Friday, October 2, 2009

Smudgeler

An old angrez, all the way from England, had come to inspect the Biscoe school. Boys from different classes were gathered in a hall and the guy would ask them  various questions. In variable the question that gets asked is: What do you want to become? So after he asked this question to a bunch of boys, each time nodding his approval appreciating there replies - A Doctor, A Scientist, An Engineers, IAS, KAS, A Minister, A Lawyer, An Actor, A Singer - almost contend, other teachers wearing a proud smile, old geese stopped in front of a young boy who looked like he may have prepared and practiced his answer for days. This was his big day when the world will know.

'What do you want to become when you grow up, Young Man?'
'Sir, I was to become a big Smudgeler when I grow up.'
'Goo...what?Sorry son, I didn't catch your reply'
'Sir, I was to become a big Smudgeler when I grow up.'
 'A Smudgeler!'
'Yes, Sir'
The faces of teachers, looking at the baffled face of Angrez, went through a range of emotions, Surprise, Dumbstruck, Shocked, Angry, Refaced, Embarrassed, 'What-did-he-say' look, wait-till-I-get-my-hand-on- you' Look.
Old Englishman asked around,'Can someone tell me what he wants to become? What the hell is a Smudgeler?" The faces of all teacher changed to 'Could-you-repeat-the-question?' look. Then an idea struck the Angreaz (but the teacher later claimed they all got the idea simultaneously). He walked the boy to the blackboard, handed him a chalk and asked him to right it down. The boy, shocked at their stupidity, confidently screeched away on the blackboar, in bold letter, the word -
S M U G G L E R.
Turning around he again spoke the word aloud in his mind: smuGG LER.

As he began to write each letter, some of them began to suspect but and then the word hit them. When the boy turned around with a 'I-am-right.' look (which the teachers read as 'Now-you-know' look) the full force of the words, each letter, hit them. It was the era of Haji Mastans whose great exploits were regularly  in those films made in Bombay. The boy wanted to be a smuggler. Principal wished the earth to swallow him whole or at least let him bury his face into it. He did not want to face the Englishman. At least he got the spelling right, no one can fault the  school for that. Angrez turned around and asked, ' Mr. Principal, now can you tell me what is this Smudgel that this gent here wants to smuggle into Kashmir?

-0-
A cousin shared this funny story that apparently did take place for real.

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