“Phew !” Each of us heaved a sigh of relief. Somebody asked, “Doctor, is your wife very fat?”
11. “No,” the doctor said. “God willed otherwise. My life companion is a thin reedy person with the gift of a sprinter.”
     Someone else asked, “Doctor, when you ran did the snake follow you?”
     The doctor replied, “I ran and ran till I reached a friend’s house. Immediately I smeared oil all over myself and took a bath. I changed into fresh clothes. The next morning at about eight-thirty I took my friend and one or two others to my room to move my things from there. But we found we had little to carry. Some thief had removed most of my things. The room had been cleaned out! But not really, the thief had left behind one thing as a final insult!’
The doctor's narrative of his escape from the snake provided considerable relief to the narrator and his group. And then, someone in the author's group questioned the doctor about whether his wife was fat, to which the doctor answered that God had other plans. It was because, despite the fact that the doctor had expected to marry a fat woman, God had ultimately blessed him with a slender and tall bride. A tall plant is referred to as a reed. 'Reedy' is another term for a 'high-pitched voice.' It's conceivable that her doctor's wife had a commanding tone. Above all, the doctor's wife, was a fast runner.
The Doctor and his wife.jpg
The Doctor and his wife
And, someone from the group asked the doctor whether the snake followed him, to which the doctor replied that he ran and ran till he reached a friend's house, and so he did not have any chance to look back. And, at his friend's house, he took a bath after applying oil all over his body, as an oil bath is believed to remove toxins from one's body. The doctor then changed into fresh clothes.
The doctor returned to his room the next morning at about 8:30 a.m., accompanied by his friend and some other people. The doctor chose to vacate and move his belongings from there, since he didn't want to risk being in the same place which was occupied by snakes and rats. To his astonishment, there wasn't much to take because the majority of his belongings had already been stolen by a thief. Despite the fact that the thief had taken most of the items from the doctor's room, it appeared that he had left one thing which the doctor considered to be an insult.
Meaning of difficult words:
Heave a sighTo let out a deep breath when you are upset or pleased about something
SprinterA fast runner person who runs a short distance at top speed
CompanionA partner or a friend
SmearTo spread a sticky substance across somebody or something
ReedyA tall person/high, unpleasant voice
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.