In My Lifetime - I
Shehjar Series from anectdotes narrated by the educationist Brij K. Dass
Humor is inherent in life. It should not take a sage to understand this. Brij K. Dass’s anecdotal humor with banter, satire, exaggerations, wisecracks and ready wit make us see this truth. From this issue forward, till we can, Shehjar will run a series titled In My Lifetime, quoting anecdotes narrated by the renowned educationist.
For the well-being of all, no real people or names are being referenced or referred to in these anecdotes and identities or profiles quoted may be considered imaginary.
|Seer gatchya bavun saanes yi natea kya vanya beganasyi.
(A secret must be shared with real human beings, otherwise what to tell to a stranger)
Ya gachi tramus soan banun Natea kiho Niamo Noan vanun.
(Either copper must turn into gold, otherwise Niama what is fun in saying thetruth)
* Niamea Sabh has been a great kashmiri poet
We may share a secret with a stranger, if he is a good human being; otherwise why to disclose our cards to a stranger? If my advice bears fruit, it is nothing short of converting copper into gold. Otherwise what is the fun in telling you the naked truth?
Brijdass chu venan lasiv te basiv.
B K Dass
In the valley, I recall,
i) A bull would turn mad when street urchins would call him “Jumma tean”. The bull would demolish compound walls of many houses and cause damages to many. The street urchins used to enjoy the lunatic behaviour of the bull.
ii) One tonsured lunatic was called aanchar. He would hurl all the abuses, pelt stones and go ten steps ahead and five steps in retreat to chase the street urchins enjoying him.
iii) One tonga walla, because of his out dated tonga, his mare and his attire was shouted at “Alie Duel” He would in return hurl all slang in refined way.
iv) In Jammu, also there was a black bull at Panjtirthi. He would become mad when some one would shout “Kaley dhi oaie” at him. Damages caused by him would be colossal.
Though all the above entertainers have vanished, but internet seems to have taken care of the vacuum and replaced them adequately.
Bambie Cha Aasmaan
Ramzana on his return from Mumbai, used to change his coolie attire at Qazigund and wear a longie to look unlike others. For a week’s time, to impress others, he would visit Maqbool barber’s shop for a daily shave and a hamam bath. All other customers would wait for his arrival and listen to his narration. Rehman was one of the patient listeners.
Ramzan: “Do you know; Mumbai was earlier called Bombaie. It is a city on the shore of the Indian Ocean.”
Rehmana: “What is Ocean?”
Ramzana: “Ocean is a vast endless water body.”
Rehman: “Is it as big as our Dal?”
Ramzana: “It is much bigger than the Dal. Buildings are multi storied.
I live at the twentieth floor. Mumbai is live twenty-four hours. I generally travel in a double decker bus. Local trains are always over crowded. People like you can’t board such over crowded running trains…………”
Rehmana: “Have you ever seen Hema Malini, Saira Bano, Dileep Kumar
Ramzana: “Oh! All of them live in my close neighbourhood. At times we exchange our dishes. This time Amitabachan has asked me for hogardea and pharie (Dry fish and the roasted fish).”
Rehmana with a deep breath: “Ramzana Bambie cha aasman (Is there any sky in Mumbai)?”
Ramzana: “People have little time to look for it.”
Rehmana: “Being at the twentieth floor, the sky must be very close to you. You must be having association with heavenly bodies.” Inflated Ramzana “It is only your love that brings me back to you.”
It was too late when Ramzana realized that all the listeners including Rehmana were making a fool of him. His gossip was thereafter called ‘Ramzanenie pharie’. My friend Dr. R C Dhar professor of Chemistry would often counter a gossip monger and say: “Hie Bambie cha aasman?” 1996, I along with my daughter boarded a bus from Dadhar to Anushakti Nagar. My daughter asked me to look upwards through the window of the bus. I asked: “Why?” She answered: “Let you ascertain if there is any sky. Dr. R C Dhar will definitely pose you this question.”
Ankhoon Dekhi of FIL; DIL; SIL; MIL; BIL
Father-in-law=FIL; Daughter-in-law=DIL; Brother-in-law=BIL; Sister-in-law=SIL
This is rebuke of some Kashmiri Pandit fathers-in-law to their daughters-in-law, where I have been witness. I share it with you. It is a mirror. Kindly ensure that it does not fit your image.
