WSPI-2012-03: Shantu and Bantu – Short Story for Children
This short story is participating in Write Story from Picture India 2012 – Short Story Writing Competition.
Shantu and Bantu were two naughty, little monsters. Although they were very young, they were blessed with many magical powers. They could fly, they could disappear, they could throw water and fire from their mouths… they could even disguise as anybody. They enjoyed troubling others and because of their magical power they became very dire to poor villagers.
They set Kaliya Pehalwaan’s field on fire – poor Kaliya, his whole crops burnt to ash. On other day when Chutaki’s elder sister was marrying, these monsters ate all the food prepared for marriage party – entire village had to contribute in cooking within no time to arrange food for guests. It caused lot of embarrassment to Chutaki’s father – Bhola, the potter. On annual puja’s day, they tied both priests in basement of temple, and disguised as priests. When villagers brought prasadam to offer to deity, these monsters ate all the prasadam and started laughing loudly by growing themselves bigger and bigger. People got scared and started running here and there. It caused stampede and many children and women got seriously injured. Whole village was very sad because of Shantu and Bantu. It was too difficult for villagers to catch these two little monsters as the monsters had many magical powers.
One day a Sadhu Baba came in village. He found this once beautiful village to be now ruined and everyone was very sad. When he asked the reason, little Chutaki told mischievous behaviours of Shantu and Bantu – the littler naughty monsters. Sadhu Baba took out flour from his small rugged bag and chanted mantras,
“Gudu… gudu… chipu… chipu… sat.. phat… chipak”.
Moment he finished chanting mantras there was lighting and powder flour tuned moulded. He told to villagers,
“Now this flour is magical and it can stick to monsters to freeze them forever. You need to make them enter in a pot first and then cover opening of the vessel by this moulded magical flour.”
There was a big murmuring. None wanted to face mighty monsters – it was life threatening work. Fifteen minutes got over but none came forward. Suddenly Chutaki stood up and almost announced softly but very confidently,
“If you all allow me, I shall do it. I know how to make them enter in a pot.”
Her father Bhola the potter immediately said “Are you mad? When powerful Kaliya Pehalwaan could not do anything against Shantu and Bantu, what can you, a little girl, can do?”
Chutaki replied, “Sadhu Baba magical flour and your blessing will help me.”
And then she told everyone her plan. Now villagers seemed to be convinced a little. Sadhu Baba appreciated her intelligent thinking and gave the magical moulded flour to Chutaki, “God bless you my child!”
That evening Chutaki was preparing very tasty Laddus with help of neighbour Radha aunt. They together prepared more than hundred boondi laddus and kept in newly made two clay pots. Sweet aroma of besan, sugar and ghee spread in whole environment. It also reached to a deserted ruin of a palace where Shantu and Bantu lived. Shantu told Bantu,
“Bantu, let’s go to village… I smell Laddus” Shantu was unable to control already coming water in his mouth.
Bantu followed him, “We shall divide fifty-fifty. Last time in Chutaki’s sister marriage, you ate all sweets and left only spicy curry to me… ”
Very soon they reached to Chutaki’s house, tracing the delicious smell of laddus. They used magical power to see in night. They scanned Chutaki’s kitchen.
“Here they are… in pots. It is already fifty fifty, equally divided in two pots.” said Bantu and inserted his face in pot to grab a laddu in his mouth. Due to excessive greed, Shantu’s long tongue came out. He also inserted his face in pot. Then waiting Chutaki took magical moulded flour in her both hands and stuck it on the pots. Moment magical flour touched monsters’ heads they froze and became white like flour.
Next day whole village came to congratulate Chutaki, and to see Shantu and Bantu. Chutaki took colours from his father and painted frozen, white faces of Shantu and Bantu – Bantu with Laddu in his mouth while Shantu keeping his long greedy tongue out. She kept their faces on pots for good exhibition.