JAVANMARD FASTER PHENE
Author : Bha. Ra. Bhagwat
Translation : Baal Urdhwareshe, Shanta Puranik
FASTER PHENE ON THE NEFA FRONT
Faster Phene was a lot irritated. Rather he was internally inflamed like that huge kiln in the Jamshedpur Steel Works.
You are now familiar with Faster Phene alias Banesh. It’s rather impossible to find a like. His brain works as fast as his running feet. Once he has an idea in his mind it was his nature to persuade it to the last.
You may not be surprised, because you are now aware of many weird arts of Faster Phene. Even then you may be thinking as to how and from where this lad from Phursungi, who had come to Pune for his further education, has appeared of all places in Jamshedpur ?
The fact is, Vidya Bhavan had declared additional ten days holidays adjoining Diwali holidays. They had to do it, for some additional construction work was going on in the school building. Taking advantage of it, the boys had planned an educational tour to Jamshedpur and Banya had participated in it very enthusiastically.
Banya actually had a different thought in his mind. He was not going to be satisfied just after the visit to the steel work. It was not his nature; he had calculated a different strategy for himself. Kolkatta was near Jamshedpur. Dibrugarh was then near Kolkatta and from there Tejpur was not far away. All the press correspondents from the whole world had gathered at Tejpur. From there only, at a short distance of ten miles, severe battle was going on. Banya had a mind to participate in that war. His blood was boiling. He was awfully annoyed as the enemy had attacked India’s northern border along the Himalayas and had stabbed in the back.
And who was not annoyed? Everyone who had learnt about the breach of confidence by the Chinese was so annoyed. After reading the news about the defeats on the Nefa border, a large group of students called on the principal and had expressed their willingness to go to the frontier and take a revenge, by so writing with their blood on a page of their exercise book. The principal however pacified the boys stating “my dear boys! Looking at your enthusiasm I get excited and have Goosebumps! But you are still kids; no one will recruit you in the army. And, dear boys, modern wars are not as simple as you think. There are huge machines aeroplanes, tanks, automatic rifles etc. Not only power but also strategies are equally significant. The war itself is spread over a long area and so are the preparations in its background. The workshops have to produce on a large scale for which the labour force has to work very hard. Writers, artists, singers have to make proper propaganda; students have to be trained in military tactics and discipline. They must be on their tows always to undertake every assignment. you also regularly read the war news and try to read and understand the map. Do try to understand how and where our soldiers are shedding their blood for our motherland and do all the work assigned to you very promptly. That will ensure that victory will be ours!’
The principle had a wise advice and most of the boys accepted it. They went back to their classes with all the seriousness.
Banya’s case was not that simple. He was too eager to show his prowess at the frontiers! He had a terrific plan in his mind. After escaping from Jamshedpur he was to head for Kolkatta, thinking that there from troops supplies must be leaving for the frontiers everyday. He would push in himself, the way to do it would be thought after reaching Kolkatta.
While moving inside the steel work too, his mind was roaming elsewhere –tawong, walong, minutang etc.
Huge furnaces were on in the workshop and red-hot liquid iron was being poured in the containers which were being topple furthers. students were observing the process from a gallery at height. At the other end, steel sheets rolled out like newspaper from the printing machine.
“Those sheets will now be used to manufacture tanks!” Subhash Deai said, wondering at the process
“And what about that?” Sharad Shastri enquired pointing at another process where from iron bars were coming out four in a row. The sight was similar to cars running on a four-lane road in Mumbai.
“They were to be used to manufacture rails!” Raveendra Nene expressed his logic.
“They must have ways and means to carry the war material!”...