Dim Wit

via Daily Prompt: Hesitate

Kanakshar is a picturesque village which lies near the banks of the river Padma. Ganesh Chakraborty lived in this village and studied in a local institution called Brahmangaon H .E School which was situated near one of the major canals passing through this village. His father, Bishnumohan Chakraborty who worked as the stationmaster of Janai Road Station would visit his family once a month. He would narrate delightful tales about his experiences as a station master. Kalka and Darjeeling Mails were two very revered trains at that time which passed by that station at full speed. Only Britishers were allowed to travel by those trains. As the trains passed through the station all the local staff members would line up in a row on the platform and salute.

Ganesh, his eldest son was distinctively different from the rest of the boys in his school. Once when he was studying in class- VIII, his friends instigated him to take on a bet assuring him that they would gift him two biscuits as laurels if he attended the mathematics period without his pants on. Ganesh readily agreed without even thinking about the consequences of his actions. The teacher finding him in that stately predicament went into a fit of rage; caned him calling him a rascal and no-good. He was banned from attending school for a week and his guardians warned about their son’s mental health. His father being an influential and respected member of the village somehow managed to keep him from being expelled from school.

Saraswati Puja was conducted with a lot of fanfare in the school. All students were involved in organizing the event. Ganesh was seemingly intent in contributing his bit. His classmates allotted him the task of fetching red flowers which grew on the top branches of a ‘Madar’ (coral) tree. It was a thorny tree and its flowers were used to sew garlands for the goddess. As a special token for his work they promised to pay him a few paises which was quite a lot in those times. Thrilled by his fortune Ganesh without hesitating climbed up the tree to pluck the flowers which would eventually win him the treasure. When he came down finally with some flowers, his shirt and pant were torn at places and his hands and legs were badly bruised.

Ganesh managed somehow to pass his intermediate board exams and even procure a government job. His parents thought of getting him settled early in life. Without much ado they got him married to a daughter of his father’s friend who lived two miles away from their village. To his dismay his young bride left him within a few days of their marriage to return to her parents. Ganesh would visit his in-laws once in a while to meet his wife. After one such eventful visit he returned home carrying two huge pumpkins on his shoulders. His father was left stupefied for a moment. He asked him harshly, “Why have you come home with those two monstrous vegetables on your shoulders?” Ganesh replied back simply, “My in-laws requested me to take these vegetables back home as a token.”

Bishnumohan barked out aloud, “Idiot, you are that vegetable.”


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