With proper reference to the story discuss ‘Journey by Night’ by Ruskin Bond as a tale of triumph of human courage.
Journey by Night by Norah Burke is a tale of human determination and human courage where the protagonist, Sher Singh, a boy of twelve, took his younger brother Kunwar to the hospital and saved his life crossing many adversities on the way.
It was a poor family of four living in a jungle. Sher Singh’s father Sher Singh Bahadur was a brave shikari (hunter) and was away from home on a photographic expedition. The two boys were left home with their mother. But the yonger boy had a severe stomach ache that day and they feared that the boy was dying and must be taken to the hospital in time. Not to mention, the other children of the family had died of cholera, influenza and by jungle accidents. So, Sher Singh felt the illness inside himself and was determined to save his young brother.
The mother had to stay home to mind the cattles and work the land without which they would all starve. So, Sher Singh was the only person there to take the responsibility and he was eager too.
Now his mother tied the little boy to Sher Singh’s back with a sari. He set off through the jungle ways. The hospital was at Kalaghat fifty miles away from there. The load of his brother on his back was getting heavier. Suddenly the daylight went off and he continued his journey in the night. He faced dangerous animals like snakes and tuskers. He could not rest long on the way, as he had to reach his destination in time.
Then he had to cross two rivers, one without bridge. He crossed the clod and flooded river on the wreck of the bridge tying his brother with him. The author has provided a great deal of descriptions of the river and how he made a rope with the grass and cut his finger. He also brought his brother water to drink. After crossing the rivers with great difficulty, he somehow stumbled on. He had lost all his strength by walking a long distance and his knees bent and trembled in pain.
But finally they could get a lift in a bullock cart and then in a truck. They reached the hospital and the doctors started their treatment. They could save the child from dying. And it was only possible for the courage and effort Sher Singh has shown.
It was made possible by his love for his brother and his sense of responsibility and the dogged determination he has inerited from his father, the Bahadur. The doctors all realized his achievement and called him Sher Singh Bahadur (Courageous). The boy deserved the title just like his father did.
This story has been a touchy and inspiring account of the power of determination and human courage.