Kids Corner


Man Overboard



On a cruise ship, a little boy fell overboard.

Suddenly there was a splash.

Young, 6-foot-tall Bishen Singh managed to save the kid. The two were duly hauled into a life-boat and pulled back to the safety of the deck above.

For this act of instant bravery, a special ceremony was held later in the evening, presided over - naturally - by the Captain of the ship. 

The tearful parents and other passengers lauded the brave young Sardar for his valour, and for having put his own life in jeopardy.

They presented him with a beautiful memento - a model of the ship itself - as well as a framed certificate, duly signed by the Captain himself, declaring the young man a hero.

Such an occasion, said the Captain, deserves a speech, or, at the very least, a few words ... from the hero himself.

The poor youth did not look very pleased. It was obvious that the harrowing experience had not been easy for him. A speech? It didn't appear as if he was excited by the idea of saying anything.

Not surprisingly, Bishen Singh was a model of brevity.

"All I want to know is: Who pushed me into the sea?"


August 13, 2011

Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 13, 2011, 7:50 AM.

That's how you become an accidental hero? There are plenty of politicians who would volunteer you for a sacrifice. "Charh ja, beta, sulee tey, rubb bhali karega!" "Go ahead, climb up to the gallows, my boy, God will give you a special place in heaven!"

2: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 13, 2011, 9:13 AM.

An after-thought, this one on the perils of making a speech. "The verdict was handed down. The famished old Jew was to be thrown to the hungry lion. But the brave Jew walked up to the lion and whispered something in the ear of the lion, who then immediately retired in the corner and refused to eat his dinner. The judges were curious and announced that the Jew's life was to be spared, provided he shared the secret as to what he had whispered in the lion's ear. "Oh, nothing really, your Honour," said the Jew. "I just told him that he will have to make an after-dinner speech."

3: Sangat Singh  (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 13, 2011, 5:01 PM.

Another after thought. It is like the Punjabi 'Parso(n)' - (day after tomorrow). Someone asked our hero Bishen Singh what was it's English equivalent? Being a little tight handed on English but not lacking in innovation, he answered: "Tomorrow, attey ik hor marrow!" Now here is an actual story. This happened in the late 60's in Rawang - then a tin mine hamlet in Malaysia. It has some disused tin mine pools now served as swimming pools. A child accidently fell into it and would have drowned if not for quick action by a young Sikh boy who was playing truant and was out swimming. He immediately jumped in and rescued the child. He was declared a child hero of the year by the Ministry of Education. He was extensively interview by the media. One of the questions he asked was: "Why didn't you tell your teacher about this brave act?" His reply: "I didn't tell the teacher as she would have asked me to write a composition and I cannot write as well as I can swim." A true Sikh Huckleberry Finn, wouldn't you say?

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