Short story، Hundred rupee note
By: Abbas Ali Zaimi
Translated by: Uzair Mehr
The school bell rang and a crowd of students were coming out. Balaach was carrying his bag and heading to his home.
Balaach was the son of an indigent person but it was the great wish of his parents that they educate him. Balaach was ten years old and considered a perspicacious student at school. Every morning he received only eight Aana (sixteenth part of rupee) as pocket money but he was content with this meager amount of money.
As usual, today Balaach was walking with his head bowed, looking at the ground. He was still thirty or forty steps far from his home that when he saw a hundred rupee note before his feet. Balaach’s heart started throbbing. His hands and heart were not propping up him that he picked up the hundred rupee note. He cast a glance forth side and looked around him well. When he was satisfied that no one saw him, he bent down and picked the note up with shivering hands.
He dusted the note off and put it in his pocket. “Whose note is this and how did it fall there?” he asked his heart but he felt intimidated by the note. He started moving closer toward his home, but he was fidgety the entire way. He thought, “If I tell my parents that I got a hundred rupee note, will they believe me or consider me a thief?” Who will drop a hundred rupee note at such times? My Parents will beat me because of this” therefore he vowed in his heart that he would not tell anyone about this note.
The night passed, and he went to school the next day. Some children were buying ice cream near the school. Although his eight Aana were enough to buy ice cream, but his mind enticed him to take out the hundred rupee note.
“If I take out the note in front of the ice cream seller, he will doubt me and inform my teacher or parents and I will be deemed a thief”, he thought to himself. He was in a dilemma, and did not dare to take out the note.
At break, he considered buying many things he coveted, but did not venture to take out the note and spent the eight Aana which were given by his mother. He sat in the class until the bell rang and went home again.
Three days passed like this. He still had the note, but he neither spent it nor informed his parents and friends about it. But these three days were not less than a catastrophe for him. His heart and mind were captured by thoughts that he was almost powerless.
On the next day, he changed his clothes and went to school, but the hundred rupee note made him so restless and mirthless that he had forgotten it in the pocket of his previous clothes. He realized that he made a big mistake by forgetting the note in those clothes, but he was afraid to go to home before school closed.
When he reached home, he realized his father had also come to home from work to have lunch. His father called him and made him sit beside him for lunch. Balaach had no leisure time to check his previous clothes’ pocket. When Balaach and his parents were having lunch, Balaach’s mother said to his father. “If you did not lose that amount of money today, we would pay Balaach’s school fees as well as buy clothes for him. I left no stone unturned looking for the hundred rupee note, but I could not find it. I do not know who picked it up. Whoever picks it up will he or she inform us?
now forget the hundred rupee note. Nothing has happened except the will of Allah almighty.”
As Balaach heard these words, he stood up and went to look for the clothes he wore yesterday. He found them on the balcony. He saw that his clothes were washed and were hanging on the rope to dry. Balaach moved ahead and inserted his hand in the pocket of his clothes, but the hundred rupee note was torn into pieces.