Paul's Present-A CBSE English textbook story - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Paul's Present-A CBSE English textbook story

Our CBSE English textbooks had several exciting stories which I still cherish. One such story was My Dog Marcus about which I have written in an earlier post. This post shares another such touching story.

I’ve forgotten the title, names of the authors or the lead characters, but subject of the story is still intact in my mind. Below is a brief recreation of the same. All credits to original authors. (Feb 23 Update: Story name is PAUL's Present, Paul is the name of lead character-reminded by Vasudha)
The story has two characters- a poor family consisting of a son who is ill and bed ridden, and his mother who is working hard trying to make ends meet.
Son’s birthday is nearing and mother has no money to buy a gift. She tries to make her son’s birthday special by sending a request to local radio station to read out her msg on his birthday. On the day of his birthday, Mom borrows a radio from neighbours, charges it (age old radios weren’t as simple as present day ones) and as the evening program starts, she and her son sit to listen to radio, with mom hoping to surprise the kid as his name will be read out in radio.
Earlier in the day, when mom was away at work, some thing different had happened. A post had arrived from the radio station and son had opened it. It was a regret letter from Radio station stating they won’t be able to play her birthday wish request (due to some reason- may be too many requests? Radio stations those days had the courtesy to respond stating they can’t play a request)
Hence the kid knew that the station won’t be announcing his name, despite his mom’s best intentions and hope. Fortunately for him, his mom falls asleep due to sheer exhaustion, while the program was in progress.
This is what the kid does: He suddenly jolts his mother and wakes her up.. “Mom Mom, did you know what just happened?” he exclaims in excitement… “they just wished me-they read out my name. can’t believe they did”
“How did they know?” – asks mom trying to act surprised… They both hug each other…
Ok- Above is not an artistic narration and misses out most of the finer details that makes the story exciting and meaningful to read. if you can get hold of the text book, please do read.

Sadly it looks like there’s no archive of such textbooks. Some university or organizations like Google should digitize such books and make them available for everyone…


  1. I do remember the story. Somebody in our class had made skit out of it remember??? (we had to perform skit for every lessons, thus i remember most of those stories!!!)The title of the story is Birthday gift or something.. sorry don't remember.

  2. Very touching story indeed. This is 3rd blog where I am reading something to touch the heart.

  3. Nisha: what are the other 2?

    Geetha Singh: thanks

  4. It was interesting to read this story and your point is a valid one...there should be some systematic archiving of these lessons because they are updated and the older versions are lost...good thought and good rendering.

  5. The title of the story is PAUL'S PRESENT. Paul is the name of that boy. He had polio

  6. Thanks Vasudha for providing this

    Will update the post

  7. i don't remember the name of the play...may be in class 11 or 12...wherein one greedy landlady accomodates 2 men in one hotel room. One man works in the daytime while other works at night. So, when one is not present, the other would occupy the room. The landlady smartly choriographes the accomodation and earns a double amount from a single room. She even tries her best to keep both men apart and smartly maintains room conditions as per the likes of the two. But her attempt could not last long and her extra-smartness gets exposed when the two men meet each other.
    can anyone tell me the name and author of this play??...thanx.

  8. I don't remember reading such a story.. may be introduced after we completed our course

  9. The exact same story I asked my friend today whether he remembers the name of the story!!!!

  10. I am also a student of cbse school and I still remember reading them and I thank the cbse board for publishing such emotional stories in our text books,I appreciate the stories which touch the soft corners of every individual in their own way.I feel lonely at times remembering those stories.I still pray god to give me back those wonderful school days.

  11. I came to your blog while searching for another story from NCERT English textbook.
    I'm glad to see there are others like me who fondly remember the textbook stories from their childhood.
    The story that you've shared is also quite touching.

  12. @Ashu thanks

    Yes, these are very touching stories. Not easy to forget...


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