The Child in me

Its about April end here in Pune, India and the mid-day temperatures are blistering. Its Evening time and I’m relaxing on the swing on my terrace with a glass of lime juice watching the ethereal view of the setting sun. The concrete tangle in which i’m sitting now is so vile with high-rise buildings with definite edifices. The life in the 80’s when we were aptly termed as hooligans suddenly seemed so much meliorate. The flocks of cranes returning home & the chirping of sparrows on a nearby tree urged my long forgotten childhood memories to linger before my eyes…   School days always remain a nostalgia that refuses to leave one’s subconscious like an aged ink stain on the shirt. These innocent and carefree days sometimes just flash before my eyes. I find myself at the very juncture in time where i had been decades back …this ethereal feeling rescinds to go away. It always returns as pangs of memories about mirth and joy veiled by a distant past. It feels improbable as i can visualize every moment of it with the most intricate  detail, i can almost smell the ambiance leaving me stupefied as to where were these feelings & moments enshrouded for so long. Its like an explosion of all the accumulated thoughts at once. Are these dejawoo moments experienced by everyone? I sincerely hope that  these cherished memories never fade away with the ticking clock…My school days and the poems and stories which touched my heart, simply bring a feeling of disquiet, the child in me awakens and the Nostalgia simply pours out….

The Calf-Path

-by Sam Walter Foss(1858-1911)

Calf Path

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail, as all calves do.
Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bellwether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bellwethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made,
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged and turned and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ’twas such a crooked path;
But still they followed — do not laugh —
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.
This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again.
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet.
The road became a village street,
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare,
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed that zigzag calf about,
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They follow still his crooked way,
And lose one hundred years a day,
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move;
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah, many things this tale might teach —
But I am not ordained to preach.


The Bridge Builder

by Will Allen Dromgoole (1631-1700)

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray
To a chasm vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The rapids held no fears for him.
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” cried a fellow pilgrim near,
“You’re wasting your time in building here.
Your journey will end with the closing day;
You never again will pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm deep and wide;
Why build you this bridge at even-tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head.
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There follows after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This stream, which has been as naught to me,
To that fair youth may a pitfall be.
He too must cross in the twilight dim —
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”


“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

-By William Wordsworth (1807)

Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


Inchcape Rock

-By Robert Southey (1774-1843)

Bell Rock Lighthouse No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The Ship was still as she could be;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.

Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flow’d over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.

The Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.

When the Rock was hid by the surge’s swell,
The Mariners heard the warning Bell;
And then they knew the perilous Rock,
And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok

The Sun in the heaven was shining gay,
All things were joyful on that day;
The sea-birds scream’d as they wheel’d round,
And there was joyaunce in their sound.

The buoy of the Inchcpe Bell was seen
A darker speck on the ocean green;
Sir Ralph the Rover walk’d his deck,
And fix’d his eye on the darker speck.

He felt the cheering power of spring,
It made him whistle, it made him sing;
His heart was mirthful to excess,
But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness.

His eye was on the Inchcape Float;
Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat,
And row me to the Inchcape Rock,
And I’ll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”

The boat is lower’d, the boatmen row,
And to the Inchcape Rock they go;
Sir Ralph bent over from the boat,
And he cut the bell from the Inchcape Float.

Down sank the Bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around;
Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the Rock,
Won’t bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.”

Sir ralph the Rover sail’d away,
He scour’d the seas for many a day;
And now grown rich with plunder’d store,
He steers his course for Scotland’s shore.

So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky,
They cannot see the sun on high;
The wind hath blown a gale all day,
At evening it hath died away.

On the deck the Rover takes his stand,
So dark it is they see no land.
Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon,
For there is the dawn of the rising Moon.”

“Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar?
For methinks we should be near the shore.”
“Now, where we are I cannot tell,
But I wish we could hear the Inchcape Bell.”

They hear no sound, the swell is strong,
Though the wind hath fallen they drift along;
Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock,
“Oh Christ! It is the Inchcape Rock!”

Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He curst himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The ship is sinking beneath the tide.

But even is his dying fear,
One dreadful sound could the Rover hear;
A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell,
The Devil below was ringing his knell.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

-By Robert Lee Frost (1874 – 1963)

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

The Road Not Taken

-By Robert Lee Frost (1874 – 1963)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Home they brought her warrior dead

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swooned, nor uttered cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
‘She must weep or she will die.’

