Monday, 29 October 2012

How I Met Anjali - 1

Entire Hostel was empty as everyone was enjoying their semester break that time. We had a minor problem, as our (I, Mehboob and Dhiru) 7th semester project was not accepted by our guide. Although he was generous enough and gave us another one month time to complete the project. Initially we thought to stay in hostel during the semester break and seriously work on our project. But Dhiru had to go home and we were really upset with him, as we wanted at least Dhiru’s moral support to have completed our project. Now in order to stay in hostel during the holidays, we had to address certain basic issues. Most of the dhaba’s within the campus usually used to remain closed during the holidays. Also, our hostel was located at an isolated area. Actually it's in a small hill and our hostel used to be the end point of our college campus and is at a distance of  around one km from the college. It would have been a little scary to have stayed alone in the hostel. My roommate Nair, told us that he didn't have any plan to visit  his home town, Kerala that time. Sinha and Tarok were also interested to stay with us for few days. So finally it was all set and we decided to stay back in the hostel.

Now our AEC (Assam Engineering College) is quite far from Guwahati city. AEC bus service was excellent and all the buses used to go to the heart of the city and even the bus frequency used to be quite decent. Well, during the holidays the frequency was not that great (after every 2 hours). But as far as I can remember, in the evening one extra bus used to be functional. Those few days we had a typical daily routine. We all used to catch the evening bus and few of us used to get down at Sundarbari (just outside the college campus) to buy chicken and 2 movie CD’s on rent. Remaining guys used to go till Maligaon (some 5-6 km from Sundarbari) to buy our stuffs. After buying our stuffs, we had to wait for some time for our college bus to go back to hostel. Our friends who got down at Sundarbari, were also used to wait for the same bus and we used to go back to our hostel together. We fixed “Ghottu”, one temporary hostel boy who stayed nearby our hostel to cook dinner for us. We used to pay him 50 Rs per day.

By the time Ghottu prepared food, I and Mehboob worked on our project and the remaining guys used to spend some time in the common room. There was some problem with the TV we had in the common room and it was not working that time. Once the food was ready, Ghottu used to have his dinner and before leaving he would give the mess key to us. He prepared very tasty dry chicken and we used to bring some of it to our room. By 9:30 PM we all used to say “CHEERS” and enjoy one of the movies we bought on rent. We tried our best to sustain our stuffs till the end of the movie. After completing the movie, we used to go to the dining hall to have dinner. After dinner we used to spend an hour in the common room and then everyone used to go to sleep.

The dhaba nearby our hostel was closed, so we had to go to a different dhaba near the college for breakfast and lunch. After breakfast we used to work on our project for few hours and then go for lunch. After lunch we used to watch one more movie and again in the evening we used to go out. Two of us would return the CD’s and used to take 2 more new CD's and of course the chicken. Other guys would bring the stuffs and we all used to come back to hostel by the same bus. For 3 days it continued just like that and then one night something happened that completely changed my life.It was a stormy night and it rained heavily, we could hear the lighting thunder sounds. There was no power that night and after we finished our stuffs to the last drop, we literally had nothing to do.We had already shifted the hostel land line phone from common room to one of our friend’s room. Keypad of hostel land line was usually locked but since we were just few guys in the hostel, so the key was with us. Those days we had to rely on land line, as that time mobile phones considered to be a luxury and very few people could afford it. Out of boredom I and one of my friend thought to make some prank calls. We had a look at the telephone directory and dialed our engineering girl’s hostel. It kept ringing for quite some time and then got disconnected. We tried one more time and the result was the same.  Now, why should any girl would stay in hostel during vacation? Once again I had a look at the telephone directory and that time I tried to dial “Ayurvedic College” girl’s hostel. Ayurvedic College is just near our engineering college.

Someone received the call and said "Hello.. Hello !!"

I was not sure what to speak and just said “I am calling from engineering college and I have a very serious problem. I am suffering from severe insomnia. You are a doctor right? Can you kindly treat me?”

She replied “Yes, of course, kindly come to our hospital tomorrow.”

We talked for few minutes and as soon as she realized it’s a prank call, she said “there is lots of grass in your engineering hostels and you better start to clean your up hostel by cutting those bushes for 2 hours a day. You would definitely have a good sleep after that."

We continued to talk like that for few more minutes. I asked her name and which place she belongs?

She replied “I am Poonam and I am a north Indian, born and brought up in Shillong"

She also asked my name and I replied as "Rajiv". Her voice was very attractive, but who the hell had the slightest idea that in future we would be staying together for our entire life?

