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American Community School
Short Story
ESL
Smart Brothers
By Prashant Gupta
Grade 9
March 2002
Long ago in ancient India, there lived a person called Haridas with his two sons and beloved wife.  His older son, Ram was 12 and the younger son, Shyam was 9.

Haridas was a rich merchant

and used to trade with gold and silver.  He was living a joyful life until his wife was stricken by cholera and died soon after.  Haridas recovered from his shock a few months later, but his sons could not, even after one full year.  Their father was not even sure that he was raising them the right way.  In order to change the scenery for the kids, he decided to take them to the house of their uncle who lived in a far away village.

Before heading for their destination, Haridas put all his money in a box and gave it to his neighbor, Ajay to put it in his house.

After leaving the kids at their uncle’s house, Haridas returned to his village and asked Ajay for his box.  Ajay, a very dishonest person was also very selfish and greedy with no moral values in his life. He told Haridas that he had never been given any box.  Haridas was shocked after hearing that.  His experienced eyes had recognized the expressions on Ajay’s face.  He had understood that Ajay had taken all his money by false means.

Haridas warned Ajay to return his box back.  However, Ajay threw him out of his house with the help of his servants.  So, with his broken heart, he went to the king of the state.  Unable to find any proofs to show that he had given his money to Ajay, Haridas lost his case, since the King gave the decision in favor of Ajay.  Discouraged and hopeless, Haridas decided to return to his sons.  At his arrival, he told the kids’ uncle the whole story.  Later, he died of a heart attack.

The uncle provided the kids with very good education.  They turned out to be very cultured and literate.  They were very well organized and planned everything beforehand. They were also very kind-hearted.  After finishing their education, they started together, their own business, which later made them grow rich. A few years later, they turned out to be one of the richest people in their state.  As their uncle grew older, he caught many diseases.  After knowing that his end was near, he called Ram and Shyam.  He told them how Ajay had taken their father’s money.  He also told them that Ajay was the reason for their father’s death.

After the uncle finished telling the story to Ram and Shyam, he took his last breath.  His death made Ram and Shyam sorrowful.  Now, they had no one to guide them.  They were also angry on Ajay.  They decided to teach him a good lesson.  In order to do that, Ram came up with a fantastic plan.  First of all, Ram disguised himself as an old sage.  He put on a false beard and wore the clothes that sages used to wear.  Then, he traveled to the village where Ajay was living.  Through his wrong ways, he had earned a lot of money.  When Ram reached the village, he stayed in a temple situated at one end of the village.  He became very famous because he used to pray standing on one leg for seven hours a day.  Whenever people gave him money, he always distributed it among the poor.  The people respected him a lot because of his kindness.

After one month of Ram’s reaching Ajay’s village, Shyam started for the same destination as a Prince along with lot of servants and twelve huge boxes full of gold.  He bought a large house, which was near to Ajay’s house.  The Prince used to distribute a huge amount of money to the poor.  When Ajay got to learn about the Prince (Shyam), he was very amazed. He thought that this Prince was a fool because he was wasting all his money.  He started thinking about the ways to grab all his money.  He started visiting Prince’s house so that he can become his friend.  After few days, one night the Prince started shouting “thieves, thieves,” according to the plan.  On hearing that all the people including Ajay ran towards Prince’s house.  The Prince told them that some thieves had entered into his room to take away his boxes, which were full of gold but fortunately he woke up and on his shouting the thieves jumped down from the window.  Next day, he called Ajay and told him that what happened last night had scared him a lot and he was worried about his gold.  After hearing this, Ajay felt very happy.  He invited the Prince to come and live in his house because there was more safety there.  The Prince agreed with him and transferred all his gold and money to Ajay’s house.  He started living in Ajay’s house.

After few days, the Prince got very sick.  Everyone thought that his end time was near.  One day, he called Ajay and told him that in his dream he was ordered by an angel to give all his money to the sage who lived in the nearby temple.   Ajay sent his man to call the sage.  Upon the arrival of the sage, the Prince offered him all his money.  First the sage refused to take the money but when the Prince told him about his dream, he agreed to take the money.  As soon as the sage accepted the money, the Prince felt very well and stood up as if he was never sick.  The Prince requested the sage to stay with him because he had saved his life.  The sage accepted his request.  After some time, the Prince told Ajay that he wants to go back to his kingdom.  He thanked him for everything he had done for him.

When the sage learnt that the Prince was leaving, he desired to go back to his temple.  Ajay thought that this was the best time to get all the gold from the sage.  He went to the sage and told him that he should sell his gold before leaving because someone might steal it.  He himself offered to buy all the gold from the sage.  The sage told him that he had no idea about the price of the gold.  For him, both gold and sand were same. Ajay told the sage that because he was so nice, he would have no problem by offering him more than the actual price of the gold.  But, in reality he paid only one tenth of the actual price. This one-tenth of the actual price was such a big amount that left Ajay with no money except the gold.

When the sage and the Prince left, he took the gold to a goldsmith and asked him its price.  The goldsmith told him that this was not gold but bronze and was for nothing.  On hearing that he went to the King and told him how he was cheated.  The King gave orders to arrest the sage and the Prince.  Soon both of them were captured and were brought to the court.  Ajay accused both of them off cheating him.  In his defense, the Prince said that he had given all his gold to the sage.  Now he had no connection with the gold.

The sage said that he had already told Ajay that for him both gold and the sand were the same.  It was Ajay who had decided the price.  The sage also said that he had distributed all the money he got from Ajay amongst the poor.  The King told Ajay that it was his fault that he bought the gold before checking.  The King released the sage and the Prince.  Both brothers returned to their uncle’s village happily.


Narrative Elements

Point of view:

The point of view of the story is third person because the identity of the narrator is kept secret and the story doesn’t tell us anything about the narrator. Under the category of third person, the point of view of the narrator can be described as omniscient because the narrator has full knowledge about the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Moreover, he is free to move in time and space.

Characters:

Major Characters:
Protagonist: The protagonists in the story are the two brothers Ram and Shyam. Both of them have many similarities. They are cultured and literate. They are very intelligent and plan everything before they do it.
Antagonist:  Ajay is the antagonist in the story. He is a very dishonest person. He is also selfish and greedy with no moral values in his life.
Character foil: uncle is the character foil because his actions has affected the story.

Minor characters: King, beggars, servants, goldsmith etc.

Setting:
 

  • Time: The story has taken place in Ancient India when it was divided into many independent states.

  • About twenty years pass during the story.
  • Place: The story takes place in a small state in Ancient India.

  • Mood:

    Realistic and optimistic.

    Theme:

    You have to pay for your deeds.

    Plot:

    Exposition:
    Starts with setting: Long time ago
    Place: Ancient India
    Introduction of the characters:
    Haridas: An honest and truthful person.
    Ajay: Dishonest and greedy
    Haridas’s wife: Died because of cholera
    Rising point:
    The rising point of the story starts when Haridas took Ram and Shyam to their uncle’s house so that both of them can recover from the sudden death of their mother.
    Action Dynamics:
    Ajay took Haridas’s money by false means. When Ram and Shyam learned about this through their uncle, they decided to take revenge.  Both of them made up a plan and were able to get all of Ajay’s money.
    Climax:
    The climax starts with the trial. During the trial the brothers prove that they are innocent and the King agrees with them.
    Resolution:
    Both brothers returned to their uncle’s village happily.

    Page Created on April 20, 2002 || Last updated on May 9, 2002
    Copyright © 2002 Nada AbiSamra & Prashant Gupta
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