Sunday, December 7, 2014

Friendship, tuberculosis, shuddh Hindi, and apology

The ubiquitous tuberculosis patient. Courtesy: Telugu One

I have a friend. She lives in NCR. I live in NM.

Okay, fine. She lives in Greater Delhi. I live in Greater Mumbai. Etc.

She lived in the same city two years back. I lived in Mumbai. Not Navi Mumbai. Mumbai. On the other side of toll naka

She worked at a place that sounded fun. I worked at a place where a person who sat three seats away from me hummed "o mere papa the great" throughout the day.

We talked every weekday on email, mostly in Hindi, a language we were equally proficient at. Some of these emails were slightly non-trivial.

Here is a sample:

***

Me:
Aap kaisi ho jee? Aur aapka woh kaisa hai?

Friend:
Achche hai hum. Woh better hain. Mild petbyatha chhod ke baki sab thik. Aaj pet specialist daktar dikhaya, who has suspected one of the following:
1. Intestinal tuberculosis
2. Crohn's disease
3.Salmonella infection
Kalke ekgada test, colonoscopy karne jayega. Agar number 3 nikla, toh thik hai. 1 ya 2 nikla toh chaap ho sakta hai. Sigh.
Tumhara kya khabar?

Me:
Humen bhi tuberculosis hua tha kabhi. Usi avastha mein humne BSc Part I diya tha. Aur pass bhi kiya tha. Par woh intestine mein nahin, gale ke gland mein tha. Naw mahine tak chikitsa mein magn the hum.

Friend:
Gale ke gland mein tuberculosis kaise hota hai mairi?

Me:
Haan mairi. Yakshma jism ke jagah jagah mein hota hai. Aur aajkal Deoghar jana bhi nahin padhta hai.

Friend:
Humne thoda bahaut Google kiya abhi. 1 aur 2 ek hi sikke ka epith-opith hai. 3 safe hai. 1 ya 2 hua to maamla thoda sangeen hai.
Kitna strange hai. Mere papa ko bhi intestinal tuberculosis hua tha jab woh college mein padhte the. Six months laga tha thik hone mein. Operate bhi karna para tha.
Par aap ko gale mein TB kaise hua? Thanda lag ke?

Me:
Nahin. Abohawa ka dushan se. Gale ka gland ful gaya tha. Dhnok gilne mein takleef hota tha. Phir ENT ko dikhaya. Usne kaha biopsy karwane ke liye. Phir pata chala ke yakshma hai. Phir nau mahine tak dawaai khaya. 

Friend: 
Yakshma hua aur kaasha nahin, black and white Bengali film ka hissa nahin bana, toh kya kiya?

Me:
Nahin, kaasha tha, bahaut kaasha tha. Dhnok gilne mein jab takleef hota tha, tab bahaut kaasha karta tha. Par rakt-bomi nahin hua tha kabhi, jo hona chahiye tha.

Friend:
Hna. Phir poshchim jana tha, hawa badalne ke liye. Phir ek poshchimi mohila ka premey parna tha, jo tumhe nurse back to health karta. Roj sokale tum chhota bihari town ke outskirts ke chhota bungalow ke bahar chhota garden mein chair paat ke mithe roddur pohata aur kobita likhta, (punjabi, payjama, aur chador pehen ke) aur woh aake tumhe peyala bhorti bedanar rosh peelata. :D

Me:
Phir main Kolkata laut aake shushil patri se shaadi karta, aur poshchima ladki ko bhool jaata. Poshchima ladki ko biroho hota, aur ajibon kunwari rehti, aur porikkha deke collector banti. Aur phir kabhi train mein safar karte hue mera poribarke saath ek hi kamre mein jaati. Aur phir bahaut double-meaning-wala bakyobinimoy hota.

Friend:
Hna. Tum family man hota, mired in family troubles. Woh free-spirited career woman hoti. Mota kalo framer choshma pehenti. Aur simple sutir saree.

Me:
Train mein hum "tiffin-carry" kholta. Meri biwi use luchi-mangsho offer karti. Mere mukh phoshke nikal jaata "woh nirimish khati hai". Phir ghoralo poristhiti hota.

Friend:
Nahin. Nirimish se utna gondogol nahin hota. One of your myriad kids usey tang karti, aur tum bolte, "use chhod do, usey migraine ka problem hain." Phir godo godo ho ke jigyesh karte, "abhi bhi chaaye mein ek sugar leti ho?" Isi moment mein tumhari biwi bathroom se wapas aa jaati aur tumhe cold looks deti.

Me:
Phir meri biwi ek kitaab leke baith jaati, aur bachchon par okarone chillati. Poshchima ladki choshma utaarke so jaati. Main na-honewala menage-a-trois ka khwaab dekhta rehta.

***

Her woh had nothing serious, and got cured in double-quick time. She got married to him a couple of days back. I had promised her I would attend her wedding in Kolkata. I failed her. The gift will follow, but kid, this post is it for now.

I have tried to "pitch" the story to a few others (without any purpose), but nobody else appreciated it, let alone be impressed by my suave Hindi. This may have included you. Or you. Or you. Or, for that matter, you.

There are friends, outrageously good ones, but none like you.

Have a super life. Beam.

14 comments:

  1. Too Good! You get full marks for your sheer bravery :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Till now, many people have probably asked you to write a book. Maybe, your friend and you, should write one together: you guys can goad each other to make the plot more outrageous (the Paschimi plot is good ;P). And, yes, you need to have at least one situation, maybe in a train where Bengalis talk to each other in Hindi, which is obviously a well established, memorable plot device (but not the pashchimi plot, double-meaning-wala stuff in Hindi might be too ambitious).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the Pashchimi plot. I think it is an incredible one.

      And yes, she is a better writer than I am. She will just not write. :(

      Delete
    2. Her writing has a very smooth flow. She will just not write ... blogposts anymore? Or is this to imply you are open to writing a book?

      Delete
    3. See, see?! You should write a book! How bad can it be? Ecven at its worse, i cannot be half as bad as CB's. :P
      And stop praising everyone else's writing skill over your own. You sound like Vi when she knocks down one of my chess pieces (we are just at the basics of movements), and is promptly overcome with guilt and declares "Mumma, you can kill any of my pieces. It's OK!".

      Delete
    4. RGB, she does not write. But yes, I am open to write a book.

      Delete
  3. Bah Darun laglo... Biyeteo gechhilam, darun khaoa-daoa holo, mojao korlam (Just to rub it in *evil grin*)... tar songe etao porchhi... amar moja double.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to let you know, winter stays beyond a solitary Magh.

      Delete
  4. Made me smile - the Hindi and the story, both. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Topo k uttor ta jatah ...
    lekhatao jataah ...
    bhalo thako Abhishekda

    ReplyDelete

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