Next Part

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bangalore To Goa

In 2006 we visited Goa during Christmas time. It was a memorable trip as it was a great get together of our old college buddies. There were two gangs, one headed from Bangalore and another from Pune, both the gangs united in Goa. From Bangalore we were some 8 guys and we booked a qualis for our travel. It was a long journey and we started at around 9 PM. It took almost two hours to pick everyone from their residence and by 11:30 PM we touched the highway. Our driver seemed to be little arrogant and damn care kind of. He strictly told us not to have cigarettes and alcohol inside the vehicle. We were little surprised with the kind of attitude from a driver.

Now, as soon as we touched the highway we realized that we were going at a speed of around 40-50 kph and sometimes the speed came down to 20 kph and suddenly it would gain some momentum and after sometime became steady at 40-50 kph. We discussed in our own language “what the hell is happening?” It continued like that for half an hour and out of frustration someone said to the driver “I think you can drive a little faster” The driver was silent on that and without any reaction he continued to drive. After sometime the vehicle almost stopped at one place and at that moment we all started to argue with him “what happened to you? Why are you driving like that?” He replied “actually I am feeling very sleepy as I didn't sleep last night” One of my friend said to him “It’s OK, you can sleep for some time and for the time being let me drive” He replied “No, I can’t let you drive, I will not take that risk” We started to lose our patience and said to him “if you are going to drive like this, you will definitely hit some vehicle” Our driver got angry and replied in some high-tone “What are you saying? It’s my vehicle and how can I just hit someone like that? “That moment we realized that he was actually the owner of that qualis. He started his engine and the same drama continued for another half an hour.

We stopped at one Dhaba for tea; our main intention was to let our driver sleep for some time. It was around 1 AM and it was quite cold outside, after tea we simply waited for an hour. We came back to our car and found him sound sleep. We had a hard time to wake him up. He was not ready to drive and said he needs to sleep for few more hours. We had to struggle a lot to convince him that one of us can drive the night and he could continue from morning. For few minutes he anxiously watched my friend driving his vehicle. Once he was convinced about his driving skills, he went to deep sleep.

Next day morning after breakfast our driver took charge and we really experienced some of his good driving skills.

Everything was going fine and all of a sudden in the middle of a forest we encountered a minor accident with a bike. There was a minor scratch on the headlight of the qualis. Our driver was not in any mood to forgive the biker just like that and asked money for the damage. Even we also supported him and asked the biker to pay him some money. But the biker literally had no money with him, he opened his purse and he had only 30-40 Rs with him. Our driver wanted to make a police complaint. We asked him “where the hell you will find a police station in the middle of this forest?” But he was determined to launch a police complaint. Now there must be someone to look after the biker as he might escape, also we couldn't send our driver alone to look for a police station. So, few of us went with him to find a police station and few waited in the middle of that forest.

The biker looked very tense and was looking into the sky; he must have wondered “what the hell?”
We waited almost an hour in that forest and finally the qualis came but our driver couldn't find any police station there.  Their argument continued and one of our friends came up with a solution. He said “It’s OK, each of us will pay 100 RS to you for the damage. Now just leave the biker and move on” Our driver agreed to that and we were on our way to Goa.

Our Pune gang already booked some lodge near Anjuna beach.  Once we reached Goa, it took us almost an hour to locate the lodge. For the first time when we inquired to a pedestrian about the lodge, he replied “you will have to go straight on this same road, the lodge is around 3 km from here” After going about 3 km from there, again we asked someone else about the lodge and he replied “you came in the wrong direction, you guys will have to go back on this same road, the lodge is about 3 km from here” We had to repeat that to and fro motion quite a number of times that day and everyone was literally frustrated. Finally we were able to locate our lodge and all our frustration was gone when we met our Pune gang after such a long time.

We stayed in Goa for 3 days and enjoyed a lot. Goa is just amazing during Christmas and New Year time, although it's quite expensive. There’s music, light, carnival and beer all around the place.

One can simply lie down at the Baga beach and relax the whole day.

One day we wanted to visit the “Dil Chahta Hai” fort, to be honest we didn't know the actual name of the fort. So we asked people about the “Dil Chahta Hai” fort and they showed us the direction. When we reached near the fort, we saw a signboard where it was actually written “Dil Chahta Ha Fort”. The view is just stunning from there.

One can visit Goa every year and definitely won’t feel bored at all.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Few Good Men

After attending a farewell party I was on my way to home.  We all were pretty high that night; some of my friends also enjoyed joints.  Out of excitement even I also had a few drags and it kicked instantly as I had it after many years. After the party and after saying good bye to my friends I took an auto and was on my way home. It was little late, around 12:30 AM and I was looking for a shop to buy a few cigarettes, but unfortunately all the shops were closed. All of a sudden I noticed one person selling cigarettes and tea in his bicycle; this is quite common in Bangalore. I asked the auto driver to stop and I had to walk back a little distance to buy my stuffs. My bill was 50 Rs and I gave that person a 100 Rs note and lighted a cigarette.  As soon as he returned my 50 Rs change, I immediately left from there and went back to my auto. The auto started and was about to take some momentum, suddenly the driver stopped and said "someone is following us and waving his hand" It was the same person from whom I bought my cigarettes. He came to me and said “what sir? You are so careless. You had given me 500 Rs note” he returned me the remaining 400 Rs.

