OMG I have lost it.
I have completely lost the ability to pull off a civilised conversation for ten minutes.
My mamaji called yesterday. Now this is the mamaji who was the only one to protest against me taking up the scholarship to come and study in Singapore. I think he thought I would lose my culture and tradition and values and become one of those "bigdi hui NRI chicks" that no one wants as their bahu. I'm actually a bit scared of him, and would like him to believe that I may have changed in certain ways, but I'm still the sweet little girl he knew. Sometimes, I am so eager to make a good impression, it backfires. Take this for example.
His first question, as usual, was "So what's the time there now?"
Only I know how I resisted the urge to say, "Subah ho gayi, mamu!"
Anyway, he told me that his friend's son has received an interview call for a scholarship to study computer engineering here. Mamaji had given his friend my phone number and email address and told them that they could call me with queries.
"Not again!" I was horrified.
Now don't get me wrong here. I don't have a problem with helping people. I only have a problem when I get one of those emails or phone calls asking me how the engineering course here is. I can't tell the truth and I can't lie.
I feel like I am not qualified to answer the question. I have no idea what I learnt in my engineering course. I was never really interested in what I was doing in the course (don't tell my folks, okay?). I made a lot of friends, including seniors and juniors, did tons of ECAs, watched lots of movies and sitcoms. But other than that, if you ask me what I learnt in uni, my mind is a complete blank. My heart was never in engineering. It was always in writing. So after getting my degree, I worked as an engineer for exactly three months, just enough for me to get my Singapore IC. As soon as I got the card, I jumped into children's book publishing, and have stayed there since. My Dad still harbours hopes that maybe some day I will return to engineering.
This afternoon, when Mamaji's friend called, I was in deep deep trouble. Remember the episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S in which Ross got really nervous before a lecture and when he started speaking, this weird fake accent came out and he couldn't get rid of it? The exact same thing happened to me when I got the call. It's been so long since I spoke formally with anyone in my own language, that suddenly outta nowhere, all I could think of as I answered his questions was tapori lingo, which caught my tongue and would not let go.
What made it worse was that I had never heard a guy more polite than him. He was referring to me as 'aap'. Sheesh. So I was actually having two parallel conversations at the same time. Tapori Sayesha was speaking in my head, while dignified Sayesha was answering his questions out loud. One miss and I'd be in trouble. With Mamaji, that too! :O
In other words, waat lag gayi apun ki.
(I won't translate the tapori bits... cos that'd be like dubbing Munnabhai MBBS in English. Utterly bleah.)
Uncle - Hello, is this Sayesha?
Tapori Sayesha - Arre yaar! Apun ka number ghumaya toh apun hi uthayega na? Kya re Uncle, aap bhi...
Dignified Sayesha - Yes, this is Sayesha.
Uncle - I'm Mr XYZ. Your mamaji gave me your number and told me that you would be able to help my son with his questions.
Tapori Sayesha - Ab Mamaji bhi na... aise hi sabko apun ka number shumber de dete hain... police ka koi locha hua na... apun toh jayega na saal do saal ke liye andar? Khair laga hi diya hai toh batao... kisko tapkane ka hai?
Dignified Sayesha - Yes, yes, mamaji told me you'd be calling.
Uncle - Actually my son wants to study engineering in Singapore... and I thought you could help out...
Tapori Sayesha - Kya yaar Uncle, chhokre ko zabardasti engineer banakar hi dum loge? Dharti ka bojh halka karo... akha duniya mein kitna hindustani engineers hain, maloom hain? Truck bhar bhar ke aate hain... Pehle poocho chhokre ko, usko banna hai engineer?? Ya aiseich bol raha hai, aapka dhamki se darke... ya wohi sare friends engineer ban rahe hain... toh tum bhi kood pado... poochha hai usko? Usko cirketer banna mangta hoga, F1 racer banna mangta hoga, Indian idol banna mangta hoga... poochha hai kabhi?
Dignified Sayesha - Sure, no problem.
Uncle - He has received the scholarship interview letter... you know... the same scholarship that you went to Singapore on...
Tapori Sayesha - Apun ko apun ki hi Ramayan mat sunao Uncle, junior ko phone do.
Dignified Sayesha - Yes...
Uncle - So I wanted to ask you... is it a good course?
Tapori Sayesha - Poochh diya na wohi tedha sawaal? Riks (sic) nahin lega apun! Ab kya bolega apun... aaj toh apun ka bad luck hi kharaab hai lagta hai...
Dignified Sayesha - Which course has he got the scholarship for?
Uncle - Computer engineering.
Tapori Sayesha - Apun ka field nahin re... apun ko kuchh maloom nai course kaisa hai... achha hi hoenga... sab nerdy nerdy logon ko dekha hai niklate hue... peti-peti kama rahe hain saare! Toh jhakkaas hi hoenga! Apun ko mat poochho. Apun toh thaan liya... bhookha marega lekin engineering mein waapas nahin jayega.
Dignified Sayesha - Ohh... computer engineering? Well, I don't know much about it... cos I'm from Electronics... the two courses are very different from each other...
