The Pun Chronicles – Story #1 – A humble account of affairs

So, this boy, extremely good looking and quite intelligent, made a plan with his friends, who admired him no end, to go to the Shalimar dam in the rural realms of J&K, a land which no country can claim for its own.

“Let’s go,” exclaimed Usman, “on a Shalimar-ch.”

“Oh, Usman,” gushed his friends, “how do you come up with this stuff?”

“Ah, pshh pshh,” said Usman, dismissively, not used to hearing his praise sung so unabashedly, “let’s change the subject. How are we to get there?”

“We can take my van, my father won’t need it this weekend,” said Ghulam Rasool, helpfully.

Ghulam Rasool liked helping his friends. Helping his friends made Ghulam Rasool happy.

“That’s great!” exclaimed Usman, in his sultry, bluesy voice.

“Oh, Usman, what a nice voice you have,” exclaimed Sameena.

But Usman was already on his way to Friday prayers.


Saturday morning arrived with a smile, glistening dewdrops dripping onto the noses of lazy canines lounging under trees.

Usman awoke, waking all his friends up, for he was righteous and responsible, and then Ghulam Rasool cooked them all a wonderful breakfast because Ghulam Rasool enjoyed helping his friends. He made eggs and toast and bacon and milkshakes, but Usman did not eat the bacon because God would be very angry.

And so, the friends set off in Ghulam Rasool’s van to Shalimar Dam. The path led through a thickly wooded area, unmolested by humankind because some benevolent benefactors had fenced off the area, claiming a property dispute. There was no doubt an altruistic motive to these property conglomerates, for massive corporations always have the best interest of laymen in mind.

As a result, the friends’ trip was rendered exponentially more enjoyable by the accompaniment of the chirping of birds and the dancing rays of the sun that filtered through the leaves of the trees on both sides that arched overhead, as if in respect to the beauty of Usman.

Suddenly, Usman, with his exceptional audio fidelity skills, heard the call of an ape. His radiant smile darkened into a slightly subdued and worried look, as his encyclopaedic knowledge base also included the knowledge of the various implications of different animal calls. And he knew this particular call to be a call of alarm, signalling the close proximity of a feared predator. Usman, with his beauty, could never be mistaken for a feared predator, so it must be in the wild.

Through faultless logic, Usman concluded that the postulation that a wild predator’s presence in the wild was a safe bet and had more plausibility to it than the other theories flitting through his magnificent labyrinth of neural pathways.

Just as he had decided to act according to this theory, he heard, with the aforementioned exceptional excellence in audio fidelity, a growl.

The ominous sound waves did not seem to have filtered through the trees but seemed to be perilously close. Usman whirled around and espied a spotted leopard with a hide second in beauty to only Usman’s himself, straining every muscle to keep up with the van, that was trawling along at a weary pace.

“Why are we driving so slow, Ghulam Rasool?” asked Usman.

“It’s the weight. Because of Diabetic Dawood,” answered Ghulam Rasool.

Seeing the leopard catch up, Usman slid open the sliding door, and, using his impressive upper body strength, hung by the arms and aimed a kick at the leopard, trying to deter him from keeping up the chase. The leopard, taught by instinct and evolution to react and adjust to the most insignificant of manoeuvres by its prey, contorted its bodyshape and swung a paw at Usman’s leg.

Usman would have been in serious trouble, but, hardened by an upbringing of severe severity and hard hardship, his instincts were as finely honed as the leopard’s itself, and so he flinched away from the counter attack.

However, Usman’s jeans were not sentient and so did not have the same skill set as Usman himself, and so were no match for the leopard’s claws. The sound of shredding rent the air and Sameena screamed, imagining Usman’s beautiful skin suffering imperfections from an animal as unevolved as the leopard.

“Oh, the humanity!” she exclaimed.

However, realizing that the loss was sartorial and not body partorial, she calmed down and fainted into Usman’s arms.

“Usman, I always knew you were braver than Mel Gibson, but what if you had been injured?” Ghulam Rasool asked, as he parked the car at the Shalimar Dam.

“Frankly, my dear,” Usman said, “I don’t give a dam.”

And that was the Jean claw’d van dam experience.


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