Sunday, August 16, 2009


His name is Birju Swain, some says Sain ji and others as "Swine" to tease him and his wife. They have a push-cart, selling Tea only and occasionally " Beson Bhunjia". A small board swings continually Swain's Fly Tea Cart to avoid any trouble from the Estate department of Mining Colony and Police.

This shop is seen daily, near the township Park from 5-30A.M to 7.00A.M and then in the Interstate Bus Stand till evening. His shop is very famous and outsells all other tea cart's although at present he is facing a whispering campaign "Swine flu Chai Dukkan" just by twisting the name of this Tea cart.

He sells varieties of teas. Traditional CTC tea boiled in Milk, Steaming hot water sprayed on tea stainer containing tea leaves and special Herbal black tea. The last variety is prepared with Tulsi-adrak-Basak and fresh Honey. With the spread of the rumor of Swine Flu this tea is now in hot demand.

To counter the whispering campaign by his competitors to day he has hung another Ad ' For 4 cups of tea and 1 plate Giloua( गिलौया)Pakoda, only one face mask free'. A famous Yoga Baba advised in TV that Chewing Giloua stems can save you from Swine Flu. The purpose of giving this Ad was perhaps chew Giloua Pakoda and combined with Face mask, do not Panic and throng as many numbers as you can near my Tea Shop. There shall be no spread of this deadly disease.

I asked for 4 cups for me and my friends. While tasting the Pakoda one of my friend told" have you seen ...Baba advising chewing the stem of this herb? I heard this is available in the forest. Can you get me one?" My site is inside a deep forest and I go there daily. I said " I do not know this herb. My friends gave me one during morning walk in the Park but I think I have now some throat problem? " गले में खराश? यू हवे sore throat " Coincidentally I have some difficulty with drinking hot herbal tea and I coughed.

This was a peak rush hour and people near me overheard me . Before I could look back, the crowd near the Tea shop melted thin and disappeared. Some people snatched some face mask without any order. The couple gave me a deadly look only. The lady threw a couple of masks although I deserved only one.

My friends separated at a far distance from me and yelled" Dr. Biswas, go to your house and stay there only and use the mask." News particularly rumors spray here more than supersonic speed and I saw that before reaching my residence.

I was reaching near to my residence and could identify my wife who was waiting anxiously at the gate. She prepared some mask last night for the children's drama for the Independence day programme and picked up the funniest one to place on her otherwise beautiful face to save herself.

Whether up to the specified micron thickness or not after all this is a mask and a must wear when the most absent minded creature of the world she ever saw( this is my decoration ever since my marriage) is the first patient of the colony.

She opened the gate, at that time a phone call saved me from the german'Gestapo' type interrogation. Doctor Chaturvedi a reputed senior Physician with a roaring practice was calling " Dr. Biswas tell Mrs Biswas to prepare those Nice Mughlai Parathas for me. I have few patients right now but I shall be at your residence positively within half an hour. "

With mask on, I communicated this to "her highness". The news of his arrival made her relieved. She pointed that armchair for me and left for kitchen. Well thank You Doctor for saving me from Immediate trouble but I understood your message. If you come to my chamber I shall loose 10-20 patients for the day. It is better to have a visit fee along with Mughlai Paratha. It is true, she makes one of the best Mughlai Paratha in this colony.

An hour later when I opened the gate for him his first words were
"Remove that mask and let me have a look at you."

He pulled a chair and sat beside me and started checking me.
" Since when you had that throat trouble?"
" An hour before. I am now feeling as if few needles are pricking my throat."
" You have a clear chest. But that smell in your esophagus ... Did you eat any thing, any chewable thing"
With my elephant's memory(I have a body like that also) I tried to scan well beside that herbal tea ..." well I chewed some Gioloua from the Park."
" Are you sure that was Giloua and why did you chew that?"
I refereed to that Tv Show in a News Channel prescribed by a Yogi Baba for a prevention cum cure for Swine Flu.

" Do you have a sample of that?"
I fished out from my pocket and showed to him. He covered that with a tissue paper and threw it to the dustbin.
" Never Mind Dr. Biswas. I know that herb. This one is not Gilloua. The one you chewedis diiferent and you are allergic to that. Your tongue and esophagus have been affected. Who else collected that?"

I answered " a lot many who claimed to know that collected from a corner of the Park. I followed them. They also chewed that."
" I may have few more patients like you if they are not immune to that herb."

My wife arrived with the the trolley, the aroma of Mughlai Paratha broke the dam of saliva and filled the mouths of both of us. . She studied our face reactions and appeared to be relived.

"Good Morning Mrs. Biswas. I have good News for you. This is a simple case of throat allergy. Will you please pass that Tamarind sauce to Dr. Biswas?"
My wife unwillingly passed that to me. " Take a spoonful of that and pass it slowly through your mouth"
Within a minute that needle pricking reduced.
Doctor Chaturbedi said" Are you better now?"
" Oh ! yes now somewhat better than before. "
Doctor Chaturvedi handed me a small vial of Physician's sample " If I may use your wash room then we may proceed. Myself for washing my hand before having these Parathas and you may gurgle a bit with this medicine."

Putting the tap waters at full speed I whispered to Doctor" Thank for not disclosing that chewing episode to her."
He whispered back" I saw her yesterday buying new Broomsticks " We both laughed loud and heard the ringing of bangles behind the door. May be with the sound of tap water she heard only our laughs.