Then they praised him, soft and low,
Called him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

Stole a maiden from her place,
Lightly to the warrior stepped,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
Yet she neither moved nor wept.

Rose a nurse of ninety years,
Set his child upon her knee—
Like summer tempest came her tears—
‘Sweet my child, I live for thee.’

Abou Ben Adhem

James Henry Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

Silver

-Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

I had a Dove

-By John Keats

I Had a dove and the sweet dove died;
And I have thought it died of grieving:
O, what could it grieve for? Its feet were tied,
With a silken thread of my own hand’s weaving;
Sweet little red feet! why should you die –
Why should you leave me, sweet bird! why?
You liv’d alone in the forest-tree,
Why, pretty thing! would you not live with me?
I kiss’d you oft and gave you white peas;
Why not live sweetly, as in the green trees?


Okee Pokee

  Okee-Pokee-Crack-me-Crown,
King of the Island of Gulp-em-Down
Was thought the finest young fellow in town
When he dressed in his best for the party.

Okaa-Pokaa-Ching-Ma-Ring
Eighteenth wife of the mighty king
Loved her lord above everything
And dressed him up for the party.

Satins and silks the Queen did lack,
But she’d some red paint that looked well on black,
So she painted her lord and master’s back
Before he went out to the party.

Crowns and stars, and ships with sails,
And flying dragons with curly tails–
“That’s a dress,” said the Queen, “that never fails
To charm all folks at a party.”

So, painted up till he looked his best,
With pipe in mouth and feather in crest,
Okee-Pokee marched out without a coat or vest,
But yet in full dress, to the party.

God’s Love is so wonderful…

God’s Love is so wonderful, (thrice)
Oh! Wonderful love!
So high you can’t get over it, (Thrice)
Oh! Wonderful love!
So deep you can’t get under it, (thrice)
Oh! Wonderful love!
So wide you can’t get around it, (thrice)
Oh! Wonderful love!


Ya Zopadeet Majhya

Raajaas jee mahali, soukhya kadhi milali
Tee sarv praapt zaali, yaa zopadit majhya.
Bhumivari padaave, taaryankade pahaave
Prabhu naam nitya gaave, yaa zopadeet majhya.

Pahaare aani tijorya, teethuni hoti chorya
Daaras naahi dorya, yaa zopadeet majhya.
Jata taya mahala, majjav shabd aala
Bheeti na yaavyaala, ya zopadeet majhya.

Mahali mau bichaane kandil shaamdane
Amha jameen mane ya zopdit majhya.

Yeta tari sukhey yaa, jaata tari sukhey jaa
Konawari na boja, ya zopadeet majhya.

Pahuni soukhya maaze, devendra to hee laaje
Shaanti sadaa viraaje, ya zopadeet majhya.

Palikade odhyavar

Palikade Odhyavar Maajhe gaav tee sundar
Zadazhudpaat aahe laplele maze ghar
Majhya gaavatun jaate chimukali heech vaat
Mala odhuniya netay
Majhya gharachi theet
Tulshiche vrindavan
Chirebandi otyavar
Maajhi aai tethe dwaari
Majhya bhavandancha mela
Ghari gelyavar hoto
Maajhya bhovatali gola
Kamaa, Sumaa, Aroo, Chandoo,
Bhau ala mhantat
Mithi mag sodvavi
Hathavar khau det.

-Ganesh Kude


Tap Tap Padti Angawarti

 Tap tap padti angawarati prajaktache phule 
Bhir bhir bhir bhir tya talawar gane amuche jule 
Kurnavarati zadakhali unswali vinate jali 
Yeto wara paha bharara gawat khushinene dule 
Door door he sur wahati unhat piwlya paha nahati 
Haste dharati fandiwarti ha zopala zule 
Gane amuche zulzul wara Gane amuche 
luk luk tara Paus wara morpisara 
ya ganytun fule Fulasarkhe sarv fula re 
surat misluni soor chala re 
Gane gati tech shani baki sare khuel.

“Excuse me, said Eddie”

– Fourth Std. Balbharti

Eddie is a small boy who goes along with his parents to an all adults party. Finding no one of his age to speak or play with him he gets bored and decides to slip under the table on which the food is served. There he spots a sea-lion.     He has     never  seen a sea lion so up-close in his life and want’s the elders to know of his presence. He tries to alert adults and begins by saying “Excuse me”but everyone is busy in himself eating, drinking and chatting with each other and no one pays heed to what little Eddie has to say.

