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Tarim Prasad Koirala (1922-1974) Born in India and educated at Banaras arid Calcutta, Koirala was the author of" a novel entitled Snakebite (Sarpadamsha, 1968), a startlingly Freudian tale of child psychology. Not a prolific writer, Koirala published a few stories in Sharada between 1939and 1942, and the rest appeared after 1950. "It Depends upon Your Point of View" is still a very popula story. Koirala's stories can be found in the collection Rdto Svelar (Red Sweater, 1981). IT DEPENDS UPON YOUR POINT OF VIEW (DR1SHTIKON) Professor Niranjan got up later that day than he had ever done before. The red morning sun had already begun to fade. As soon as he got up he felt tired. He had gone to bed very late the night before, and he had not had enough sleep. His lassitude and weariness made him unwilling to leave his bed.How sour his mouth tasted, how heavy his head! As he got up he remembered the previous evening. Each and every second of it danced before his eyes. What a terrible thing he had done. How low he had sunk through his sexual desire. His weakness had brought down his soul—the soul he had held in check for a very long time. What if someone found out? This was his greatest fear. The honor and status he had preserved for so long would be completely wipedout. He would never be able to show his face again. What would they say to him at the college? How could he ever stand in front of his students? Because of one momentary, commonplace error, the professor, who had always been highly respected by his students, would henceforth beconsidered base and immoral. The college girls held him in particularly 271 high esteem. They placed the greatest faith and trust in him because of his supposedly flawless character. But now? If they found out about last night, would they still behave in the same way? Those young women who came in groups to Professor Niranjan's offices to ask him about things they didn't understand—and sat reading for hours, unworried and sure of their safety, in a corner of his lonely room—would they still believe in him when they found out about this? Would they sit calm and trusting like that, reading alone in his office? No, of course they would not. They would keep their distance and whisper among themselves. On the streets, people would point at him and whisper to one another, "That's the professor who . . . you know, with the daughter of the shopkeeper who rents the house below his." Oh, the professor was anxious! Even the morning sunlight scared him, so he hid his face under his quilt. Such a terrible misdemeanor, caused by such a mundane mistake! If he had returned from his friend's house just one minute earlier or later last night, he would not have had to endure such burning remorse. The difference of one minute had caused a terrible misdeed. Now the stain it left would not wash away, even in a lifetime. As he left, his friend's wife had tried to persuade him to stay for one more cup of coffee. If he had just agreed to that trivial thing, he would have gone straight to his room—the encounter on his doorstep, the whole episode, none of it would have taken place. Or if he had left ten minutes earlier, when he first stood up to go, such a terrible thing would never have happened. Such a tiny random chance can destroy a lifetime's happiness. He felt despair as he thought this. Man depends on such slender chances for his joy and sorrow, his excitement, remorse, and regrets, thought the professor, and he began to feel hatred for the world's precision. The more he tried to console himself by belittling the ways of the world to hide the sin he had himselfcommitted, the more his soul shrank down in size. He began to taunt and curse himself. As he lay there in his agitation, he began to repent the mistake of the previous day. He imagined walkingdown the street. Some of the people were grinning at him; others pointed at him from a distance and whispered . The college boys would spread rumors about him; the girlswould be afraid even to come near him. If this thing assumed larger proportions , the news of his immoral act would spread throughout the city, and...


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