It was the day of the ViswaKarma Puja, when Bibekananda decided to buy some kites for himself. Bibekananda, a fourteen year old kid, was a good student yet on this day his parents allowed him some space to enjoy himself and fly kites. Viswakarma puja marked the beginning of the Bengali festive season in Kolkata. The weather was getting cooler due to the rains and it marked the beginning of autumn. The people of Bengal were heaving a sigh of relief from the un-relentless scorching summer sun. The moment Bibekananda stepped out of his house, he found a lost kite with some string attached with it swinging a little down the empty lane. He quickly ran to catch the string of the kite that seems to have been defeated in a kite fight match that was taking place near his house. Viswakarma puja was marked as the day when all the Hindus of the neighbourhood had a kite fight. People would climb on empty terraces or the roof of the buildings and encourage all to see the various kites having a fight on the air. Suddenly someone called Bibenanda from behind. However, he didn’t pay any attention to the call as this was a technique used by others to distract the person catching up with the kite and carefully snatching the kite from the distracted person and claiming it as their own. He ran and caught the string of the kite and pulled the kite under his control. After wrapping the entire string length of his palm, he looked up to find his friend and class mate Francis Davis approaching him.
Francis looked a bit worried. Then he spoke, “Do you know what Hitler wants now?”
Well, Francis had a peculiar sense of humour, he nicknamed his father as Hitler since Mr. Roger Davis was a hard task master. He had also asked Bibekananda what would be an appropriate name for Bibenananda’s father. Bibekananda had said, “Dumbledoore!”
“What does Hitler want now?”
“Well, he wants me to first propagate the teaching of the lord. He said I can’t lay with kites until I spread his teachings to someone who doesn’t have a bible.”
Bibekananda didn’t know what to say since he knew it was the work of the missionaries to spread Christianity among the masses in India and they would freely distribute the bible.
But his parents had like the other Hindus wanted him to keep his faith and had taught him that there are different ways to the same god.
Bibekananda replied, “But what does it have to do with a game of fighting kites?”
“Well, I have promised to give this Bible to someone who has not read a bible yet. Can you help? Once my task is done I can play the game of fighting with kites!”
Bibenanda thought for a while and then he accepted the small pocket sized kid’s bible and put it in his purse. However, not before he took the notes of money from the purse and put it in his shirt pocket. Then he put his purse back in his trouser’s back pocket. The purse bulged out of his pocket.
The kite shop was two bus stops away from the neighborhood and so they decided to board the public bus. Somehow they managed to board the bus since it was too crowded as the autorickshaw’s were not plying on the day since all the autorickshaw drivers were busy worshipping the Lord ViswaKarma. Suddenly Francis got a phone call from his home that some of his relatives had arrived so he alighted the bus after just one stop and returned back to his home.
Francis had said to Bibekananda, "I hope you can answer Hitler’s queries about the bible in case he quizzes you.”
Bibekananda had answered in the affirmative and continued his bus journey. Soon he alighted from the bus and went to find the kite shop in the market. Much to his dismay he found that someone had pickpocketed his purse in the jam-packed bus. He was both relieved as well as disappointed. He was relieved because he had not lost any money and dismayed because he had lost his purse with the bible. He remembered the fact of what his parents had told him. They had said, “You shouldn’t let down your friends and family whatever may come!”
They had also taught him saying, “You shouldn’t let down anyone be it friends and family.” He was thinking would anyone believe him that he had been pickpocketed? Innocence took the upper hand and he didn’t buy kites but instead went to the book shop and asked for a bible.
Meanwhile Jamal Sheikh, the pickpocket who had stolen Bibekananda’s purse, also alighted from the bus and made his way to his dingy home beside the mosque. On entering his home he quickly placed a mat on the floor and emptied his bag on the mat to take a note of his looted earnings. One by one he took out the purses and took the stolen money till he stopped short to reach Bibekananda’s purse. On opening Bibekananda’s purse he found the bible and he cursed out aloud, “Oh Allah, what have I done, stolen someone’s god?”
Ignorant as he was, he was filled with remorse. He didn’t want to keep the bible so he quickly took the bible and ran out, only to bump into the Maulavi. After the collision, the bible fell out of Jamal’s hand. The Maulavi’s eyes almost popped out when he saw the bible falling off Jamal’s hand.
He boomed, “What on earth has happened Jamal, I thought you were a god fearing muslim!”
“Well that’s not mine!”
“Then whose is it?” quizzed the Maulavi.
Jamal was speechless and he bowed his head in shame.
The Maulavi commanded, “Whose is this bible?”
Now Jamal fell on his feet and cried, “I am a lowly being Maulavi Sahib. I have stolen someone’s god! May Allah be merciful on me!”
“I am become a pick-pocket. I stole a purse which had this.”
The Maulavi, understanding the issue, ruminated a while and then replied, “It is a sin to steal and Koran does not permit it. Yet since you have done the sin you need to rectify it. Come with me! However, first take the purse which had the bible!”