1. Whenever the pretty DIL pased by, the FIL used to strike his forehead with his right hand and with a deep sigh say: “Karmea likhaie namaskar. Graduate nechuve osum pethea accutandi hondh mulazim. Ketie ketie aasum amis neiter kethea yevan adhea kermea lekhaie namaskar (Namaskar to my destiny. He was my graduate son and above all an employee of AG’s Office.
How many nice offers I had for his marriage, but to my destiny, I have to bow.)”
1. FIL to his DIL “Mey maie hav ye malie sundh athea marlie makanea. kashirie haie oas mey amie khotea boad bathroom (Don’t show me your father’s house on eight marla plot. In the valley my bathroom was bigger in size).” The FIL was a retired gazetted officer and the DIL was a senior lecturer.
2. FIL to DIL: “Mey chimaie malis dulus nish pansea retimetie?”(Have I received any money from your bloody father)?” FIL is retired Chief Engineer from some Public sector undertaking and father of a senior most central government officer.
3. FIL to his DIL; “Malia telephone gachie majburi manzei keruen. Malis khabur atur prechuenea hubhi gav telephonuk misuse karun(Use telephone judiciously & only in case of emergency. Asking father about his welfare is misuse of telephone).” FIL was a retired senior most Police Officer and the DIL was a law graduate. And the same FIL would not hesitate to make long STD calls from his friend’s telephone.
4. Senior most Gazetted Officer, SIL, then unmarried had made an attempt to slap and abuse her MSc. Sister-in-law married to a senior most Central Govt. Officer. A little bit of resistance and retaliation chiseled the arrogant and set the house in order.
5. FIL to his DIL: “Be haie zanaie seth perie………(I know your seven generations).” I can’t reveal the rest
6. One FIL went abroad. Little knowing the strict law of the land, he tried to show his authority as a strict FIL. Prudence saved him narrowly from imprisonment and other repercussions.
I restrain to write further. Let you fill the blanks. Luckily, being father of two daughters, God has made me humble and saved me from being one amongst the few arrogant FILs.
'Asi Sharma Hondhay Nee'
1969, besides government job with the Moving office, I had some transport business. To avoid slack period, I used to manipulate and manage route permit for winter capital Jammu during winter months along with the Darbar Move and for the summer capital, Srinagar during summer months. 1971, manipulation did not work and route permit for Srinagar was refused. All sources of influence and recommendations to mould the rule exhausted. Finally the triumph card ‘Asi Sharma Hondhay nee worked’.
I managed a word from the late Lala Tirth Ram Amla (Member Raj Sabha) through a friend of mine for the then Transport Commissioner, the late Ganshyam Sharma Ji, who finally retired as the Chief Secretary of J&K State. Mr. Ambardar was the stenographer to the Commissioner. Appointment with the Commissioner was to be sought through Mr. Ambardar. He let me go in with the advice that any effort on the subject was a futile exercise.
Already briefed by Lala Ji, the Commissioner mistook me for a Jammuite and said: “Here in the valley, local people will not let you work smoothly.” I got him and said: “Sir, I speak their language more fluently and they shall fail to differentiate.” Sharma Sahib said in Dogri: “Tus koan Hondhay ho” (wanted to know whether I am Gupta, Manhas, Sharma, Chib…..)? Those days, I had fresh memory of the surname of my Jammuite classmates in the University (1963-65). Some were Guptas and some Sharmas and some Manhas..). God helped me and I spontaneously bounced back with his surname only and said: “Sir, asi Sharma Hondhay nee.” Sharma Sahib, placed his pen in the penholder, lost in reveries, rested his face on his right palm, looking at me, said: “Jammu kuth rendhay ho (Where do you live in Jammu)?” With little acquaintance with the Geography of Jammu, my Maha Ganesh again came to my rescue and the prompt response: “O Mahra, Puntirthi nukar tay (Sir, there at the corner of Puntirthi).”
