Mahfil. v 1, V. 1 ( 1963) p. 18.


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Mahfil, vu3. 1, no, 2

18

THE TEST

When Sardar Surjan Singh, the councellor of the State of Deogarh, became old, he remembered the Supreme Spirit. He went to the king ?md implored him, "0 Friend of the Wretched! Your servant has served Your Highness for forty years, and now my condition is declining and I no longer have rhe strength to manage the affairs of state, I may perhaps have a lapse of memory and my record would "be blemished in my old agCr"

The king greatly respected his experienced, politically-wise councellor. He argued with him, but when the councellor did not relent, the king gave up and accepted his petition, However he made the stipulation that the councellor himself would have to search for a new councellor for the state,

The next day, in all the famous newspapers of the country a notice appeared that a worthy councellor was needed for Deogarh, Whoever considered himself suitable for this post was to present himself before the present councellor, Sardar Surjan Singh, It was not necessary that he be a graduate but it was necessary that he be of robust health. There was not even any need for those troubled with indigestion to take the trouble to try. The conduct and actions of the candidates would be observed for one month, Not so much their learning but rather their actions would be consideredo Whatever great man completely passed this test would be established in this high position,

This announcement created a stir throughout the land, Such a high post, and no restrictions! It was merely a game of chance! Hundreds of men went to try their luck, Newcomers of all types began to appear in Deogarh^ A horde of hopefuls descended from every train. Some came from the Punjab, some from Madras, some were devotees of the New Fashion, some were willing to die for the Old Simplicity, Even Pandits and Maulwis took this chance to test their luck. The poor fellows cursed the name of the diploma which was not needed here« Gaudy turbans, coats and many kind of jackets and caps began to display their colors in Deogarh. But by far the largest number *rbre;th6 graduates, because even though there was no restriction concerning a diploma, with a diploma one^ flaws are concealed,

Sardar Surjan Singh had made excellent preparations for honoring these eminent men. People sat around on their haunches daily counting off the days of the month. Each and every man according to his wisdom tried to show himself in good light, Mr^A1 used to sl6ep until 9:00 ©tclock, Nowadays he greeted the dawn strolling in the garden, Mr, t'Bt was addicted to smoking the hukka; but now, deep in the night, behind closed doors, he smoked a cigar in the dark, Messr, ^, 'S^ and 'J's servants were scared stiff of their masters at home, but now these gentlemen did not even speak to their servants without saying "please" and "thank you". Sir 'K1 was an atheist, a devotee of Huxley, but now, seeing his firmness in religious matters, even the priest of the temple began to fear he himself might be degraded by comparison. Mr, ^'L1



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