Alfred had two mobile phones. He had put a SIM card of a different network in each mobile phone. One day, while Alfred was browsing in a shop, he came across a mobile phone that had a unique feature.

“This mobile phone lets the owner insert two SIM cards in it simultaneously,” the shopkeeper told Alfred.

“It would be better if I buy this mobile phone,” Alfred thought. “It will simultaneously hold my two SIM cards and save me the trouble of carrying two mobile phones. My other phones have become quite old anyway.”

He bought the new mobile phone the next day itself. Alfred’s new mobile phone worked very well for a few days, but then something very strange happened.

The two SIM cards that Alfred had inserted in the new phone began fighting with each other.

“Alfred uses me more often to make calls,” one of the SIM cards boasted. “You are in here just for namesake. You are always lying in a corner.”

The other SIM card grew furious. It didn’t like being spoken to in such an insulting manner.

“Don’t act smart,” the other SIM card shouted. “All the incoming calls are made to me. I am far more useful to Alfred than you are!”

“You are cheap and everybody knows that cheap things are not durable,” the first SIM card said and sniggered.

“Why should one buy expensive things when the inexpensive ones can provide the same convenience for much less, huh?” the second SIM card said, not wanting to be left behind.

The battery inside the phone had been silently witnessing the SIM cards’ fight for a long time. It couldn’t hold itself back anymore.

“Calm down now,” it said. “You both are arguing pointlessly.”


“You ugly, black battery…who asked you to interfere with us? Did anyone ask for your advice?” both the SIM cards said, forgetting about their fight and starting a new one with the battery.

“What do you think I am? You both can’t utter a word without me,” the battery said, blowing its own trumpet. “Don’t you know that the mobile phone won’t work unless it has battery power? So, technically speaking, I am your boss!”

The intensity of the fight increased, and soon the entire handset began trembling because of the commotion inside it. Before the handset could say anything, there was a phone call and Alfred picked up the mobile phone and answered it.

But he couldn’t hear the caller at the other end clearly, because there were too many odd sounds coming from the handset. “There is something wrong with this mobile phone,” Alfred said and immediately took the mobile phone back to the shop. He asked the shopkeeper to repair it but the shopkeeper returned it to Alfred saying that it seemed perfectly all right.

The fight hadn’t stopped as yet. The charger too joined the battle, and argued with the SIM cards and the battery. “Stop thinking of yourselves as superior,” the charger said proudly. “If I don’t charge the battery, none of you will have any existence at all. You should be thankful to me for keeping you in working condition!”

The battery had no answer to the charger’s claim. “Hey! Have you all have forgotten me?” the handset said, trying to prove how important he was too. “You all are fixed inside me. I am your true boss! You all are, after all, my parts.”

The squabble was escalating. And in the bargain, all the parts had completely forgotten that they needed to get back to work. Alfred was very disturbed. He found that his mobile phone wasn’t working, and he was missing out on making and receiving important calls.

He took the mobile phone and the charger back to the shopkeeper again and banged them on his counter angrily.

“Refund my money. This mobile phone is completely useless. There is definitely something wrong with it,” he shouted. “There are strange sounds coming from it.”

The shopkeeper took the mobile phone and charger back from Alfred and told him that he would check them. He then requested Alfred to come back after a day.

Just as Alfred walked out of the shop, a man entered with his mobile phone and charger.

Now, this man had accidentally overcharged the battery of his phone. It had damaged the mobile phone and made it irreparable.

“Your mobile phone and charger are of no use to anyone anymore,” the shopkeeper said loudly, after examining the faulty mobile phone. “They are only worth throwing in the dustbin now.”

The shopkeeper’s words gave the parts of Alfred’s mobile phone a big jolt. The SIM cards got worried. The battery was terrified. The handset and the charger felt quite nervous. “What if this happens to us?” one of the SIM cards said. “What if the shopkeeper tells Alfred we must be thrown away?”

“We won’t let that happen,” the other SIM card said.

“We will never let this kind of situation come upon us!” “We will forget about our fight and work together as a team!” the battery said.

“I agree!” added the charger.

“So do I,” said the handset.

And so, the SIM cards, the battery, the charger and the handset decided that they would forget about their petty squabble and live and work together in harmony.

“Your mobile phone is working now,” the shopkeeper told Alfred when he returned to the shop the next day. “Please pay me two hundred rupees for servicing the parts.”

The SIM cards, the battery, the handset and the charger knew that there was nothing wrong with them, and that the shopkeeper hadn’t serviced them at all. They felt very ashamed that their owner Alfred, who took such good care of them, had to pay the shopkeeper, just because they had quarrelled.

They apologised to each other and made a pact never to fight again.

“We will live and work in harmony from now on,” they promised.

