Malum Nahi Sahib

A young Englishman was posted as a Deputy Collector in a small Indian town. On the first day at his new post, he decided to go around the city. He knew no Hindustani and called his munshi to accompany him.

Now, the munshi was old and tired of these young sahibs. He had quarrelled with his wife that day and had come to the kacheri without his morning meal. It was the month of June, and it was hot. In addition, the young sahib wanted to do town walking.

The young Englishman saw a fine horse and asked the munshi whose It was. “Malum Nahi, sahib,” replied the munshi.

In the bazaar, they saw the biggest shop in the town, occupying quite one side of the entire street. The Collector asked the munshi to whom the fine shop belonged.

“Malum Nahi sahib,” the munshi replied, feeling the sun’s heat. At the end of the bazaar was a fine park with fountains, green lawns and shady trees.

“Who is the donor of this park?” asked the young Englishman. “Malum Nahi sahib,” grunted the munshi, thinking of his missed meal and the Bazar’s heat and dust.

Then they met some handsome children going home with their ayah. Even before the Collector asked the question, the munshi replied, Malum Nahi, sahib.”

Now it was time for lunch, and the officer and the munshi were returning to the kacheri when they met a dignified Indian gentleman riding a stately horse and followed by two servants on horses. That exemplary personage?” asked the Collector.

“Malum nahi sahib,” came the reply.

The English sahib spent a long time over his lunch while the munshi starved and waited for him. Refreshed well, the young Englishman started on his round again. Soon they met a grand funeral, a stately funeral with lots of flowers and mourners. “Whose funeral is that?” asked the young Collector. “Malum Nahi sahib,” snapped the munshi.

“Oh, what a tragedy !” cried out the Collector. “Poor, poor Malum Nahi Sahib! He was so rich, so handsome, so generous! He had such lovely children! He was alive only this morning; now he is dead!”

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