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Once Dashu came to school carrying a box. "What is in the box Dashu?" the teacher asked him.
"My things, sir," Dashu said.
The box was the hot topic of conversation amongst us for the next few days. Dashu carried his books, pencil, sharpener, and other school materials in his bag; what, then, could be the "things" in the box? We asked Dashu about it but he refused to give a straight answer. He clutched the box protectively and said, "Don't any of you ever try to meddle with my box." He, then, took out a key from his pocket and opening the box slightly peered inside. "Everything is there," he muttered to himself and began to do some calculations on a piece of paper in a very grave manner. I tried to peek inside the box, but this greatly agitated Dashu and he hurriedly closed the box.
Our curiosity had reached a fever pitch, and all our time was spent in discussing what could be inside the box. "He must be carrying his lunch in the box," someone suggested. But we never saw him remove his lunch packet from the box. "Perhaps, he carries his money in the box. That's the reason he does not part with it and takes it along with him wherever he goes," someone else suggested. But that suggestion too was considered improbable - why should he have such a large box to carry his money? did he wish to start a money-lending business in the school?
One day during the lunch recess Dashu, appearing to be in a great hurry, came up to me and requested that I keep the key of the box for some time. He cautioned, "Don't lose it. If I am late in returning then give it to the watchman before going to the classroom." He, then, kept the box in the watchman's custody and disappeared as though he had some mighty important work at hand.
We had been waiting for such an opportunity. We lingered near the watchman hoping he would abandon his post for a while. Our prayers were answered; the watchman left to wash his utensils and prepare his lunch.
The instant the watchman left, five or six of us dashed into the room and pounced upon the box. I removed the key and turned the lock. On lifting the lid, we discovered a package wrapped in cloth. Untying the knots hurriedly, we opened the package only to find a smaller cardboard box inside. When this box was opened, it revealed a still smaller box inside. A card was found in this box. On one side of the card were written the words "Go and eat kaachkola(raw plantains)"; the other side carried the advice, "Too much curiosity is not good".
We looked at each other in dismay. "Dashu has made a fool of us," one boy said. Another suggested we should replace the boxes after wrapping them up in cloth as before so that Dashu does not realize we had opened them. "This way his prank will boomerang on him," the boy said. The idea appealed to me. "Yes, that's the best thing to do. When he comes back we will ask him very innocently to show us what is inside the box," I said.
Acting upon the plan we hurriedly replaced the boxes. As I was about to turn the key to lock the main box, we heard a loud guffaw. Turning towards the sound we saw Dashu sitting on the compound wall and laughing his head off. He had been sitting there quietly all the time and observing the fun. I realized then that handing me the key, putting the box in the watchman's custody, and going away during the lunch recess had all been planned carefully by Dashu. He had been carrying this huge box for the last few days merely to play a prank on us. Is it for nothing that we call him "Crazy Dashu"?
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu