Paper Boats – Rabindranath Tagore


  1. Anna gently walked towards the stream of muddy rain water. She bent a little and launched a paper boat. It sailed
    down the stream swiftly and proudly. She went on placing a number of paper boats in the stream. She was delighted. Suddenly, something horrible happened.
  2. A fat boy pounced on one of her boats and pulled it. He turned the boat upside down. Anna stared at the boy. He was fat and dirty. He did not mind Anna’s angry face. Anna ran home.
  3. Anna’s aunt Arundhati was sitting in an armchair. Anna’s face was red with anger. She pouted her lips and said. ‘That naughty boy, he overturned my boat,’ she said. ‘Don’t worry. I’ll make another one for you,’ Aunt Arundhati
    tried to console her. ‘What if he takes that one too?’ ‘Ok then…I’ll make a few more for you.’
  4. ‘What if he takes all of them?’ ‘No, he won’t. I’ll make a few for him as well.’ ‘But why should you make boats for him?’
    ‘He seems to be a poor child.’ ‘Then…Why can’t he make them himself? He is so big.’ ‘May be no one has taught him how to make boats.’ ‘Why? Doesn’t he go to school? He is so rude.’ Aunt Arundhati just smiled.
  5. What was Aunt Arundhati’s response when Anna complained about the boy?
  6. ‘The boy is so rude.’ Why did Anna say so?
  7. Aunt wanted to make paper boats for the boy too. Do you agree with her?
  8. In no time a boat was ready and then a few more. Finally, she gave all the boats to Anna and said, ‘Here, go and have fun.’
  9. Clutching the boats tightly, Anna started walking hesitantly towards the stream. The boy was still there. He looked at her curiously. Anna took out two not-so-good boats and held them out.
  10. ‘Here you are.’ She handed the boats over to the boy without the trace of a smile. The boy took them and just stood there quietly. He did not know what to say.
  11. Anna gently launched her boat. Swiftly the boat sailed down the stream. The boy stood there watching it. A faint smile appeared on his lips!
  12. Anna looked at the boy through the corner of her eyes. Suddenly she saw the boat getting caught in a heap of mud and stones.
  13. Water splashed against it and slowly flooded it. In a flash, the boy jumped into the stream and pulled the boat out of the water.
  14. He gave it to Anna.
  15. She took the boat and smiled. The boy smiled back pleasantly.
  16. Anna gently placed another boat in the stream. It sailed swiftly and drifted past. Soon it was out of sight.
  17. Anna and the boy looked at each other and smiled.
  18. What made Anna happy?
  19. Why didn’t the boy destroy Anna’s boats?
  20. Here’s a poem in which we see a boy making paper boats to float down the stream.
  21. Read and enjoy the poem.
  22. Day by day I float my paper boats one
    by one down the running stream.
    In big black letters I write my name on
    them and the name of the village where
    I live.
    I hope that someone in some strange land
    will find them and know who I am.
  23. I load my little boats with shiuli flower from our garden, and
    hope that these blooms of the dawn will be carried safely to
    land in the night.
    I launch my paper boats and look up into the sky and see the
    little clouds setting the white bulging sails.
  24. I know not what playmate of mine in the sky sends them
    down the air to race with my boats!
    When night comes I bury my face in my arms and dream
    that my paper boats float on and on under the midnight stars.
    The fairies of sleep are sailing in them, and
    the lading is their baskets full of dreams.

 

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men. He gives live classes on Skype and Facebook. You can attend his 3 Day Classes (English & Business Studies) in Delhi, Bangalore, Qatar and Dubai. His Contact number is 91 9810740061.

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