Aage Badho FASTER PHENE
Author : Bha. Ra. Bhagwat
Translation : Baal Urdhwaresha, Shanta Puranik
FASTER PHENE Vs. THE AFRIKAN
Banya alias Faster Phene was a student of “Vidhyabharati” Pune. His birthplace was Phursungi, which he used to visit during his holidays riding his bicycle.
This episode happened on a Saturday evening when he was on such a visit to Phursungi. He was not alone this time. His chum Subhash Desai accompanied him riding his Raleigh bicycle. There was a bungalow on the Saswad road owned by Subhash’s uncle, who was staying in Jalgaon and used to stay at this bungalow during his summer visit to Pune. His son Aroon was now an Engineer and they were planning to open a plastic manufacturing unit. They had recently purchased an open land adjoining the bungalow with that intention. Only some bricks and other building material, meant for that unit, was lying in the courtyards. A guard was also recently posted to look after the bungalow and that material.
Banya had extended a permanent invitation to his friends to visit his Phursungi. Taking advantage of it, his friend Subhash had said, “Yes chum, I will accompany you today. The weather today is very fine for a bicycle ride. I will also show you that Bungalow, which is on our way, and then we will move on to your place.”
The weather was really fine when they were cycling on the Solapur road, though it was cloudy due to rainy season. But they were not aware that it had already been raining in the Hadapsar Township on their way ahead. After half a mile ride they had rains on their way. At last they had to shop at a turning on the Saswad road.
“Till the rain stops, no?” Banya asked, “had it been summer, we would have taken some Neera (a drink) at the centre. But ——
“But, what?” tested Subhash, “Is there nothing else to drink? Let us go to that Savta Mali Hotel over there. We will have hot milk or coffee.”
“What for?” said Banya we just had our Belly full before our departure. And, are you scared of these drizzles? What I suggest is that we would reach Phursungi in an hour if we hurry a little. On the contrary, if we wait here, we may face heavy rains and be in trouble.”
“That is true!” said Subhash, shaking rain drops of this terylene shirt. He looked worriedly at the sky above.
“We would drop our visit to your Bungalow now” Banya said, “we keep it for our return trip on Monday.”
“O.K., You are the boss here, ” answered Subhash, while they rode back their bicycles. There were raindrops on their faces, which they were enjoying. They were not aware what lay ahead for them to face!
They passed by the school building on their right side and then the glider club. They negotiated a couple of turnings ahead on that open road and were at a height now. Now the fun lessened, as they were fully drenched. The thrashing raindrops on their faces proved rather troublesome. Their bicycle slipped on the wet soil and they had to peddle hard to move ahead.
Riding ahead a little distance with difficulty Subhash suddenly stopped and shouted, “B-a-n-n-y-a!”
“What?” Banya too stopped and enquired.
“How far away is your phursungi yest?”
“May be about three and half miles. I mean the turning for it. We have to go further about a mile in the interior.”
“Nope!” wiping his face by the back of his hand, Subhash said, “I am not to move ahead now.”
“No move?” Questioned Banya, “then what?”
“I have an idea. Do you see those white ink pots in the ditch ahead?”
“They are not ink pots, they are the porcelain caps fixed on the joints of electrical wiring. Some electrification work is going on here.”
“Right” Subhash said, again gulping some raindrops. “Now I got it! The road on the right leads to our bungalow.” He wiped the raindrops on his eyes and said, “Right! That roof visible from here. Now we make a move and will stay in the bungalow only overnight.”
“Where is the key?”
“It is with the keeper, who looks after the bungalow. We may get there some clothes to change. Come on boy. We are helpless due to rains.”
They had to face an unexpected scene at the bungalow. A truck was parked in front of it. Inspite of heavy rains they could read the big red letters painted on it ‘Alibaba Furniture Removing Co.” The truck was covered ...