One of my friend and his wife planned to attend their close friend’s Griha Pravesh (House Warming Ceremony). They wanted to gift something unique and within their budget. They visited few malls but they couldn't find anything interesting. Finally they found something cool as well as authentic stuff in one small shop. They gift wrapped their stuffs they bought and took an auto just outside the shop. From there they went to a market as they had to buy some other things as well. They were quite busy shopping and only after half an hour they realized that they had left the gift in the auto itself. The wife was almost about to cry and she even tried her luck to find the auto in the place where they got down. Her husband tried to console her and after a few minutes she said to him “lucky auto driver, he must be a happy person tonight. 2000 Rs is not a small amount, also we spent so much time to find the kind of gift we wanted” Her husband replied “It’s OK, what can we do now?  Tomorrow we will go to the same shop and will buy the same gift again.” So, next day they went to the same shop and described the shopkeeper about the same product they bought the previous day. The shopkeeper recognized their faces and gave them a gift wrapped parcel and said “last night an auto driver came to our shop and gave me this parcel. He said that someone left the parcel in his auto. As soon as he realized that he immediately went back to the same place where he dropped you guys, he even waited there for 15 minutes but unfortunately he couldn't find you guys. So he came to my shop and said to me that they must have bought this from here as they boarded the auto from here.  He requested me to hand over the parcel to the right person if in case they visit here next time” 

Friday, 19 October 2012

One Moment of Pride

The ragging days were hectic but memorable and it was damn fun. Initially everyone was scared and uncomfortable but gradually after frequent interaction with the seniors we realized everyone is too cool, just like us. After overcoming the fear factor, we really enjoyed the remaining days.  Ten days after joining hostel we got to see a new face, he was quite tall and used to wear specs. Looking at him I thought we might get some dose tonight. The guy approached us by himself and he seemed to be quite friendly.  He said last year he took admission in JEC and after enjoying the ragging period there he transferred to AEC. Cigarettes were band for the entire fresher’s during the ragging period but after meal I usually used to visit his room for some drags. 

He was quite well known for his peculiar personality. I would like to say about his typical day schedule we had observed during our stay in hostel. He was from mechanical branch, as all traditional branches in AEC used to have regular classes, he never used to miss his first class. He usually used to wear jeans, full sleeve shirts, leather shoes and his trademark was his neck scarf.  That was his dress code irrespective of any weather any season. After classes he used to come to hostel during lunch time and would usually catch the 12:50 bus. One afternoon we saw some of his mechanical friends in hostel and asked them “You guys bunked your class?” They said “no, we don’t have any class today” I replied “but I have seen your friend got into the 12:50 bus, I thought  he might be going for his class” They started to laugh and replied “Hey! forget about him, everyday he would go somewhere. Even we don’t have any idea where he goes?”  He would come to hostel in the evening usually by 7:40 or the last bus. After dinner we always saw him in the common room wearing his same morning dress and of course with his typical neck scarf. He used to play TT for around two hours and finally at around 12:30 AM he would go to his room. At the night when he used to open his leather shoes, my goodness, the freshness would immediately spread to the entire block and sometimes even the guys in the adjacent block would also feel that freshness.

One night he wanted to buy some cigarette and the shop near to our hostel was already closed. He asked our company to go a little further near our college, as one of the shop there used to be open 24/7. So I and Nair went with him to buy some cigarettes. On the way he repeatedly asked the same question “Will I be able to get a girl friend?” When we replied “Yes, why not?” he asked “why?  What qualities I do have? Give me 10 reasons why I will be able to get a girl friend?” We tried to convince him a lot but he was not convinced. He discussed on the same topic on several occasions for few more days.

During our time we used to have awesome farewell feasts in hostel. Usually few hostels organized farewell feast on the same day, just to distribute the traffic J we never experienced any feast in hostel-8, although hostel-8 boarders had the courtesy to visit each and every hostel during the feast. Their visit in hostel was a moment of pride for many of the seniors. Now our scarf senior was also one of them. When it was their time to say good bye they had also given a wonderful feast and as usual invited all the other hostels including hostel-8. On that particular day he called a hostel boy and cleaned his room graciously. We asked him what happened? He replied “tonight our hostel-8 batch mates will come for the feast” we had a small laugh and asked him “what if they don’t visit your room?  As one of your friends is also cleaning his room” He became quite upset on that and we could see some kind of anxiety on his face.

