A snake-charmer stood playing a flute to a snake which coiled itself in a basket, its head raised in a graceful bend like the neck of a swan, while the music stole into its invisible ears like the gentle rippling of an invisible waterfall. The child went towards the snake-charmer. But, knowing his parents had forbidden him to hear such coarse music as the snake-charmer played, he proceeded farther.
There was a roundabout in full swing. Men, women and children, carried away in a whirling motion, shrieked and cried with dizzy laughter. The child watched them intently and then he made a bold request: “I want to go on the roundabout, please, Father, Mother.”
He then paused at a snake charmer who was playing the flute, and the snake was twisting and enjoying the music. The snake had winded itself in a basket and had raised its head out. It bent and moved its neck gracefully like a swan. It seemed that the music of the flute was heard by the snake’s invisible ears and created the effect of a waterfall on it because it similarly wobbled its neck. The boy walked towards the snake charmer, but as his parents had warned him to remain away from the irksome music played by such men, he walked further.
Then he saw the roundabout swing. It was full of men, women and children who were enjoying the ride by shouting and crying. The boy watched the people on roundabout and then with a lot of courage, expressed his desire to go on the roundabout.
Meanings of difficult words:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Moments. The lost child - Mulk Raj Anand (pp. 01-06). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.