Bondy goes fishing (a short story)

Here’s a sample from my first, self-published book titled, “Grandma, Tell Me More!” This post includes the first story from this book. To ensure optimal file size, I’ve used a blend of texts and images for an effective rendering of this blog post. Please share your reading experience at the end of this blog post.

You may also visit the following link for a flip-book reading experience: http://online.fliphtml5.com/kdcc/ezvy/



He would giggle on purpose when someone slipped or fell. He would draw funny pictures of students and paste these picture papers on the wall or benches in the class forcing everyone to burst into laughter. When students found their lunch boxes exchanged, they’d know at once who was at work. Friends tripping off tangled shoelaces would not be surprised about the mastermind. Bondy’s sinister laughter rang out loud after each mishap.

Bondy enjoyed troubling others and laughing at their mistakes. This seemed to justify people resenting him. He urged his classmates to include him in the group events. But none wanted him. Moreover, Bondy being short he was not keen to participate in the racing events. He eventually had to settle down for the fishing tournament as a lone contender from grade four. Least effort he thought. He had no idea about fishing other than the fishing scenes he had watched in the zillion or so cartoon programs.

“All the very best, my little brother”, pepped Guindy as they alighted the bus at the school, “And do not trouble anyone today”. Bondy shrugged off the daily remark and didn’t bother to respond. He trudged with his heavy bag and a heart that surprisingly seemed much heavier today.

It was the last day of sports today. All the major events were over. The school had witnessed a much fiercer competition this year, but sadly, grade four had not won any prize. With Bondy representing grade four in the fishing tournament, today did not promise much hope for them.

Soon after the assembly bell rang, students from each grade proceeded towards the school’s backyard pond. It was the school’s heritage property.


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To earn the local support, the school also charted out schedules for outsiders to visit the pond. No doubt the pond was a charm not only for the school but for the neighbourhood as well, thus luring the entire town. But for today, Bondy was lured to wish the pond would vanish along with the fishes, bushes and the breeze.

After the spectators settled down, it was time for the contestants to enter the arena. As the names were announced, the corresponding grade students shrieked out cheers, whistles and released thunderous claps into the sunny mid-morning air. The pond seemed to echo the cheers right back. Each contestant picked up the school-provided tackles and proceeded to the arena. Bondy wished the nearing-noon sun would scorch the pond as well. His wishful thoughts were snapped as he heard the volunteers shouting slogans to advertise their eateries. These were senior students selling water cans, popcorn cups, caps and fancy whistles.

“And finally, put your hands together for Bondy who is here to represent grade four”, screeched the loudspeaker. Bondy picked up the tackle that included fishing line, caperlan net, hooks and baits. With a heave and a sigh he lugged himself into the arena. All he could hear was the popcorn volunteers’ sale chants. No claps, no whistles and no cheers! Bondy looked at the stand where grade four students were seated. He limply waved at his classmates and spotted a few half-hearted hands waving back. Did that seem to lighten his heavy heart a bit? Not quite sure. He sure had earned hatred. Will he get a chance to rectify? He felt miserable. He was anyway trapped for three hours till the competition lasted.


9


However, there was no action in Bondy’s camp. For almost an hour his bait went unnoticed. And when his bait finally seemed to get noticed, the fishes pulled at his line as well. Whenever he felt a tug, in a frenzy he would draw out the fishing line only to notice the hook without the bait. He would then fix another bait and release it back into the pond. Alas, there was no fish caught and no one to notice or cheer him in his camp!

At the end of two hours, Bondy still hadn’t caught any fish and his baits had almost come to an end. Nevertheless, the show must go on till it lasts. As he released his last bait into the pond, one of the volunteers reached out to him with a large cup of popcorn and a folded piece of paper. “Your classmates and teacher from grade four have sent this note and popcorn for you”, smilingly said the volunteer. With the fishing line in one hand, he reached out for the note with the other. The clueless Bondy unfolded the note to read one of the finest ever words of comfort and encouragement:

5


Tears welled in Bondy’s eyes. That note meant the world to him. For all his pranks, his classmates should have scorned and mocked at him just as he loved to. He was ashamed of his mean behavior. Despite his meanness, his classmates stood by him. This seemed like another chance that he needed. “It would be sad if I did not mend my ways at least now”, Bondy thought to himself. He decided never to laugh at others’ mistakes, never to scorn or mock others. Quite strangely and suddenly, he felt like a winner despite not having caught a single fish. His friends’ acceptance had won his heart. Boy, did that burden roll off his heart! It seemed quite so light now.

“Be quick. Here, take your cup of popcorn. It’s the last twenty minutes left now. Just hurry up, I have other things to do as well”, shouted the volunteer. Holding the fishing line in one hand and the precious note in the other, Bondy found it cumbersome to suddenly multitask. Seeing Bondy struggle with too many things, the busy volunteer placed the extra-large cup of popcorn on the iron fence that enclosed Bondy’s seat at the edge of the pond.

Suddenly, it seemed as if the heavens had switched their attention, now focusing on Bondy. The morning breeze swished and gently swooshed the huge cup of popcorns. Splosh! Plop and plop fell the cup and with it all the popcorns right into the pond. The hundreds of corns bobbing on the surface of the water at Bondy’s camp seemed to have triggered a visual siren in the fish kingdom below. Within minutes Bondy’s camp was filled with fishes all lunging at the popcorns.


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THE END

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