Anil is at Home on the Farm


Sincerity and Earnest Endeavour

You may have been wondering about my brother and why he does not feature much in my stories. It is because he went to live with my uncle quite early on in his life. This was because my uncle had no children. This made Uncle Sanjay and his wife very distraught. My mother and father knew that my brother, Anil, was very fond of Uncle and Aunt and that he would be very happy with them. Initially he was told nothing about the plan, but went to stay with them for a short holiday. My uncle kept many animals and this was a lifestyle my brother enjoyed greatly. Not for him the goings on at the temple; he would rather be riding horses. When he returned after two weeks he talked non-stop about Uncle’s place.

“Did you enjoy it so much that you cannot think of anything else, my son?” asked my mother.

“I wish we had a farm,” said Anil wistfully.

“How about if you went to stay with uncle for longer to see if you really prefer that kind of life?”

My brother’s eyes lit up. “Could I really? Could I go and stay with Uncle all the time and come here for holidays?” he asked.

“What if you get lonely and start to miss your brother, Ramesh and your sister? What if you miss us, your parents?”

”Oh, yes, I know I will miss you, but I know that I am a lot of help to my uncle and my aunt says he is never happier than when I am with him. She says they are very sad not to have their own son and I could be like a son to them. I would still love you all of course!” said he, looking apologetically round at the family.

My sister and brother were not very close. They used to squabble quite a lot and my sister wanted to have my brother’s bedroom, but he would never agree to move out of it. She sat quietly, not saying a word during this conversation. She did not want to seem to want him to go, but secretly she was quite happy about it.

It was decided that my brother should live with our uncle for a trial period of six months to see if we were all happy with the new situation. He would be able to visit us regularly, as my uncle would bring his produce to market most weeks. During that six months my brother showed himself to be a true farmer, especially with the animals. He loved and cared for them; he cleaned them out and bathed their wounds. He worked very hard to show that he would be a worthy addition to their family. One day when he and my uncle called to see us, my uncle said, “Young Anil here is the best worker I’ve had in a long time. Trouble is, he doesn’t know when to stop. We call him in for his meals and he says he isn’t hungry, he’s too busy with the cattle!”

My brother looked down at his feet.

“You’ll learn,” said my father. “Earnest endeavour is one thing, but you must not become addicted to work. We all need time to enjoy ourselves.”

“But work is my enjoyment!” protested Anil.

“Well, I’m not really complaining,” said Uncle. “When I said he’s the best worker I’ve had in a long time, I meant it sincerely. I couldn’t wish for a better nephew, or are you my son now, Anil?”

We all laughed and my father said, “Well, let’s look at his ears. No, I think he’s still my son. Only my family have ears that stick out like that!”

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • How do you feel when somebody promises to do something for you and does not do it?
  • Do you ever make promises you know you can’t keep? If so why? Is that OK?
  • How do you feel after making a real effort with some work, compared to times when you didn’t really bother much?

Guidance on sincerity