The Wind in the Potted Plant #TheDailyPost
In the early 1900’s when Bombay was still a Textile Town, most of its working class inhabitants lived in a block of flats called chawls. These were more than just home to migrant MIll workers who lived there. The residents formed strong bonds of kinship and celebrated many occasions as a community – weddings included. Particularly important was the 10 Day Festival of Ganesh. During these ten days, residents often put up entertainment programs which encouraged in-house talent. Mr. Mone was the President of the Amateur Dramatic Club of one such residential block.
During practice one day, a week before the performance,one of the actors came up to him and requested that the hero of the play be changed.
“But why?” asked Mr. Mone who was quite impressed with old Mr. Bhide’s acting skills.
“I don’t know how to tell you, it’s a very peculiar problem.”
“Really? I can’t see what the problem is.”
“You see, from time to time the old man passes wind.”
“But that’s normal. Besides, as you said, he is an old man.”
“But it stinks!”
“So what do you want me to do?”
That was out of the question. Mr. Bhide who was a minor stage actor in his younger days was just the part for this year’s play . There was simply no question of replacing him. Besides there was no one else who could step in at the last moment.
Mr. Mone slept over the problem and came up with an ideal solution.
“Mr. Bhide,” he said, ” I know you need to pass wind at your age. But why don’t you go to the side of the stage and do so discreetly?” pointint to the potted plant at the side.
On the opening night, the curtains went up and the show began. Half way through, Mr. Bhide sidled up to the potted plant and a horrendous ripping sound rent the air. No one was more aghast than Mr. Bhide. He looked inside the pot and pulled out a microphone!
Needless to say it was his last performance and the most talked about play in the dramatic society.