8460 hours

It’s three years since I joined my company!
Aaargh!
Yes, that’s the first expression that I got on my face. I wondered “Should I be happy that I have completed three years under a manager who approves leaves but not our grieves. Perhaps he has his own stuff to take care of but then, there have been complaints folded neatly in the heads of our HR and the other designations which are not taken care of.”

Well.. that would hurt my heart again so I decided not to behave like an unfortunate being and see the brighter side of the three years of the 10-12 hours spend every day
So, that makes it 705 days or 8460 hours.

And, these hours, minus the grief there have been many happy hours. The joy of working on what you love–The sharing of grief with colleagues from diverse backgrounds or the lessons learnt from them.

Be it Karuna from whom I have learnt that one must chill, anyway, not be tensed or Malaica to be as you are and never change for anyone or Shaily to laugh it off and take things with a pinch of salt or Soumma to juggle so well.

I have not been particularly successful in getting rewarded like I do occasionally in my writing world, where the reward is based on the writing, purely and with each rejection I get motivated to improve, but I have received many consolation prizes like wonderful people who have been with me despite my shortcomings, the colleagues who never judge me and genuinely feel happy for my work being selected elsewhere.

Been blessed to learn so many lessons through humiliation and through disgust but then they have bettered me as a human and also helped me understand the various things I should not be bothered about.
A friend once said “why waste your life in doing something you cannot. Instead sharpen your pencil and motivate yourself to do what you love.”

I feel it is so true! My aim here is not to make my supervisors happy with other sorts of “maska chaska” but to better myself. I have had many chances to be dishonest but I luckily stopped my temptation.
Today was another instance of the same. Am glad I honestly went up to my manager and disclosed a mistake that took place. Am sure it happened due to my lack of motivation but a mistake is still one.

Anyway, like I promised, today I shall waste no time in thinking what could have happened or what can I do, rather I promise myself to do continuously what I love despite rejections and despite humiliation.
I am a student in this open school called life and every remark/failure would be a lesson. It doesn’t matter where I end up as I know I’ll be happy at the end of the journey.

If I receive some accolades, that’s great.
Else, I shall move on and not simply, wait.

A few pics of the silly things we did :P!
And, officially my 3rd anniversary at thomson reuters in on 7th July. Another post on my blog[http://nivuuuuu.blogspot.com] by then soon

Mirjapur, Orissa

Men wearing Gamcha roaming the place yet earning about 70K per month.
Thanks to their shops which sell fresh vegetables, fruits which fetch them money.

The men usually wake up, have bath near a local water body,
wear a gamcha, and roam the entire city in search of knowledge, socializing.

While Women draped in traditional sarees,
look after the paddy fields or rice fields, cook the fresh food.

Welcome to Mirjapur!
A place dominated by the locals without the interference of the “GOVERNUMENT”

They protect the mother nature and
have beaten the EDUCATED URBAN TO DEATH at the mention of Dams or any form of destruction to their Maa.

As we zoomed across the district in our pollution-emitting vehicles,
we earned some wrath but as soon as they saw us enjoying the
cool water of the Chilika it transformed into a smile.

Chilika Lake – the largest brackish sea water lake.
We spent about 4 hours sipping the waves,
breathing in the pure water,
excited as we watched the dollops somersault in the water.
Woaah!

But what amazed us more was the beauty
of the place kept safe as it is.
Perhaps the non-interference of the GOVERNUMENT or the
persistence of the people there to save their mother land.

How absurd, weird. These bunch of uneducated people
only followed what was told or taught or imbibed “Nature is our Mother.”