Hostel-8 boarders actually visited like a flash. Very few among us had the opportunity to see them live. They had to go for their courtesy visit to each and every hostel which organized feast that day and that too within a limited time frame. May be they didn't want to break any heart in those final moments. One of my friend asked “How can they feast on so many places within such a short time?” someone replied “they might not shallow at every hostel, they just came for a courtesy visit” But few friends claimed that they have seen them eating nicely.  At around 9 PM the scarf guy came to our room screaming and proudly said to us “Yes, I did it, I just did it man” We wondered, suddenly what happened to him? He replied “I just did it man, today 10 hostel-8 boarders visited my room” We said to him “wow, so nice, congratulations to you” He said he never gave the other guy any chance and escorted them directly to his room. They had a chat for few minutes and then he took them to the dining hall, after dinner they again came to his room, chatted for few minutes and then they left for their courtesy visit to a different hostel. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Cattle Thieves

Sinha’s hard disk got corrupt and he had to buy a new hard disk to complete his final year project. Mehboob had to buy some new books, more than the books he needed a pair of formal shoes he supposed to wear on final project presentation day. One particular day Mehboob and Sinha were having a good old monk time and discussed about how to earn some money to fulfill their needs. This amusing incident happened during the early part of our final semester in engineering.  During that time we all were extremely annoyed with the countless cows roamed freely in hostel premises due to lack of proper fencing.  

We didn't have any clue from where the hell those abounding cows came to our campus and shit all over the place.  It was extremely frustrating when any of us slipped over cow dung especially during the night time. While discussing with Sinha, Mehboob came up with an idea “What if we can sell some of these cows roaming around in the hostel?” After some discussion Sinha was also in favor of the idea. He said “may be no one own these cows and it shouldn't be much of a problem to sell them” But their main concern was us, the hostel-3 boarders and they wanted to keep it a secret. Who would want to carry the burden of “cattle thief” tag name that too in the final semester? 

Next few days they did a little survey about the feasibility of their mission. Initially they approached Dileep and asked him whether he had any idea regarding the ownership of the cows roaming within the hostel campus. Dileep was a temporary hostel boy that time. Dileep said to them “Ratneshwar (one of the hostel cook) will have some answer as he is a local guy born and brought up in a nearby village, you guys better ask him” so Sinha and Mehboob now started to deal with Ratneshwar. After few rounds of discussion Ratneshwar was able to gain their confidence. They thought Ratneshwar could be quite handy in catching and selling the cows. So, they included Ratneshwar in their conspiracy and came out with a formula on how to share the profit.  Ratneshwar told that they could sell the cows in a nearby village which is well known to him. He said that the market price of a cow is between Rs 2000 to 3000 and they would need a Tempo to transport the parcels from hostel to the cattle market.

Few times Ratneshwar came to Sinha and Mehboob’s room for discussion. That time they were so apprehensive and used to lock the door from inside. Just imagine the situation that Ratneshwar the cook is inside Sinha’s room and the door is locked from inside. Both Sinha and Mehboob knew very well about the consequences and so they didn't took any chance. They strictly told Ratneshwar “next time onward you shouldn't come to our room. Sometimes after midnight we may come to your stuff room if necessary. It seems one day JP saw them discussing with Ratneshwar for quite a long time. JP started to pull their legs “what is going on with you guys? What business you have with Ratneshwar?” Earlier they thought to include JP also in their mission but they didn't want one more share holder..

Next few days Mehboob and Sinha discussed on what they would do with the money? One day Ratneshwar told them that he’s able to arrange for a PILOT. Yes, Ratneshwar used to call bus/truck driver as PILOT. He said “it will cost Rs 400 for transporting the cows and we need to pay Rs 200 in advance.” They paid Ratneshwar the advance and asked him to tackle it nicely and also to fix a date of transportation. They also said strictly to Ratneshwar that the tempo should come at dawn and if it comes at broad day light then it would be a big problem.

The date was fixed on some Sunday and they planned to catch some cows few hours before dawn. Everything was going according to their plan but unfortunately for them, that particular night our Thapa da came to hostel to treat the entire 8th semester batch for his new job. That evening entire 8th semester batch were busy partying including Sinha and Mehboob. They were little worried but thought once every one go to sleep then they would catch some cows.  By around 2:30 AM almost everyone gradually went to their respective rooms. Sinha and Mehboob walked around the entire hostel campus to check if everyone actually went to sleep? They observed that in only Dhunu’s room the light was still on. Almost all nocturnal in hostel that time knew that Dhunu had a peculiar habit of enjoying a round trip of the entire hostel holding a cigarette in his hand just before he goes to sleep. Sinha and Mehboob waited for this to happen and finally when Dhunu was done with his round trip and switched off his light, they started to work. First they went to Ratneshwar’s room to bring him down. 

