Thursday, September 27, 2012



            Mr. Bharat Durgia is a dear friend. He is an orthopaedician with a tagline that reads, “I will bend my bones to mend your bones!” He is thus very good.
            In his undergraduate days, he was still learning Assamese when he went with his ward mates to Panitola for doing a survey, which was a part of Social Medicine. He is a heavy man with a pair of heavy lens and so was a much important team member who assumed a central role. His undying smart enthusiasm generated spirited keenness in the rest of the group members and admiration-driven giggles in the few lady medicos who accompanied him. He was mindful of the reactions and every moment tried to be better and do something bigger and worthier.
On the day of which this incident is about, he started exceedingly well reading out questions from the proforma in the native language and getting the right answers from a peasant. It was smooth sailing till he was stymied by one little limitation. He had to ask whether there were rodents in the house and he did not know what a mouse was called in Assamese. The rustic interviewee did not recognize any of the english ‘mouse’, the hindi ‘chuha’, the cleverly described ‘little animal that cats eat’, the elaborately explained ‘animal that runs about here and there in every nook and corner eating grains’, the vaguely characterized, ‘four-legged little one which may be white or black’, any addition of confusing adjectives like ‘smelly’, ‘restless’ or ‘naughty’ or the overly hopeful example of  the television hero ‘Jerry’ and he was thus sweating from trying too much!
He was simply failing and he would have relinquished the job to the Assamese team mates who were there with him. But the latter had loved it from the beginning in enjoyable silence! At last, rather quite despairingly, he could only pray for God’s help and just then, he saw Lord Ganesha’s picture in the calendar hanging from one of the walls. Lord Ganesha was mounted on a mouse just as always! At that point, Mr. Bharat’s index finger could not be restrained from the repetitive jerky gestures at that little animal underneath Lord Ganesha till the illiterate villager exclaimed, ‘Oh, nigoni! Well they are plenty!’ Much excited happiness followed that triumph which he savours even to this day!



Vinay Prajapati said...

✿ :) NICE ✿
गुलाबी कोंपलें

Mayurakshi said...

Gaurav da, this was very funny. I too had suffered similar hilarious lapses in the vocabulary, always in our national language, which I had tagged my nemesis since fifth standard. I am infamous for my blatant 'Hind-mese', justifying it by "if the point gets across, that's enough". I didn't know the word for 'chair' in Hindi till I was ten and told a guest in my uncle's wedding "aap us 'soki' mein baithiye".

As for the Ganesha's rodent companion, I was unaware of it till a long time, and once spent a good ten minutes trying to wipe off the unsightly black blob from a Ganesha statue at our home. Yes, the nigoni!

Gaurav Das said...

Mayurakshi, that was funny! :)