Oral Test



In the year 1917 Shree Rang was to appear in the school final
examination. The students successful in that examination, in those
days, were considered eligible for employment in any department,
especially run by the StateGovernment. Mr. Robertson, the principal
of the Gujarat Collage, Ahmedabad was nominated to examine the
students in the oral-test and he was going to examine them in his own


On the appointed date, all the students from Telang High School,
Godhra, who were to be examined in that examination, attended the
Gujarat Collage in time. They were asked to be seated in a room
adjacent to that of the chamber of the principal, and Shree Rang was
one of them seated in the room.


Shree Rang was known amongst his fellow-students as a teaser, in
those days. Hence, one of his friends repeatedly exho rted him to
answer the questions appropriately i.e. without a tint of playful
joke or jeer. Shree Rang assured his friends of the proper


After sometime., when Shree Rang was ushered in; he went to the
chamber of the principal. Before entering in it he asked politely,
“May I come in, Sir,


With a cigar, cornered in his mouth the principal replied
indistinctly, “Ya, Ya.”


Shree Rang entered the chamber and kept standing in front of the
principal. The principal looked at him for a while. By the outward’
appearance, the principal ‘could easily guessed that the student in
front of him must have been a brahman. However, he asked, “Are you


“Yes, Sir.”


The generous and fair principal thought of having a free talk with
Shree Rang. After all it was an oral-test in order to assess the so
called general knowledge of the students.


“Why do you brahmanas pass through a threadceremony ?”


“May I please, reply your question by a counter question or a
plain answer ?”


“As you like it.” Replied the principal with a slight raise of his


“Excuse me, Sir, May I ask your honour, why do you Christians put
on a collar and a neck-tie ?”


“It is an emblem of my religion- Christianity”.




“So is the case with us Hindus. The sacred thread is an emblem of


“Do you cease to be a Hindu brahman if you don’t put on the sacred
thread ?” Principal.


“Do you cease t o be a Christian if you don’t put on collar and
neck-tie?” retorted Shree Rang.


“Not at all. But by putting on these two items of my dress, I feel
that I am a real follower of Christ and I then cease to do anything
that is forbidden by my religion.”



“Exactly, in the same manner, my sacred thread always reminds me
of my being a true and pious brahman and prevent me from doing any
unrighteous deed.” Shree Rang.


Prompt and clever answer from Shree Rang evolved a keen desire in
the mind of the principal to have more conversation with him and he
asked, “why do you, 0 brahman, prefer a round-shaped clean shaving


“Our country is a poor one and this type of shaving costs only one
anna; while tne fashionable hair-cut costs four annas.”


“Is there no other advantage ?” Principal.


Why not ? The brain remains cool and good thoughts get full scope
in the head given tonsured to ” Shree Rang.


“Is it so ?” Principal.


“Yes Sir, you may get your head tonsured like this. Try it at
least once and if you do not feel coolness; you may declare me as
fail in the examination.”


Hearing this reply, Robertson couldn’t resist himself and burst
into laughter. On the whole he was highly pleased to meet with such
an intelligent, free and frank student. Moreover the spirit and
ability of Shree Rang to assert the greatness of his
religion-Hinduism had a great impact upon the mind of Robertson.