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.


lakshmi said...

Interesting post

Ugich Konitari said...

What a wonderful narrative with all those pieces of information about how our body handles these new afflictions ....Thank you for posting this...

Lazyani said...

Very nicely informed and what an experience. The panic due to this flu is overdone and more harmful than the disease itself.

But thank God that you are a normal human being again:)

manju said...

Great way of narrating your experience and also giving information about Swine flu!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

I loved the way in which you blended anecdote, fact and a little bit of fiction. But it is a relief that you are back to 'ordinariness' again.

Episode 8 is up for display on my blog, so it is your turn now.

Little Girl Lost said...

:D you have the most bizzare experiences pradip da.

am back. hope to be more regular now.

Sharmila said...

That was quite an experience .. people running away from you just because of one sneeze. :-) But how could you chew on a raw plant without even checking it out? Could have been worse.

Babli said...

Nijer obhigota ke khub sundor bhabe likhechhen. Khub bhalo laglo pore r onek kichhu janteo parlam. Apnar prottekta lekha oshadharon. Ei flu ta eto shanghatik oshukh je shobairi khub bhoy. Durdanto likhechhen r apnar next episode er opekhhay roilam.

Lazyani said...

Template ta besh hoyechey . Tobae chhobir pashey aekta tagline thakley shorbango shundor hotho.

Pradip Biswas said...

I thank all of you. But it is a work of fiction. A little thing actually happened and rest was expanded.

Silence Sings said...

Hi Pradip, thanks for visiting my blog and for the inspiring comment you made there....Pls do visit again...

I am joining to your following list to come later and read your blog..right now I am in a lil bit hurry...But would love to go thru your posts.....Thanks again...

Little Girl Lost said...

Pradip da,
don't know how to get in touch with you. I am now writing at this blog

please visit me here. Also, If you like the blog please become a follower.

Indrani said...

Wow! Wonderful hilarious expansion to that small incident. :)