Leela's Friend

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Leela’s Friend – R.K.Narayan
Sidda was hanging about the gate at a moment when Mr Sivasanker was standing in the front veranda of his house brooding over the servant problem.
“Sir, do you want a servant?” Sidda asked.
“Come in” said Mr Sivasanker. As Sidda opened the gate and came in, Mr Sivasanker subjected him to a scrutiny and said to himself, “Doesn't seem to be a bad sort ... At any rate, the fellow looks tidy.”
“Where were you before?” he asked.
Sidda said, “In a bungalow there,” and indicated a vague somewhere, “in the doctor's house.” “What is his name?”. “I don't know master,” Sidda said. “He lives near the market.” “Why did they send you away?” “They left the town, master,” Sidda said, giving the stock reply.
Mr Sivasanker was
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After dinner Leela ran to her bed. Sidda had to be ready with a story. He sat down on the floor near the bed and told incomparable stories: of animals in the jungle, of gods in heaven, of magicians who could conjure up golden castles and fill them with little princesses and their pets....
Day by day she clung closer to him. She insisted upon having his company all her waking hours. She was at his side when he was working in the garden or chopping wood, and accompanied him when he was sent on errands.
One evening he went out to buy sugar and Leela went with him. When they came home, Leela's mother noticed that a gold chain Leela had been wearing was missing. "Where is your chain?" Leela looked into her shirt, searched and said, "I don't know." Her mother gave her a slap and said, “How many times have I told you to take it off and put it in the box?”

(story continues on your handout)

Text Analysis:
Setting: Town/Country, Social/Political India – well-off household (with veranda) in need of a servant who looks after the garden, washes clothes, runs errands, chops wood and looks after Leela. He isn't well paid: 2 meals a day, 4 rupees a month.

Characters
Leela, a five-year-old, likes Sidda, the 'servant', whose company she loves. He is an imaginative play-fellow (game with moon and ball); she plays at 'teaching' him; he reads to her lovely stories and they are v happy together. Leela adores him. Mother suspects S of stealing L's
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