Also, read the post Scent – 1 here

The Match

It was a bright Sunday morning and the whiff of ghee smeared sweets filled my nose. I woke up right away and ran to the kitchen. My mother was cooking and speaking over the phone. She smiled at me, when I asked “Ma! Why you making sweets?”
She said “for the match”

“Match?” I was puzzled and took me a couple of seconds to decode what match meant.
My father doesn’t watch a match on a Sunday morning and my mother would never be so exuberant for any match.
My eligible age and my mother’s chuckles over the phone confirmed that it was the much dreaded and baleful “the arrange marriage arrangement” in short “The match”

Depressed and deranged, I stood benumbed in the kitchen before moving into the verandah for a bottle of water. And suddenly images of my friends teasing my formed like clouds above my head.
Each of them teasing me. Growling “I told you so..Every time you break a heart you are bound to get a heart attack”
Was this the price I was paying for being obedient and single all my life?

I had no time to waste and had to look for ways to escape. I reached for the phone and was about to dial my cousins’ number asking them not to come. If they wouldn’t turn up, my parents would surely be tensed to face the situation alone. And before I could reach the phone, I heard my aunties and my cousins’ voice.

Damn! My parents have grown smarter. The joy on their faces seemed like they had won a lottery and the money got tripled. And before I could speak to my cousins to shoo them away, my aunts took me inside and with their weapons, the make up kit, they tried to paint me black and blue.
Argh! I escaped with my timely innocent statements like “won’t you let me be myself?”
“is this all you came here for?”

Poor aunties, melted. Ah! Now I had to shoo them away so that my dad feels helpless. But they wouldn’t leave.
Finally, “they came” some one announced and every one ran to their respective seats. My father in one corner.
My mother and other aunts in the chairs behind the sofas. The sofas were reserved for the elite guests.
I had to stay in the green room and only go when called upon and that too with my head bent down.
Fudge!

A couple of who’s who and intros later, I am summoned. My aunt comes to take me. As though I cannot walk on my own. She whispers “Don’t be nasty, be good” and “feel shy”
I had to act shy and bend my head. But I was curious. I tried looking up. I could only see a saree-clad woman, the one whose voice I could hear.

Where was the guy? I coughed to look up. Alas! I could see an uncle and a young girl, staring at me.
I quickly bent down.
Some one wise said “let the girl and the guy talk”
“I was glad” “finally..”
We entered into my room, with my little cousins settling on either side of me and staring at us. Yes! Adding flavours to my embarrassment.

The guy looked around the entire room and asked “So.. you a fan of shahrukh khan”
(Yes! I belong to the “shahrukh fan club” at school and college where people detested us whenever we made a huge cry about his latest release. Nevertheless, we persisted)
I replied CALMLY “Yes.. I am”
And he asked “so what was the last movie you saw..”
I said “My name is khan..”
He chuckled “Oh! That movie in which shahrukh is mental..”
I would have slapped him right away, but then my aunt’s voice echoed “Be good” “Be good”
And I said..smiling forcefully “it’s asperger’s syndrome!”
And he smiled too
I asked “so who is you favourite hero..”
He promptly replied “Ballaiyya..”
“what?” I was shocked
But then I acted CALM quickly. (But! which sane person liked Balakrishna :P)
“oh.. I liked aditya 369..” i replied
“that movie was released when we were kids” he replied
“yes..i liked only that..” I smiled, feeling victorious
He was embarrassed now!
By Aunt came in with a cup of tea and served him and looked at me.
I just smiled back. Her eyes reflected curiousity as she walked away.

After a couple of slam book questions,
Like your favorite moment, embarrassing moment..et al
we bade goodbye. It was a good conversation though!

And I had to rush back to the green room. While he sat in the plush sofa.
Well.. what happened to the result of the match?
Some results are best unknown…

An Ordeal of WM (Part 1)!!

This weekend at Chennai had a new member to the family of mine…we had brought an intelligent washing machine that will reduce a lot of burden for us.

You might be wondering what ‘Washing Machine’?? – Now in 2011, when it has been almost an indispensable part of the modern life.

Call me old fashioned or being not in sync with modern living, I had always supported and liked the good old way of washing and touch wood wherever I had been I had a good soul (maid) who took care of my washing with great care….and gave me impeccable clothes that was and still is in awe to my colleagues and friends at office.

It is so funny…now I have to turn to a Washing Machine (WM) that is going to replace my maid doing it.

