Someone’s Deposit

That farmer Nanji came to the police station to inform that a little boy and a girl are sitting under a tree in his farm….the boy crying and insisting that he be taken to his mother, while the girl is trying to pacify him…she is trying really hard …..”Now Sir, please come and take things under your control.”

“How old is the girl?”

“May be six or seven years”

“And the boy?”

“Perhaps three years.

“Come. I will join you.” ….saying which, Somabha locked the police station and went with Nanji to his farm.

Two innocent children! The little boy had cried himself hoarse. It was nearing evening and the girl too was nearly broken down.

Now Somabha started thinking. Whose children might they be? The little boy would hardly know a thing and the girl was not uttering a word about her parents.

He addressed the farmers gathered around him.:”Check your wells.”

“Already done”

“What about the trees?”

“No one found hanging”

“Well then, come girl…carry your brother along….is any bullock cart heading back to village?”

“Yes, many, but they are loaded with bales grass.

“No problem,” said Sombha,”we will lift them up…..I will walk behind”

Thus they set off. Sombha opened the police station, took the children inside and after making them comfortable, started doing his paperwork.

“Girl, what is your name?” After much coaxing and cajoling, came a reply: Valki.

“And your brother’s?”

“Bhikhlo”

“Mother’s name?” “Don’t know”

“Father’s name?” “Don’t know”

“Name of the village?” “Don’t know”

Ultimately Sombha had to use some police tactics. Reluctantly he started scolding her. After pinching her once or twice, the girl ultimately said:” Don’t know anything about father…..mother brought us here from some far away place….sat us down under that tree…..said you will get plenty to eat…..if someone asks for my name, don’t give it….otherwise the curse of the Mother Goddess will fall upon the family….”

Sombha understood. In times of famine, unable to feed the two children, the mother had left them in God’s

care…..and left for some unknown destination…..leaving this deposit in the care of the villagers.

But now constable Sombhai Nathabhai Vagadiya was totally confused. In the absence of his boss, what should he do with the two kids” In this freezing winter cold, and missing their mother’s comforting shelter, should something untoward happen, he would be answerable to God……no, he cannot let that happen.

He tried to persuade the villagers, but no one was willing to accept their responsibility. Moreover, this was a police case, so everyone found an excuse. Gradually, the crowd disappeared.

Ultimately, Sombha took both of them to his own home, thinking. let them spend a couple of days with his own children….will arrive at some decision once the boss returns.

The boss returned….after two days…..accompanied by a murder accused in chains…and got very busy almost immediately. Started giving the accused some police treatment to extract a confession. He also started doing the necessary paper work. On the third day he went to transfer the accused to the headquarters. This police station was now very busy what with the police jeeps coming and going,bringing villagers to record their statements and other incidental work.

On the sixth day, when there was some breathing time, Sombha placed the papers of these kids before the boss.

The boss read them and asked:” Where are the kids now?”

“At my place”

“Hope they are well?”

“Yes Sir.”


“Well then, report to the headquarters and arrange for their stay in an orphanage…..do one thing….you go there personally to-morrow with all the papers…..we have received some material in connection with that murder case, which is also to be deposited there…..and, take the kids with you”

Sombha came home and told his wife Jamnaben, everything.

“O.K.” said Jamnaben.

But early in the morning, while Sombha was still making his preparations, Jamnaben said:” I say, will you do one thing?’

“What?”

“Will you check out on the orphanage first? I have heard that they raise their hands on the kids, make them work hard and often they don’t get enough to eat either….you leave kids there only after you are satisfied…..”

“How can I do that? This is a police case….I have to leave the kids at the police headquarters……where are they?”

“They are playing [n the backyard…..please listen to me and check out on the orphanage…you can tell the boss there that the girl is running a high temperature , and,therefore, you have not brought her….”

That set Sombha thinking. Ultimately he left without the kids.

In the evening, after returning home,he talked with Jamnaben. She was right. The caretaker of the orphanage was not a good person. The children were treated so badly that many older ones were actually running away from there.

“Oh God, if the things are so bad, than who will look after these two poor kids?” said Jamnaben. “wouldn’t it be better if we were to keep them with us? After they grow up a bit we can send them to my parental home. My sister-in-law is unable to bear a child….she might adopt them. Otherwise I can talk to my father, he will easily arrange for them somewhere. There will be no problem feeding and raising them.”

Once again Sombha was set thinking. Certainly there was merit in what Jamnaben said.

