Misadventures Of Little Harsh
Misadventures Of Little Harsh7 mins 16.2K 7 mins 16.2K
Nine-year-old Harsh was reading a storybook. He came across the word Ass. He was getting confused as the picture was of a donkey. He approached his elder sister Mitali who was fifteen. He asked her, "Didi, the picture in my book is of a donkey. However, the story describes it an ass. What is the difference between the donkey and an ass?"
Mitali wanted to tease him. She asked him for fun, "Why do you want to know the difference between your official name and your nickname?" Harsh was enraged. He said, " I am sorry, Your Highness! I shouldn't have asked you. I thought you knew everything." Mitali became serious. She said, " Both of them refer to the same animal. There are many things that have multiple words to describe them."
She aroused his interest by giving some examples. She said, "There are different dialects of English spoken all over the world. They are American English British English Indian English Australian English, Canadian English and so on. We have adopted the British dialect of English.
According to British English, we live in a flat. The Americans call it an apartment. Football is called soccer in American English. I will get you a list of such words so that you can read it."
Harsh thanked her for clearing his doubts. Their mother Saraswati called them for dinner. She had prepared a delicious meal consisting of Gobi Manchurian with Rotis and Fried Rice. Their mouths watered on the sight of these delicacies.
Mitali asked her mother, "What about the dessert?" Harsh responded, "Mom, this is not fair. How come you did not tell me that we were going to visit a desert? Are we going to Rajasthan or Africa?"
Everyone roared with laughter. Harsh looked puzzled. Mitali said, " My dear brother, you goofed up again. You got confused by the words dessert and desert.
They are called homophones. They sound the same but have different spelling and meaning. Dessert means a sweet dish that we have after a meal. You already know about the other desert."
Harsh said, "Now I understand why all of you laughed at me. I guess I have lots of things to learn. I am lucky to have an elder sister who teaches me everything." Mitali and her parents proudly beamed at him. His grandparents made a great fuss of him. They enjoyed their meals thoroughly.
Harsh woke up at around 6.00 AM. He loved going to school. He was the fourth-grade student of The Modern School in Vashi. All the teachers liked him. Some of his classmates hated him. They thought that he was acting too smart to win over their affection. He just had a minor flaw. He never played outdoor games like other boys.
He preferred playing chess and carrom. He was a bookworm. The world of books fascinated him. Monty often teased him. He used to say, "You should have been a girl instead of a boy. You don't play games like cricket and football. Henceforth we will call you Harsha the great." He continued to ignore Monty's snide remarks and jibes. Monty felt insulted as he had expected Harsh to whine like a crybaby.
Monty could no longer control himself. He asked Harsh, "Don't you ever get angry? Why are you so calm in spite of my bullying? You haven't even bothered to complain about me."
Harsh replied, "There is nothing to complain about you. I have no brawn, and you have no brain. I have an idea. Why don't we become friends? We can compensate for our weakness in this way. I will help you with your studies. You can protect me from being bullied." Monty couldn't help but smile. No one had wanted him as a friend. His loneliness had made him a bully. Monty became his best friend from that moment onwards.
Harsh had a charm of his own. No one could sulk or frown when he was around. One day he found his mother chatting with her friend Padmaja. He saw her giving money to Padmaja. The latter handed over a piece of paper. Harsh did not know that it was called a receipt.
Curiosity got the better of him. He asked his mother, "Why are you paying her so much money for a piece of paper? You could have asked me. I would have given you an entire page. Why don't you return the paper and get back your money?" The two ladies had a hearty laugh. His mother explained, " Padma aunty is collecting funds for charity. I gave her money for the same. This piece of paper is called the receipt which acknowledges your payment." Harsh asked her another question, "I have heard of green tea and iced tea. What is a charity?" Padmaja had tears in her eyes from laughing.
She adored him for his innocence and a great sense of humour. This time she answered, "Charity means donating money or things for a good cause. We collect money clothes and food for needy people. We also sponsor the education of children who can't afford to pay school fees."
Her explanation moved him so much that he asked her to wait. He opened his piggy bank and took out his savings amounting to 200 Rs. He came back and gave this money to Padmaja.
He said, "Please accept this money as my contribution towards charity. I want to help those kids who are less fortunate than me. I don't want any receipt for this money. Grandma has told me that we should not expect publicity for our good deeds."
Saraswati was proud of her son. Padmaja was impressed with him. He was cheerful and spread happiness wherever he went.
It was Sunday. Everybody got up rather late.
They had a delicious breakfast. When Harsh entered his room, he saw his sister writing something furiously.
"What are you scribbling?" he asked her in a mocking tone. Mitali replied, "I am not scribbling anything. I am writing a poem." Harsh posed another question, "Did your teacher give you the assignment to write a poem?" Mitali answered, "Of course not, my dear brother. I love writing poems. It is my hobby." He asked her, "How do you write poems?" " You can write it either as free verse or rhyming poem, " she replied with a smile. Harsh chatted with her for a while before doing his homework.
He had a bad day at school. His father's bike had a flat tire, and so he was late. By the time he reached his school, the assembly was in progress. His class teacher let him off with a warning.
During the geography period, he asked so many questions that his teacher became irritated. She said, "I would plaster your mouth if you don't stop asking questions."
The entire class laughed at him. He was too embarrassed to speak. He came home looking furious. His mother asked him the reason for his foul mood. He went to his room without answering her.
He took out his pencil and his rough note. He tore one of the pages. He started writing a few lines about his teacher. It said:
I think of you, and I go to the loo.
Your face reminds me of a monkey in the zoo.
Your great brown eyes and big black hair
Makes you look like a giant grizzly bear.
He read it and smiled. He had discovered a new way of venting out his anger.Mitali happened to see him writing something. She bent over to see his composition. She burst out laughing much to his annoyance. Harsh rebuked her for intruding in his privacy. He said, "Don't you have any manners, didi? You should not have read my poem without my knowledge."
Mitali said, "You have written a wonderful poem. It was so funny that I couldn't help laughing. I am sorry I shouldn't have read it without your permission. Both of us have one thing in common: curiosity. Someday you will turn out to be a great writer."
When he went to school on the following day, he remained mute. He never raised his hand to ask or answer a question. All the teachers were worried. They asked him why he was silent. He said that he wanted to give other students a chance to speak. Most of the teachers accepted his explanation except for the Geography teacher. She said, "I think you are still upset with me for scolding you yesterday. Doesn't your mother ever scold you at all? Do you stop speaking to her if she corrects your mistakes? I was in a hurry to finish the lesson as I had an emergency at home. Consider me as your mother and forget what I said. Let us be friends again."
Harsh apologised to her. They exchanged smiles and resumed their lesson. Harsh was ashamed of his horrible poem. He tore it and disposed of it in the dustbin. He realised that anger always reduced our capacity to think. Harsh was grateful to God for giving him everything.