I have mostly cotton dresses and I am very much into starching them as I feel they give an impressible look when starched.  So, when I said to the Sales guy, “How do I starch my dresses?”

He gave me one look and said, “From where are you from madam? Today’s machines are so advanced they do starching better than what you think can do?”

I looked at him and said, “Oh! Yeah I almost forgot that the machine is still man-made!”

How dare he look at me like that and utter a sentence such that and compare my tested starching process to a stupid machine and that too a German make??

Yeah, I have got a German made Siemens WM…Now, the real struggle is to understand the machine, its program and how the whole thing works.

So, the Customer Support Guy or Technician came along and fixed the thing up and explained about an hour with the functions that are there on the board. He kept on talking and it looked as if we (My husband & me) were taking lessons and notes on our minds frantically trying to grasp the ordeal of it and the length of things he went on explaining.

When he finished his explanation about a particular function happy with his explanation as a teacher, who scares the students on the subject they don’t know and to scare them further with the question, “Any doubts?”

This question left us blank as much as we started and we looked at each other as if the question was in a language not known to us and we almost unanimously said, “No doubts please continue…”

My husband wanted be smarter and rather not sound like a dumb student went on to say, “So far, So good, only when we apply it we would know the difficulty…” – A perfect Software Engineer Statement….!

He backed it up by saying, “Yes, sir…it is very easy all you have to do is remember what to do when”

That left us in dark and we did not know what to say…we gave him the stupidest smile we could gather under the peer pressure!

He got the message I guess, after another session on an intelligent wash control, he paused and before he could repeat the unavoidable question, he added, “If you have any doubts, please ask now…otherwise you will be charged a fee of 500 rupees for another demo…so while I am here make use of me to the extreme and get all your doubts clarified – Am I clear?”

Oh! Yeah damn you are, this man is challenging me, and if I could afford about 26 K for one stupid machine can’t I spend another 500 to get things organized. That was a bad comparison…..anyways he continued.

We were taken aback…did we really look so dumb listening to his lecture over the Washing Machines highlights…? Isn’t using WM a child’s play???  I know children are not supposed to be near it when it is running…but it isn’t rocket science and this man is really taking it too much.

I decided to show him, how smart I am? I let my questions out one-by-one…at least at that juncture I could only think of one question.

I asked him, “Can I use Liquid soaps, such as Genteel, Ezee, Surf Excel Liquid…?”(I asked him all the brands I know existed)

That question had taken him aback and he went back referring his books….I was happy served him right…whom is he trying to fool. Just because he works for a stupid Washing Machine company and goes to people to tell them about its working he can’t be fooling around.

Having won half the battle, putting him back to the ground…we continued our lessons and then he left us to ourselves to think, ponder and worry how to figure this thing out.

I gave a helping shoulder to my husband and said, “Don’t you worry I have a say with Electronics, will figure out first thing in the morning…and winked at him to ease the day’s tension”

He came back saying,” Yeah, exactly that’s what I am worried off…don’t know when I would have to call the service guy again…!”

That eased the day’s heavy classes and lessons, but yet the ordeal was not over yet to come by!!

My First Date

Ah, my first date!
A day I can never forget!!

I felt I met such a good guy by serendipity
In his Yamaha bike we zoomed around the city

Famished, finally we halted at a resto to eat
I hogged happily assuming it was his treat

He coolly (n shamelessly) showed a hundred rupee note
And said he forgot the money at home, in his foreign-made* coat

For a moment, I did not know what to say
This handsome dude actually tuned out to be a gay

He ate till his belly bulged
His miserly self he couldn’t divulge

We finished our meal
And waited for the bill

He thanked me for the nice lunch
I wanted to give him a nice punch

To top it all
I said I had a ball

He blushed and he smiled at me
And a little packet he handed over to me

I was awe-struck at his love for me
He gave me several Hajmola candies
(To digest)

Sorry!! I was in shock………..

Hooray!! The day was finally over
Such a deadly affair made me sober!!

