THE JACK-FRUIT






THE JACK-FRUIT :


Asif Sheikh was a big cloth merchant He had made a lot of money. He traded with other countries as well. Sometimes he used to visit those countries. His son had grown into a Youngman. The son used to help his father in business.

Once, Asif Sheikh said to his son. Khurram, 'We got a big order from Bangladesh. You must go there with the goods. '

Khurram had never traveled to another country. His father’s order for him to go to Bangladesh pleased him. He at once started making preparations.

The next day Khurram departed to Bangladesh with the ordered goods in Bangladesh. He put up in a hotel. After dumping goods in his room, Khurram went out to see the bazaar. He saw a strange fruit being sold on a roadside. He had never seen such a big fruit before. He went to the fruit seller and picked up the fruit. To his surprise he found that the thorny fruit was very heavy.

Khurram asked, “Brother' What do you call it?"

The fruit seller said laughing, “Sir, it is called jack-fruit."

Khurram smelled it. He liked the smell of the fruit. The fruit with such sweet smell has got to be delicious, he thought. He imagined that the fruit must be costly.

He enquired, 'Brother! What is its price?"

The fruit seller replied, “Ten annas."

Khurram could not believe it. It was very cheap…Ten annas of Bangladesh money was a little amount. He bought that the fruit seller had made a mistake. He quickly took out ten annas and bought the fruit. Khurram went straight to his room with the jack-fruit. He cut it with a knife and began eating it. He liked the taste of the jack-fruit and ate away half of it.

The jack-fruit had made his hands and the mouth very sticky with its resin like juice. He went to the water tap to wash up. He didn’t know that this fruit juice does not wash off with water. As Khurram tried to wash with soap it became more sticky. He saw some juice on his clothes to. He tried to rub it off with a napkin but the napkin stuck to the clothes. Khurram didn't know what to do. He was alone in a foreign country and a bit frightened. Then Khurram decided to ask the manager or a waiter to help.

As he came out of his room, the first person he met laughed at him. Then, Khurram could not gather courage to ask anyone else. He slipped out of the hotel in confusion. Outside, the wind was blowing. The dry leaves and papers flew up and stuck to the clothes of Khurram. His moustache had a plastered look. More things, dust and straws were getting blown up and were sticking to Khurram all over. He looked like a strange scarecrow. Whichever way he look the people laughed at him.

Some people followed him taking him for a crazy man. Khurram didn't know what to do. He blindly ran into a shop to hide into a corner. It happened to be a jeweller's shop. A heap of jewellery items was lying on a table which had been taken out of the show cases to be shown to the customers. Khurram stumbled against the table and some jewellery items stuck to his clothes. When he tried to hide himself the shop owner saw him. He screamed 'Thief' Thief!" The workers of the shop nabbed Khurram. A crowd gathered there.

The police was informed. Khurram pleaded innocence but no one believed him because of the jewellery sticking to his clothes. He was handed over to the police.

Khurram narrated to the police the story of his eating jack-fruit in detail. The Inspector laughed and said, “Man…. Why did you eat the jack-fruit when you had no knowledge of how to eat it? Any way, tell us which trader has you business with here?'

Khurram was taken to his customer trader. The trader refused to recognize him because of his strange condition. Then, Khurram told him about his father and the ordered goods he had brought for the trader. The trader now identified him and said to the Inspector, “Officer! He is what he claims to be, of course. My dear boy, Please let him off. He is a victim of circumstances."

Khurram pleaded, "Please, first help me get rid of this sticky thing." The trader gave Khurram a new dress, got him cleaned of the jack-fruit mess and gave him the honoured guest treatment with a piece of advice, Son! You must have some knowledge about new things you are going to try."




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