So eventually Eddie goes back under the table, the sea-lion is happy to see Eddie once again. Then they play with one another. I don’t exactly recall the end of the story, but i presume that the sea lion has escaped from the zoo and some zoo  guys come searching for him. When Eddie’s parent’s notice of his absence, they start searching for him and find him under the table playing with the sea lion. They then alert the zoo authority of the sea lion under the table. They take away the sea lion and our little Eddie is saddened by the whole episode as the creature had become his best friend.

“The Duck and the Dachshund”

-7th standard Balbharti

This story haunted me for years and never faded from my memory. I still roll tears while reading it, in the same way as i had when i read it first time in school.

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Still Saddened…

Seven In One Blow (The Valiant Little Tailor)

-4th Std Balbharti

swatted

Its afternoon time and a tailor is sitting in his workroom and is busy doing his daily work . He hears a lady selling Jam and buys a jar. He then puts it on a slice of bread when he suddenly remembers that he has to get back to his work and puts the Slice aside.When he looks at the slice again there are a lot of flies around it. He angrily tries to kill them with a duster and manages to kill Seven in one blow. He starts screaming ” Seven in one Blow” . This news spreads from one person to another and finally reaches the king who is impressed by his bravely and asks him to kill a Giant.
With his wit and luck he manages to kill a giant by sparking a fight between two giants. He eventually marries off the kings daughter and lives happily ever after.
I still remember all the sketches in this story though it has been so long back. This story has always stayed with me because of the unusual title and my subsequent failures in attempting to kill Seven flies in one Blow.

My Mother  is the most beautiful woman in the world

-Sixth Std Balbharti

my mother

   Every day during harvest time, Varya, a little a Russian peasant girl went out into the fields with her mother. While her mum worked hard collecting the wheat Varya followed and played happily among the tall plants. One day after playing for a while in the hot summer sun, Varya lay down exhausted in the shade of a haystack. She fell into a deep steep. Her mother worked on for many hours thinking that Varya was following as usual. Without knowing it, each working step took her further and further way from her sleeping daughter. When Varya awoke she found that her mother was nowhere in sight. She was frightened and lost. Just then some farmers walked passed. Calling out to the farmers Varya asked them if they had seen her mother.  One of the farmer’s asked what her mother looked like. Varya answered, ‘My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world.’ The farmers ran to the villages collected the most beautiful looking women they could find and brought them to Varya. She looked at each one and then began to cry. Her mother was not there. Varya! Varya!’ said the voice ‘Over here,’ shouted one of the farmers. The frantic woman came dashing through the crowd. It was Varya’s mother. When she got close enough Varya’s mum picked her up and smothered her with hugs and kisses. She cried for joy at finding Varya and thanked and thanked and thanked the farmers and villagers for helping her daughter. To everyone’s surprise, however, Varya’s mum did not look beautiful. She had a very ordinary face. One of her front teeth was missing. She was large and heavy.  She seemed plain in every way. But the way she greeted her lost daughter showed she was a kind, loving and wonderful mother. Everyone understood why Varya had said she was the most beautiful woman in the world and everyone agreed, she was a beautiful person.

 

Try Sarah Tops

-Sixth Std Balbharti

It was a mysterious story about a thief who tries to steal a precious diamond from the Museum and is killed by his accomplice. Before dying he give a clue by saying Try-Sarah-Tops. The investigators are confused but when one of the chief investigators tells the story at home, his son who is always curious about the stories being told, agrees to accompany his father to the museum. Next day, he along with his father are searching the museum for the diamond and there near the skeleton of  “Triceratops” the kid finds the diamond which is covered in a chewing gum. Thus the father is impressed by his son who he thought was silly in asking questions.

The Shoemaker and the Elves

– Fourth Std Balbharti

S&E

A shoemaker, through no fault of his own, had become so poor that he had only leather enough for a single pair of shoes. He cut them out one evening, then went to bed, intending to finish them the next morning. Having a clear conscience, he went to bed peacefully, commended himself to God, and fell asleep. The next morning, after saying his prayers, he was about to return to his work when he found the shoes on his workbench, completely finished. Amazed, he did not know what to say. He picked up the shoes in order to examine them more closely. They were so well made that not a single stitch was out of place, just as if they were intended as a masterpiece. A customer soon came by, and he liked the shoes so much that he paid more than the usual price for them.

