“Nobody is bitten by a snake, Subhash, it is a naphthalene ball which got stuck into my youngest son’s nose. Probably you are the one who could tell us how to bring it out.” Mr. Bhuban Sur sounded as if a sailor was able to discover a distant land after a long voyage.
Subhash Das was known to everyone in the village as a bright, educated young man. Generally any college graduated was given a lot of respect because it was a rare qualification among the villagers. But Subhash Das was considered as a rare species because he had graduated twice, in Science and in Commerce. But in spite of that rare academic achievement, Subash Das was a humble young man. He was unemployed but used to provide tuition to high school students. His mother, who lost her husband when Subhash was a toddler, was extremely proud of her son. The mother and her son lived in a house built by her late husband, and survived on a savings also left behind by her late husband. She could manage to sail through the most difficult time of her life and started seeing hope again. Wherever she saw a beautiful girl, either on the street or in someone’s house, she would find out where the girl lived and eventually meet the girl’s mother and ask the mother for her daughter’s hand as a future bride of her son, whom she would mention as a ‘double graduate’ and would get a job anytime soon because a rare talent like her son would not remain unemployed for long.
“Who has stuck the naphthalene into the child’s nose”, Subhash Das suddenly asked the question which sounded like he was shooting in the dark.
“What makes you think that anybody had pushed a naphthalene ball inside a child’s nose? He did it by himself”, grandma got so furious that she stopped crying the moment the question had entered through her ears.
“How he got hold of the naphthalene, who gave it to him?” Subhash Das again shot in the dark.
“Why is this so important to know”, grandma sounded angry but also defensive.
“Who has bought naphthalene? Why do you need naphthalene? Are there too many cockroaches in this house? We do not need any naphthalene in our house, we have a cat which eats all the cockroaches and also kills mice.” Subhash Das continued shooting in the dark very rapidly.
“Subhash, it is not very important at this moment to discuss who bought it, who gave it to the child or whether people should have a cat or use naphthalene. I think you should look at my son and tell us if you could do something to bring the ball out of his nose”, Mr. Sur suggested to Subhash Das in a polite manner.
Subhash Das walked closer to the naphthalene stuck boy and sat in a squatting position to examine the nose which not only looked swollen but also reddish. But before he started his scientific examination he suggested the grandmother if she could put a half-pant on the child.
“What difference does it make if a child wears a pant or not”, the grandmother sounded little upset.
“It does not but because there are so many people here so I thought he should wear a pant”, Subhash Das suggested in a polite manner.
“My grandson is not even five years old but till the age of ten you roamed around in your house without a pant or a shirt”, the grandmother sounded not only angry but also sarcastic.
“I am sorry. Allow me to look at his nose.” Subhash Das placed his head below Ravi’s nose. “Don’t worry child, I will look at it very carefully, it won’t hurt you at all.” He lifted Ravi’s nose a little with his thumb. While examining the child, Subhash Das’ mouth remained wide open and he squeezed his nose in such a way as if the naphthalene ball was inside his nose.
After examining the barricaded nostril for a while he stood erect but looked thoughtful.
“Subhash, can you think of some means how to take it out”, Mr. Sur asked.
[To be continued…..]