BALBAHADDAR FASTER PHENE
Author : Bha. Ra. Bhagwat
Translation : Baal Urdhwareshe, Shanta Puranik
THE MASTER KEY OF FASTER PHENE
Banesh Phene of Phursungi was the student of a famous school in Pune. Every Saturday he hurried to Phursungi on his bicycle, (Phursungi was his birth place) but he was in Pune on Monday morning punctually. His frantic running about was a well-known thing. He always came first in cycle race - and no one could beat him at running. He ran faster, even than a race horse. So his friends honoured him with the title ‘Faster Phene of Phursungi.’
Banya was not only a successful runner - but also his brain worked fast. It was sharp and active. It ran- or was alert - in the hour of difficulty.
Today I am going to tell you about his skills of riding a bicycle as well as about his fast working brain.
Once Banya showed a small square iron bar to his friends and asked, ‘do you know what this is? This is a magic key.’
‘How do you know that it is magical?’
‘You can open a lock on any cycle with it.’
‘O, I know’, said Sharad Shastri, ‘that you have a master key.’
Banya became furious, for he had not heard of this word before. He mistook the word ‘master’ for a ‘teacher’. He thought that his friend’s surname was ‘Shastri’ (means a learned person), so it is natural for him to think about teacher. Banya thought that his friends feared that he might give them a tedious lecture like a teacher.
‘Don’t call it ‘master’ (teacher)’, said Banya
The Patil (village head) of Phursungi said. ‘rather though I am somewhat educated, I will not be a teacher - never-for we are born farmers and I will be a farmer.’
‘What a fool you are!’ Said Subhash Desai. ‘Don’t you know that ‘master’ means the ‘owner’, here the owner of all the keys?’
‘Keys do not mean Forts (In Marathi keys are ‘Killya’ and forts are ‘Kille’)’ said Chakar Deshmukh. ‘Otherwise you will think of Raigarh, Sinhagarh etc.’
‘Now, did you understand what I meant? Your ‘master key’ is a key to mystery.’
‘Don’t tell me - I did not know the meaning of the word’ - said Banya – and shoved the key in his pocket.
Thus this word – war ended.
The next day was Saturday. The rain was gone. There was bright sunshine. So the boys decided to go for a picnic, in the morning, directly after school.
Empress garden was chosen unanimously.
So all students started early in the morning at 10 o’clock, on their bicycles. They carried their breakfast with them. They reached half an hour later to the Empress Garden.