So, he convinced his boss and after doing some paperwork ensured that the kids stayed with him!

“………The one in the green frock is Valki….we have now changed her name to Bhanki….and that boy wearing khaki shorts is Bhikhlo ….now Raghu. But it is Bhanki who bosses over everybody in this house…you know she is the eldest. She cares for all the siblings…scolds them,orders them about and ensures that they have timely meals. We,therefore, lovingly call her Jamadar.

Sub Inspector Sombha completed his story and lit another cigarette. Valki alias Jamadar came and placed two cups of tea in front of us. She had now grown up and could now run the entire household. After placing the tea cups near us, she gave us a cursory glance and quickly returned to the kitchen, drawing the curtain behind her.

“You have taken really good care of <SOMEONE’S DEPOSIT>”

“what do you mean by <SOMEONE’S DEPOSIT>?” said the sub inspector. “It is ours now….we had two…we now have four. Should anyone now come to claim them…Sombha, hesitated, before adding, “I will use my baton and shoo them away!….Is there anyone who would dare to even touch Sombha’s deposits?

BY GIRISH GANATRA

A German Joke

Beim Schulunterricht meldet sich der kleine Fritz:” Herr Lehrer,ich muss mal raus!”

Der Lehrer vertroestet ihn auf die nahe Pause. Das gleiche wiederholt sich zweimal.

Kurze Zeit darauf meldet sich Fritzchens Nachbar:” Herr Lehrer, der Fritz braucht nicht mehr raus, der ist schon drinnen draussen gewesen!”

A Resolve To Support

A director called God sometimes shows us some scenes on the screen of streets only to tell us that you might have come by this road only by chance to-day, but your path has to be of righteousness only. Some scenes wet your eyes and some pierce your heart. I saw one such scene and am trying to reproduce in words what the eyes saw and what the heart felt.

A crowded street in a mega city. It is evening. The birds in the sky are in a hurry to return to their nests and the people on the road too want to reach their homes at the earliest. No body is at peace……they expect to have it after reaching home! The roadside hawkers are winding up their wares.The buses, the private vehicles, the rickshaws, they all are in a mad rush. One sees a disabled person riding his specially made tricycle,a small, wagon like carrier, attached to it, a heavily built woman sitting in it, perhaps, his mother. His one hand is on the handle bar while the other is on the pedal. He has no legs. Often, the responsibilities thrust upon you are enough to make a person disabled……but this person has not shied away from responsibilities…..so you cannot call him disabled. He too would like to reach his home at the earliest.

The scene that had stopped at the traffic light with the red signal, now changes…the green light has come on! With one hand holding the handle and the other busy pushing the pedal, this man has not been able to even wipe off the sweat. But time and again he looks back to see if his mother is comfortable. In this traffic, a scooter has pulled up behind these “Riders of Affection” at the red signal. He too is in a hurry to reach home….his impatience is revealed as he bangs his hands against the scooter as the red light seems to take an eternity turning green! A miracle happens at this moment! The green light of the signal also lights a lamp in his heart! He stretches out one leg and plants it firmly against the back of the wagon. For a moment he loses his balance but regains it quickly, his speed now reduced considerably. The disabled person looks back, this time not to check on his mother, but to see who this supporter is! There is just an exchange of smile and a slight nod of head appreciating the help. The speed of the cycle increases, the hand, tired of pushing the pedal, is free to wipe the sweat. The speed of the scooter might have reduced,but its rider, perhaps for the first time, forgetting his impatience, is enjoying a feeling of joy and happiness. The mother, sitting in that wagon, doubts the strength of her son, and looks back. She only sees two sons on both her sides!

For a short distance, the ride runs smoothly. A little farther, at the bend, their roads are to be separated. The scooter rider turns away. While parting, he just raises his hand without any show of formality. The cyclist too raises his hand to express his gratitude and puts it back on the pedal. The mother raises both her hands in the direction of the scooter….giving her blessings!

Without the Director up above saying “CUT” the scene is over, and the eyes watching it, sitting in an omnibus, get wet. A thought flashes in the mind. The onslaught of the situation often cuts off the wings of our mind, crippling us. When the legs of enthusiasm are broken, you are at a standstill. At such a time, such help, such support, imparts us motion. No name plates are put up of such people nor does history take any note of them. Why, even the person receiving such help forgets it, and yet, the stream of aid continues to flow! Some pushes may knock you down while others may drive you to your destination.

BY PRANAV PANDYA……..CONDENSED.