The Maulabi then took Jamal to the Missionaries of Charity and met with Roger Davis who on seeing the two enquired, ”What is the matter, Maulavi Sahib?”
The Maulavi answered, “Mr. Roger you see this man Jamal, he had lost his god-fearing ways. He has sinned, he has become a pick-pocket and has pick-pockpeted someone’s bible. I don’t know whose it is and can you do something about this bible because I would like to have it returned to the original owner or can you give it to someone who requires the gospels of god.”
Roger Davis asked, “May I have a look at the purse and the bible, Jamal!”
Jamal brought out the purse and then the pocket sized bible with it. The moment Mr. Roger saw it he recognized it as the one that he had handed over to his son Francis. He understood that Francis must have given it to someone who must have been pick-pocketed.
Mr. Roger replied, “Well, Maulavi Sahib, hopefully you can reform this man. I had given this bible to my son who must have given it to his friend to spread the word of the lord and now that Jamal has become remorseful of his past sins, strange are the ways of the lord!”
Then Mr. Roger pocketed the purse and the bible and went inside the Missionaries of Charity.
The next morning he called Francis and asked if he had done his task.
Francis replied, “I have done what you had told, I have given Bibekananda the bible, you can ask him.”
Mr.Roger thinking that he should return the bible and the purse then asked Francis if he could take him to Bibekananda’s house. Francis had replied in the affirmative and replied, “Let me see when is a good time to go over at their place. I will ask Bibekananda about it over the telephone.”
Francis had then called up Bibekananda and said, “Hitler has gone crazy. He earlier used to give me tasks now he has gone a step further, he is double checking on me, if I had given you the bible. He now wants to visit your place.”
On hearing this Bibekananda knew he wouldn’t let his friend down so he had replied, “I am prepared for the inevitable, come what may. After all I have been under the protégé of Dumbledoore!”
Hearing this Francis was relieved and he asked, “Hitler wants to know when will Dumbledoore be at home so that he can go over!”
Bibekananda replied, “Tomorrow is Saturday, so he will be at home in the morning!”
“All right, I will inform Hitler then! See you tomorrow then!”
Bibekananda then informed this to his father Mr.Sachin who the asked Bibekananda, if he would go and buy some snacks that could be served along with the tea for the visitors.
The next morning, Mr.Roger Davis and Francis came over to Bibekananda’s home. As they were being ushered in the drawing room Bibekananda felt a tinge of nervousness enveloping him and he turned crimson in anticipation of what was to happen next.
Mr. Sachin welcomed them and they were served tea along with some snacks. After chatting sometime, Mr. Roger turned towards Francis and said, “I had asked Francis to give one Bible to someone and I think he has given one to Bibekananda without informing you, Mr.Sachin.”
Mr. Roger who knew fully well that Bibekananda had lost his purse to Jamal now wanted to embarrass the two young lads.
Mr. Sachin replied, “No issues Mr. Davis, it’s always good to know other about religion.”
Then Mr. Roger asked Bibekananda if he could answer some questions from the Bible. Bibekananda was more than prepared for this and he smiled and replied, “Yes, Mr. Davis I will gladly oblige.”
Mr. Roger smiled and then he asked a simple question from the bible.
Bibekananda answered correctly.
Then he went on shooting one question after another.
Marvelously Bibekananda had all the answers, which surprised and puzzled Mr.Roger. The bewildered look on Mr. Roger surprised Mr.Sachin and he asked, “You look puzzled Mr. Roger”
“How on earth did he answer all questions, when he didn’t have a bible?”, replied Mr.Roger.
Then he placed Bibekananda’s purse and the pocket sized bible on the table much to the astonishment of young Bibekananda.
Bibekananda much to his dismay blurted out, “My God! Hitler is a pick-pocket!”
Mr. Roger replied, “No young lad Hitler is an asshole who is compared to be the anti-Christ of the twenty-first century. He almost wiped out the Jews!”
Much to the surprise of Mr. Roger and Mr. Sachin, Francis shouted out, “It can’t be, maybe Dumbledoore has planned this all!”
“Dumbledoore?” replied Mr. Roger and Mr. Sachin in unison.
“What does he have to do with this?” asked Mr. Sachin.
By then both the young lads were quiet.
Then Mr. Roger asked, “Bibekananda, by the way, who is Hitler and who is Dumbledoore. Why is Hitler the pick-pocket?”
Bibekananda kept quiet.
Mr. Sachin answered, “Well, frankly you got to answer that Bibekananda?”
Then Mr. Rogers interjected, “I got this purse and pocket sized bible from a pickpocket named Jamal who was accompanied by the Maulavi yesterday and I thought I will return it to the rightful owner.”
“See I told you Hitler is not a pick-pocket!” replied Francis.
“Neither did Dumbledoore plan it!” answered Bibekananda.
The moment he said this, it was evident to the two gentlemen who the lads were referring to as Hitler and Dumbledoore.
Spontaneously both the lads started to run out of the house and were followed by their angry fathers.
After all nick names were nicknames!