Madhav cried, bursting into the room, I am
going to renounce the world!
Barely were the
words out of his mouth than he regretted their abruptness. He stood
breathlessly; he had run all the way from the river to deliver this
news to her. Might he not have paused to sense her mood, to wait for
the moment when their thoughts were of an accord, as often they
were? He realized that his eagerness was an act of cruelty, his
words crashing like flung rocks into the contentment of her mind.
The book she was
reading dropped from her hands, and the smile that had started to
come into her face at the sight of him drained away. She looked
suddenly old and frightened.
With three steps
Madhav was kneeling beside her. It's not as
though I were going to die, Mother! he said, attempting
to make her laugh. Had she not taught him all along that a life
devoted to God was the only truly vital life? In
fact, he continued, it is quite
She closed her dyes
and breathed heavily, holding one hand to her heart and lifting the
other to silence him until, in a moment, she could recover. He
upbraided himself again for his gaucheness.