Now catching a cow was something they had never done before and they totally relied on Ratneshwar for that. That was the moment when they realized that Ratneshwar was much more Idiot than they previously expected him to be. There were many cows as well as cow dung all over the place.  Ratneshwar wasn't of much help to them , neither physically nor morally. It was a very dark night and they had no idea how to go ahead?  After some time Mehboob came up with an idea, he said to them “we will need a rope to tie up the cow. I will hold the tail of the cow so that it will not able to move and Sinha, you can tie her up” They sent Ratneshwar to bring a piece of rope. Mehboob tried to hold the tail of a cow tightly. All of a sudden the cow started to shit and Mehboob’s hand filled with cow dung. The cow started to move slowly and Mehboob hold her tail very tightly. Till now Sinha didn't get any opportunity to tie her up. Suddenly with her full energy and with the typical cow sound she started to move and literally dragged Mehboob to quite a distance.  Mehboob also started to make some kind of sound and after being dragged for some distance he fell into the mud along with cow dung. Mehboob was very irritated on that and shouted at Ratneshwar “You ass hole, what the hell are u doing?” Mehboob came up with another plan and said to them “I and Ratneshwar will hold the tail tightly and Sinha will hold her from the front. As soon as you get an opportunity, Sinha, you tie the rope on her neck”.  This plan was successful even though they had to struggle for another half an hour.  Ultimately they were able to catch hold of one cow. They tied the cow in an electric post just outside the hostel gate. To celebrate their success they immediately lighted a cigarette.  After sometime they thought that they have to catch hold of at least one more but all the cows have moved to different place. As, it was very dark they were not able to find any cow in the campus and decided to try their luck at nearby Manoj Dhava. At that place the cows had enough space to run and they found it very difficult to catch any of them. Eventually they gave up as it was already 4:30 AM and the Tempo could come any moment. They decided to wait near the APRO road somewhere in between the two hills, as the Temp would come through that direction.

All the 3 idiots were waiting for the Tempo and Mehboob as usual was shouting at Ratneshwar “You ass hole, when will the Tempo come?” Ratneshwar replied “Don’t worry Mehboob da, the PILOT can come at any moment”.  Mehboob asked Ratneshwar “Did you tell the PILOT that the cows we are going to sell are not ours? Ratneshwar replied “no Mehboob da, I never told him like that” Mehboob lighted a cigarette to pass some time, then another one. They almost finished half a packet of charms but the PILOT never came. It was a long wait and it was already 5:30 AM. They were worried as the cow owner might come to look for his cow and it could jeopardize their prestige.  Mehboob continued to shout at Ratneshwar with all those sweet words he knew. Poor Ratneshwar, what else he could have done? Finally they gave up and came back to hostel and untied the cow they caught.

After shower Mehboob lighted a cigarette, he was very frustrated and Ratneshwar was also not there to shout at. He knocked one first semester door and shouted at him “It’s already 6 AM, why you are still sleeping? Wake up all the first semester guys and Go for jogging now”  The poor guy replied “Mehboob da, we already got our fresher’s, do we still have to go for jogging? Mehboob was arguing with him and Sinha tried to cool him down. After some time they both went to sleep. At around 8 AM, Ratneshwar came to their room and said “the PILOT has arrived, can we go now?” Mehboob replied to him “no need, it’s all over now.  Tell your PILOT to just leave from here.  Ratneshwar replied “but we will have to pay him the remaining 200 Rs” Mehboob became extremely furious on that and shouted like a mad person “ass hole, we will not give even a single penny. Ask you PILOT to leave from here. Don’t discuss about this incident with anyone, else you will have to face the consequences”

So, finally the mission could not be accomplished. They were able to keep this incident secret and only revealed after passing out of Engineering college. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bidexot Apun Manuh, meeting own people in a faraway land

Bidexot Apun Manuh is a famous Assamese phrase which describes a situation and feeling of a person staying far away from his homeland and meeting someone from his native place out there. In a broader sense it is used for people who go abroad and meet their own people out there. The dictionary meaning of "Bidex" is foreign country but the phrase Bidexot Apun Manuh is usually used commonly for a faraway place and/or a foreign country.  Let’s say a villager who never went outside his village and all of a sudden he had to go to a little faraway town for his livelihood. There is no doubt that in the beginning the town would have been like a foreign land to him and he probably felt very lonely out there. Now, if he gets an opportunity to meet someone from his own village there, he naturally feels very delighted and immediately the phrase Bidexot Apun Manuh generally comes to his mind.