The shoemaker now had enough money to buy leather for two pairs of shoes. That evening he cut them out, intending to continue his work the next morning with good cheer. But he did not need to do so, because when he got up they were already finished. Customers soon bought them, paying him enough that he now could buy leather for four pairs of shoes. Early the next morning he found the four pairs finished. And so it continued; whatever he cut out in the evening was always finished the following morning. He now had a respectable income and with time became a wealthy man.

One evening shortly before Christmas, just before going to bed, and having already cut out a number of shoes, he said to his wife, “Why don’t we stay up tonight and see who is giving us this helping hand.” His wife agreed to this and lit a candle. Then they hid themselves behind some clothes that were hanging in a corner of the room. At midnight two cute little naked men appeared. Sitting down at the workbench, they picked up the cut-out pieces and worked so unbelievable quickly and nimbly that the amazed shoemaker could not take his eyes from them. They did not stop until they had finished everything. They placed the completed shoes on the workbench, then quickly ran away.

The next morning the wife said, “The little men have made us wealthy. We must show them our thanks. They are running around with nothing on, freezing. Do you know what? I want to sew some shirts, jackets, undershirts, and trousers for them, and knit a pair of stockings for each of them, and you should make a pair of shoes for each of them.” The husband said, “I agree,” and that evening, when everything was finished, they set the presents out instead of the unfinished work. Then they hid themselves in order to see what the little men would do. At midnight they came skipping up, intending to start work immediately. When they saw the little clothes instead of the cut-out leather, they at first seemed puzzled, but then delighted.

Then they hopped and danced about, jumping over chairs and benches. Finally they danced out of the house. They never returned, but the shoemaker prospered, succeeding in everything that he did.

The Chinese Jar

– Fifth Std Balbharti

chinese

This story is of that period when Chinese merchants would travel far along the sea route. Once such a merchant is traveling to Kerala, India. His ship is hit by a storm and it sinks. He manages to swim ashore and is very tired and exhausted. He finds a old broken and depleted house of a fisherman. This house belongs to the poor Bhattathiri. Bhattaathiri is poor but is humble and honest. He listens to the merchant’s story of the fierce storm and invites him to share his evening meal with him which is nothing but a bowl of rice. After the meal the merchant thanks the fisherman for saving his life. He asks for another favor, he has 10 jars that he wants to keep in Bhattathiri’s house till he returns back. Bhattathiri says that his house is old and broken and it would not be safe to keep the jars here. The Merchant says that they contain grains of rice so he need not worry and leaves.

For many years he does not return for the jars and Bhattathiri becomes poorer and poorer, but still does not open the sealed jars. But one day when there is no food to cook for the children, Bhattathiri’s wife requests him to open one of the jars for rice so she can cook a bowl for her children. Bhattathiri agrees and opens a jar but he finds gold coins in all of the jars instead of rice. He takes a single coin and buys some food for the family and agrees to return the gold back to the jar when he has money. Soon Bhattathiri becomes rich and remembers his promise  and instead of one jar he adds 10 more jars of gold to return to the Chinse merchant once he returns back.

After many years the Merchant returns for his Jars, and instead of the old broken house he finds a big posh house. He thinks that Bhattathiri has cheated him and taken all the gold. When Bhattathiri sees him at the gate he hugs him and thanks him for the gold jars that helped him through the difficult times. He also offers him 10 more jars of gold. The merchant is overwhelmed by his honesty and refuses to take the extra jars, instead gives one of his jars to Bhattathiri.

Later when this jar is empty, Bhattathiri’s wife prepares mango pickle and stores it in this jar. The taste of this pickle is mouthwatering and slowly becomes famous all across India.

Pa Dungu

– Fifth Std Balbharti

The whole village knew Pa Dungu as a hard worker and an honest man, but his name was “Dungu” and “Dungu” means stupid, and unfortunately Pa Dungu was indeed what his name implied. One day Pa Dungu’s wife told her husband she wanted to sell their kerbau. “Early tomorrow morning you take the kerbau to the market,” she ordered, “and sell it for two hundred and fifty rupiahs, not a cent less!” Pa Dungu nodded. Ma Dungu was not a wife one disagreed with.

