‘A steel never bends’ .If you ask anyone, what makes the steel so strong , this would be his answer . However these few words were quite the reason , what empowered the ages old vast empire of the steel family. The steels were not just some ordinary rich families , but families with a strong foundation and a chain of royal generations that stood upon the pride of their work and name. The family however was quite vivid ,yet the role model to half of the globe. The leader and the old man of the league was Stephen Steel , the forty year old , bold and rigid , business tycoon . It was this saying that if he had just a needle to invest into something , he would hunt a lion with it and still not forget the value of the needle. He believed that no risk is too great, and no achievement too high , for one must remember that he was not born to impress but to express the reason for his existence.
The mistress of the family was ironically ‘not so steel ‘ . Daughter of a middle class bakery vendor, Mrs Samantha Steel was the laziest , yet sweetest member of the family. For she was an epitome of how a lady could be the rivets and bars of a structure and yet not be so rigid. It was quite a story how Mr. And Mrs. Steel first met. Well the word was that once Mr. Steel needed some bread and butter , but later recalled that the caretakers of the house were on a holiday. Thereby as a man of labour , he drove to a bakery and and asked for the same. As a matter of unexpectable and hilarious coincidence he didn’t have any cash but only cards, so he asked the vendor for if he would take anything else for barter. In reply to his offer the vendor asked him to marry his daughter. Just as they say ‘ A steel never bends! ‘ , and then and there the two of them got married.
After reading about the two I am pretty sure you know how well the younger ones would have been ? Well the elder one of the two siblings was Tifanny Steel , and believe me , she might be the elder one in age but was not at all in spirits. The super-enthusiastic and mind boggling lady of the house was london with long hairs . Her mood swings , so swift that you can never know that what might dawn upon the girl’s mind the next minute . She was but still the daughter of her father , and just as steel never bends , neither did she on a topic or a debate . Topper of her class , genius with every form of art , except the art itself , for once she was assigned to draw a flower pot , and she ended up sketching a ‘vas’.
But wait a minute I thought you said this was the story of some Balthazar Steel right? So who was he ?
Well every plant has a seed behind it , every seed has a breeze behind it, every breeze has a cloud behind it ,and all that a cloud has behind it ,is a silver linning , and if you look far away from these quantums , what is a silver linning to a plant? Nothing!
So was the case with Balthazar , for the steels never saw it , but Balthazar was their only hope , for if among them , there was a real steel , it was Balthazar!
It was mid-day , the sky was yet cloudy and the weather taking shapes , so black, that one could count the shades, and still won’t be able to finish until eternity. And just as the little mother sparrow gazed into the fear to loose her nest and her family to the thunderstorm , there were a pair of other eyes , curious ones , that stared at the nest , but instead of terror in the sparrows eyes , he saw hope in the eyes of the offsprings , and just by that moment , when he was able to creek a small curve on his face a halt as if withstood his imagination out of nowhere
“Balthazar, Balthazar Steel , what are you smiling at?”-said Mrs. Simmons, with a tease on her face full of makeup , while Balthazar stood up taking his time to think of what just happened.
“Balthazar , I am talking to you , what were you smiling at , because believe me , I don’t know what could be funny in a soldier taking his last breath?” , and like all of her blood vessels start bursting up in her face .
However Mr. Smiley face was still stuck at , breaths , and soldiers. Then his sight went past a few desks away on an open book that said “A small pain in my chest – by Michael Mack”, so now he knew where did all that red come on her face from.
“You think you are funny here , right , well then answer my question , why did the writer claims his pain to be larger than the soldiers?”
For some time Balthazar maintained a silence of guilt , and so did the environment around him until , Mrs Simmons finally breaks it.
“Great , everyone , a huge round of aplause for the son of steel , a disgrace.”
A spark , no , maybe a burn it was that led its way to Balthazar’s heart . For others might just assume it impossible , but Balthazar convicted in the potential of a word like ‘ disgrace ‘. Just as she turned , his head went up high , his soul bright and in the fierce way he always was , he spoke-
“The writer , Sir Michael Mack is an elligent and a nationalist and so were his words he quotes. The pain in the soldiers heart was to loose to his mortal boundaries , and no able to save his fellow soldiers , but the one that the writer carried was of deep and untolerable guilt and shame that he can’t tell the soldier that if it weren’t for him , the nation would have lost a lot more than just six or seven , that if it weren’t for him the writer would have lost his daughter , his family and maybe his soul but it were the souldiers who trade their lives with the devils , just to save ours , and yet the poet is unable to tell the soldier , the importance of him , not just because he isn’t alive , but their exist no words to do so…”
Just with those last words the silence returned upon the whole class untill once again the devil breaks it up
“Get out, now!”
Wasting no time , not a minute Balthazar took his steps out of his bench and finally out of the class . The next few minutes , he spent staring at the banyan tree that stood in the campus and feeling the moist breeze on his cheeks.
Wait a minute , you said banyan right?
I think so , yes.
Now don’t tell me it was you.
Ok , I won’t.
But it was you
I can’t tell you
Ahhhh! who am I kidding , continue.
Well after a few minutes the bell rang and Mrs. Simmons walked out of the class. Just with a fierce look and a frosty glaze , she said.
“If it were some other I would have said that he was just arrogant , but you , I must say , the god has granted his gift of deligency to a wrong person”
“A steel never bends madam , a steel never bends!” And just with the echo of the last syllable , the corridor was filled in a swarm of students and mentors.
………………..To be continued……………….
P.S. – The poem in this chapter that had a reference was “A small pain in my chest ” , written by an American poet , Sir Michael Mack . It is also included in icse 10th syllabus and is my all time favourite. For the readers who haven’t read it follow through, and if you have any questions , please ask in comments.
Happy reading !
The soldier boy was sitting calmly underneath that tree.
As I approached it, I could see him beckoning to me.
The battle had been long and hard and lasted through the night
And scores of figures on the ground lay still by morning’s light.
“I wonder if you’d help me, sir”, he smiled as best he could.
“A sip of water on this morn would surely do me good.
We fought all day and fought all night with scarcely any rest –
A sip of water for I have a small pain in my chest.”
As I looked at him, I could see the large stain on his shirt
All reddish-brown from his warm blood mixed in with Asian dirt.
“Not much”, said he. “I count myself more lucky than the rest.
They’re all gone while I just have a small pain in my chest.”
“Must be fatigue”, he weakly smiled. “I must be getting old.
I see the sun is shining bright and yet I’m feeling cold.
We climbed the hill, two hundred strong, but as we cleared the crest,
The night exploded and I felt this small pain in my chest.”
“I looked around to get some aid – the only things I found
Were big, deep craters in the earth – bodies on the ground.
I kept on firing at them, sir. I tried to do my best,
But finally sat down with this small pain in my chest.”
“I’m grateful, sir”, he whispered, as I handed my canteen
And smiled a smile that was, I think, the brightest that I’ve seen.
“Seems silly that a man my size so full of vim and zest,
Could find himself defeated by a small pain in his chest.”
“What would my wife be thinking of her man so strong and grown,
If she could see me sitting here, too weak to stand alone?
Could my mother have imagined, as she held me to her breast,
That I’d be sitting HERE one day with this pain in my chest?”
“Can it be getting dark so soon?” He winced up at the sun.
“It’s growing dim and I thought that the day had just begun.
I think, before I travel on, I’ll get a little rest ……….
And, quietly, the boy died from that small pain in his chest.
I don’t recall what happened then. I think I must have cried;
I put my arms around him and I pulled him to my side
And, as I held him to me, I could feel our wounds were pressed
The large one in my heart against the small one in his chest.