*Foreign made????

well people that guy is married now …anyway, it was a mind blowing experience

This post was written in 2008. Take it with a pinch of salt :P. I am not a Kanjoos anymore :P.

किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़

चलने ही चलने में कितना जीवन, हाय, बिता डाला!
‘दूर अभी है’, पर, कहता है हर पथ बतलानेवाला,
हिम्मत है न बढूँ आगे को साहस है न फिरुँ पीछे,
किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ मुझे कर दूर खड़ी है मधुशाला।।७।

श्री हरिवंश राय ‘बच्चन’ जी की इन अमूल्य और अतुल्य  शब्दों के भावार्थ आज सत्य से प्रतीत हो रहे हैं| मुख्यतः मेरी परिस्तिथि पर| मैं निराशावादी नहीं हूँ| उल्टा अगर मेरी गिनती निराशावादीयों की श्रेणी में हो तो मैं उससे दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण घटना, अपने पूरे जीवन की,  किसी और को नहीं मानूंगा| मेरा आज तक सिर्फ आशा की किरणों ने ही मार्ग दर्शन किया है| मैं आशावादी हूँ| मेरा मानना है कि, भविष्य सुन्दर है…भविष्य उज्जवल है…सिर्फ मेरा ही नहीं…समस्त पृथ्वी का| स्वाभाविक है कि अब आपका प्रश्न होगा कि फिर मैं निराशावादी क्यूँ प्रतीत हो रहा हूँ? उत्तर भी सरल है …एकाग्रित हो कर उपरोक्त पंक्तियों को दुबारा पढ़ें …उनमे निराशावाद से अधिक असमंजस है…भ्रान्ति है| मैं निराश नहीं हुआ अभी…पर हाँ,  किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ अवश्य हूँ| परिस्तिथियाँ ही कुछ ऐसी हैं, किन्तु परिस्तिथियों के विषय पर कभी और वार्तालाप करेंगे| 
 
आज इस स्तिथि “किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़” के विषय में विचार विमर्श हो जाये? 
 
किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ता, साधारणतः एक अल्पजीवी अवस्था है| एक ऐसी अवस्था जिसमे आप अपनी सोचने, समझने और समस्या का समाधान निकालने में असक्षम हो जाते हैं| जब आपकी बुद्धिमत्ता पर अन्धकार कि एक चादर डल जाती है और आपको ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि आप एक महासागर के मध्य में बिना किसी साधन के, बिना किसी मदद के, खड़े हैं| कुछ परिस्तिथियों में ऐसी अवस्था लाभ दायक भी साबित होती है, किन्तु अधिकांश तौर पे यह अवस्था बहुत हानिकारक होती है|  क्या करें? क्या न करें?…ये प्रश्न बहुत ही विचलित करते हैं| तो इस अवस्था से निकालने का उपाय क्या है? साधारण मनुष्य जैसे कि मैं और आप ऐसी अवस्था में क्या करें?
 
