Just as I was gathering up the heap, in the distance I spotted our tonga. Chachajaan was returning from Court. I clutched the jalebis to my chest and ran into a gali. When I reached a safe corner, I began to devour the jalebis. I ate so many... so many jalebis that if anyone pressed my stomach a little, jalebis would have popped out of my ears and nostrils.
Very quickly, boys from the entire neighbourhood assembled in the gali. By that time I was so pleased with my stomach full of jalebis that I got into the mood for some fun. I started handing out jalebis to the children around. Delighted they ran off, jumping and screaming, into the galis. Soon a whole lot of other children appeared, probably having heard the good news from the others. I dashed to the halwai and bought one more rupee’s worth of jalebis, came back and stood on the chabutara of one of the houses, liberally distributing jalebis to the children just like the Governor saheb used to distribute rice to the poor and needy on Independence day. By now there was a huge mob of children around me. The beggars too launched an assault! If children could be elected to the Assembly, my success would have been assured that day. Because one little signal from my jalebi-wielding hand and the mob would have been willing to kill and get killed for me. I bought jalebis for the remaining two rupees as well and distributed them. Then I washed my hands and mouth at the public tap and returned home, putting on such an innocent face, as if I hadn’t even seen the hint of a jalebi all my life. Jalebis I had gobbled up easily enough, but digesting them became another matter. With every breath came a burp, and with every burp, the danger of bringing out a jalebi or two — the fear was killing me. At night I had to eat my dinner as well. If I hadn’t eaten I would have been asked to explain why I did not want any food, and if I had pretended illness the doctor would have been summoned and if the doctor, after feeling my pulse, had declared, Munna has devoured a mound of jalebis, I would simply die.
While the boy was getting the pile of jalebis from the jalebi seller, he noticed their horse cart coming from a distance. In the tonga, the boy's Chachajaan (uncle) was there. He was returning from the court. When he saw his uncle, the boy held the jalebis in his chest and ran towards a narrow lane. He eventually came to a safe spot. He then began eating the jalebis. The boy ate as many jalebis as he could. He further said that if somebody touched his stomach, jalebis would spew from his mouth and nostril. It means that he ate a lot of jalebis.
Chachajaan coming in a Tonga
At once, the children in the neighbouring areas gathered around the narrow lane. The boy's stomach was full of jalebis, and he thought of having some fun with the neighbouring boys. As a result, he began giving out jalebis to the children gathered around him. Children began to leap and shout in delight after receiving the jalebis.
Very soon, a lot of children had arrived at the place. They might have come there after hearing about the good news about a boy distributing jalebis to neighbours. After that, the jalebis were finished, so he ran near to the jalebi seller and bought jalebis for another rupee.
After buying the jalebis, the boy stood in front of one of the houses' raised platforms (verandah). Then he started giving the jalebis to the children, like the Governor Saheb issuing rice to the poor and needy people on the day of Independence. It implies that while he was distributing the jalebis, he thought of himself doing great social work. Moreover, the crowd didn't get dissolved. As time passed, the crowd increased.
Meanwhile, not only children but also beggars arrived at the place. They tried to get jalebis from the boy, but it resulted in an attack. The statement implies that on seeing the jalebis, the beggars thought of obtaining it. So while standing in the crowd, probably there would be a fight for getting jalebis.
Later, the boy thought he would have undoubtedly been chosen in the assembly if children were nominated for the election and won that day. Furthermore, he stated that if he gave a signal to kill someone, the children and crowd around him would follow his orders. He felt they would do whatever he asked because he had given them enough jalebis. Moreover, he bought jalebis for the remaining coins and distributed them to the children and the large crowd. After the jalebis were distributed, the boy walked over to the public tap and washed his mouth and hands.
After that, the boy returned home by showing his innocent face as if he hadn't seen a piece of jalebi in his lifetime. Later the boy thought that he had no trouble while eating the jalebis, but digesting them was seemed to be another big problem. While he was walking, he felt that the air (gas) released noisily through his mouth in every breath. He also thought that two or three jalebis would pop out from his mouth whenever he took a breath.
The boy returned home by showing his innocent face
During the night, the boy had to eat his dinner. If he failed to eat his food, his parents would question him why he wasn't eating anything. In addition, if he pretended to be ill to get away from his parents, they would call a doctor to check his health condition. The doctor would arrive at the spot, and he would check his pulse and tell his parents that Munna had eaten too many jalebis. As a result, his parents would scold him.
Meanings of the difficult words:
|Tonga||A light horse-drawn two-wheeled vehicle used in India|
|Chachajaan||Uncle in Urdu|
|Clutch||Grasp or seize something tightly or eagerly|
|Devour||To eat something eagerly and in large amounts so that nothing is left|
|Nostrils||Two external openings of the nasal cavity in vertebrates admit air to the lungs and smells to the olfactory nerves|
|Neighbourhood||An area of a town, or the people who live or work in this area|
|Assault||Make a physical attack on someone or something|
|Summon||To order someone to come to or be present at a particular place|
|Chabutara||A raised platform|
|Mob||A large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence|
|Burp||Noisily release air from the stomach through the mouth|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). It so happened. Jalebis- Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi (pp. 62-72). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.