cracked pen, a short story by naveen. Date added: 2011-12-17. Times viewed: 1128.
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- Intro: It is a childhood experience of the best friend of the author
G.C.BHATTACHARYA ‘Naveen’, Varanasi (U.P.), India.
In my childhood, my only uncle had presented me a pen on my sixth or seventh birthday, as I could recall over now. It was a very simple and ordinary pen with a long metal cap of golden colour and clip.
But I felt very happy receiving that pen from my beloved uncle.
In those days, there was no use of dot or ball point pens.
We used to write with the help of ordinary nib pens and liquid ink and rarely and fortunately too were in a position to make use of fountain pens, as our teachers used to say that on using fountain pens continuously, our hand writing may be spoiled. So, it was strictly banned in schools for the use of young children. Even our teachers and principal were habituated of making use of ordinary nib pens of blue and red inks.
Parker was a well known name in the world of costly fountain pens and ink which was subsequently Indianized as Chelpark.
The Parker pens with gold cap and nib were the most costly pen in those days. Some fountain pens were also available with diamond fittings too and generally used by rich men like maharaja or big landlords called jamindars.
On that unfortunate day, I slipped down in school when coming down from first floor during recess, in rush and got injury on my right hand.
First aid was given to me with half day leave.
I came back to home and on the way, I found that the plastic body of my pen has been cracked and all the ink flew out to color my front pocket of the white shirt.
This gave me more pain and I requested weeping to my uncle to help me.
He went to a pen shop with me in the evening and converted my direct ink filling pen in to a dropper type of pen to get it repaired.
Now, ink is to be filled in a rubber tube and not in the body directly.
It became good for me also because it was not so easy for me in those days to handle the big size ink bottle my parent used to purchase to serve the purpose of all four children.
Now, I have just to press the stainless steel piston and drop the nib inside the bottle of ink to get it filled, automatically.
I thanked a lot to my dear uncle for helping me
About half on a year passed. All of a sudden most unfortunately, a mishap happened in our family.
My beloved uncle expired suddenly on a train accident when he was going to some where called Guwahati or like that in Assam for an interview purpose for the sake of a job.
Nothing could be done by us to save his life but just to mourn on such mishaps, though the pen remain with me with all its shinning cap and metal clip.
After few days, it was noticed by me that I am unable to concentrate on my studies well perhaps due to grief and sorrow on sudden demise of my uncle but my test days came soon and with half hearted preparation, I appeared in it.
I wrote answers of the given questions using my pen in a speedy way and unexpectedly, I got very high marks to top in the class.
Since then, a doubt started creeping in my mind that perhaps, it was not my fingers but the pen itself which had forced my fingers to write well in the test.
It is unbelievable but I started believing in.
If I try to explain the issue to someone, he or she may cast a doubt on my mental health surely and thus I kept everything in a silent mode. I neither told anything to my parents or siblings.
It was just a thing to feel and not to say or narrate because all can not feel or even believe everything in the same way.
After the test days, our annual games and sports started soon and I have to play in the football team of the school, as a goal keeper. In those days, cricket was not so popular at all.
I always tried to keep myself above all confusions and indulgement with opposite side players, unnecessarily but on the day of final, the other group of players from Sunshine Model School, became unnecessarily, a bit furious and revengeful, as they were about to loose the game by three goals.
They started kicking our players living the ball aside to get us wounded though foul after foul were given declared…
Thus, soon our three good players were driven out injured of the field in that tricky match.
Then, they attacked on me to prevent me from making strong attempt to stop entering their ball in to the net.
One of their players of ten or eleven in age came to me running fast and hold me from behind pressing hard on my belly to get me bend over a little and another with ball tried to come straight to me for head on collision.
I screamed with fear but their supporters were making heavy noise in the field and none could hear me. The player tried to hit straight by his head on my chest to cause a fatal bone breaking injury but all of a sudden he cried hard and the other player left me and ran to save him.
The second player was lying on the ground and rolling near me covering his left eye with his palm and flow of red blood was coming out of his fingers.
Immediately, I could not follow that what has actually happened there and how he got injured but then my sight helped me to see my pen in the front pocket of my jersey.
I surprised to see that its cap was becoming red with blood.
Immediately, I sit down and instead of using my handkerchief, I took a handful of grass from the field to wipe the pen well.
Actually, the first player had attacked me from behind and hold me in a such tight way that my jersey was rolled over my body causing my pen slanting down inclined from vertical to almost horizontal position though did not slide out of my pocket due to its three inches long tight and strong metal clip and narrow tipped cover.
When the other player collided with me, its cap with clip entered straight in to his left eye which made him not only to stop but to fell down on the ground severing with immense pain and grief.
