SEEMS IT HAPPENED YESTERDAY

Almost forgotten, suddenly Katju jolts the emotional string of memory in talking about Jean Valjean. This story of Jean Valjean was told to us with such marvellousness by my craft lady teacher when I was in 6th std in KV Trimulgherry. She was a born story-teller and as students we listened with rapt attention. Once the tragic poverty was being recounted and Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread from a local baker and then caught and jailed brought tears in our eyes. We were small than but this story kept haunting later in life. And the beauty of it is the same man stealing candle sticks from a church and the Bishop saying he gave it to Jean Valjean shows how merciless bakers and merciful Bishops exist in this world. Bishop showed humanity and divinity and showed the glimpse of God in his goodness. So much of pathos and bathos all rolled into one story. I wonder if this teacher is still alive. She had moved our heart by tugging at it so sharply that its twang can be still heard.

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