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The Parker Pen

The Parker Pen


 

When I was in standard eight, I had a great fun in Christmas. It was special because Neelofar, one of my boarding room mates came here to spend the Christmas with me and my family. We two had already told her parents that she would be spending the holiday with us and my father had too spoken with uncle on it and it was finally decided that she would spend the Christmas in our city and then would go back to her city, Indore two days later. Uncle would come and take her off with him for the rest of the holidays to spend with them.

Neelofar came to Kolkata once only and that too when she was a little child of six years. She hardly could recollect any memories of that time. So, this time, my mom decided to take us off to all the important places of Kolkata. We all had wonderful time the week through. On 27th, afternoon, she would be leaving us. So, we were all pensive on from 26th itself. Mom made all her favourite dishes in dinner and papa also joined us in dinner that day. Usually, he dined a bit late with mom but that day he too sat with all of us. After the dinner was done, we all were busy in talking and laughing. Suddenly papa was seen very impatient. Mom asked him about the matter.

He replied with his hands in his pockets, “I am not finding my lighter.”

“Where it could be? Either in your pocket, as it is always kept or may be in your drawer.”

“No, I am directly coming from my club to join the dinner. And I have not changed my dresses too.”

Grand pa asked “When did you use it for the last time? Have you kept it back in your pocket?”

“Yes, papa, you know well, I am very sensitive about it. How could I be careless?”

Neelofar too became a part of us in searching the lighter. She asked “Is it something special to uncle?”

“Yes, Neelu. It was gifted by one of his friends when papa was felicitated for winning the trophy for his court in badminton. That year they defeated the long time winner Bombay High court. The lighter is wonderful. You know, it is a musical one and it has a dolphin imprinted on it. Whenever, it is lit, a blue light is on and the dolphin jumps. It is a silver one.”

“Oh! Then it’s too costly!”

“Neelu, it is not only expensive but is priceless to papa. Mehta uncle, a friend of papa since his college days, has gifted this. He was too close with all of us. He presented it to papa after the win and soon after that, within a couple of months, he died in a road accident. Hope now you can understand that the lighter is not only dear to papa but also uncle’s replica of love. Since that day, papa never uses any other lighter and takes a lot of care of It.” our search was on.  I was afraid to think even where it could be.

 After a lot of fuss, papa screamed in joy,” Look I have found It.! It was slipped in the gap between my pull over and the shirt. Thank you children, you tried a lot for me and Sorry too for killing some of your time on it.” He promised to take us out for ice creams the next morning.

Choco- Dadu seemed to be very nostalgic on this incident. When we asked him about it, he told,” Today’s incident reminded me of my school days. An incident happened nearly to this type of. I was thoroughly present there. From that day, I found a golden heart of someone whom I never liked so much before. I also learnt from that incident that one should not be taken granted for on its face value.”

We all were utterly confused. I asked,” We want to hear the story. Will you tell us, please?”

“Okay, no issue, before going to sleep, come to my room. I will share the incident with you.”

Neelofar had always heard of this story teller. She knew that how I become enchanted at Choco-Dadu’s stories. She did not dare to miss this opportunity and was very excited to hear it. We went to his room and found that papa was also present there, before we were in! He too wanted to hear it!

Choco- Dadu started, “It’s an incident of long back. But still I remember the day vividly because as I told earlier, I taught something new and I discovered some one new. I was then in class ten. We, four of us of the same class, used to go to a teacher’s house for mathematics tution.”

“Our sir was very tough and miser. In summer, he never used the fan. He had a big house. He opened the window and told, ‘Boys, take the pure air outside. Don’t get used to the artificial air.’ We sometime sweated even. On this he told, ‘try to lead a tough life. This will help you in future.’ We were scared of him too. He gave various punishments if we did not do the home tasks neatly. He beat us with his cane. But at the end of the day, he was a very good teacher. He had profound knowledge in his subject. In fact I was a bit away from Maths till I came to him in class eight.

But his wife was very nice and amiable. They had no issue and loved us as her own children. On every Sunday, we had big breakfasts of bread, cake and sweets. We waited for these warm food, wrapped in warmth of fondness and tenderness. We used to finish our breakfast before sir came in the study room. We always reached there while either sir was out of house for bazaar or went to bath.

Sir used to tell us various remarkable incidents of his life. He had told us about one of his precious possessions. It was a gold parker pen with three white stones fitted on it. His grandfather had presented him when he stood second in the I.C.S. Examination.”

Choco- Dadu turned to papa and continued, “It was no nice and glittering. Sir always told us of it with pride. It was one of his rarest possessions, just as yours. And then one day, happened that incident.”

One day, we were called on lunch all of a sudden, as we all got good marks in our entrance exams. We went there in the morning as his wife had called us on. We had our craving and tasty breakfast. While we were at lunch, sir showed us the beautiful, shining golden pen. We all took it in our hands and saw it very closely. It was exactly as he described of it. A few hours later, sir decided to write something and put his hand in his pocket to take out the pen. Suddenly he exclaimed: "My goodness, where is the pen? It is no longer here! Will you boys see if someone has by mistake placed it in his own pocket?"

Immediately we got to our feet and looked in our pockets but the pen was not to be found. Only one boy remained seated and with some embarrassment and said: "I do not have it and I presume that my word of honour should be sufficient."

All other boys left shaking their heads and everyone began to suspect the boy might have stolen the pen, who had not wished to show what was in his pockets. We came back home and it was finally not found.

The following day sir called all of us once again and said: "I have the pleasure to tell you that the pen has been found. The stitches in my pocket had come too loose and it had slipped into the linen.” Turning to that student, he asked, “But you must tell me one thing: why did you not do as the others yesterday?"

The young boy replied: "Sir, I can confide my secret to you. My parents are very poor and since I earn a very little with my tution and give them half of my earned money, at noon I can only afford a cold meal. When you invited me to lunch yesterday, I had already my meal in my pocket, and it would have been a sorry sight to put on show a piece of brown bread and a boiled egg.”


Sir was moved and said: "You are a good son and a laborious boy. You are not only honest but also bear a self respect and respect for your parents too. So that you may all the easier help your parents, from today I invite you to have lunch with me every day." We, the others, all were glad at his decision. Our friend’s eyes shone with gratitude and were filled with tears. He was too shy to speak out anything. From that day, a different affectionate and fatherly figure aroused of our teacher in my mind which I had never seen and felt before.

Afterwards, having invited all his other students and colleagues on another day for dinner in his house for no reason, he described the entire incident of getting lost of his pen confirmed the young student's innocence and as a sign of his affection for him he gave him a magnificent parker pen with the initials of his name written on it in gold.”

Turning towards us, Choco-Dadu told, “It happens often that we mistakenly do something but with an over confidence on ourselves, we never even try to look at our hole points. Rather we love to pass the ball to other courts with ease. If we take a little pain of observing any incident with proper dedication and minute details, the harassment and anxiety of others could be minimized. It is applicable in our lives for any incident. I am sure you all have learnt a lesson from it.”

As it was already late, we all bid him good night and went for sleep.

 

                                  27.02.10//--\\17.00

 

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