In most cases people are extremely delighted to meet their own people far away from their homeland. But unfortunately exceptions are just everywhere. I am living in Bangalore from last 8 years and I remember one incident that cropped up about 3 to 4 years back. I have an old habit of talking to strangers if I come to know that they are from Assam. Whenever I hear strangers talk in Assamese, I usually interrupt in between. Sometimes I feel little shy, especially when the stranger is of opposite gender. But somehow I usually overcome my shyness and talk for a while, just to say “hello”  One day I had to buy some medicines and was waiting in a  pharmacy as it was little crowded out there. There was a young couple waiting to buy something and they were whispering in Assamese. They looked like degree students and they were discussing something non-veg. They had a mild argument on "which brand to buy?" The girl was little shy and said to the guy “you buy whatever you want, don’t discuss here.” The guy replied “Why you worry so much? We are talking in Assamese and who the hell will understand us?” Now as soon as I bought my medicines, all of a sudden, may be because of my habit, I just said to them in Assamese “So, you guys are from Assam?” It was really an embarrassing situation for them. They talked to me nicely but they were very shy, especially the girl.

Once upon a time one of my very senior friends from our college had to face a similar kind of situation. He was very happy that time as he joined his first job and was posted in Dehradun. He was quite thrilled to join a company that fed him lot of chicken during their training session. Training was very rigorous, about ten hours a day and in just one month it covered nearly one semester's course. His typical Assamese accent with his broken Hindi was quite entertaining for the other trainees as well as the trainers, but they all loved him so much. Every evening he used to get a little high with lovely spirit from a nearby "Deshi Sharab Ka Thekka” (local booze) There was hardly any holiday during his training days. Gradually after the initial euphoria he started to miss his native and his people way back home.

One fine evening he went to watch a movie in a local hall to find some refreshment. And to his surprise the refreshment was not from the movie but from a "looked like" newly married lady sitting next to him. Her hubby was sitting on her other side. Now, this lady was a little impish kind of and my senior friend felt a bit awkward at her seemingly innocent moves towards him. Now, in a different state and that too her hubby sitting next to her, he didn't have the guts for a counter response. He was not able to concentrate on the movie properly as her innocent moves made him little uncomfortable and the couple were also whispering in each other's ear. Now instead of concentrating on the movie he started to concentrate on their whispers. All of a sudden he heard her hubby saying Oi, xeitur logot ga ghelabo nalage tar phale goi goi!" (“excuse me, no need to go too close to that guy and make unnecessary body contact”)

Now my senior friend was totally shocked to know that her hubby actually spoke in Assamese. The lady replied "eeh, moi kot juwa dekhise? apuni je ki koi? Moi ako kiyo tar logot ga ghelabo jam?" (“When did you see me doing that? Why should I make unnecessary body contact with him?”) At that moment the phrase "Bidexot Apun Manuh" came to his mind. All of a sudden there was total brightness in the hall as the interval bell rang. After some hesitation my friend approached her hubby and said in Assamese "Dangariya apuni seat tu xolai mur usorote bohok" (“Gentleman, I think it will be better if you can change your seat and sit next to me”) Now it was so embarrassing moment for the couple and my friend still remember the kind of facial expressions they had that moment.

Later somehow they again met and my friend came to know that the hubby was actually an army man and was posted in Dehradun that time. One day the couple even invited him for a dinner.I think we shouldn't worry much about these small incidents, as few exceptions cannot change the broader meaning. "Bidexot Apun Manuh" definitely brings lot of happiness in life. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

One Memorable Puff

My elder brother, Shamim Akhtar was very intelligent right from his childhood. From his childhood he was very obedient and during our primary school days he sometimes even used to pluck flowers from our garden for his class teachers. Some guys actually used to greet their class teachers with flower and used to say “Good morning Mam!”  He was not only very good at academics but also in all other extracurricular activities. Still today our showcase is filled with all the prizes he won right from his childhood. He was well known in our hometown, Bongaigaon for his quiz talent. He was also a good debater and very good at drawing as well and won hell lot of prizes.  My parents were really proud to have a son like him.

Now my elder brother was 3 years elder to me.  Most of my neighbors, teachers, relatives and may be even my parents had similar kind of expectation from me too. One can understand the kind of embarrassment I had to go through my childhood.  Although I never had any kind of competition with him, may be because competition should be among the same level. But to be honest I was never competitive and never had any competition with any one in my life.

Initially we studied at a private school popularly known as Menon School.  When my brother was at class 9, my father admitted him to KV BRPL. My father had a transferable job, so he thought it would be better if we study in Kendriya Vidlayala(KV).  After one year I was also admitted to KV BRPL. By the time I joined, my brother already had a very good reputation out there. On my first day at KV, teachers used to ask me my name. When I replied “I am Jahid Akhtar”, some of the teachers asked “You know Shamim Akhtar? He is studying in class 10” I replied “Yes, he is my elder brother”. On my reply they used to say “Oh! You are Shamim’s brother.” It seems they already assumed that I am also like my brother. It’s a different story that within a month I proved their assumption to be wrong.

