FRIENDSHIP AND SELF-SACRIFICE
Anil and Sunil were two brilliant boys studying in Standard V in a well-known school in Calcutta. They were very close friends and each loved the other as his own brother. Sunil would always stand first in the class while Anil would get the second rank. Examinations would come and go and these two boys would get the same ranking every year.
Then, one day, a great blow fell on Sunil. His mother, who was a widow and Sunil’s only loved one in the world, fell seriously ill. Sunil served his mother day and night but she grew weaker every day. After two months of suffering, she died one day, praying to God to look after her loving son. Sunil now lived with his uncle and aunt.
Sunil could not attend school for two months. So, when the annual examination was drawing near Sunil started working hard to get the first rank. But the memory of his lost mother disturbed his mind a great deal in his studies. Everyone and even Sunil felt that Anil would get the first rank that year.
The examination was over. The teacher, however, was surprised when he went through Anil’s answer books. Though the questions asked were quite simple, Anil had not answered some of them at all. So, the teacher sent for Anil and asked him what difficulty he had in answering those questions.
For a moment Anil stood silent, wondering whether he should tell the secret to the teacher at all. Then, he said in a sad tone. “Sir, you know Sunil has been getting the first rank all these years. This year he has lost his loving mother. He is now an orphan. If Sunil loses his first rank in this examination, that would be another cruel blow to him. I did not answer those two questions so that Sunil might score more marks than myself and get the first rank. That will cheer him up and make him happy too.” Then Anil anxiously added, “But, Sir, please keep this secret to yourself. Let no One else know about it. If Sunil comes to know of it, he will feel still more miserable for what I have done. He is my friend and I want him to be always happy.”
The teacher patted Anil’s back and said, “My dear boy, today I feel more proud of you than ever before. Your friendship, love, and self-sacrifice are great qualities. I am sure they will make you a great man one day.”
- Why did Anil lose the chance to get the first rank in the examination?
- Why did Anil request the teacher to keep his reply secret?
- How do you make out who is a true friend or who is not? From your own experience, give some examples.
- Have you at any time sacrificed something for your friend, brother, sister or anybody else at home? If so, narrate your experience.