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The Price of the Fumes: A Short Story

January 31, 2016 | By

A short, but powerful fictional piece with a strong social message.

Once there was a man in Persia named Bohlol Dana. He was famous for his wisdom and benevolence. Bohlol used to spend his money to help others.


“I am just relying on the fumes.”

Once, Bohlol was making a basket near an eatery. He saw a poor scrawny man standing in front of the shop. His clothes were tattered and he seemed very hungry. He was just staring at the food items covetously. A chef saw him and did not like his presence there. He came out at once and said, “Why are you standing here?”

“I am very hungry,” the poor man replied.

“Do you have money?”

“No Sir. If I had money I would have bought something to eat. I am just relying on the fumes.”

The chef slapped him and forced him to pay for the fumes that he consumed. The poor fellow started weeping as he had no money. When Bohlol saw all that, he went there and told the chef that he would pay on the poor man’s behalf. He asked the price of the fumes of the delicious food. The chef asked him to pay fifty coins for that. Bohlol at once took out fifty coins, made them clink and put back in his pocket. The chef got very angry. “Pay the price at once.”

“But I have already paid the price”

“Everyone witnessed that you put the money back in your pocket”

“Yes. Didn’t you hear the clinking sound of fifty coins?”

“Yes, I heard.”

“That clinking was the price of the fumes that the poor man smelled. You are paid and everyone witnessed it.”

All the people supported Bohlol and laughed at the chef. He got embarrassed and left hurriedly. Bohlol and the poor man had their lunch together.

(Note- This is a real story with some variations)

Pic Courtesy: Morguefile

More poems in New Year 2016 Literature Special

Oh Calcutta! – By Sufia Khatoon

Strings – By Reena Prasad

Horizons – By Ipsita Ganguli

Poetry – By Gauri Dixit

Kadambari – By Dr Ampat Koshy

To Chiyo – By Joanna Sarah Koshy

Silverfish – By Dr Amit Shankar Saha

The Screen – By Daipayan Nair

Unearthing Life – By Anand Sehgal

Reminiscences – By Mallika Bhaumik

Talk of Shades – By Ananya Chatterjee

Musings in New Year 2016 Literature Special

I Want You to Have a Good Time – By Santosh Bakaya

Short Stories in New Year 2016 Literature Special

Noelle – By Ronald Tuhin D’Rozario

Fatima is a teacher residing at the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (India). She has a B.Ed and MA (English Literature) from the University of Lucknow and has also worked as a Content Editor for a reputed curriculum publication where four of her poems were published in the textbooks meant for primary grades. Her first poem,'Friendship' was published in The Hindustan Times when she was a secondary student. Two of her poems are also selected for Aquillrelle Anthology. She has recently joined a Comprehensive Creative Writing Course from The Writer's Bureau, UK.
All Posts of Fatima Afshan

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    <div class=at-above-post addthis_tool data-url=></div>We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class=at-below-post addthis_tool data-url=></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->
    We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open