A good neighbour is a great blessing. On the other hand, a bad neighbour is a curse. A good neighbour makes life worth living by sharing our joys and sorrows but a bad neighbour is a source of constant trouble and nuisance. As luck would have it, we have both good and bad neighbours.
We live in a crowded locality. The streets are narrow and the houses are mostly multi-storeyed. So we have quite a few neighbours. Our next door neighbour is a poor workman. He is very hardworking. He works from early morning till sunset and yet he can hardly make his both ends meet. He is very self-respecting, however. His wife too is busy doing something or the other. It is because of this that the neighbours do not see much of them.
My next door neighbour to the left is a rich man. He has big business. He lives in a big house. He has many servants but they are all good-for-nothing. They are often picking quarrels with everyone they meet. The rich man’s wife seems to encourage them in this. It is because of this that the neighbours do not have any dealing with the rich man.
In the top storey of the house in which we live there lives a Baboo—an assistant in the Civil Secretariat. He is a thorough gentleman but his wife is a quarrelsome lady. She very often has an altercation with her neighbours. Their children too are spoilt ones. They set their radio at full pitch and disturb others. It is because of this that people do not like to have any dealings with them. They are the most unpopular ones in the building.
Just in front on the opposite side of the street, live the Shuklas. They have a son and a daughter. The son is of my age. We attend the same school and are in the same class. The daughter is still a child but a very charming one. She comes to my house and plays with my sisters.
The Shuklas have a high civic sense. They never do any thing which might displease their neighbours. There is not a function to which they are not invited. Mrs. Shukla is very friendly with my mother and they pass most of their free time together. Mr. Shukla and my father are usually together in the evenings. On Sundays and other festival occasions both the families have lunch together. How lucky we are to have the Shuklas as our neighbours !