That day the sun was at its best. Rizwan was strolling down the road towards the park with his elder brother Sheeran. The air was gentle and the birds were tranquil. Some of the children were loafing around the park. The park as always was monotonous. The flowers were moribund or dead as nobody looked after them anymore. So, they don’t remain there for a long time. As they came out of the park a group of birds flew past them making an infernal noise. It seemed that they were expostulating.
On the way home two garrulous boys passed them talking to each other simultaneously. One of them gesticulating wildly at the other, neither of them was paying heed to other, and just throwing words at one another. Rizwan went to them and offered them some chewing-gums which they took civilly. And so the wrath died away suddenly.
When both the brothers reached home Rizwan was informed that a boy was waiting for him in the sitting room. So, after throwing some water on his face which invigorated him he went to the sitting room. As he opened the door the boy got up from the sofa to greet him. The boy was wearing a white half shirt and still the sweat was pouring down his face. It seemed that his face was thawing.
“Hello” said Rizwan shaking hands with him.
“I have been waiting for you for a long time” said the boy.
“Don’t lie, not more than five minutes” said Rizwan glancing on the sofa he was sitting on.
“How can you be so sure?” asked the boy.
“The sofa on which you were sitting is back to its real position. I mean to say that if one sits on it for a long time as you said it will remain pressed. But in this case it isn’t. So, you have not been sitting on it for a long time”
“But what if I have been standing for a long time and then sitting on this sofa for a short time?”
“Good question, but you have not been standing”
“How do you know?”
“I think that you forgot to clean your shoes at the door”
The boy checked his shoes and they were very untidy.
“Look, here are your foot prints. They lead straight to that sofa. Therefore you have not been standing but sitting”
“Yes, you are right”
“Now tell me how can I help you” asked Rizwan seating himself on his rocking chair.
“My name is Rinchan and I have applied for…”
“For the story contest, am I right?” interrupted Rizwan.
“How do you know!” the boy sprang up from his chair and the pile of books toppled over.
“You have put the details of the story contest at a very conspicuous place”
Rinchan checked his pockets and found the details missing.
“They are on the floor” said Rizwan pointing towards the sheets on the floor.
“You surprised me” said Rinchan.
“It’s my habit, continue with your story”
“Well, as you know that I have applied for the story contest. The contest is going to be held tomorrow morning. I had prepared my story for the contest”
“Wait a minute you said I had” interrupted Rizwan.
“Yes, I had because I have lost it. I mean to say that someone stole it from my house”
“So, this is the problem” said Rizwan “Tell me more” he added.
“Today in the morning I completed writing my story, it was a good one. I had a lot of expectations from that story. After completing it I put it safely in the drawer of my room and went out”
“Did you leave the door open?” asked Rizwan.
“No, I closed it but I didn’t lock it. I don’t think the thief may have entered through the door”
“Unless he is one of your family members”
“But why would someone from my family steal that story?” questioned Rinchan.
“Ok, put that topic aside. Tell me did you leave the window open?”
“Yes, I left it open. It seems more reasonable that the thief may have entered through the window”
“We will see it later what is reasonable and what is not. Do you found any clue, any foot prints or something like that which will be helpful to me?”
“No, I found none” replied Rinchan.
“You have to recite the story before some great writers, am I right?”
“Alright, I will try to find your story and the thief”
“You may need my address it is Tundwa Square”
“Thanks, good bye” said Rizwan and when Rinchan was gone slammed the door inadvertently.
Rinchan reached Bun-Doda street sharply at 7 0 clock in the morning. This was the time Rizwan had said him to come to his house. Rinchan knocked at the door and Rizwan answered.
“Come in Rinchan, come in” he took Rizwan to his room.
“Want some tea?” asked Rizwan.
“No just tell me have you found my story and the thief?”
“No, I tried my best to find your story but I haven’t been successful. But I have something better for you” said Rizwan taking out some papers from his drawer.
