Ramapada came to school with a canister of sweets. It was his birthday. During the lunch break, he distributed the sweets amongst us, and we ate our share with relish. Only Dashu did not eat.
It is not that Dashu didn't like sweets. But the fact is that Dashu and Ramapada did not get along well and didn't see eye to eye with each other; the two were always quarreling.
"Give some sweets to Dashu too," we told Ramapada.
"Hey Dashu, would you like some sweets? If your mouth is watering you may have some. But you must promise never to quarrel with me again; if you promise, only then I will give you the sweets," Ramapada said.
Now, the manner in which this was said would have angered anyone. But Dashu spoke not a word; he walked up to Ramapada silently and took the sweets. He, then, called out to the gatekeeper's goat, and fed the sweets to it in front of everybody! Dashu stood for a while eyeing the canister, and, chuckling to himself over some amusing thought, walked out of school. Meanwhile, we fell on the canister and emptied it; after this was done we busied ourselves in playing games. Dashu was forgotten, and no one gave him a thought.
When the class assembled after the break we found Dashu sitting in a corner and solving math problems with utmost concentration. I, at once, smelt a rat. "Hey Dashu, have you done something?" I asked him. "Yes, I have solved two GCM problems," Dashu replied innocently. "Bah! Who wants to know of your math problems? You haven't planned some mischief, have you?" I rephrased my question. This question annoyed him so much that Dashu almost complained to the teacher who was entering the class just then. We calmed him down with much difficulty.
The school-teacher was a good sort of a person. He did not rush through the studies. Occasionally, however, when we made a little more noise than the usual he would get very angry and fly into a rage.
Immediately upon taking his chair, "pondit mohashoy (teacher)" instructed us to repeat the Sanskrit noun forms, and dozed off. We opened our books and chanted whatever came into our heads, and, in reply, heard the melodious sound of snoring issuing forth from pondit mohashoy's nostrils. We realised he was sound asleep. So we brought out our slates and engaged ourselves in playing tic-tac-toe. At times when the sound of snoring receded, we would put away the slates and start chanting nouns; this worked as an effective lullaby and the snoring would pick up once again.
Everyone was busy playing; only Dashu sat in his corner doing something on his own. No one paid any attention to him. After some time, we heard a a sound, "phut", which seemed to come from below the planks under pondit mohashoy's chair. pondit mohashoy, who was still in the grips of sleep, frowned, said "humph", and was about to scold us for making noise when all hell broke loose! "Phut-phat", "dhoom-dham", "dhab-dhoob" .... all kinds of sounds emerged from under the chair and shook the whole school. It seemed as if all the masons and labourers had gathered together and were pounding away on the roof top; competing with them were metal craftsmen who hammered away incessantly, and bouncers who were tapping their clubs in a frenzy! The sudden eruption of the cacophony left us bewildered and we sat with our mouths wide open. Pondit mohashoy uttered some strange word, sprang over his table while throwing his limbs in all directions, and fell in our midst. Navin Pal from the Government College was a top high-jumper who always went away with the first prize in any competition; but even he couldn't have emulated pondit mohashoy's feat! Kids from a lower grade were reciting tables in high-pitched unison in the adjacent classroom; they were overcome with fear and stopped reciting. The whole school, within minutes, was gripped by fear and was plunged in commotion. Even the watchman's dog started barking itself hoarse and aggravated the general commotion.