- Birth and parents.
- Sold to a business firm.
- Under the table of the Manager.
- My daily food.
- Kicked by the master and degraded.
- The last and days.
I should be spared the unpleasant task of introducing myself, for, I am sure, you must have seen me very often. I have from my very birth a weak constitution, so much so that you can actually count all my ribs. I have so very little weight that if a strong breeze blows, I would be blown along with it. People feed me with scraps of useless papers. Sometimes they feed me till I burst. My father was a poor man from Frontier who settled with my mother and brothers in Karachi. We were many brothers and sisters. As soon as we were born we were kept on the shelf of a small dingy shop, the rear portion of which was used as my master’s house.
Every day I saw scores o my brothers going away and I did not know where they were going. I waited for them in the evening, but they would ever come back. Once my father took me down from the shelf and my heart began to beat at the prospect of going out in an unseen world. We were three brothers sold to one man from the office and we were taken to one of the busiest offices in Karachi.
My lot was to sit under the table of the manager of that office, while my brothers were made to sit near the feet of two clerks. I teased my brothers by a mischievous smile while parting, and I complimented myself on having such a start in life. Being under the table of the manager, I was very well looked after by his servants early in the morning and also at lunchtime. It is tree that as far as quantity goes, my two brothers were better fed than I, but I must say that though I got quantitatively less food. I got richer and more delicious food than my two brothers.
I got in my stomach copies of business contracts of over thousand of rupees, of scraps of envelops and letters of importance; rejected the unopened application of candidates seeking service, personal letters of the manager, and small bits of the letters from the manager’s wife in short, a rich food of great variety.
Few waste-paper baskets could boast of such a luck as I enjoyed. In fact, many persons of my community looked unbroken chain of happiness and good luck. There were ups and down in my life too. I felt that having reached the climax, a time had come for an anticlimax and a fall. I must confess that my master had always behaved well with me and I must consider myself exceptionally lucky that I was never kicked by my master as my two brothers were done by their masters. But once my master, through oversight, tore off a very important letter. He searched for it in every nook and corner. Then he pulled me out and emptied me on the floor and feverishly saw every tiny scrap of paper within me.
In his great anger he kicked me furiously and sent me reeling to the wall. My sides were severely injured and two of my ribs were broken. He found out the scraps of paper, but could not properly join them. In his anger, he kicked mě again and this time dashed me violent against the door and broke some more ribs. You will see that it was none of my faults and yet, not only I was kicked, but was also degraded to be kept under the desk of a petty clerk in the office.
Hence I passed may sad days eating a lot of rubbish, and hearing the vulgar jokes and stories of the clerks and the peons. Sometimes the clerk would spit on me, or throw the ends of his country cigarette in me. Even the peon spat on me and instead of moving me by their hands they moved me in the most insulting manner by their feet. Nobody cared to repair my broken ribs. After passing a few months under the desk of this petty clerk, I was thrown out on the street, where I lie as I tell you this story of mine.