Sheetal Panwar, Longlist, Short Story 2017

Tasim’s Magic Box

Sheetal Panwar

Once upon a time, a wicked man, Tasim living in a small village of
city Ratnapuri (Ratlam) Madhya Pradesh was busy in inventing something.
While few of his inventions were fruitful, and few were not. Some time he
remains extremely busy and forgets to eat food. People who stay near to his
house remain in doubt whether Tasim is dead or alive?

Once Tasim was engaged in inventing a magical box. A box in which people can
enter and forget their past. Villagers were aware about mischievous inventions
of Tasim. They were known Tasim is inventing such box for self interest and he
will misuse the box once he invented. They grumbled to the Sarpanch about
wrong intension of Tasim behind his invention. But Tasim was cunning. He
assured to the sarpanch that his invention is for the welfare of the villagers. His
experiments and invention would be useful for the villagers. Also, it can be used
on crooks and felons so that they can obliterate bad part of their life and begin a
new life with vivacity of positivity for the benefit of themselves and their

Tasim was sure soon he will succeed in his invention and motive. After
spending few years he accomplishes a gadget, but he did not share with anyone
about his gadget. He wants to check his invention, Hence plans to apply his
gadget on someone. And suddenly he saw a boy, Raju. A smart and sensible boy of the village. According to Tasim if the gadget will work on an intelligent boy
than off course it will work on any other too. Raju was a famous boy in the
small village who always help others.

Next morning when Raju was returning from his school. Tasim screamed in
agony of pain. Raju threw his bag and ran towards Tasim to help.
‘What happened Chacha?’ asked Raju.
Uhhhh…. my stomach is paining. I am having an oppressive stomach-ache
since last night and now it is difficult to bear, please! Please help me Raju, said
“Chacha… I will help you. Come with me, Hakim Chacha will give you
medicine to recover’’, said Raju.
Tasim replied, ‘No no Raju. I have medicine. You take me to my home. I will
take medicines and rest. I will be fine. Just take me to my home as early as
Sure chacha, Raju replied.
As Raju and Tasim reached the home. Tasim requested Raju to close the small
wooden door of the house.
Chacha, where is your medicine? asked Raju.

Tasim’s intension was to send Raju into the magical box. He said Raju to bring
the medicines from inside the box. As Raju entered the box, he forgets
everything. Who he is? Where he is? And for what purpose he is there?
Tasim called Raju outside the box.
Raju beta…
Raju come out….. My son.
But due to the influence of magical box the boy forget his name.
Tasim comprehend that his box is effective up to his expectation. He appreciates
himself. He tells the boy to hold the stick and come out from the box with its
help but boy was numb and unable to recognize anything.
Tasim questioned Raju, “who you are? Where is your house little boy?”
But the boy could not speak and could not answer.
‘Hmm the box is very effective.’ Tasim murmured.

Tasim took the boy outside the house and tell the boy to sit near the temple. He
left Raju outside the temple and soon escaped from there.
It was 3 pm of the afternoon. Raju’s mother worried about Raju.
“It been so late now. Raju never been so late before. Where is Raju gone? let
him come I will teach him a lesson today,” mother murmured in anger.

Mother was tensed for Raju. She could not able to wait any more now. She went
out to search Raju. An old man who was a small tailor in the village live near
Raju’s house meets mother. People call him, masterji. He asked mother “Are
vimla Behan kaisi ho? Kaha jaa rahi ho? Itni dopehar mei?”
(How are you Vimla behan? where are you going in hot sunny day?)
Vimla (Raju’s mother) replied with dismay…
Masterji, i am looking for my son, Raju. He has not returned from school yet. I
don’t know where he has gone today. He has not informed me anything.
Masterji said ‘I saw Raju in suspicious condition outside the temple’.
Outside the temple? What happened? Is everything ok? Asked mother.
Sister, I don’t know U go there and bring him back to home.
As mother reached near the temple, she saw Raju. She ordered him to come
home and not to do such thing again and she took him to home.
Mother cooked food for Raju but Raju was behaving stranger to his mother. In
the evening when father arrived home, mother informed everything to him.
Next day the father went to the sarpanch and told everything to sarpanch.
Sarpanch was an educated man he was little aware about Tasim adverse
inventions. As the father discussed about Raju, sarpanch was sure it must be
done by Tasim. He tells the father to stay calm and everything will be fine soon.
Sarpanch made a plan to catch Tasim.
He called Tasim. He knew Tasim is a greedy person hence praises Tasim’s work. Tasim was pleased after hearing his praise from the Sarpanch. Sarpanch asked Tasim about the magical box and said you must be get reward for this worthwhile invention. Tasim informed everything to the Sarpanch in sake of reward. He also informed how to get regress from such condition. He traps in his own conspiracy.
Villagers took Raju to the Hakim Chacha (doctor) to give several medicines.
Due to which Raju recovered from his condition. Sarpanch called the
police to arrest Tasim because whatever he did with Raju was punishable.
Soon Police came to arrest the Tasim. But the villagers were furious with
the behavior of Tasim. They want to put Tasim in the magical box so that
Tasim forget about his harmful inventions and lead a simple life like other
At last, Sarpanch told villagers that knowledge is biggest asset for society if it is
in good hand. And there can not be bigger curse than if knowledge it is in bad

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