The result of this pact was that the mobile phone worked very well. Alfred was very satisfied. “This mobile phone is better than the ones I owned before,” he told his friends “I am really happy with it!”

When the SIM card, the battery, the charger and the handset heard Alfred, they looked at each other and smiled. They were glad that they had decided to work and live together in harmony.



Two Old Friends

Ring…ring…’ the doorbell was ringing. Jambu, the jackal was shaving his beard. He came out with shaving cream still on his face.

“Who is it?”

Again he heard, ‘Ring… Ring…’

“Yes, I am coming.” Opening the door, he recognised his friend.

“Bhalla! When did you come?” He hugged his close friend so tightly that Bhalla’s neck was smeared with half of the cream.

Bhalla, the bear had taken a day’s off from his job. Early that morning he had thought of meeting his old friend.

Jambu caught hold of his hand and pulled him in, saying “Are you going to stand outside? Come in. Have some snacks and tea before going home.”

Bhalla started smiling while drinking tea.

“What is the matter?”

“I am recollecting our childhood days. Leave the snacks aside. Come, let us go and kick up a racket in the forest just like the good old days.”

Both of them looked at each other and within minutes they were off.

In front of the bazaar where the four tamarind trees stood, a monkey selling icecream shouted, “Milk, frozen milk. Buy one to feel cool!”

The naughty friends looked at each other. Bhalla asked, “How much is the mango bar?” “Ten rupees!” “Oh! This is daylight robbery!” Bhalla said and sat down. Now Jambu took over and said, “Brother, have some pity on him.”

“Uncle, this is the rate,” said the monkey.

“Okay! Take this.” Jambu took out money from his pocket and handed it to the monkey and gave the ice cream bar to his friend.Two-old-friends

Bhalla was enjoying the ice cream with closed eyes. Now Jambu nudged him and said, “Greedy old man! Will you eat alone? Give me some of it.”

Bhalla turned his face away.

“Will you not give me some?” asked Jambu facing him. This went on for quite a while. Jambu started circling Bhalla.

“Sir, you also take ice cream,” said the monkey, trying to pacify him.

“You will give me one?” Jambu acted surprised.

“Yes, why not?”

Jambu was delighted. He took the ice cream from the monkey. Then the monkey extended his hand and asked, “Sir, money. Please pay for it.”

“Money for what?” Both the friends asked slapping their chest.

“Oh! For the ice cream. What else?” The terrified monkey stammered.

Both their voices grew loud. “You gave it yourself. Did we ask you?” Jumbu shouted.

The monkey was shocked. He shouted, “You tried to trick me!”

The two mischief makers laughed and walked away. In the same way, they cheated the snacks vendor. They were playing their childhood pranks even now.

Finally, they reached the playground where the children of the hippos, wolf, rabbit, and kangaroo were playing gulli danda.

Bhalla asked his friend, “Would you like to play?”

“Why not? I am no beginner.” Jambu replied stroking his grey moustache.

“Hey, just give me the stick. Watch how we play.”

Bhalla threw the gulli. Jambu swung and hit it so hard that the children were astonished. The game progressed. Then Bhalla picked up the stick. He tossed the gulli in such a way that the children were speechless. Oh! These old men were good. They could compete with anyone.Two-old-friends

The gulli shot like an arrow from Jambu’s hand. Bhalla struck it really hard. The gulli flew like a hawk. Far away on a mango tree there hung a honeycomb. Instantly the gulli hit it like a bullet. Within minutes an army of honeybees emerged… Booo… booo…

“Run! It’s dangerous!”

The children started to run away. The two old men also started to run. But could not run as fast. Both of them suffered from pain in their legs. They were groaning and running.

Soon they started panting. The bees were chasing them too. The news of the broken beehive spread in the forest. Everyone came running. Mr. Hippo, Mr. Wolf, Mirza, the rabbit, and Babu, the kangaroo were very angry. “Whose mischief is this? Our children were playing quietly. Who did this?”

“These two are the culprits.” All the fingers, of the children and the snacks vendor, were pointing towards Jambu and Bhalla.

“Is this your doing Uncle? What a shame!” said Mirza, the rabbit.

The monkey also chipped in saying, “Brother, they took an ice cream from me and ate it. They did not even pay for it.”

The two friends stood downcast. The other animals of the forest surrounded them.

Jambu quietly asked, “Did you hit the honeycomb on purpose?”

Bhalla said shamefacedly. “Yes. The moment I saw the honeycomb my mouth started watering. Instinctively I hit the gulli on the honeycomb.”

“You have long hair. The bees got entangled in them.

Think about me? See my state?” said Jumbu. Big rashes had appeared on his body.

“Sorry friend, but what is a bear’s child if he does not put his life at stake for the sake of honey?” said Bhalla.

They apologised to all for their behaviour and the ice-cream monkey.

All the animals walked awayTwo-old-friends.