Without a second thought, Sharma Sahib returned to his normal posture, picked up his pen, and wrote ‘permitted’ and signed. I heaved a sigh of relief. Despite my exchange of words economically, I was nervous lest my Dogri dialect should expose me. Next moment I was out of his chamber and to Mr. Ambardar’s.
Mr. Ambardar said in surprise: “How was it?” I said : “Asi Sharma Hondhay Nee.” In India caste card is the only card that beats even the three Aces. Kashmiri Hindu is too weak a card!
Hot summer days of 1960, at eleven in the night Bansi Lal Raina hadcome out for a stroll at Kania Kadal crossing. Those days a few household had the privilege of owning a radio set. Rahman Panwala with short nose was nicknamed as Rehman Mukea. His pan shop was at the KaniyaKadal-Habba Kadal-Tankipora crossing. The shop used to be open till late hours to serve drunkards and last show cine-goers. Radio with Ceylon station facilities was an attraction for the youth and the teenagers around. It was almost a nightclub.
Bansi Lal in his teens was courageous unlike others from the community. He had already earned a name for diving from Habba Kadal Bridge into the River Jehlum. Godmea kone, Rahman Antea, Shaban Kalea, Ghulam Danea, Sonea Kuti were some of the goons who had spread their notorious name to frighten others. Their jurisdiction was Tankipora, Habba Kadal-either side, Karfali Mohalla and across Kanya Kadal.
Seeing Bansi Lal at 11 PM near Rahman Muka’s pan shop enjoying Binnaca Geetmala from Ceylon Station, dead drunk Rahman Antea in his thirties tried to take liberty with Bansi Lal. Before his stretched hand could reach Bansi Lal’s cheek, Bansi Lal played boxing and delivered a forceful head strike(Tholea) on the onetime invincible Rehman Anta’s forehead. A deep and a long piercing scream “Majaie Mudus haie” came out and Rehmana with bandaged head was released from the SMHS Hospital the next day. Rehman Antae lost his notorious name and Bansi Lal assumed a new name as Banea Tholea.
Thereafter no one dared to take Bansi Lal for granted. All goons were scared of the name and not to speak of the person in self. After his assumed name he could not retain the original one. For his many other virtues I love, admire and salute Bansi Lal.
*B K Dass, a wanderer in exile at 73 from Jammu.
I was born to my parents late Pundit Madho Dass and Rajrani (Sanpekuj) at Zaindar Mohalla Srinagar, Kashmir. I am told that I was born on 19th February 1939 on an inauspicious day as per the astrologers of the time. I graduated degree final through S P College Srinagar, in the year 1960. Until 1961, I worked as a Government teacher partly at Zainapore Shopian and partly at Verinagh High School in 60-5-100 grade @ Rs.96/ pm. 1962, I joined as UDC at AG’s office and the salary was almost four times. Though lifetime dream had come true, but I resigned in August ‘63 to improve upon my academics. 1963-65, I again enjoyed the student life at Mathematics Department of J&K University, Naseem Bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir. 1965-66, I completed B.Ed through the Teachers’ Training College Srinagar. 1966, I joined Statistical Department and 1975, I bade goodbye to the Government job. March 1973 onwards I am associated with M Dass Public Schools to pursue my passion for teaching. Gardening, photography and writing my episodes of life is my hobby.
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I will now be waiting for more anecdotes from Dass Ji. Liked these episodes.
Added By Shyam Lal Razdan
Very nostalgic indeed.Keep it up, Dass sahib.I just wanted to clarify that 'Alie Dul' used to be a taunt for a tonga with wobbly wheels. God bless U.
Added By vijay zadoo
Very nostalgic indeed. I only wanted to clarify that 'Alie Dul' used to be a taunt for a tonga with highly wobbly wheels. Keep it up and God bless U, Das sahib.
Added By vijay zadoo
namaskar sir. I have studied at M Dass public school since my childhood and you used to teach us mathematics at chotte bazar in 1990 when i was in 9th standard and what wonderful days they were.you havent mentioned the story of bakra you used to tell us in our class when he was beaten by both shers and bakras .we really laughed at that story and thanks for all the smiles you have showered on us .pay my regards to jiga madam,pinky madam,lucky madam and akhil.
Added By Ashfaq khan