at the seat. Instead of blowing his top, he picked me up in his arms and said, "You did it?" I nodded, "Yes I did it!" "But, look son." He tried to explain, "I can't go out with a bottomless pajama — I am a man". I whispered, "And so am I". He just stared, and embraced me. And from that day I got proper pajamas to wear. Dad was a great friend, a very understanding and loving person. Time flies fast — my father's leave was almost over, but the construction work still remained incomplete. He had to go back to Amritsar to resume his duties, and my mother badly needed more money. Two days before his departure he took a loan of Rs. 1,500 from a friend, a Zargar (ornament maker), to somehow finish the construction work, and mortgaged our part of the haveli for this amount. This Rs. 1,500 brought a lot of trouble and hardship to the family as the interest for the loan went on adding. My father resigned his job as a postman and searched for a new clerical job. He did his best to pay off the loan; he but could not. Destiny's smile had changed into a fearsome frown. Soon my little sister Guro was born. While my father slogged in Amritsar to support the family and pay the monthly interest, my mother and grandmother somehow managed to survive. I fell sick, very very sick and the chubby child was soon a bundle of bones. The fair skin was tarnished and looked quite dusky. The handsome Kidar Nath became an ugly urchin. Lack of nourishment also made me a dull boy. The only thought that kept me alive was that my father was my best friend, and that I must stand by my best friend and help him to surmount his difficulties. Having found a tenant for the rebuilt Haveli, we all moved to Amritsar. Across our house lived a shop-keeper known for being a miser. He called a carpenter to fix the main door to his dwelling, because the top of the frame had cracked. A robust argument ensued because the shop-keeper would pay only half a rupee, while the carpenter wanted one. His reason being that an appropriate piece of wood had to be cut to match the area being repaired and then he would have to level the surfaces at a very awkward angle. But the owner was adamant and said, "Just nail the piece of wood, do not level it or do any fancy work, because I shall pay you only half a rupee", as he walked away in a huff.