Another Uncle

He asked,”where is doctor Tyagi?” The other  doctors replied” He’s at your service  sir!”, “Down there!”. Then he asked,”Would you people like to hear a poem?” The doctors had no other option; and so…. they said Yes! I can’t recollect the whole mumble jumble but the last lines said, “Yeh dil bhi kaisa dil hai jo paththar na ho saka”(which can be somewhat translated to, Oh this heart is so unique that it couldn’t go numb!).

Believe me all this was happening in the operation theater! And that’s how my friend’s father is. He is courageous,he is fun, sometimes child-like and at other times childish!

He was under the influence of spinal anesthesia and lower half of his body was numb.He was touching it at different points and that poem was according to his analysis of the situation!

Uncle had developed some problem with his prostate.  For a better treatment, he had been referred to Delhi by the doctors of his home town. And so he came to Delhi,with catheter, a urine bag and a lot of pain. He had tried everything from homeopathy to physiotherapy,but nothing at home seemed to help. I think it even increased his problems, because massaging the prostate is fun, but its never a good idea!

He was in terrible pain,so we wanted a quick solution to his problems. He was adamant that we should seek advice only from AIIMS. On the other hand we didn’t want to get entangled in the bureaucratic treatment of that government hospital. It was difficult for us to make him realize that everyone surrounding him was concerned about his well being. He was afraid that we would commit some mistake and it would cost him dearly. ( for your info he was surrounded by the smartest kids of the nation, and I am excluding myself from this list out of sheer humility :P)

Being a professor he was incurably curious. He could ask 369 questions before you take the next breath. 369 is just a rough estimate,I could never count, I prefer breathing all the time. Many a time it felt like a viva-voce. You never knew what was coming next. Once,he asked me to convert his height from centimeters to inches.

If it looks OK to you then think it my way,he is 61 years old,and his height would have been constant since, at least last 40-45 years.Therefore according to me he either knew the answer or the question was irrelevant .

He got his weight checked twice in the hospital. First, when he was going for an MRI but stumbled upon the weighing machine. He was 68 kgs. Few hours later the nurse came and asked for his weight, and innocently he inquired if they had a weighing machine. 🙂

We went  together but this time before weighing, he asked me how full was the urine bag. He wanted me to subtract that much weight from the reading of the machine. Next, he said, “Its winters so my clothes must be weighing around 2 kilograms”,subtract that weight too! Now tell me,have you ever weighed yourself without clothe and empty bladder? Who in the world does that? Even the boxers wear boxers while weighing themselves before a fight!

He wanted to give the doctors his perfect weight by subtracting an arbitrary number as the weight of his clothes!

This may infuriate you; But my dear uncle it was Childish!

This blog will not end if start talking about his life long love for sweets and his 13 year old diabetes…… I am just signing off !!

Kalakaar

Last time I was home I heard that voter IDs are being made at the cost of Rs 150. I was angry,but later heard they’ll give the ID the next day. Thinking it to be some kind of “Tatkaal” scheme I went to the election commission’s office,realizing, it was a rumor to dupe.

But what happened on the way was much more interesting than all the “Kanooni kaarwaai “!

As soon as I left my house, an acquaintance of mine,who was on scooter,inquired where was I going? While I was replying to him,he kept on moving! He stopped about 50 meters away. After he clarified it was due to the brakes of his scooter,he asked me, if I wanted a lift.

The answer was not the obvious no,for,I  knew at his maximum speed,he can at the most annoy some but not hurt anyone. My mother always says,he’s a gossip monger and people should stay away from him. But,I thought,what could be better than a loquacious company on a lonely journey. I sat on the back seat of his scooter and waited for him to start. He said no word for the first 15 minutes and i did not disturb him in his tryst with silence.

The scooter was very slow,even with the standards of a small town. A rickshaw overtook us! I saw  one of my school teachers who was quite old even when we were in school and now, it was more than 10 years ago. This led to a series sudden of flash-backs and I couldn’t resist myself from saying, “that’s my school teacher!” And he replied, yes, I know her, she used to be a “KALAKAAR” during her times. The word generally translates to Artistic or an artist but I knew this was not what he meant. If she had been that kind of Kalakaar I would have known this in the past 10 or 15 years. Soon he clarified as a matter of factl, ”Yea,she had many affairs” and “things…” ,”of that sort…”

I couldn’t believe my ears. First of all,because we are trained to respect our teachers but more of because I didn’t trust the guy. And who would have liked to hear about the affairs of a lady,whose face now looks more or less like a molten candle.

Irrespective of whatever I thought, he went on and on….thankfully he dropped me to my destination. He wasn’t finished by then!

Later I  tried to verify whatever he said. And its really strange to know, that he was correct to a large extent. All I knew about my teacher was that she was married to a scientist,who later married another scientist and ditched her without divorcing! It was painful,she had a daughter to take care of. Her monetary condition was not very good and thus she was a primary school teacher.

But it was a bad turn of events in her life. Once she was a beautiful teen studying in an English medium ICSE board school. To be specific,she was a Carmelite in 60s. Which tells a lot about the modern outlook of her family and parents. The population of the town would not have been more than 10,000 at that time. And she was the most sought after female of her times. She was once proposed by a pauper(That guy’s eldest brother used to pull our rickshaw to the school ). It is not clear whether she liked the guy ,but the proposal was struck off by her parents. For reasons that are obvious.

Later on, she had to drop her schooling for reasons unknown and she couldn’t complete her education( that’s why she could teach only in a private school,up to primary level). The scientist first went for her beauty but soon got wary of the idea of having an under educated wife for his whole life. So, he married another scientist! The other guy who proposed her,was of the other kind. He worked really hard and went on to become a “mechanic”. He opened a garage in front of her house and repaired every thing,except ,”broken hearts”. He did not marry all his life. And stayed close to his beloved.

Before I left home,I went to see him. He was still there,repairing a bike. What dedication to a misplaced commitment!

I thought,the poor lady never had a good choice infront of her. Whether with an uncommitted scientist or a committed mechanic, she was never a KALAKAAR….