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The Nose Jewel

The Nose Jewel

Ramayya was a simple man living in the town. He lived with his wife in a nice house made of tiled roofs. He was not rich but he could take care of his family. Two sparrows built a nest in a nice spot in the roof of Ramayya's house and the mother bird laid her eggs in it. “My dear," began the male sparrow. “And what do you want now?" asked his wife. "Why does the lady of this house always quarrel with her husband?" "How am I to know?" said the female bird. “Let us mind our own business." "You are always self-centred," said the male sparrow and added, "Should we not help this poor Ramayya?" The female sparrow said with disdain, "Let me see what help you can do for him. Please do not talk about what does not concern us. See that the cat does not come near our nest. That would be enough for you and me." Somewhere in the muck- heap lay a diamond nose- jewel. The male bird picked it up and came to the nest with the shining stud in his beak and said to his wife: "Look! Do you like this? The wife bird replied, "What am I to do with diamond nose studs or with ear-rings? Find some grub; the young ones are hungry."

The bird dropped the diamond stud on the floor and went out in search of little worms for the young ones. Ramayya's wife noticed the jewel as she was sweeping the floor. She picked it up with delight and wore it. Ramayya questioned her angrily, "How did you get this diamond-stud?" "I found it lying here yesterday and took it. That is all." "We should go and handover it to the village magistrate. If tomorrow the police should come and search our house, it will be disgraceto us."

In Meenakshi Ammal's house nearby, the talk went thus: "I forgot and left it in the bathroom. Kuppayi, the servant woman must have swept it out. She is very careless and ignorant." The mother, Meenakshi Ammal, consoled her little girl saying, "Let us search and find it. Don't tell father yet. He would go into a rage if he knew that you had lost the diamond nose-stud."

"What is the secret you are whispering?" asked Ramanatham.

The loss of the jewel had to be admitted. Soon the whole village knew about it. The maid-servant Kuppayi was suspected by everyone to have stolen it. The police came and searched her hut, but could find nothing.

Ramayya's heart was in a flutter. Ramayya's wife put the stud away in her box. She soon developed a severe fever and was confinedto her bed. No one thought of searching their house.

The he-sparrow said, "Look at the fun, my dear, the lady of this house is scared and is down with fever." "Nice fun indeed!" said the she- sparrow. "The poor woman is in a panic. The fever may be the end of her." "And a good thing too," said the cruel male sparrow. "It is all your doing you brought and threw it here and tempted her," said the female bird. The male bird answered gravely, "Did I tell her to steal the thing? This is bound to happen when human are being greedy.”

“Rightly said, we should never be greedy for what belongs to others". "Come, let us go now and bring some worms for the young ones.” And the two flew out. Ramayya and his wife spend the rest of life in fear of being caught. The diamond nose-jewel may still be with them, but the fear of getting caught was even more.

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari(1878-1972) informally called Rajaji, was an Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer, historian and statesman. Rajagopalachari was born in the village of Thorapalli in the Krishnagiri district. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor- General of India, as India soon became a Republic in 1950. Furthermore, he was the first Indian-born governor- general, since before him the posts were held by British nationals. He also served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state. He was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

Do You Know:

A bird’s eye takes up about 50 percent of its head; our eyes take up about 5 percent of our head. To be comparable to a bird’s eyes, our eyes would have to be the size of baseballs.


self-centred (adj) – concerned with the self

disdain (n) – feeling of contempt or scorn

muck heap (n) – heap

grub (n) – food

magistrate (n) – a judicial officer with limited authority to administer and enforce the law

disgrace (n) – the state of being dishonored, or covered with same

ignorant (adj) – unaware

consoled (v) – comforted (someone) in the time of grief or disappointment

suspected (v) – believed to be a cause or at fault

flutter (v) – to flap or wave quickly but irregularly

confined (v) – restricted, kept in a limited space or area

panic (adj) – frightened

cruel (adj) – merciless or heartless

gravely (adv) – in a grave or serious manner

Choose the correct synonyms for the italicized words.

1. Nice fun indeed!

a. infact  b. doubtedly  c. fine

Ans: a. infact

2. The poor woman is in a panic.

a. fear  b. grid  c. crash

Ans: a. fear

3. The mother consoled her little girl.

a. pretended  b. comforted  c. left

Ans: b. comforted

4. You are always self-centred.

a. egostic  b. generous  c. heroic

Ans: egoistic

5. What is the secret you are whispering?

a. rumourers  b. murmuring  c. shouting

Ans: b. murmuring

Find the antonym for the following words

1. delight × sorrow

2. disgrace × honour

3. careless × careful

4. secret × open

5. confine × free

Fill in the blanks.

1. The sparrows built their nests in the _________.

Ans: roof

2. The diamond jewel was lying in the _______.

Ans: Muck heap

3. The diamond jewel belonged to _______ .

Ans: Meenakshi Ammal’s daughter

4. __________ was the servant maid of Meenakshi Ammal.

Ans: Kuppayi

5. Ramayya and his wife lived with the fear of __________ .

Ans: getting caught

Say the following statements are True or False.

1. Two sparrows built a nest on a tree top.

Ans: False

2. Kuppayi swept out the diamond jewel.

Ans: False

3. Ramayya gave the diamond jewel to the magistrate.

Ans: False

4. Ramayya's wife put the stud away in her box.

Ans: True

5. The Police searched Rammaya’s home.

Ans: False

Answer the following questions

1. Where did the sparrows build the nest?

Ans: The sparrows built the nest in a nice spot on the roof of Ramayya’s house.

2. Why did the bird drop the diamond stud?

Ans: The female sparrow did not want the diamond stud. So the male sparrow dropped the diamond stud on the floor and went out.

3. What were the words of Meenakshi Ammal to her daughter?

Ans: Meenakshi Ammal told her daughter not to tell her father about the lost diamond nose-stud.

4. Who was suspected of stealing the diamond nose stud?

Ans: Kuppayi, the maid.

5. What did Ramayya’s wife do with the stud?

Ans: Ramayya’s wife put the stud away in her box.

6. What happened to Ramayya’s wife at the end

Ans: Ramayya’s wife fell sick with a fever. She became bedridden. Her rest of the life was spent in fear of being caught by the police.


Ramayya – Simple man living in the town. He lived with his wife.

Additional Questions

1. Ramayya’s house if made of _____ roofs

Ans: tiled

2. “Let us mind our own business” – Who said these words to whom?

Ans: Female sparrow said this to the male sparrow

3. According to the female sparrow, what should not come near the nest?

Ans: Cat

4. When the male sparrow showed the diamond nose-jewel, the female sparrow asked the male sparrow of look for _____ instead?

Ans: Grub

5. According to Ramayya, the jewel need to be handed over to

Ans: village magistrate

6. Police suspected and searched the hut of

Ans: Kuppayi

7. Did police found the diamond nose jewel in Kuppayi’s house?

Ans: No

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