Jambu winked and said, “If the end is sweet then everything is sweet. Isn’t it true? Come friend we will soon eat honey and not create any mischief in the future.”

The Winner

Bill and Tarun were neighbours and attended the same school. Moreover, they shared similar habits too. They came from two well-to-do families and enjoyed all the comforts. They had everything a child could wish for. Too much indulgence and pampering by their parents had made them spoilt kids. For them, life was nothing, but enjoyment and fun.

Both of them went to school every morning, or at least their parents believed so. In the afternoon, when they returned home, they groaned and complained about their studies. But that was far from the truth. They hardly ever attended school and regularly bunked classes. If any teacher spoke to the Headmaster about their behaviour, it made no difference. The Headmaster called them to his office, scolded them and warned them not to do it again. It became a routine.

However, the teacher who complained against them was in for trouble, as they then teased him in class. The teachers, therefore, let them have their way. A report to their parents was ineffective too. In fact, it was their parents who were responsible for their bad behaviour.

Both of them were strong and clever. They were leaders of their groups and led their followers into all kinds of new mischief every day.

The neighbours were fed up of their activities. Sometimes they complained to their parents, but it didn’t matter.

Creating trouble was their only pastime. What fun they had!

Although they were close friends, they always wanted to prove who was more superior than the other. They thought of some new tricks to surprise each other. They bragged about their ‘brave deeds’ and tried to impress one another.

One day, as they sat together with their group, Bill said, “Tarun, our old mischievous ways does not amuse me any longer. How do we decide who is superior?” “Think of a new activity,” replied Tarun. “You always say you are more creative than I am.” Bill thought for a little while. Then his face beamed with  smile.

The winner

“I have a wonderful idea,” said he. “Look here, let us start our activities tomorrow morning and meet here with our groups in the evening. We’ll then describe our day. Two members from each group will be appointed as judges. They will decide which group has performed better. The leader of the other group will have to accept the superiority over the other.”

“That’s a good idea!” shouted everybody in unison, “It would be fun.”

That the evening both the groups met at the appointed place. A big crowd had gathered there. Bill’s group was in the high spirits. His boys were shouting, howling and whistling in excitement.

On the other hand, Tarun’s group looked, confused and worried. Tarun had not arrived as yet. Nobody could understand the reason for his absence. How could he abandon his group on such an important occasion? It was a matter which involved the honour and dignity of the group.

“Where’s your great Tarun?” Asked Bill. “I think he’s here but is invisible.”

His boys burst into a loud laugh and gave various answers, “…Has turned a tail…can’t show his face…accepted his defeat…is a coward….”

All of a sudden, there was silence. Tarun was coming toward them. His eyes were downcast, his neck was bent and he looked upset.

He sat in a corner lost in deep thought.

Amidst the shrieking and whistling of his group, Bill said. “Let us hear what deeds we have done during the day and decide who’s greater. The first group, I’ll describe the achievements of my group. Here they are:

Tied crackers to a donkey’s tail and made him run. Threw stones at the madman and had great fun. Broke two nests of crows, stole ripe mangoes from Kallu’s garden, misguided a stranger who wanted to go to the railway station, snatched the biscuit packet from a child and made him cry, smeared Bholu’s newly painted wall with dirt.

“These are wonderful deeds,” shouted his group joyfully, as he completed the list. “Come on, Tarun tell us what achievement you can boast of?”

Tarun simply answered. “I’m sorry I’ve come to accept my defeat and Bill’s superiority. I can’t be his equal.”

Everyone was stunned. “At least tell us what happened to you,” asked Bill. “What have you been doing today?”

Tarun spoke with a sigh. “I left home in the morning to join my group. I wanted to begin the day with a ‘great deed. Suddenly, I saw an old blind man moving toward a deep pit dug in the middle of the road. I thought I’ll push him into the pit.”

“As I placed my hands on his shoulders, he spoke out, ‘An angel has come to support a blind man. You must be a great man who thinks about a helpless old man.” His words struck me like lightning. I felt ashamed of myself. I pulled him away from the pit. His body was burning with fever. I took him to a doctor. I paid for the medicines with my pocket money.the-winner

Then I took him to his old and broken hut where I found his wife. The old man showered me with his blessings. He said, “I wish you all the joys of life. You seem to be a noble boy; you’d be the pride of your parents. I can’t thank you enough.” His wife held my face in her hand and kissed my forehead. Bill…I take back the challenge.”

The boys shouted in joy, “Bill has defeated Tarun. Come on judges, what have you to say?”the-winner

A garland of flowers was put around Bill’s neck amidst the noise of his group. Then everyone was stunned to see what seemed unbelievable. Bill took his garland and put it around Tarun’s neck and said in a chocked voice. “Tarun you are a great leader. Lead both the groups to greater heights. I salute you.”