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 7

The Broken Pen

The bell rang. The boys came running, as usual to the science room and took their seats. But some seats were still vacant. The teacher stepped out to the adjacent verandah. He saw a group of sad boys grimly gossiping and just unusually plodding on.

"You lazy boys run. Don't waste our time!" shouted the teacher in high pitch.

The group alerted, ran and took their seats, still gossiping in grim whispers.

A grief-stricken, gentle boy, holding two broken parts of a pen in his hands visibly sobbed from within.

Observing him sigh, the parent in the teacher was moved to pity. Addressing the boy caressingly in gentle tones, he said, "Yes, Bubloo stand up. Tell me the cause of your sadness, my boy."

Bubloo sobbed and babbled in undertones. The teacher couldn't make out what the boy meant to say. He patted him and again asked him the cause of his sadness.

The boy again sobbed and muttered something unintelligible. The reasons were obvious: - For. Rs. 5/- was quite a very large sum for the cost of a fountain pens those days and ------. The value of a rupee those days was dozens of times more than that of the present coin of the same denomination, as far as its purchasing power was concerned.

Bubloo's costly pen was broken. Hence his bemoaning demeanour. His in ability to talk freely was natural for a shy, gentle boy like Bubloo.

Addressing a boy sitting next to Babloo, the teacher said. "Yes. Aziz, do you want to say anything about the matter? Stand-up please. Relate what you know about the affair."

Sir, Roshanlal barrowed Babloo's pen and he……and he…. he he-e, and he e-e-e- broke it." came the reply (in stammering words) in reply. Pointing to another class-mate of Bubloo, the teacher said, "Prem. you stand up and narrate what the matter is all about,"

Sir. It is true that Roshanlal borrowed the pen from Bubloo and when he began to write with it the pen broke into two parts. I simply do not know, how.

"Yes Sir, that is true, that is true" endorsed those who sat round Bubloo, in the chorus.

Stand up Roshan. Did you break Bubloo's pen'? Why do you play pranks that are harmful to others?

Roshanlal stood up mum, hanging his head in shame.

This was enough for the teacher to convince him of Roshan's guilt. "Roshan you must buy a new pen to replace Babloo's broken one. I must see him write with it in the class-room tomorrow. Do you understand? Use your pocket money and get help from your mother and sisters. I bare no money to spare for such pranks.

Be careful not to enter the class-room unless you have replaced Bubloo's broken pen with a new one. Sit down", was the order.

The teacher resumed his teaching work.

The next day Bubloo was seen in a happy mood, writing with a new pen.

Days passed by weeks followed. Long after, one day, the class found the teacher in a happy mood and good humor, as he occasionally used to be.

There was heard a dim sound "Sir" from a corner of the classroom followed by repetitions of the same sound, punctuated by regular pauses.

Some perplexing puzzle was simmering for the teacher to face. "Yes Mr. Wani. What is simmering in your mind? Please vomit it out,” said the teacher to him.

No reply came forth.

"You Brij Nath don't be afraid. Be free to say what you want to say,” He said. Brij Nath stood up mum.

From the middle of the classroom stood up a bold student saying, "Sir, they say that they have at last found for once at last, the teacher being certainly unjust."

"May be in adversity, not deliberately though"" retorted the teacher. Adding, "What's it all about? I must know it at least.

"Sir, you punished Roshanlal for no fault of his that day. Babloo's pen had already cracked between the nib-holder and the stem. It was there only by a pin-size connection when Roshan borrowed it from Babloo. No sooner did Roshan begin writing with it than it broke into two", he said.

"Is it so, Babloo?" the teacher asked.

"Yes Sir, it was cracked By implications it meant that the boys wanted the teacher to rescind his previous order.

"The order has been issued and implemented. The question of rescinding the order simply does not arise. The pen belongs to Babloo! It is his now and will continue to remain as such", confirmed the teacher categorically.



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