The Dasharath Deb Stadium at Badharghat, Agartala where we perform morning walk everyday is run by Sports Authority of India (SAI). Some students of adjacent residential
jogging followed by sports activities in the stadium. Most of these students
are just in their boyhood recruited from various interior places including
tribal boys. One of the students, a tribal boy is a promising footballer, but
he is a bit lazy. Their coach always makes complaint that he is lazy to the
power infinity. But, for us he is a nice sweet-boy. At times, one of my
partners who is popular for his witty, prefers to test his arithmetic talents.
Sometimes, the conversation goes like this: Sports School
- Two twos are?
- Four twos are?
- Three threes are?
- Five plus seven is?
This, generally he can’t answer instantly. He will sit down on the steps to count on his fingers and finally deliver correctly by the time we had completed a round.
One day, the boy was hesitating to join in the compulsory jogging. Treating him a malingerer his coach approached my friend to interfere.
- What is your problem?
- I have some abdominal pain. They fed me with Bhater Sabji last night despite my objection.
Here the coach tried to refute. Bhater Sabji or Rice Food is actually Muri Ghanta, a Bengali recipe prepared with fish-head, rice and other ingredients. My friend continued his persuasion.
- You have to answer me two questions correctly by the time your friends complete the running for exemption, otherwise you have to perform jogging alone for half an hour. Do you agree?
- You have two mangoes in hand. If you eat one how many will remain.
- Now, consider if you have twenty mangoes out of which you have eaten two. How many will remain?
This time, he fumbled. So, he was given another option.
- Look, there is a dog. It sometimes runs with the boys and sometimes strolls. But, all the time it remains in front of the boys. What is the secret behind this?
It was really a tough question for him. He kept on thinking. By that time his friends had completed their exercise and we were also coming out of the stadium.
This time, he seemed to be elated and said to my friend, ‘The dog has four legs while we have two. So, dog is always in the front.’
The answer pleased my friend, as he said, ‘But, you have taken so much time. Your friends have already completed their rounds.’
- Certainly I will keep my promise! Kemon Jabber Uttar Bair Korchi Na…Ektu Samay Laglo….Sakale Daurailei Bhalo Chilo… What a splendid answer I have picke up! But, it has taken some time. I should have performed the jogging in the morning itself.
Saying this, he commenced his jogging. The dog joined him, by running across the field.