Mirror - Vaikom Muhammad Basheer (pp.56-60). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.