The one who named him Harish Chandra perhaps failed to see the irony of comparison to the legendary king – Raja Satya Harish Chandra, who, according to the legend, lost his kingdom, wife, and son but still stuck to his principles of righteousness and truthfulness.

Hari, as he was called, was a dusky boy whom no one paid much attention to. He was a self important boy and went around boasting about his connections and wealth. Each time he bragged, it would be different stories to different people and hence he would forget whatever he had said to each one earlier. For instance, one day he bragged about how he saw an imported bike on display and without giving it a second thought, he just paid the amount in cash and wanted the bike to be delivered immediately, but sadly it would take a month for a new bike to be imported, but adamant that he was, he offered to transport the bike in his paternal uncles private jet. A few days later, he goes to the same friend on the pretext of borrowing some money and pours out his woe that he is expecting guests at home and since his father is bankrupt, they can’t even manage to serve lunch and refreshments to them.

Hari was also trying to be popular with the girls and since no one paid much attention to his declaration of family fortunes and connections, he tried to gain sympathy by saying that he was a victim of incurable ailments. One day he coughed a lot and connected it to some serious disease of the lung. After a few days he claimed that he could hardly walk and the disease of the bone has taken its toll. Another day he said his memory was failing and the culprit was a certain disease of the brain. And these references to ailments happened so often, that he forgot the body part he was supposed to mention and so he just stuck to just an incurable and mysterious disease.

He also often bragged about his younger brother who was a muscular, tall, dusky, and handsome boy, who was also so virtuous and responsible that he was almost considered a vigilante in the locality, since he beat up all the hoodlums who eve-teased or created nuisance. This younger and handsome ‘muscular’ brother just turned out to be a dark, sweaty and obese boy who could hardly walk a furlong with out stopping to gasp for breath.

Like all boys in their teens, there were many boys who frequented the cinemas for a movie at least once a month. It was almost a day’s work to watch a movie. People had to stand in the queue and when they reached the ticketing counter there was always pushing, shoving and heated arguments. One day, Hari overheard a group of friends discussing the plans to watch a movie in the nearby auditorium. He immediately began to brag saying that the theater belonged to family friend and he claimed it was silly that his friends should even think about the queue when he was there. Hari claimed that he would get the tickets delivered to his house for the normal fee. Even though not everyone was satisfied, one of them decided to take a chance with Hari’s considerable influence at the theatre. It was decided that two others will accompany Hari to the theatre and wait in the queue as an added measure, just in case, if Hari couldn’t get the tickets from his so called connections. But to everyone’s surprise, Hari got the tickets to the show and he was an instant hero among this group. But then, what ideally happened was when Hari went into the manager’s cabin, one of the boys standing in the queue wanted to use the washroom and happened to pass by a window where he heard a man yelling, and out of curiosity peeped into the window. He saw the irritated manager abusing Hari and warning him not to be seen in the premises again. He seemed furious and just to get rid of a boy making a scene, the manager had handed over the tickets to Hari who was on his knees begging and pleading for the admission tickets.


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