My brother did his mechanical engineering from REC kurukshetra, now NIT kurukshetra. When he took admission in engineering, I was at my early class 10th. We didn't have a very friendly kind of relation that time. He and his friends used to treat me like a child. After he took admission he used to come home yearly once during vacation. I was going through my late adolescence that time and as we haven’t interact much so some kind of friendly relation didn't develop between us yet.

When I was at 2nd semester in Assam Engineering College (AEC), my elder brother was working for “Daewoo Motors” in Noida.  After my 2nd semester exams I thought of visiting him and he booked tickets for me.  He was there to receive me at the old Delhi railway station. He was staying in an apartment in Noida with 5 of his friends. It was weekend that day, so everyone was at home. After we all had a  heavy lunch, everyone lighted a cigarette including my brother. It was so tempting and I was looking for an opportunity to go outside for a smoke.  It was summer time and my brother and one of his friends were sitting on the floor.  Others, including me were sitting on the bed. Suddenly one of his friends asked me “Do You smoke?” I didn't know what to say that time. I was shy and said “no I don’t smoke regularly but I had few times though”. That was exactly the same reply I used to give during my ragging days. His friend gave me his cigarette and told me “have a puff” I was not sure what to do? I simply took the cigarette and had a long puff. I thought as if that was the only puff I could have. Everyone sitting on the bed started to laugh and the guy said “you have this cigarette; I will light a new one”.  Few of them started to tease my brother “Shamim, watch your brother, how he is smoking?” I was so shy that time and my brother also felt shy as he never responded on their teasing and didn't look back either.

On the evening that day my brother took me out. He purchased a wallet for me as my wallet was at a very pathetic condition. That was the time when KFC came to India for the first time and he was very much interested to take me to a KFC. After having delicious KFC chicken with coke we came out and my brother lighted a cigarette. This time also it was very tempting for me. My brother was asking me about my college, my studies. We were simply walking and all of a sudden after having half of his cigarette he casually gave it to me as said “have it”. It happened so suddenly that I never got any time to react and I simply took the cigarette from his hand and puffed it. From that day onward we used to smoke together, although now days we both reduced a lot. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

How many babies can a man make?

After reading my post Confessions of an Adolescent Mind, my dear friend Satya told me a very funny thing about the same confusion they had. Somehow I couldn't stop myself from sharing his experience J. When Satya was in class 7, he and his friends also had the same confusion on “How babies are made?” One of their friends had a very weird kind of theory. His theory not only explained “How babies are made?” but also explained “How many babies can a man make in his whole lifetime?”

According to the theory the number of babies a man can make in his whole lifetime is actually the number of balls he has. He said that earlier men used to have many balls. In order to have a baby men have to cut one of their ball and women usually prepare it with vegetables or meat and just eat it. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

It Happened during a training program

My wife told me about this hilarious incident.  While she was doing her internship at Govt Ayurvedic Hospital in Guwahati, they attended a 3 day training program on “Health and Family Welfare” at Community Training Center located at Khanapara, Guwahati.  Many renowned doctors participated in that program.  The center of attraction was Dr. Barua as he was a very famous doctor in Assam that time and he was also quite well known in US. Training was going on smoothly on the first day and towards the end of the last session Dr Barua discussed something about communicable diseases. He gave a sheet of paper to everyone and asked them to write down their names and to mention any 10 communicable diseases they know. Dr Barua told that tomorrow’s first session would be on “Communicable Diseases” and thus concluded the first day program.

The second day actually started with a humorous tone. Dr Barua had all the sheets where the internees mentioned their 10 communicable diseases the previous day. He said “most of you have written correctly”. He was more interested in one particular sheet. He asked “who is Nurul Islam?” On that Nurul Islam raised his hand and responded “yes doctor”.  Dr Barua started laughing and asked him “can you please explain me how can Piles be a communicable disease?” The entire hall started to laugh and Nurul Islam was simply smiling.

On 3rd day in one session Dr Barua discussed on an interesting topic “how rumors spread within a community?” He actually wanted to demonstrate it practically and played an interesting game along with the internees.  He divided the entire internees into two groups. First group played the role of audience and the second group internee were the actual players. He asked all the players of the 2nd group to leave the hall for a while as a part of the game.

