Folk Tales from Kashmir

Table of Contents

  Twin Scientists
  Daddy’s Distress
  Breaking the Horse
  She is the Apple of My Eye
  Daddy’s Coronation
  The In-Law Tussle
  Broken Pen
  The Dudda
  Daddy’s Nightmare
  Rise and Fall
  Rivalry and Rebuff 
  Mini Marco Polo
  Royal Dudda
  Facing the Challenge
  Yes, No? May be So
  Crest Fallen
  Shock Treatment
  Grandma’s Shivratri
  Conquering Death
  Prickly Thistle
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Chapter 11

Rivalry and Rebuff

Thinking that he had already started well by spreading the net of patronization over Prithve, Sharda began pondering over how fresher strategy of winning over the favors of the new boss, may be, perhaps by using Prithve also as a tool. It took him sometime keeping a close watch on the activities and movements of his friends, adversaries, the British boss and Prithve alike. This afforded an opportunity to plan and execute his plans.

Time ticks off. One fine summer day Sharda invited the new British boss to a reception dinner in his honor at his home along with Prithve and his hostel colleagues. A few minutes earlier, the British boss and hostel staff left the hostel premises for the venue of reception which happened to be at a stone's throw from there.

On reaching Mr. Sharda's residence they were led into a spacious hall where quite a good number of respectable towns folk. VIPs were already seated according to the Kashimiri style in that dinner hall. The party was guided to take their assigned seats. Self introductions by the guests over, followed by general discussions and free chats over a pre-dinner cup of tea, ranging from the history and geography of the town to the progress of allies in world-war II.

Dinner sheets were spread. Thalies (plates) were ready to be placed in front of each one of the guests. The chief guest of honor seemed to smell the rat. He shouted out," Mr. Sharda haven't we to wash our hands before we begin eating our food? Have the hon'ble guests already done so? Please show me where to wash my hand. My hostel boss will not permit me to eat food without cleaning my hands before hand!"

Thalies were quickly removed. Hands washed and thalies replaced. A beeline of service-boys began their job of distributing the delicious preparations. Meals were heftily devoured. Appreciative remarks passed. Dinner was over, followed by Kashmiri Kahva. The guests began trickling out. The assembly dispersed, some hissing, some talking in low tones while others talking aloud.

"Prithve seems to be quick-witted intelligent and a brave man of integrity". Say some.

"The principal must be really true and tolerant Christian and a democrat", remarked others.

And yet others sadly expressed their forebodings about Prithve's hard times ahead.

"It seems that the chief guest has inadvertently sown seeds of thorns for Prithve!" and so on and so forth.

Mr. Sharda accompanied the chief guest and party back to the hostel.

A few days later, a staff meeting was held in the assembly hall of the institution. The agenda of the meeting having been discussed threadbare one by one; the assembly felt itself relaxed to engage themselves in free-informal talks before dispersal.

"Do you know what I have done in the hostel? I have raised it by four inches above the ground level." Said the Principal.

"How did you do so, sir?" asked a member surprisingly. "You know that the hostel staff used to dine on dirty chadars before I had become a hosteller. Now we dine on 4" high wooden chowkies (small individual tables)" replied he.

This provided Mr. Sharda an opportunity to strike the nail on the head.

Being quick-witted and clever, retorted he, "This is sheer degradation and against the principles and traditions of the school. This is a fundamentalist way of eroding cosmopolitanism. Couldn’t they have built a common dining table for the purpose?"

A hush of silence was followed by gazing eyes some  with raised eyebrows, some with pity on Prithve, while others casting angry looks on Mr. Sharda!.

The boss who had by now openly displayed some regard for Prithve felt embarrassed. He looked down with a sense of self-introspection regarding his judgment of Pirthve seriously.

In low tones verging on whispers he said to Prithve, Mr. Prithve you have belied my faith in you. What reply have you to give to "Mr. Sharda's remarks?"

"Sir, before my reply to Mr. Sharda's remarks, may I need to assure you that I'm a firm believer in and upholder of school principles and of its honor and torchbearer of its traditions to the very core of my heart. As regards Mr. Sharda's remarks, may I just remind your good self about the small, cell-like space which your honor knows, we use as our office, our drawing-cum-bedroom as well as our dining room-cum-store room all in one. Mr. Sharda, more than anybody else has had very intimate knowledge of this fact. It's incomprehensible how my venerable friend and honored colleague has knowingly chosen to make such a derogatory remark in the very face of the glaring facts.

Besides, being a widely respected, socially popular and highly knowledgeable and intelligent person, who can believe that he doesn't know the small amount we spent on these small chokies. As a chief guiding figure of the school programs, he certainly knows how many times more expenditure for a common cosmopolitan type of a dining table would cost, not to speak of the additions of chairs as also the store where to keep them", meekly replied Prithve.

"Yes, Mr. Sharda, my science master can never be wrong”: retorted the Principal quite satisfactorily.



Facebook Account Follow us and get Koshur Updates Video clips Image Gallery
Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a 501c(3) non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving.

 | Home | Culture & Heritage | Copyrights Policy | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Credits | Contact Us |

Any content available on this site should NOT be copied or reproduced

in any form or context without the written permission of KOA.