Pa and Ma Dungu were unaware that Pa Busuk, the village rascal, had been eavesdropping and had overhead this decision about the kerbau. As soon as he knew of Ma Dungu’s intention, an evil thought entered his mind. Without delay he went in search of his cronies Pa Cokel and Pa Colek to ask them for help in carrying out his plans.

Ma Dungu wake her husband at daybreak the next morning. Yawning and shaking the sleep from his tired body, Pa Dungu found himself outside with his kerbau. Shivering in the chill of the early morning, Pa Dungu grumbled, “What’s the matter with her, anyway waking me go to the market so early without a bite to eat, not even a cup of coffee. Just wait, when the kerbau is sold I’ll eat and drink as much as I want.” Mumbling away to himself, Pa Dungu started off for the market.

He had not gone very far when be met Pa Busuk. “Good morning, Pa Dungu,” said Pa Busuk. “Where are you going so early in the morning?” “To the market,” replied Pa Dungu sourly. “To sell my kerbau.” “Kerbau?” asked Pa Busuk, furrowing his brows. “Where’s your kerbau?” “Here!” replied Pa Dungu. He was beginning to feel angry. “You mean to say can’t see an animal as big as this?” Pa Busuk scrutinized the kerbau. He felt the fat gray beast from head to tail, and then touched each leg. Pa Busuk roared with laughter. “Ho, ho, ho!” he shouted. “Of course, your name is Dungu. That explains it. This goat a kerbau? How much do you expect to get for it? You don’t really have to go to the market. Just sell it to me . I’ll give you 50 rupiahs for your goat!” Pa Dungu refused to answer, and went on, grumbling. “Crazy, that fellow, calling my kerbau a goat. He thinks I’m stupid enough to fall in his tricks.”

A little farther along the road, Pa Dungu met Pa Cokel. Pa Cokel wished him a hearty good morning and asked, “Where are you going with that goat, Pa?” “This is no goat! This is Kerbau,” replied Pa Dungu indignantly. “Kerbau ?” exclaimed Pa Cokel feigning surprise. Pa Cokel reached out and felt the animal, at the same time imitating the sound of a goad; m-be-e-e; m-be-e-e; m-be-e-e. “How much are you asking for it?” asked Pa Cokel. “Two hundred and fifty Rupiahs,” Pa Dungu answered. “Two hundred and fifty? For this goat ?” exclaimed Pa Cokel. “Why such a high price for a small goat like this.” “Goat !” The usually placid Pa Dungu could hardly suppress his anger. “How can you call an animal this size a goat? Why don’t you use your eyes before you say such a thing ?” “Well call it what you want, then,” said Pa Cokel. “Kerbau, Goat, Elephant. The point is that this animal here will never see for more than forty rupiahs. You don’t even have to bother to go to the market. Just sell it to me for fifty.”

Pa Dungu refused to answer Pa Cokel. But he was beginning to feel uneasy. He was even beginning to wonder what his animal was, a kerbau or a goat? Why had both men said it was a goat? Pa Dungu clapped the animal on the back and looked at it very intently. “Ah, it’s a kerbau. Of course it’s a kerbau. Those two fellows just wanted to deceive me.” Pa Dungu walked on, but the question kept coming back to plague him. Kerbau? Goat? Kerbau? Goat? While he was walking along puzzling over his predicament, he was startled by a voice. “Good morning, Pa Dungu! You’re out so early. Where are you going ?” Pa Dungu looked around, it was Pa Colek. “To the market,” he said. Then Pa Colek asked his question. “How much do you want for this goat?” Now Pa Dungu was really alarmed. He stared at Pa Colek. Then he looked at his kerbau. He began to doubt. “Ma Dungu said kerbau, the other says goat,” he said to himself. Then he answered that question. “Two hundred and fifty Rupiahs.” “What ?” cried Pa Colek. “Much too high! I’ll take it for fifty. All right?” Pa Dungu was filled with confusion. Pa Colek starting to walk away then said, “What do you say Pa? Will you let me have it or not? If not, I’ll go on the market. I can get a goat cheaper there.”

“It must be a goat,” said Pa Dungu to himself. “Ma Dungu was playing a joke on me. She called it kerbau.” Then he called Pa Colek. “Pa Colek, here come here.” “What’s the matter?” asked Pa Colek. “Here,” said Pa Dungu, still unsure. “Just pay me for this goat.” Pa Colek took a purse out of his pocket and carefully counted out fifty rupiahs, which he then gave to Pa Dungu in return for the Kerbau. The two men parted in silence.

