An article about this novel in an international journal - The Criterion
‘Do you notice any difference between this formula and the one previous to it?’, Rajesh suddenly asked Vijay while taking the notes.
‘Of course, there is a difference’, Vijay replied.
‘I don’t see any! In fact, I find all the chemistry-2 formulae one and the same!’, Rajesh said.
‘All formulae one and the same?’, Vijay surprisingly asked.
‘Yes! Just like Chinese men standing in a row with their tiny eyes’, Rajesh replied.
‘You crazy guy! Sometimes you come out with amazing analogies!’, Vijay remarked.
‘You know! One of my friends uncle had been to China for his corporate work and had been there for long time! He told that it took him three months to learn to differentiate between them and identify each of his surrounding Chinese employee separately!’, Rajesh replied.
Without pay much heed to what Rajesh was talking about, Vijay started taking notes rapidly and thus Rajesh too was forced to pay attention to what professor was teaching. Suddenly while writing notes Vijay soon realized that somebody was time again turning backward and glancing fat him from his right side. Now he turned to check who it was and he saw Priya. For a moment Vijay and Priya looked at each other and realizing that Vijay has come to know about it Priya quickly turned her eyes back to the blackboard.
During the 20 minutes recess all the students were standing in the corridor outside their class in small groups and whiling away their time. Vijay was standing against a pole and Rajesh was in front of him. Vijay clandestinely looked at Priya’s group of girls. Although even Priya was standing among all her girl-friends all her attention was focused on Vijay only. She also clandestinely looked at Vijay and both of them looked at each other for a moment and Vijay said to Rajesh, ‘fifty’.
‘Fifty?, What fifty?’, Rajesh asked.
Vijay again got engrossed in looking at the girls group.
‘This ‘fifty’, what you said just now, is like that mad man standing on a bridge’, Rajesh replied.
‘What mad man on a bridge?’, Vijay asked although he was not much attentive about Rajesh.
‘Once a mad man was standing on a bridge uttering loudly ‘fifty’, ‘fifty’!. A man passing from near him asked, ‘What fifty, fifty?’, then the mad man pushed him down in the river and started reciting, ‘fifty-one, fifty-one!’, Rajesh told a joke and started laughing.
But Vijay being inattentive about him there was no chance of why he would reciprocate the laughter.
‘Raja! I will share one fun with you!’, Vijay mysteriously smiled and said to Rajesh.
‘Fun! What fun?’, Rajesh replied.
‘Look around! In that group of girls!’, Vijay asked him.
Rajesh turned his sight and started looking at the group of girls.
‘You fool! When I asked you to look at the girls, why do you always look at that fat lady?’, Vijay annoyingly asked.
‘She is not a fatty girl as you call it! She is only slightly stout!’, Rajesh explained.
‘Oh is it?, anyway, forget it, look at that new girl who has joined our class!’, Vijay said.
Looking in that direction, Rajesh said, ‘Oh! So you are talking about ‘Priya’!’.
‘Great! So by now you have come to know her name also!’, Vijay pinched.
‘What is so great about it?. The whole class knows her name! Even you must be knowing it but you are only pretending innocence!’, Rajesh replied.
‘No! Really! I did not indeed know her name!’, Vijay clarified himself.
‘Anyway, coming back to what you were telling? What is the fun?’, Rajesh asked.
‘What was the subject of our first lecture?’, Vijay asked.
‘It was of Chemistry! Why?’, Rajesh asked.
‘Right since the chemistry lecture, I am counting’, Vijay started telling, ‘She has looked at me exactly fifty times so far and now see for yourself, this is the fifty-oneth time she has glanced at me!’, Vijay replied.
‘Oh! So this is the fun you are talking about?’, Rajesh mischievously asked.
‘Now I will tell you one more fun!’, Rajesh said to Vijay.
‘What fun?’, Vijay asked.
‘Just tell me one thing! She looked at you fifty-one times! How did you come to know about it?’, Rajesh asked.
‘Of course, I have counted it’, Vijay replied unknowingly the wit of Rajesh.
‘You counted! This means you came to know only when you too looked at her at least that many times, in fact more than that!’, Rajesh trapped him.
‘Which means even she can accuse at you that you have been looking at her fifty-one times’, Rajesh caught the point.
Vijay was completely cornered and was tight-lipped about this.
‘You are talking on my behalf or her’s?’, Vijay angrily asked.
‘I am not talking on anybody’s behalf. Only explaining the facts!’, Rajesh shrugged his shoulders.
‘What do you mean?’, Vijay asked.
‘This means my dear friend! You have become habituated to calculate everything using the mathematical terminologies only. But always bear it in mind that there are certain issues which never fit into the mathematical jargon’, Rajesh explained to Vijay as though he was explaining the gist of something.
‘Now I understand what you are explaining’, Vijay replied.
‘What have you understood?’, Rajesh asked.
‘That this is an excellent excuse for ignoring the physical weight of that fatty in numerical and mathematical terms’, Vijay hit back.
‘Why the hell, you time and again come back to that girl?’, Rajesh annoyingly asked.
‘Oh! Sorry! Sorry!’, Vijay apologized.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Girish Katre (GirishKatre@gmail.com)