The class is preparing for a story-telling competition organized by Sane Guruji Vidyalaya. Before selecting the pupils who would be able to tell stories, the class teacher speaks to the class about Sane Guruji and his book, “Shyamchi Aai”. Teacher : Children, Sane Guruji Vidyalaya is organizing a story-telling competition. I would like at least two of you to participate in the competition. Do you know who Sane Guruji was? Malini : yes, teacher, we know hw was a freedom fighter. We have read about him last year. Teacher : you are right, but what you have read in Std. “V is a small part of his achievement. When some of you intend to participate in the story-telling competition, you should know more about him. His mother moulded his character and developed his personality. She taught him the greatest values in life. He had deep respect for his parents. In the book “Shyamchi Aai”, he has recorded some of the interesting episodes of his life and how she taught him the values of life. Sunil : Teacher, please tell us about Sane Guruji and his life.

Teacher : I am happy that you are interested. We may not have enough time to discuss his life at length, but I can give you some idea of his contribution and how his mother taught jhim, as written by him, in his book. The book “Shyamchi Aai” was written by Sane Guruji when he was in prison at Nasik in February 1933. Firoz : Teacher, please tell us more about him. Teacher : Sane Guruji was born on 24 December 1899. His father, Sadashivrao lived in Konkan at Palgad. During his grand father’s time, the family was wealthy but his own parents had to go through hardships and were poor. With great difficulty, he completed his school and college education with courage and determination. He completed his M.A. from S.P. College, Pune. He took up a job as a teacher in a school at Amalner. He was incharge of the school hostel. As in charge of the hostel, he taught the students sef-reliance and developed in them the spirit of service, by his own example. His mother’s teachings, the condition of India and the Satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi greatly influenced him. It was then that his political life began. Pupils : What was his contribution to the Freedom Movement? Teacher : He propagated for the Congress in Khandesh. He was imnprisoned in 1933, 1940 and 1943. It was on one such occasion that he wrote “Shyamchi Aai” in memory of his mother. Sunil : If he could write a book in prison, he must be a great author; whate were the other books written by him?

Teacher : Even during his school days, he used to compose poems. He wrote many poems, novels, essays, dialogues, biographies. All his writings reflect how sensitive he was to naturel, feelings of animals and human beings. Friend lines and deep love are reflected in every episode of his writings. It is worth discussing how he developed the values in life. He respected both his parents but he loved his mother very much and it is this boundless love which made him write the book “Shyamchi Aai”. Malini : What were his main values in life?

Teacher : His main principle was, “Mother’s love is the origin of all other love”. His mother made him great and he made her great to the extent that she was not only the mother of the children of Maharastra but the mother of the children of whole India. Pupils : We would like to know how he became such a nice and great person. Teacher : He learnt his passion for flowers from his father and how to love them from his mother. His mother used to tell him: “Do not pluck the buds from the plant”. Pupils : What were the other values she taught him? Teacher : Her teachings were as follows:

• What you have, share with others. • There is no greater happiness than that of making others happy, and wiping their tears.

• Lift the stone, remove the thorn and plant the tree. Clean the road.

• Speak sweetly to everyone.

• Sit by the side of sick people.

• Our stay in this world is short. Wipe the tears of those who weep, and help them

. • Love is the soul of life.

• Give love and receive love.

• Just as you loved the injured bird and tried to do everything to revive it, love your brother and sister and people.

• Just as you take care to see that your feet do not become dirty, take care that the mind does not become dirty.

• Marriage means some of the qualities of men are acquired by women and some of the qualities of women by men. Pupils : His mother was an ideal mother. It is rightly said that she was not only the mother of all the children of Maharashtra but of those of entire India. Teacher : She loved plants and did not like to hurt them. She loved animals; she worshipped the cow in their house, which was dear to everybody. She gave food and cleaned it with love and care. She treated those who came to work in their house with love and respect. Sane Guruji imbibed these qualities from his mother and spread these values among others through his writings and interaction with people. Pupils : Teacher, where else will we get more matter for preparing for the story competition? Teacher : We will be getting books on Sane Guruji and his thoughts both in Marathi and English so that you can prepare your stories.

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