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
Bubloo's costly pen was broken. Hence his bemoaning
demeanour. His in ability to talk freely was natural for a shy, gentle boy like
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
"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
There was heard a dim sound "Sir" from a corner
of the classroom followed by repetitions of the same sound, punctuated by
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.
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
"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