Uncle - Hmmm.... but what is your general impression?
Tapori Sayesha - Impression? Aap ka sawaal sunke apun ko depression ho raha hai. Ab kya boley apun... Aap bhi na Uncle... chhokre ko yeh bada computer-shomputer kaiku khareedke diya? Maaloom bhi hai raat ko kya kya karta hai yeh computer par? Junior ko bolo ki computer ka kuchh shareefon wala use karey... university ke website par jaane ka... apun dega url... boley toh link hai... course ke baare mein padhne ka... achha laga toh plane mein baithne ka... warna apun ka desh mein options kam hain kya? Jaake baithe IIT mein... kyun, sahi bola na?
Dignified Sayesha - Uncle, I can give you the url of the university, he can check up more details about the course...
Uncle - They say it's a full scholarship... does it mean that I do not have to pay anything? Is the scholarship enough?
Tapori Sayesha - Apun toh araam se heroine ka mafik raha uni mein chaar saal, fokat ka kamai ka khana khaya, har saal India jaake pani puri khane ka paisa bhi usi mein se aaya... lekin aapka chhokra kaisa hai yeh toh aap hi jaano na... Woh toh aapka chhokra par depend karta hai na... daru bazi karenga toh ghar kaisa jayenga... waise agar usko pura nahin padenga, toh tension nahin lene ka... apun dega na achhe se usko... kharcha pani!
Dignified Sayesha - Uncle, the scholarship will cover his university tuition fees and his hostel fees. Plus, there's a monthly stipend. It will comfortably cover everything, including two trips home every year.
Uncle - Can you talk to him for a while?
Tapori Sayesha - Sab interrogation toh aap kar hi liya... ab third degree bhi kar hi lo... chalo de do bache ko phone...
Dignified Sayesha - Sure, no problem.
Kid - Hi... What will they ask in the interview?
Tapori Sayesha - Osama kahan chhupela hai, yeh poochenge. Arre dhakkan, apun ko kya maloom kya poochenge? Apun ka interview toh aath saal paile tha na... ab wohi cheez thode poochhenge same-to-same... market badal gaya hai, duniya badal gayi hai... supari ka rate kitna badh gaya hai bhidu... aath saal purana baat toh yaad bhi nahin rehta... kya?
Dignified Sayesha - They may ask blah blah... and I think you could read up on blah too... and oh, they lay a lot of stress on blah as well...
Kid - Okay. Thanks.
Tapori Sayesha - Oye shyaane! Thanks baad mein. Char peti pahuncha dena aaj shaam saat baje tak. Abhi tu patli gali se nikal le aur babuji ko phone de.
Dignfied Sayesha - No problems.
Kid passes phone back to Uncle.
Uncle - Sayesha, thanks for your help. I will let you know what happens.. if he gets through, you will take care of him na?
Tapori Sayesha - Aap toh apun ko ekdum hila ke rakh diya re! Chain se apun kholi mein baithela tha aath saal... koi rishtedaar nahin akkha Singapore mein... jo chaha kiya, jo chaha pehna... kabhi koi nahin tha reporting karne ko... khali-peeli apun se yeh big-sister type kaam karwayega?
Aur yeh aapka chikna kis type ka khajoor hai, yeh bhi maloom nahin... danga ya panga karega toh bail ka paisa kaun bharega? Yeh Singaapurr hai Uncle... akhi Mumbai nahin hai ki table ke neeche se note pakdaya aur chhokra baahar... idhar aisa hai na... ki ek baar jo andar gaya, woh bhot time ke liye baahar nahin nikalta... apun kaise guarantee lega batao... apun ko bhi rehna hai ki nahin is shaher mein...
Upar se aapka beta edjusting type hai ki nahin pata nahin... fail-wail nahin hoga na? Aur yahan ka keeda makoda kha payega kya? Ghar par zyada laad pyaar kiya kya, ya kabhi ghumaake do haath gaal par bhi jamaya? Yahan uski waat lagi toh? Chhe saal ka bond hai, bond khatam kiye bina do din mein kalti maarega toh apun kya karega batao?
Phir bhi... tension nahin lene ka... apun hai na... aap apun ka mamaji ka friend hai.. madad karna toh apun ka farz banta hai... hafta bhi aapko pura nahin dena hoga... apun dega na discount... bas Mamaji ko bolna ki unki bhaanji bahut susheel aur sanskari type ki hai... kya? Lekin ek baat warn karta hai apun - yeda logon ki tarah over-acting nahin karne ka... woh kya hai na ki zaroorat se zyada susheel aur sanskari bolega toh woh chhokra logon ka line lagega... boley toh... shaadi ke waaste... pan abhi apun ko settle nahin hone ka... kya?
Dignified Sayesha - Sure, Uncle. Not to worry. And oh, you can call me again if you have anything else to ask.
Tapori Sayesha to dignified Sayesha - Aye item, tere ko woh last wala line bolna bhot zaroori tha kya?
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
OMG I have lost it.