Pa Dungu returned home. Ma Dungu, seing him back so soon, and without the buffalo, received him much more warmly than was her wont. “Well,” she said cheerfully. “He certainly went fast. We’re in luck this time.” “Right you are,” Pa Dungu replied. “I sold him even before I got to the market. Here, here’s the money.” Ma Dungu counted the notes, “Fifty ?” she said, surprised. “Where’s the rest? I said two hundred and fifty.” “That’s right, Fifty. That’s all I could get for him.” Ma Dungu exploted. “Fifty .” she shouted. “You sold our big kerbau for fifty rupiahs !” “It’s not a kerbau, it’s a goat !” said Pa Dungu resolutely, defending himself.

Ma Dungu went to the door. With her left hand on her hip and an iron bar in her right hand, she shrieked at Pa Dungu in a voice full of anger and contempt: “Have you lost your sense ? You mean at your age and with your gray hair you can’t even tell the difference between a goat and a kerbau ? You go back to the market and find the man you sold our kerbau to, and get that two hundred rupiahs out of him. And if you come near this house without the money I’ll beat your head in, with this !!”
She waved the iron bar close to his face. “Now go !”

Pa Dungu fled. On the way to the market he reproached himself a thousand times for having allowed himself be taken in by COlek. He wanted to take revenge on his deceivers. But how ? Suddenly he had it. With the light heart and brisk step he hurried to the market. He stopped at two warungs and a cigar shop, giving each shopkeeper a sum of money and making the same request of each : “In a short while, I’ll be coming here again with some friend. Please serve them everything they order. Then, when you see me nod my head and shake this rattle, just say, “The bill’s been paid.” It was not long before Pa Dungu met Pa Colek, Pa Busuk and Pa Cokel. They were in high spirits because of their profit of two hundred rupiahs after selling Pa Dungu’s kerbau for two hundred and fifty. Pa Dungu greeted them as though nothing had happened and invited them to have something to eat with him in a nearby warung. “My treat,” he said.” “I’m out to spend the money I just received from the sale of my goat.” Without the slightest suspicion the three companions followed Pa Dungu into the warung. They ordered, and ate and drank their fill. Pa Dungu called the warung keeper and asked how much he owed him. “Fifteen rupiahs,” said the warung keeper. Pa Dungu nodded his head and shook a small rattle that he took out of his pocket, whereupon the warung keeper said, “The bill’s already been paid, Sir.”

Pa Dungu left the warung, followed by the three swindlers, all of whom were looking back over their shoulders in wonderment. Pa Dungu let them on until he came out to a cigar stand. He bought four packets of cigarettes and gave each man a packet. Then, just as before, he nodded his head and shook his rattle, and the shopkeeper said, “It’s already been paid, Sir.” again to the great surprise of Pa Dungu’s three unsuspecting companions. They went on, and again they stop at warung, Pa Dungu ordering food and drink for them, then again after a nod of Pa Dungu’s head and a shaking of his rattle, which the three were beginning to believe had supernatural powers, the shopkeeper shook his head and said, “The bill’s been paid already, Sir !” Pa Busuk could contain his curiosity no longer. “Pa Dungu ,” he asked, “Why don’t you have to pay for what we buy ?” “Well, that’s a secret ,” replied Pa Dungu slowly. “Of course, if you won’t tell anybody else, I’ll let you in on it.” The three swore secrecy. “It’s this way,” said Pa Dungu very confidentially. “Inherited this magic rattle from my father. It’s a pusaka.” It’s a wonderful thing, because you never have to pay for anything you buy. As soon as they hear the sound of the rattle, people think they’ve already been paid.” Pa Busuk couldn’t conceal his wonder, nor his desire to possess the magic rattle. “I’ll give you two hundreds Rupiahs for that rattle.” “No, I would never sell it. In the first place, it’s an heirloom and in the second place, if I did sell it, think what a loss in money it would mean to me !” “Listen, Pa Dungu,” Pa Busuk persuaded. “If you sell it to me, I’ll always think of you. I’ll send you something every single day.” “Well, if you’d really do that, but if I do sell it to you, promise me you won’t tell a soul, especially not my wife. And give me two hundred and fifty rupiahs for it.”