The match was cancelled and the injured player was taken to hospital immediately where after two week’s stay he became fit but one eye was lost for ever.
The third incident was more surprising enough for me to be sure that the pen is working as my helper and savior.
During winter vacation, I had written a short story certainly using my pen and sent to a little magazine for youngsters.
It was declared a first prize winning story and the editor called me to Jaipur to receive the prize money, certificate and citation.
My parent decided to go with me as I remain too young to travel in train alone in those days.
We started at 5.30 P.M by Marudhar Express train from Varanasi.
It was a whole night and day journey and we were in a sleeper coach but at about eight o’clock, ten to twelve persons entered in that reserved coach and sat on our berths saying that they are daily passengers and due to rush in general compartments, they want to travel in our coach up to 11.30 P.M.
We became unable to sleep and even take our dinner due to congestion.
Some tried to find out the ticket inspector to make a complaining report but the person was no where traceable.
After some time, they started playing on cards in three groups and shouting which made some passengers very much annoyed.
As they start complaining, those travelers became furious and started fighting.
Suddenly, one took out a country made pistol from his pocket and fired a round.
All screamed in fear.
Then they came in to their real form of train robbers and started looting money and valuables from the frightened passengers.
I tried to seek their permission for going to the toilet but they denied strongly and not allowed anyone to make a move from own place.
Then they came to us and forcefully taken out all our money from my father giving a hard slap on his cheek, on protest. He lost everything as he was accompanying with me on that unfortunate day.
Then they come to me, searched my all pockets too and ultimately, found the pen shining like a golden topped pen.
They snatched it and opened the cap to see that if the nib is also made of pure gold like the cap and they shouted and laughed at their great success.
The leader took it and kept in his pocket saying that it was the rarest and precious material of the day, he found.
One of his companions with gun asked to hand it over to him immediately but the leader refused.
The man cried in anger and became very much furious.
I started remembering that day of match and the striker of the opposite group of players who had tried to hit me in anger. He was very much furious like this gunman.
He repeated the order to hand over the all gold pen to him and suddenly then he fired with his pistol on the leader.
The leader fell down like a dead body.
It was well known to me that neither the pen was made of pure gold like the most costly famous parker pens of those days nor having any gold cap and nib at all but at that time it was shining like gold and nothing but like pure gold.
The man with pistol went to the dead body of their leader and bent over him to take the pen out but at once the leader jumped like a spring and attacked the man having gun, with his knife.
The knife entered straight into the throat of the man and both of them fell down with violent screaming.
The pen slipped out of the hand of the man with his pistol and the third man near to him jumped over it. Immediately the long knife of the fourth one pierced his neck.
It was he who snatched the pen saying ….. ‘Oh my God, it is having a diamond point on its cap too. It is shinning like… like… like…’
He could not get the sentence completed due to a fatal attack of the fifth person who took the pen out and kept in his front pocket.
But the scene was not over and blood shading continued till the last robber fell down.
They got finished all.
The train entered some station perhaps Mathura or something like that.
I felt a great pressure to go to the toilet and started almost running for it, saying ‘am just coming from toilet, dad…’.
There was no room for me to go to the toilet as the bodies of all robbers were lying down here and there on the corridor and I had no choice but to cross their bodies jumping over them one after another with a caution to avoid the blood which was spreading around.
I was not interested to get my feet slipped over the thick blood.
as I jumped over the last robber, something came below my feet.
I bent down and took it up. Yes, it was my pen.
I clipped it in my pocket immediately and ran towards the toilet.
None could notice my action because by that time none was near the toilet but all of the passengers had started searching the unconscious robber’s body to take out their money and valuables back snatched by them, before handing them over to the railway police.
My father also tried to get his money back from the one who had looted him. He got something more than he had lost from the pocket of that cruel robber, as he narrated me later.
When I came back from the toilet, all robbers were relooted by the passengers in great annoyance and the railway police was called, then after immediately.
All robbers were taken down in unconscious state by the police and some of them like the leader had certainly expired but none said anything to cast doubt over the issue.
After lodging FIR and completion of other formalities, the train made a move making a two hours late.
Then we took our dinner and slept well without any disturbance at all.
Before going to bed, I certainly checked the pen.
There was neither any gold cap or nib nor any diamond fitting on the top of the cap as it was seen and said by the robbers but it saved my father, all others life along with me, undoubtedly.
I could not explain how it has happened at all but it is a true story as visualized by me and my father. But my father paid no attention upon what for the robbers had started fighting with each other and considered it was held on sharing of the looted money and valuables.
None could follow that nothing but my pen had saved me once again.
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