第七回  Gregory Summary (締め切り 4月30日)
Written By Krishnan Varma(India)
The Grass-Eaters


What is your definition of the words "happiness" or "content" ? It may be very difficult to find the exact answer instantly as the words include various factors in them and of course a lot of definitions can be thought of depending on individual situation. An Indian refugee, Ajit Babu, a school master however seems to know the real meaning of those words clearly. In other words, he can take everything in a better way. He and his wife, Swapna moved to Calcutta from Bengal where a religious feud was going on. Like other refugees, they moved from place to place to find a better home. They had slept on a footpath, in an abandoned-looking freight wagon, and even in a pipe so far. When their fourth baby Prodeep was born, they were living on the roof of a building. Ajit Babu had lost a lot of things in his life besides his home in Bengal. His first child died of diphtheria , the second and the third ones died from fatigue due to a long trek on foot to Calcutta. He injured his eye and lost an ear while sleeping on a crowded footpath. He also lost one of his legs after a fall from the roof of a train. In spite of all those tragic circumstances, he is very content with his life. He is content with his home ( the roof of a building with more room and ventilation than homes below). He is content with his clad in little cloth ( They hardly need to wear at home). He is content with only one leg ( He needs only one sandal and thus can save on footwear). He is content with his staple food, green glass. Ajit Babu and Swapna are called the grass-eaters and not only their stomachs but also their hearts are always filled with happiness and content.

The Grass-Eaters

Ajet Babu has been living  on the roof of a old building with his wife Swapna for several years. Before that, they had slept on footpath, in an abandoned-looking freight wagon and in a cement concrete pipe. Because, they had run away from religious dispute in East Bengal, where their house used to be.

They lost three children. One died of diphtheria, the others, from fatigue, on their trek to Calcutta. So, they were very pleased to have their fourth child Prodeep when living in a pipe. (They do not live with their son now though.)

Ajet was once a school manager in Calcutta. But he seems to be a pensionary now, and his pension is too little to buy their clothes and food. So, they don't wear clothes but a little cloth, and eat two square meals of grass every day. He lost one leg after falling down from the roof of a tram. He says he needs wear only one sandal and thereby saves on footwear.

They have been in hard conditions for years, but Ajet never complains about them. He seems to be good at finding better things among them and content with his life.


P.125のThe woman very nearly scratched out my eyes. は、very nearly なので、「すんでのところで引掻かれそうになった」ということで、ぎりぎり助かったのだと思うのですけれど、後の I survived, but minus one ear. て、さらっと書かれている意味は一体何なんでしょうか?そんなに簡単に耳が無くなる筈はないと思うのですけれど・・・

Eventful Life

Once I, Ajit Babu lived in a pipe, and I told so to my student. He was surprised that. But I was living on a freight car and on a footpath.
I didn't care where I was living, but I was always seeking better life.
I lost three of my children, but now I have a son who can do my wife and my funeral rite.
I don't need to worry about clothings because thanks to my student I am living on the roof and hardly see anyone.
I have one leg so I can save on footwear.
I experienced terrible things but now my wife and I content to look at the passing scene eating gruel cooked with grass.

Ajit Babuは屋根の上にタールの缶を重ねて、柱にして、その上に、防水の布をかけて暮らしていました。
だから、in coal tar drumsというのは、ちょっと変ですよね。

それから、scratched out!
そうだったんですね。very nearlyだから目をえぐり取られそうになっただけなんですね。

Ajit Babuって、年金ももらえる人なんだから、やっぱ、学校の先生なんでしょうね。
School Masterっていうのは、校長ではないのかな・・・・

 The Grass Eaters

Ajit Babu is a school master in
Calcutta. He is a refugee from East Bengal. His life has been eventful and most of the events that happened to him were terrible, however, he has never felt sorry or unhappy about it.

He and his wife, Swapna, have never had an ordinary house since they moved to Calcutta. They have lived in a footpath, a freight wagon and a pipe. When he was staying in the footpath one day he happened to wake up with a complete stranger who was a woman, and it caused a trouble. They liked living in the pipe, but they found a better place, a roof of an old building. He stacked drums in two rows and put a tarpaulin over them. He likes this home because the rent is far less than that of other tenants blow them and they don’t get nibbled by rats and rodents as often as others do and they have more light and ventilation and their son has more room to play.

They lost their three children. One died of diphtheria and two died of fatigue on our long trek on foot to Calcutta. Their forth child, prodeep, is a boy and they are happy about it because the son will look after them in their old age and do their funeral rites when they die.

Ajit Babu has only one leg . He lost the other after he fell from the roof of a tram. He thinks that he saves on footwear because he needs only one sandal. They eat grass everyday. They don’t wear clothes except when they go out. They have survived the quite unpleasant events and now they have no fear and anxieties. They are content with their life and they are content to look at the passing scenes which are terrible and unpleasant things happening in front of them.

それから奥さんのSwapnaが来て牙をむき出し、爪を立てて怒って・・・I survived, but minus one ear.って奥さんに耳を取られたって・・・冗談か誇張でしょうか?耳を怪我したってことでしょうか?自分の奥さんに耳取られるって・・・?




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