Without another thought, Pa Busuk gave Pa Dungu the money he and his friend had received from the sale of the kerbau. Pa Dungu accepted the money happily, as he handed the rattle to Pa Busuk. As soon as Pa Dungu had left them, Pa Colek, Pa Cokel and Pa Busuk examined the rattle. It looked like an ordinary baby rattle and there was not a thing about it would indicate magic powers. They decided to try it out. Then the three entered a restaurant and ordered a complete meal steaming white rice, with the tastiest side dishes, twelve of them. They ate with a great enjoyment, and sat back in their chair with satisfaction. “May I have the bill please ?” asked Pa Busuk, “Twenty Rupiahs,” said the waiter. Pa Busuk nodded his head, just as he had seen Pa Dungu do, then shook the magic rattle. The waiter said not a word. Pa Busuk and his companion stood up and walked to the door. The waiter called the owner. “Just a moment,” called the owner. “Where’s my money ?” Pa Busuk replied with a nod of his head and a shake of the magic rattle. “Money !” called the owner, becoming irritated now by his costumer’s strange behavior. “You haven’t paid your bill!” Pa Busuk shook the rattle harder, to make sure the man would hear.

The harder he shook the rattle, the angrier the restaurant owner became. “You fools,” he said, running after his three costumers. With an iron bar he beat Pa Busuk as well as the other two swindlers. “Fools !” he shouted. “Do you think you can pay for my food with a rattle? Get out !” And he beat them black and blue Then Pa Dungu came home happily to met Ma Dungu, with two hundreds and fifty Rupiahs in his hand. { Source: http://www.christon.net/folk-tales/pa-dungu/}

The Never Ending Story

-Second Std Balbharti

books  I remember this story so well though i read it so long back. In the court of Akbar, there were courtiers who were jealous of the wise Birbal. They made the king listen to stories and Birbal was not good at  it. One day the King called him and asked him to tell a story which will never end. After every storythat was told, Akbar said ” and then”? urging Birbal to narrate more stories. The clever Birbal realized this and started with a new story.

Story of a  farmer who locks up all his grain in a godown  to avoild loss of grain by hungry sparrows. One day the hungry sparrows get together and decide to feed on the grains which are well sealed in the godown. Thy take the help of their friend the Mouse, who eagerly helps them by making a hole in the door so that the birds can reach the grains.

Birbal wittily explains how one sparrow goes in and comes out with a grain and the next one follows. Each time when Akbar says “and then”?, Birbal says then the next sparrows goes in & comes out with a grain. Akbar gets irritated with the repetition and asks when this will end, to which Birbal says that this godown has a lot of grain and the sparrows are in thousands. By the time the last sparrow has eaten her grain, the first one is hungry again, so the story will not go ahead until all the sparrows have satisfied their hunger.

Akbar realizes that this is a real Never Ending Story and appreciates Birbal for his smartness.

King Bruce and the Spider

-Second Std Balbharti

King-Bruce-and-the-spiderOnce upon a time there was a king in Scotland. His name was Robert Bruce. He fought many battles. Once he was defeated. He ran away from the battle field. He hid himself  in a cave.

There was a spider in that cave. It was trying to reach the roof of the cave. It failed again and again. After every fall, the spider tried again. It did not lose heart. The spider reached its web in the seventh attempt.

The spider taught King Bruce a great lesson. It filled him with new hope and courage. He came out of the cave and gathered his forces. This time he fought bravely. He was successful in making his country free.

The Dancing Deer

-Fifth Std Balbharti

I have a vague remembrance of this story. A story where the narrator/writer is explaining why the Swamp deer in their natural habitat appear to be dancing all the time and are never stable like other deer who are found in other parts of the world. This is because their hooves are small and the land under their feet is unstable as it is a swampy area where they graze in. In order to avoid sinking in the swamp they have to keep jumping and never remain still. So they appear to be jumping and dancing around all the time like they are enjoying themselves but the real reason is different.

The Little Prince

-Fourth Std Balbharti

LittlePrince

The Little Prince is a poetic tale self-illustrated in watercolours in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid. The story is philosophical and includes societal criticism, remarking on the strangeness of the adult world.

Boa

The narrator explains that, as a young boy, he once drew a picture of a boa constrictor with an elephant digesting in its stomach; however, every adult who saw the picture would mistakenly interpret it as a drawing of a hat. Whenever the narrator would try to correct this confusion, he was ultimately advised to set aside drawing and take up a more practical or mature hobby. The narrator laments upon adults’ lack of creative understanding.