“What is this?” questioned Rinchan.
“It’s a story I want you to recite today before those writers”
“What!” exclaimed Rinchan glancing over the pages “This isn’t my story” he added.
“I know but it is better to recite something than nothing”
“I thought you will be able to find my story and the thief easily” he said contracting his eyes.
“You will see, do as I have told you. You have no other alternative. So, try your luck with this story”
“Alright” said Rinchann and went out to try his luck.
The contest was going to take place at 10:00 am that day. After giving some more suggestions to Rinchan, Rizwan went to his room, unfolded a blanket over his body and was soon asleep. Rinchan reached Town-Hall, where the contest was going to be held ten minutes before the time. He checked the list and found his name at the fourth place. So, he went in and seated himself comfortably with the other exultant contestants. He heard the stories of those three contestants with keen interest. And then came his turn. He was very nervous because he himself doesn’t know the story he was going to recite. (Rizwan had told him to read the story only once and that was for the contest). He just hoped it was good. He went onto the stage boldly and adjusted the microphone. Then he opened those pages and started to read aloud.
“Respected judges and my dear friends, a warm good morning to all of you. The title of my story is ‘SOLVED’” he read those words with confidence and all the judges leaned forward to listen to the story.
“As Richacn was returning home he was way laid by his friend Sani near the mosque” continued Rinchan .“Sani as it seemed had just come from the newspaper shop as he was holding a newspaper in his hands. Rinchan is a boy of seventeen who loves reading and writing stories. Everyone know that. Sani his friend had way laid him to talk to him about a story contest”
“”How are you Rinchan?” said Sani advancing towards him.”
“”I am alright, what about you?””
“”I am fine. I thought you may be interested in this” said Sani turning the pages of the newspaper”
“”Here it is, read it for yourself” Sani handed him the newspaper pointing towards the news titled STORY CONTEST” all the contestants and the judges were listening keenly.
“Rinchan started to read the news” continued Rinchan.
“It ran as: A story contest is going to be held on 11th of April. Everyone above the age of twelve and below eighteen can take part in it. All the applicants have to make their own story and recite it before some great English authors. The entry fee for the contest is Rs. 500. The one who will be chosen as the best performer will be recognized as a great writer. And will be awarded Rs. 10000 and a gold medal. All the other needed information is given on the form which is to be filled by all he applicants. The form is available at Town Hall Doda”
“”That’s great” said Rinchan handing back the newspaper to his friend””
“I think this is the chance of your life, to prove yourself”
“”You are right” replied Rinchan”
“After that both of them parted to their homes. Rinchan rolling the matter over his mind again and again. After that Rinchan went to Town Hall collected the form and entered the contest. On 10th April he completed writing his story, which he thought was a good one. After completing it he put it safely in his drawer and went out. His mother didn’t wanted him to be a writer because she thought it was just wasting of time. So, when she went to clean Rinchan’s room there she found the details of the story contest and the story in the drawer which Rinchan had kept a secret. She doesn’t want her son to waste his time in writing stories. So, she simply took out the story leaving the details and burnt it” Rinchan’s heart started to beat faster.
“When Rinchan returned to his room he was shocked to find the story missing. It was gone! He searched everywhere but all his efforts were fruitless. Eventually he went to Rizwan, the detective, and told him about his problem. Rizwan told him that he will try his best to find his story and the thief. So, when in the morning Rinchan went to Rizwan for his story, Rizwan told him that he was unsuccessful in finding his story. But he had something better for Rinchan and that is this story. Rizwan told him to recite this story instead of his story. So, now he is out to try his luck” Rinchan completed the story with sweat all over his face.
The judges could make neither head nor tail of the story. They looked at each other in frustration. Rinchan didn’t bother to wait to see whether he was chosen as the best performer or not. He didn’t even bother to go to Rizwan and ask him questions about his missing story, Because he had got all the answers to his questions.