मेरा मानना है कि मुझमें, आपमें और हम सब में एक असीम उर्जा का प्रवाह होता है…शारीरिक या भौतिक उर्जा नहीं … किन्तु मानसिक उर्जा| मेरा यह भी मानना है कि मुझमे इस उर्जा का प्रवाह, असाधारण नहीं किन्तु पर्याप्त मात्रा में अवश्य होता है| मुझसे जब भी मेरी इस अविरल ऊर्जा स्त्रोत के विषय पर प्रश्न किया जाता है तो मेरे पास सिर्फ एक ही उत्तर होता है, और वो ये कि – हमारी मानसिकता, न की हमारी मानसिक स्तिथि, उस उर्जा का स्त्रोत है| अब आप इस विषय पर किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ होंगे कि मानसिक उर्जा क्या है और इस चर्चा से उसका का क्या सम्बन्ध? सम्बन्ध यह है कि इस मानसिक उर्जा का प्रभाव आपकी मानसिक स्तिथि पर एक गंभीर रूप से उद्धारित होता है| यदि आपकी मानसिक उर्जा सही मात्रा में प्रवाहित होती है तो आपकी मानसिकता आपकी मानसिक स्तिथि को अधिकृत करने में सक्षम हो जाएगी| अब आपकी मानसिकता और आपकी उर्जा, दोनों ही दो प्रकार के हो सकते हैं – सकारात्मक या ऋणात्मक| यदि आपकी मानसिकता सकारात्मक है तो निःसंदेह आपकी उर्जा भी सकारात्मक होगी और ऐसा होने पर भले ही कैसी भी परिस्तिथि हो, कुछ क्षणों के लिए आप अवश्य अपना संतुलन खो देंगे, अवश्य ही निराश या नकारात्मक हो जायेंगे…किन्तु यह स्तिथि अल्पजीवी होगी…आप तीव्रता से अपने आप का संतुलन वापस पाने में सक्षम रहेंगे…एक आशा कि किरण आपमें वो पुरानी स्फूर्ति ला देगी जिससे आप अच्छी तरह अवगत हैं| उदाहरण के तौर पे – एक ऐसे दिन का ध्यान करिए जिसका आरम्भ किसी अच्छे समाचार या सन्देश से हुआ था…अवश्य ही वह आपका पूरा दिन सुखमय व प्रफुल्लित व्यतीत हुआ होगा? निष्कर्ष स्पष्ट होना चाहिए कि हमें एकमात्र सकारात्मक विचारों और परिणामों का ध्यान करना चाहिए| केवल सुविचारों के प्रवाह को प्रोत्साहित करना चाहिए| और इसके विपरीत स्तिथि वाले दिवस का भी एक बार ध्यान करिए जिस दिन आपको कोई बुरा समाचार या सन्देश मिला हो…वह दिन कैसा व्यतीत हुआ था? मैं ऋणात्मक उर्जा और मानसिकता के विषय में विस्तार से वार्तालाप नहीं करना चाहता क्यूंकि ऐसी विचारधारा पे समय व्यर्थ करना मैं उचित नहीं समझता| सद और असद विद्या, दोनों का ज्ञान होना आवश्यक है, पर मेरी समझ से आप सब इस “असद” विद्या से बोधित अवश्य होंगे| इसी कारणवश मैं नकारात्मक मानसिकता और उर्जा पर मैं अपनी उर्जा और समय व्यर्थ नहीं करना चाहता| एक वाक्य में – ऋणात्मक विचारधारा और मानसिकता से जितनी दूरी रखिये उतना ही लाभदायक होगा|
 
एक बार जब विचारधारा पर आपका नियंत्रण हो जाये, उसके बाद का कार्य अति सरल हो जाता है| उसके बाद आपको सिर्फ एक ओर बढ़ना होता है…सिर्फ निर्णय लिए ही कार्य करने होते हैं| ध्यान रहे कि बढ़ने से पहले या कार्य करने से पहले आप फिर उसी विचलित अवस्था में न चले जाएँ…कि इस ओर बढे तो क्या होगा? ये कार्य किया तो क्या होगा? यदि हमने जैसा सोचा है वैसा नहीं हुआ तो? ऐसे विचार कृपा कर के अपने मस्तिष्क में न लाये..ये मेरा अति विनम्र और अटल अनुग्रह है आपसे| हम में से कोई भी भविष्य नहीं जानता| यदि हम इसी विचार में रहे कि हमारे किस कार्य का क्या परिणाम होगा, हम अपना जीवन उसी विचार में व्यतीत कर देंगे और हमें कभी जानकारी नहीं होगी कि उस कार्य का असल जीवन में क्या परिणाम होता? कार्य कर के तो देखो आप, कि परिणाम क्या होता है? अन्यथा आपको वो ज्ञान कैसे होगा? बिना कार्य किये या बिना निर्णय लिए ही आप कैसे जान जाओगे परिणाम? दूसरों कि ओर ना देखो, दूसरों कि परिस्तिथियों से तुलना ना करो| कृपा करता हूँ…आग्रह करता हूँ| दूसरों कि भूल से सीख लेना अच्छी बात है, किन्तु हर किसी कि परिस्तिथि एक नहीं होती, हर व्यक्ति कि क्षमताएं एक नहीं होती…इसलिए यदि किसी और ने आपके समान कोई परिस्तिथि में कोई निर्णय लिया और वह निर्णय या कार्य उसे भरी पड़ा तो आवश्यक नहीं है कि वाही कार्य या निर्णय आपके लिए भी भरी पड़ेगा| आप कार्य कर के तो देखो, निर्णय ले कर तो देखो…यदा कदा में न रहो…जीवन में इतने सारे यदा कदा हैं कि उन सबका उत्तर स्वयं इश्वर के पास नहीं होगा| कार्य करो, फल कि भी इच्छा करो, किन्तु फल कि इच्छा में कार्य न करो, ये तो उचित नहीं है|  एक छोटे से शिशु का ही उदाहरण लो…यदि उसे यह ज्ञान होता कि जब वह अपने पहले पग उठाएगा तो अवश्य ही गिरेगा और उसे चोट लगेगी तो क्या कोई भी शिशु कभी भी चल पाता?
 