The Little Match Girl

-Remembrance of a story told by my Mother

little-match-girl-poster

On a cold New Year’s Eve, a poor girl tries to sell matches in the street. She is freezing badly, but she is afraid to go home because her father will beat her for not selling any matches. She takes shelter in a nook and lights the matches to warm herself.

In their glow, she sees several lovely visions including a Christmas tree and a holiday feast. The girl looks skyward and sees a shooting star, then she remembers her dead grandmother saying that such a falling star means someone has died and is going into Heaven. As she lights the next match, she sees a vision of her grandmother, the only person to have treated her with love and kindness. She strikes one match after another to keep the vision of her grandmother alive for as long as she can.

Running out of matches, the child dies and her grandmother carries her soul to Heaven. The next morning, passers-by find the child dead in the nook and take pity on her, not knowing that she had left this world and will not be cold or hungry any more.

Sonia and King December

-Third Std Balbharti

This is a story of a little girl called Sonia who is living with her step-mother Nadia(heard this relation for the first time) in Russia. Sonia is treated badly by Nadia. One day in the month of December she asks her to fetch some flowers. It is freezing cold outside. Sonia says that it is December and it is impossible to find any flowers outside. Nadia scolds her and asks her to return back with the flowers or stay outside in the forest where the hungry Wolves would eat her. Sad and afraid Sonia leaves the house in a blizzard and walks far into the forest in search of flowers. In the evening it grows dark and cold and Sonia is freezing, when she sees a few men sitting around a fire. She asks them if she can join them to get some warmth.

There are 12 men in total, and there is a old man amongst them who asks her what is her name and what is she doing alone in the cold weather outside. Sonia tells him about Nadia and how she had sent her out in this weather to find flowers. The old man introduces himself as King December and others as the other eleven months. He calls on March to sit at his place, at once Sonia starts to feel warmer and there are green leaves and grass all around and there are flowers at Sonia’s feet. Sonia thanks march and runs to her house. Nadia is surprised on seeing Sonia back with the flowers. She tries to question her where she got them, but Sonia never replies.

On the very next day Nadia asks Sonia to fetch some fresh fruits and threatens her not to return as she would not be let in and would be left alone in the cold to be eaten by wolves. Nadia was sure that Sonia would not find any fruits in this season. Sonia went out and when it was cold in the evening she started looking for the months. Then she saw them sitting by the fire. She asked them if she could join them as she was cold. Sonia explains King December about the fruits that she is told to gather. King December calls on June to sit at his place. Suddenly there is warmth and there are fruits all around and birds chirping all around. Sonia collects some fruits, thanks June and runs to her house. Nadia is surprised to see her back with the fruits and asks her where she found them, but Sonia does not reply.

Next day Nadia herself goes to the forest to find flowers and fruit. She thinks that if Sonia can find them, she can too. She goes far and wide into the forest and sees the 12 men by the fire. King  December asks her what is she looking for in this cold weather. Nadia is very rude and asks the foolish old man to mind his own business. King December realizes that she is the stepmother of Sonia. He lays his cold hands on her head, Nadia falls down never to wake up again.

Sonia looks out for her Stepmother but does not find her, nor does she find her 12 friends. Sonia realizes that they have helped her and always remembers them. When it is green all around and there are birds flying all around, Sonia looks out of her window and thanks March for visiting her.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Runa
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 12:26:47

    These are all my favorites from childhood. I read it all and felt like the books were in my hands again. Amazing collection. Thanks for reliving memories

    Reply

  2. Anita
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 09:37:00

    Hi there, i stumbled upon your blog while searching for palikade odhyavar poem on google. Was also having one of those nostalgic moments and so glad i read through your post. These are all my favorite poems, thank you for putting them all together…Keep writing….

    Reply

    • Ravi
      Dec 18, 2012 @ 00:16:04

      Exactly the same here. I was also searching for palikade odhyavar. I really feel like a child right now. Such a wonderful collection and thanks so much for bringing back those beautiful memories. Thank you!

      Reply

  3. Ravi
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 07:34:39

    Thanks for such a wonderful collection of poems. Even today I remember most of them. I like your style of writing. Do write more frequently if you can, I would love to read.

    Reply

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