“The Bull Beneath The Earth” is fittingly titled. The title effectively encapsulates the story’s concept and foreshadows the events to follow. The term ‘bull’ refers to the story’s elderly protagonist, the father of Karan Singh. His own sorrows weigh heavily on him.
The Bull beneath the Earth Summary
The Bull beneath the Earth Introduction:
This story is about two friends. They were Mann Singh and Karam Singh. They were serving in the same regiment in Burma. Mann Singh visits Karam Singh’s house when he comes on leave. He finds that the members of Karam Singh’s family are very cold and formal towards him.
He is bitterly disappointed at their cold behaviour. But later on he comes to know the reason of their dry behaviour. They had got the news of their son’s death. They withhold the news of the death of their son.
The Bull beneath the Earth Summary in English
This story is about two army men. They were Havildar Karam Singh and Naik Mann Singh. Both of them were serving in the same Regimental Centre in Burma. They were now serving together in a battalion on the Burma front. Karam Singh had joined the army earlier and was now a Havildar. Mann Singh was a Naik.
Many persons from Karam Singh’s village often enquired from his father when he would come on leave. He was a healthy and friendly character. He had a very pleasant manner of speech. People loved to sit by his side and listen to his tales of war and adventure.
There were many young men from Karam Singh’s village in the army. But when they came on leave, they did not have many topics for talk. Karam Singh used to tell several things to the people of his village. Karam Singh was often busy talking with the people of the village. He was a good shot. In the war several Japanese were killed by his bullets.
Thus he took revenge for his serveral men killed by the Japanese in the war. While on leave in his village, Karam Singh kept up an interesting course of discussion with people of the village. This went on till midnight by the fire.
During the war gymnastics and many other things had of course been stopped. One never met anyone from one’s village or town. When Mann Singh was about to go on leave, Karam Singh felt that he should also get some leave. Then they could go on leave together. They could perhaps pass the holidays together.
But it was difficult to get leave during war days. Karam Singh belonged to a village in district Amritsar. Mann Singh belonged to Chuharkana (now in Pakistan). Amritsar was not more than fifty miles away from Mann Singh’s Chuharkana.
When Mann Singh got into the military truck to come away, Karam Singh gave him the parting message. He told Mann Singh that he must go to his village and see his people before he returned from leave.
Summary of The Bull beneath the Earth
As Mann Singh had not been to areas outside Amritsar, Karam Singh told him about the geography of his village. Karam Singh told him that there were a number of gurudwaras in the countryside of Amritsar. They were Taran Taran, Khadur Sahib and Goindwal. He could visit all of them. Then he could see his parents and members of the family. He will write to them about his visit. Mann Singh had to take a tonga to reach Karam Singh’s village.
Mann Singh reached Karam Singh’s house and introduced himself to Karam Singh’s father. Mann Singh sat on the string-bed. Karam Singh’s father looked disturbed. His eyes wandered away from Mann Singh’s face. Mann Singh’s thought this welcome rather strange. He asked the old man if he was Karam Singh’s father. He told Mann Singh that Karam Singh had written about his visit to them.
The old man got up and walked away to the courtyard. He petted one buffalo calf and then went inside to announce Mann Singh’s arrival. He wanted tea to be sent to Mann Singh. Then he went near the mare. He put in some more gram in the chaff.
But the old man seemed lost. Mann Singh asked about Jaswant Singh. Mann Singh knew that Jaswant Singh was Karam Singh’s younger brother. He had gone outside. Then Karam Singh’s mother brought tea. Mann Singh wished ‘Sat Sri Akaľ to Karam Singh’s mother. Mann Singh said to himself that the Majhails were strange people.
Jaswant Singh came at night. The talk between the two became more informal. Mann Singh said that Karam Singh’s bullet had killed several Japanese in the war. He wanted to tell more about Karam Singh but nobody in the house was interested to listen.
The Bull beneath the Earth short Summary
Jaswant Singh then told his father that canal water will be available to them the day after tomorrow at three o’ clock in the morning. Mann Singh said that Karam Singh in the army did not have to get up early in the morning. This remark about Karam Singh failed to arouse any interest in anyone in the family.
Next, food came with several dishes for him. Jaswant Singh kept waving the fan as Mann Singh ate. He forgot the feeling that he had not been shown much attention. As he finished. food, Karam Singh’s little son walked in. He asked the child if he would like to go to his father. Mann Singh told the child that place gets a lot of rain and he would have a lot of water for playing.
Mann Singh’s words seemed to pierce the old man’s heart. He shouted that the child should be taken away. The mother came and took the child away. Mann Singh’s food stuck in his throat. Then he started making enquiries about his morning’s journey. Jaswant Singh offered to go to see off Mann Singh.
Mann Singh told Jaswant Singh that Karam Singh had won for himself a name in the army. Jaswant started talking about the sugarcane crop. Mann Singh wanted to talk about his friend. He planned his journey back to his village. He thought he would take the night train at Amritsar.
The Bull beneath the Earth Summary eassay
After some time the postman brought a letter containing Karam Singh’s pension papers. The postman gave the information to Mann Singh about Karam Singh’s death and the grief in the village. All shed copious tears over the news of his death. Karam Singh’s father was sorry that they had kept the news of Karam Singh’s death away from him.
Mann Singh’s eyes ranged over the environment which formed the area. There were forts built around the villages for protection. There were tombs and monuments which had many a deathless story of heroic fights against the invaders of Bharat. That was the secret of the old man’s capacity for absorbing the shocks. He could comfortably absorb additional burdens to lighten the burden of other persons.
Mann Singh had heard that there was a bull which bore upon its head the burden of the whole earth. Karam Singh’s father was just another person who could share other people’s burdens.