TRING..TRING.. FASTER PHENE
Author : Bha. Ra. Bhagwat
Translation : Baal Urdhwareshe, Shanta Puranik
FASTER PHENE - A WRITER
(A story told by F.F himself)
Tring, tring! Oh, hellow! This is faster Phene speaking. is it Sadhana Office? Yes, yes same chap! I have just returned from the NEFA warfronts. Is the time limit for your Children’s Special issue over? And I am not yet gotten used to fountain pen. There are ink spills over my fingers. And when I try to scratch my head for some new ideas, they blac ken my nose and my face as well. That’s why..... yes, no, I didn’t dictate it to anybody, no, don’t get so annoyed, please! O.K. will do. I will narrate it during the story-telling competition... yes.... verbally, I’ll write it down some other time.
When I thought of writing something for Children’s Special Issue I was at the NEFA war front. There was a fierce battle going on at the
G 7 post. Had hit the head of a Chinese soldier who had entered our territory pretending to be a Lama! You remember it, don’t you? That was when the Commandant congratulated me. But he warned me at that very moment to take complete rest and not to indulge anywhere any more. I kept mum, kept to his instructions for a couple of days. Sat silent like a deity and just went through the periodicals that I received by post. It had Sadhana in it, wherein I read; I saw the advertisement for it’s children’s Special Issue. I had a look in the mirror and was surprised to see my bright eyes, I exclaimed ‘Tokk!’
I couldn’t sleep that night. My brain was reeling. Something was cooking in it. I was now getting ideas like I never had during all those years of my stay in Pune. Probably, the artist in me was awakening now. It was poking me, ‘move on, draw something or write something!’
Draw what? I had never drawn a line in all my life. If I were to try it at all, I would probably scratch some lines only and use the eraser more often than the lead pencil.
Will do, my mind said. Using the eraser often will provide a better tone to your lines. It may then be converted into a half-tone block and get printed by the editor!
Half tone! My God! What if it were to be too big?
Look here! Even haphazard lines will do. It’s a fashion now a days! There is an artist named Pakwasa in Europe. He only draws mustaches on the forehead and a big eye on the stomach! And he gets lacs of pounds for a single drawing.
It may suit him, said I, but not me, that is charging lacs of pounds for a single drawing. I may not even get a simple prize. No, let there be no drawing at all. Instead, I’ll write an article. Let it be a prose. Or even a poem. My mind said, O.K. But let it be done tomorrow only, the last date is approaching soon.
A poem flashed instantly!
Arrogant is the Chinese!
I noticed it!
But my head reeled again. Like a beehive! No! A poem is impossible. A prose will do. Again my mind said, ‘you fool! Modern poems are in prose only’. I didn’t listen. I decided only a prose will do. But not that easy. I couldn’t write one during the exam. How will I write one here in this dense jungle? Instead I’ll pen a story. A grand story!...