‘मधुशाला’ कि जिन पंक्तियों से मैंने इस चर्चा का प्रारंभ किया था, उनसे ही अंत भी करना चाहूँगा…और शायद श्री बच्चन जी कि उन अगली पंक्तियों से आपको मेरे चर्चा का सन्दर्भ भी समझ आये …
 
मदिरालय जाने को घर से चलता है पीनेवला,
‘किस पथ से जाऊँ?’ असमंजस में है वह भोलाभाला,
अलग-अलग पथ बतलाते सब पर मैं यह बतलाता हूँ –
‘राह पकड़ तू एक चला चल, पा जाएगा मधुशाला।’। ६।

चलने ही चलने में कितना जीवन, हाय, बिता डाला!
‘दूर अभी है’, पर, कहता है हर पथ बतलानेवाला,
हिम्मत है न बढूँ आगे को साहस है न फिरुँ पीछे,
किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ मुझे कर दूर खड़ी है मधुशाला।।७।

मुख से तू अविरत कहता जा मधु, मदिरा, मादक हाला,
हाथों में अनुभव करता जा एक ललित कल्पित प्याला,
ध्यान किए जा मन में सुमधुर सुखकर, सुंदर साकी का,
और बढ़ा चल, पथिक, न तुझको दूर लगेगी मधुशाला।।८।

धन्यवाद|

You Bihari! You £$%#@!

Circa:  2006 A.D. Route: Poona – Jamshedpur. Services: Azad Hind Express, Indian Railways. Scene:  A typical 3AC compartment – with a youngster trapped amidst – a family of five with three annoyingly hyper-active and argumentative kids on only four reserved berths; an old lady, from the southern extensions of this vast country, yapping her way to glory; and a middle aged couple munching on the popular snacks of the region and utilising the floor as the waste bin.

 

The wondrous services of Indian Railways had ensured that the passengers of that particular services – get to travel no faster than a bullock cart (comprehending to the ever increasing demand to “enjoy the scenic beauty of countryside India”), halting at every signal post constructed on that route (to facilitate the realisation that none of these posts stood without a reason) and derive the immense pleasure of a stuffy, non-functional AC coach (in order to motivate passengers to use regular sleeper class coaches and improve on fuel efficiency).

 

Old Lady, who was from some obviously indomitable state of Southern India, had some amazing ability to convert her thoughts into the words and to blurt them out without the application of any filters, and was flaunting, very precariously, her “prim and proper” self. First, it was the turn of the oh-so-innocent middle aged couple who had had Bhel-Puri, Kachhi-Dhabeli and others of the sort, while feeding the poor and hungry floor more than their own beloved stomachs, on the topic of hygiene and cleanliness, and garnering a total oblivion in return. The wife had managed a perplexed look on her face and was looking towards her husband for a respite and a riposte, but fortunately he was unperturbed.  Without the lack of vigour, she turned her energy towards the kids – the kind she claimed to have mastered in her school as she was an English Teacher. Lessons on the importance of discipline and obedience poured on the poor souls unblemished and vehemently. The compartment was turning into a ‘Moral Science’ classroom.