Now half of the participants were outside the training hall and Dr Barua wrote something on the wall “Tomorrow there will be a solar eclipse at 9:30 AM. I request all the internees to come in there at the hospital with their neat and clean aprons sharply by 9 AM; otherwise they might miss the solar eclipse. There is a high probability of heavy rainfall tomorrow as well." Once all the audience read what is written in the blackboard, Dr Barua called the first player waiting outside. He asked him to read carefully what is written in the blackboard. Once he read the message Dr Barua erased it completely.

Now the 2nd player entered the hall and the first player whispered in his ears the message he already read. Then the 3rd player entered the hall and this time the 2nd player whispered the message in his ears. Similarly the 3rd player whispered the message into the ears of the 4th player. It continued exactly  like that till the final player heard the message.  Now the final player was Dr Alokesh and Dr Barua asked him to announce the message to the entire hall. 

Dr Alokesh announced “I am at the hospital wearing a clean apron. It’s raining heavily outside. Patients are getting wet in the rain. All the cows and goats are also getting wet in the rain. What should I do now? “

Entire hall started to laugh. Even Dr Barua also started to laugh and said “my goodness, I played this game many times and most of the time I got to hear some funny replies from the last player but this time it’s really ridiculous, out of this world. The funniest part is this guy also have a question at the end? So, do I have to explain how rumors spread within a community?”

Monday, 1 October 2012

Confessions of an Adolescent Mind

Every one of us will definitely have some stories of our adolescence.  The early adolescence was really confusing for us.  I remember when I was in 7th standard some of my friends including me had a big confusion “How babies are made?”  I think now days children of this age group are much smarter, may be because access to any kind of information is just a click away.During that time many of us had different theories of our own. Many of us believed that when people get married they will have babies. Someone asked “but what exactly happens after marriage?” Someone replied “if they sleep together in the same bed then they would have baby” It seems some theories were highly influenced by the Bollywood movies. Our discussion on this topic almost lasted over a year. No one had proper logical answer and every one’s theory was questionable. We haven’t accepted the “sleeping together” theory as one of our friend argued that he always used to sleep with his sister.  Someone came up with one more theory “if girl and a boy eat in same plate and drink milk/water in same glass then baby will be made” this theory was also logically not acceptable as the same brother-sister funda made the theory too weak. There were few more weak theories and I don’t exactly remember them. We used to discuss and argue on the topic among our close friends. Now there was a guy named Tapan Sarkar, he was actually one or two years elder to us. His academics was little weak but his theory was strong enough, in fact only he had the exact theory among our friends that time. 

Few of us believed his theory that time but there was a little problem.Now there was a group who completely discarded Tapan's theory considering it to be absurd. When some of the guys tried to defend Tapan’s theory, someone questioned “That means your parents have done exactly the same thing before you guys were born?” Hearing this some of us became completely red. one guy replied “No, never, my parents never did something like that” he was almost about to cry. After this how could anyone accept that controversial theory?

So time passed quickly and we were in our 8th standard. Our school was KV BRPL but now our school doesn't exist. Physically it still exists but now it’s no longer a KV, it’s DPS Dhaligaon now. There was a very nice girl in our class and she actually was our topper that time. many of us used to copy notes from her and she never minded even if we take her class notes home. In the beginning of our 8th standard suddenly she stopped coming to school. During school days it was very unusual for any student specially topper kind of students to remain absent continuously for few days. We were little worried about her. We asked one of her close friend “what happened to her? Is she all right?” She replied “yeah, she is fine” We asked “then why she is not coming to school?” She replied “Actually she is grown up now and become matured, so she will not come to school for few more days” She was little shy in her reply. This stupid reason was kind of bouncer for us and it went over our heads. Now one of her notebook was with Babul. The topper girl sent Babul a message through someone that she need that notebook. So one day during lunch time Babul went to her house to return her notebook. To his surprise she was perfectly fine and was smiling and was talking to everyone. Babul saw that there was some kind of ceremony going on. Her mom gave him some food to eat and after eating Babul returned to school. Actually in our Assamese culture when any girl experiences her first cycle it is taken as a positive aspect of her life. Neighbors and close relatives used to give presents to her, actually elders used to celebrate considering it as a special occasion.  

Time passed very fast and we were in the middle of our 8th standard. In 8th standard our Science subject included physics, chemistry and biology. Now in biology we had one chapter on reproduction in animals and human beings. The chapter was actually among the last chapters but out of curiosity everyone read that chapter much earlier. After reading that chapter few times, our concepts became much clear and many of us started to believe Tapan’s theory,  but definitely with some doubts and confusion in mind. Everything became crystal clear when we watched the reproduction kind of movie for the first time in the beginning of our 9th standard. 

Dedicated to all my KV friends Ratul, Ashish, Alomgir, Vivek, Ajay, Partho, Tapan, Babul, Michael, Riddhi, Rajiv,Hemanta and the list goes on.

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