When I returned, Doctor Chaturvedi finished one Partha and was enjoying the remaining half of another Paratha with a dash of homemade sauce. My wife was insisting for another but he refused." Another time Madam. My patients are waiting."
"Well Doctor if you may please spare few moments"
" Yes go on but till I receive another call from my assistants in my Chamber"
" How were you so sure that I am not having that disease?"
" Trade secrets. But I may tell you we observe certain physical symptoms. When an unknown virus infects your body the immune systems are on the full swing action drawing more energy from the body. People usually limp or spit throwing out the dead cells forming mucus on the throat.On my arrival the way you got up and opened the gates for me, your physical reactions do not suggest that. I checked further and found the system of your body working at normal pace and then I detected those marks of allergy. I tell you one thing. Children, senior persons and persons already having some illness of are more prone to this attack of new virus. Because their immune system is already engaged with fighting out the existing and have less energy to fight for a new arrival and that too unknown."
I asked " what is so special about this unknown?"

Doctor Chaturvedi replied" When Cholera, Typhoid was new, many people died. As time passed, the defence mechanism identified the germs and produced 'Antibody'. This virus is new, with time, body shall identify this virus and keep the required antibody prepared. The virus itself is not very strong. It may affect only the people, whose defense mechanism is already weak and most unlikely for you to become an easy prey. What is required is not to panic and get treated by a Doctor and not taking any unidentified object for Chewing as you did."

As he was opening the door of his car I saw a vehicle marked 'PRESS' stopped. I know these people, they are from the local news channel "Dainik Tehlka". My news of H1N1 virus attack spread well.

Upon being discouraged by the Doctor, they left immediately. I was an object of tremendous 'News Value" being the first case of Swine flu and an attractive material fit for a Front Page story. But Now I am just an ordinary simple man.

Thursday, August 13, 2009




( This is one of my sweet memory of boyhood days narrated in a story form. The actual names of the characters are changed)

Unlike others, they come back home from school not in the crowded school bus but through a shortcut and reach township only little later than the Bus.

The journey on foot is more exciting to them and provided more pleasures and mischief. Today is one such day.

The four boys are Shyam, Nitya, Deva and Kartik. They yell and shout so much that people crossing them and living in the houses falling on their path know their names.

Right now, they are crossing a lane. A big garden-house, surrounded by barbed walls and a long front gate is on that lane. The house-owner visits frequently from the adjoining town .A caretaker, whose eyes are always red as an after-effect of drinking “Bhaang”, looks after the house. His afternoon siesta hours coincide with the return timings of these boys.

The gangue of four now looked at the empty guava trees and sighed so high that few leaves from the tree fell to the ground.

Deva said" Only yesterday this tree, near the boundary, was full with guavas. We only picked up just six of them"

Nitya said angrily " That toothless 'Maali' ( Gardener)must have sold all the guavas to buy 'Bhang 'for his siesta"

Shyam and Kartik now angrily threw few stones, which failed to break his sleep but his new "desi" dog barked loudly and came near the big long gate.

The closed tall gate assured them all the protection and they made some ill postures making the dog to bark more loudly. That was sufficient to disturb the intoxicated afternoon siesta of the gardener cum watchman.

He came limping near the gate giving the boys time enough to hide near the other sides of the wall. Finding none, the dormant “Vesuvius” in him became active through his mouth venting out the filthiest possible swears in Hindi. The boys enjoyed the violent reactions of him from their hideout. The watchman and his dog disappeared.

Nitya said "One of you take out your color pencil box. I have an idea. I read a notice of the house owner at the front wall just near the gate. That needs to be amended." The notice was written with deep orange color in bold captions.

" TO LET .

Nitya took out a matching color pencil and filled the gap between To and Let with an appropriate Vowel. After reading the 'corrected' version of the notice, they laughed loudly and left quickly.

Near the adjoining crossing, Shyam said " Stop here for a moment. Look, Satya and his group have just arrived. This notice was hanging in the gate yesterday, nobody read. Now see they are looking at the empty trees and reading the notice ( the notice now read as TOILET....)"

"Aare Deva! Look, Satya and party took the notice seriously and they are performing an appropriate action."

They were sure of future recurrence of this activity by the next team arriving shortly. Who knows even elders passing this garden house may also join? Why should the 'Malli' fellow eat these guavas all alone? Let him smell the stink also.

They are now entering the township. Before dispersing to respective houses Shyam and Nitya sat on a twin seat at the Bus stand as if just like all other 'good boys' they also just came down from the Bus and taking a rest.

Shyam was looking minutely at the garden of one residential Quarter. Few corns are hanging down the fence. "The uncle- auntie of that house left for a walk. Nitya, these corns should not go waste. Let us pick them. The gardeners in the park have now put fire on the garbage. That is the best place to roast them. Who wants those Maggie's every day?"

The boys picked a good number of Corns. They peeled the green leaves of corns and threw the green leaves deliberately just near the gate. Uncle and Auntie after their return from their walk may make loud " Hai- hai" and they may enjoy the same from the Park.

The uncle and auntie of that house instead of entering the house changed their mind. Frustrating the boys, the couple decided to take a rest in the park. The boys sat under a tree and opened their school bags. They posed as very sincere students who started their home works before entering their house. They have to wait for the couple to leave the park and approach near their residence to discover the missing corns. Auntie has a shrill voice. It is a worthwhile waiting to enjoy the “Hai- hai” performance coming out of her large open mouth.

Shyam said " do you know the simile.. for Kitchen?"

Deva Said "Pantry"

" Are you sure Deva? Mam shall beat us if it is wrong."

" I am sure. That is the place where Moms of every House tries some thing on Pans."

" Most of which are boring like Maggie's?"

" I do not Know my friend."