First, we moved past one lakh twenty five thousand tics.
Second, I tried hard, but could not do justice to this story in English. Hence I have kept the Hindi lingo and provided the English translations.
bhOndOO feels terrified to see a missed call from Daadi. She is his grand father’s sister and the eldest member in the family. She stays in a village and has some goats to look after. bhOndOO has bought her a mobile and taught her how to use it — by asking someone to dial the number. She is the terror in bhOndOO’s family since she scolds anybody and everybody, that too on anything. She loves bhOndOO a lot and vice versa, although she doesn’t spare even bhOndOO of the scolding. Looking at the missed call, bhOndOO knows that he has committed a crime by not picking up the call and is bound to get the scolding. He calls back.
“Kaun hai?” Who is it?
“Daadi, this is bhOndOO.”.
“Kahan mar gaya tha?” Why didn’t you pick up my call?
“I… I… was just…”.
“Thik se bol.” Talk clearly.
“The mobile was on silent mode, Daadi.”.
“Silent mode maane?”.
“Maane, I could not hear the voice of the mobile ringing.”.
“Kyun! Kaan mein tel daala raha kya!”. Have you poured oil in your ears?
“No Daadi. Sorry Daadi.”
“Sorry Daadi! Sorry ke alava kuch aaye hai tum logonko!” Do you know anything other than saying sorry!
bhOndOO kept quiet.
“Angrez chale gaye aur ye sorry chhod gaye!” The British rulers left the notion of Sorry in India.
bhOndOO continued to keep quiet.
“Ab kuch bolega bhi! Phone baat karne ke liye kharida raha ya chup rahne ke liye!” Now speak up. Phone is for talking.
“Achchaa, chal bata kahan hai?”. Where are you?
“I am at my workplace, Daadi.”
“Tu kaam pe lag gaya? Tere baap ne to kuch bataya nahi!”. You joined a job? Your father didn’t tell me!
“No Daadi. I am in the institute, working.”.
“Haan to aisa bol na! Khwam khwah tere baap ko meri baatein sunani padati.”. I see. Otherwise, your father would have had to listen to my scolding.
bhOndOO smiles, but the smile lasts only for a few moments.
“Tabhi main sochu, tujhme itni akal kahan se aa gayi ki tu job karega. Pachchees saal ka ghoda ho gaya hai aur abhi bhi padhai poori nahi kar paya! Kamayega kab? Daant toont jayenge tab!”. When will you start working?
“No Daadi. I have completed three years, I will finish PhD in next two years.”, bhOndOO said proudly.
“Maane, currently I am in twenty first standard. As soon as I finish twenty third, I will start earning.”.
“Tab tak kya baap pe bojh bana rahega!”. You will be dependent on your father until then!
bhOndOO didn’t dare talk about his scholarship, least he would receive further scolding.
“Aur wo chori pass hoye rahi kya? Kya naam hai uska?”. Did she pass? What is her name?
“Shami… Which chori Daadi?”.
“Wohi jo mere pair chuye rahi pichle saal jab main aaye rahi tere college ma.”. The same girl who touched my feet last year when I came to your college.
“Not yet Daadi. She will pass this year.”, a shy smile appeared on bhOndOO’s face when he continued, “Her name is Shami.”.
“Hmmm… Waise tu kar kya raha tha?” By the way, what were you busy with?
“I was simply surfing the net…”.
“Maane, I was reading.”.
“Kya padhe hai tu?” What were you reading?
“I was reading friends’ diaries.”.
“Kya? Tu dostonki diariya padhe hai! Sharam nahi aaye hai towe!” You were reading friends’ diaries! How could you do that!
“No Daadi. These diaries are on the internet. These are meant to be read by friends.”.
“Menu samjhi nahi.”. I didn’t understand.
“See Daadi.”, and bhOndOO got into the teaching mode, “If we are in trouble or want to discuss something, we talk to friends, right?”.
“To phir?”. Daadi never responds with “Right.”.
“Similarly, internet gives us the ability to express our opinion in public. We can write about anything, about our advisors, about stock market, about our goats, about our village, about our Daadi, anything. Not only that, even our friends can give us their opinions on our thoughts. Thus, if your goat is ill, they can mention the nearest doctor to go to. This not only allows us to bring out our thoughts, but also to analyze those in the eyes of others. It helps build our personality, Daadi. And it keeps us in touch with our friends — always — irrespective of which corner of the world we are in. Further, it helps you build new friends. Thus, if someone else writes a diary on the internet on an interesting topic, you can become his friend and start discussing with him — without ever meeting him. And after some days, you can go back and read your own diary to experience your own past.”.
bhOndOO took a breathe before deciding whether further explanation is required. Daadi’s statement clean bowled him.
“To itna ghuma phira ke kyun baat kar raha hai? Seedhe seedhe bol na ke blog padh raha tha.”. Then why are you talking about it in an indirect manner? Say directly that you were reading a blog.