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Velan was a poor village boy. He belonged to a village named 'Koopal'. One day an astrologer predicted that Velan would live in a three-storeyed building surrounded by a big garden. The villagers found it a joke and made fun of him. However the prediction came true about thirty or forty years later. When Velan was about eighteen years old he left his native village as his father had slapped on his face in front of others for bringing his mid-day meal late. Velan felt hurt and left his village for good. He walked for days and reached the town of Malgudi.

There an old man took him took him to assist him in laying out a garden. Velan was asked to clear a few acres of land which was covered by weeds and plants. For days he worked at his task with rare determination. Soon after this the old gardener with the help of Velan started laying the foundation of a big garden. Unfortunately the old gardener fell ill and died. Velan was therefore made the chief gardener. Velan put his heart and soul into the work and created in no time a beautiful garden. Meanwhile the work of the master's house had been completed. Since the plants were small Velan asked his beloved plants to grow faster and quicker. Nature responded to his call. The flower plants and the numerous trees he had planted grew up in size and beauty. The garden gave a beautiful appearance to the mansion. The mansion came to be known as 'Kumar Baugh'. Numerous varieties of plants grew up in Velan's garden. Velan was particularly fond of the Margosa tree which he had planted. The tree was like his own child. He showered upon it his best attention and care.

Velan lived in a thatched hut, happy and contended. Years quickly rolled by. Velan was becoming old. So too his master. The beautiful mansion by now had lost its glitter and charm. The master was ill and bed-ridden. After few years of suffering the master died. When Velan heard about the news of his master's death, he was greatly perturbed for he knew that his master's son wouldn't care for his garden. Soon the sons quarreled amongst themselves and went to live in another house. Thereafter, a few tenants came to stay in a big house but none of them stayed long in the house. Hence the house came to be known as a 'Ghost House'. Velan continued to live in his thatched hut. After some years the master's sons entrusted the key of the mansion to Velan. Hence, when Velan's hut began to leak, he began to live in the verandah of the big mansion. Thus the prophecy about Velan living in a three-storeyed building came true.


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Q: Summary on the lesson on habits by a g gardiner?
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The London newspaper editor A.G.Gardiner once wrote an interesting article on how useful or troublesome habits can be to a man. His argument is that helpful habits can be cultivated. He usually spent long hours with a pencil in his hand. The pencil had become a part of his organism. Pencil promoted his thoughts. It became his favourite weapon with which he wrote fluently. A pencil was as stimulating to him as his sword was to Artagnan, the fighting hero in the novel, or as his cheroot was to Grant, the U.S.President. One morning Gardiner tried writing an article without a pencil, but with a pen. His mental mechanism failed and the pen won't move. He had thought his pen would jump like a horse but it remained as obstinate as a mule. However hard he tried, the pen could not be moved. He thought he was Stevenson in the story riding his mule Modestine which would not move. The habit of using a pencil had become such strong in him that a pen became of no use to him. Habits can cause failure in life as well as success. Gardiner cites a cruel joke played by Walter Scott on a classmate. The boy was First in the class whom Scott rivalled. The boy always answered questions fingering a button on his jacket. Scott cleverly removed this button and the boy became a failure not only in the class but later in his life also. This poor fellow early took to drinking and died of consumption. Most of us are bundles of habits neatly done up in a coat and trousers. But habits should be a stick that we use, not a crutch to lean on. Bad habits should be thrown away and good habits cultivated. Gardiner had a problem of finding his coat and hat when he left his club. So he cultivated the habit of hanging them always in a particular peg or the one nearest to it. It worked and solved his problem.

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