 

She was gloriously yapping to the innocent kids, “Everybody must do their own work”, when her lecture was interrupted. “Everybody must do his or her own work…Not ‘their own work’…a common Pronoun error” a voice broke. The poor, ignorant youngster had no idea then, what wrath he had unveiled on himself. The old lady’s jaw dropped. She could not believe her ears or eyes. How dare an indecorous and insolent young fellow who was still busy in his cell-phone, make such a preposterous remark at her?

 

Old Lady: (Turning towards the youngster in utter disbelief) Excuse me?

Youngster: (with his eyes still fixated on his phone) It is a very common grammatical error, where the pronoun is not in agreement with the number of nouns it is referring to.

Old Lady: (with “How dare you?” expression on her face) What?

Youngster: (now giving her a casual look) Yes! Everybody and own are the mismatch here – plural and singular. Hence, instead of their, it should be his or her. I hope I am making sense.

Old Lady: (trying to calm down now) Yes! Very Much! Thank you for the correction. (Forgets about the Moral Science lecture) So…Where did you do your schooling from?

Youngster: (again…Casually) DPS.

Old Lady: (with excitement) DPS, Bangalore?

Youngster: (with a perplexed look on his face) Do they have a DPS there? I am afraid; my knowledge is limited about the expanse of the fraternity. I am a DPS, Bokaro Steel City, alumni.

Old Lady: Oh! Alright…So your father works in Bokaro Steel Plant, but you are from Kerala?

Youngster: (with signs of disgust on his face) What made you arrive at this conclusion?

Old Lady: (with some sense of pride at her derivation) Well! For one, you have very good English, and second you look quite the Mallu.

Youngster: (Irritated) I apologise to be continuously disappointing you, but I am from Bihar, and Bhojpuri is my mother tongue.

Old Lady: (in disbelief again) But…But that cannot be.

Youngster: (somewhat mockingly) Again an improper sentence, or rather, an incomplete sentence. There has to be a verb or noun at the end of the sentence. For example “But that cannot be true or correct”. Now, may I have the pleasure of knowing why that cannot be true or correct?

Old Lady: (getting back to her “prim and proper” self) That is precisely the reason why it cannot be correct. You don’t sound like a Bihari.

Youngster: (with disgust) Excuse me! Then, according to you, how do Biharis sound like?

Old Lady: They do not have such good English and their pronunciations are even worse. How come you have such good English?

Youngster: (muttering mockingly) What can you say? My Mom and Dad conceived me on the banks of Thames and my Dad even went a step ahead to sprinkle those holy waters on her womb.

Old Lady: I am sorry!

Youngster: (smiling and now audibly) To break your preconceived notions, all the educated Biharis I have come across, do have a fabulous fluency in and knowledge of, English. Without being modest, I can confidently say I am not even a noteworthy example. In fact, I am astonished that you being an English Teacher are startled at my English.

Old Lady: (perturbed by the retorts) Son! I have been into teaching for the past 22 years. I have been in Jamshedpur for 6 years now, teaching at two of the best schools the city has, and I have never come across a Bihari student who could dare point out my grammatical errors. Let alone the grammar, the pronunciation is an even bigger issue. You must have had very good teachers at your school.

Youngster: (muttering again) Then what did you think? My Mom gave me the chutney of Wren and Martin’s English Grammar and Composition, instead of gripe water, to help me digest my food?

Old Lady: (perplexed look)

Youngster: Obviously my teachers had a good role to play in my education but that does not single me out. As far as pronunciation is concerned, according to me, Biharis have the best and the most correct. We speak the clearest and pronounce each word as it has been described in the oxford dictionary. Anyways! Since we are having this conversation, please oblige me with your description of a typical Bihari. I promise, I will take it very healthily and in the right spirit. Also, my answers might help you understand us better (and he smiles a wry smile).

 

 (The explanation will follow soon…)