South Asian Humor: Bhishma Kukreti
In our childhood, my cousin Chandu Bhaiji dreamt for the modern life in Mumbai and I dreamt for a college teacher in rural Garhwal. However, that happened the opposite. He is a lecturer in an Inter college nearby my village and I do job in Mumbai.
Before mobile of telephone came, we used to share our experiences through letters not through post office but through our area men going to area villages from Mumbai or coming to Mumbai from villages. Most of the time, I tell my memories of village life of my childhood and he tells the tales of my village achieving modernity.
Like other day, he gave miss call on my mobile, I called him again and he said, "Bhishma! Now, our village achieved fifty percent modernity."
Happily I asked," That is fine. What is new achievement?"
Chandu Bhaiji answered," This year on Vasant Panchmi, we stopped putting Hariyali on upper part of doors."
I said, "That's fine. By the way, what is about common toilets for villagers?'
He said, "No I don't think we shall get grant for the common toilets for the villagers. The government is asking fifty rupees from each family and nobody is ready for such a useless utility for this money."
Another day, he gave a miss call, I called him and he said," Bhishma! We got the fifty five percent modernity in my village. From this year, we villagers stopped celebrating Makar Samkranti but started celebrating Valentine day. And even the older men and women enjoyed Valentine day celebration. Really valentine day is very enjoyable festival. By starting Valentine day celebration, we progressed two percent in achieving modernity and by stopping Makar Samkranti celebration, we got three percent achievement in progressing towards modernity in our village "
I asked," Bhaiji! Is there any progress for Patti Water Canal? If that water canal would be completed, the whole area would be irrigated "
He answered, "No! Nobody in the area is interested to bring irrigation canal because, canal means agriculture, horticulture and both are the sign of non-modernity. We all villagers are now, bent to reach hundred percent modernity in each village"
Like that after getting his miss call, I called him and asked, "Bhaiji ! What happened electrification in the area?"
He answered with enthusiastically, "Nobody is interested in electrification because, electricity bills are more than burden on us. But we got progress by five percent in achieving modernity. From this year, we villagers stopped celebrating First Day of Shak Sambat or Goodi Padiva and by that we could attain three percent progress in achieving modernity This year only, we stated celebrating Christian new year on thirty fist December and first January. We all enjoyed Christian New Year eve by taking alcoholic drinks by all including women folks of villages and we all danced whole night. Christian New year is better than our Hindu new year celebration from enjoyment point of view. By this we got two percent advancement in accomplishing modernity in our villages"
Concluding he said," Till now, we have achieved eighty five percent modernity in our village.
A few days after, I came know that my Taiji (Chandu Bhaiji's mother) expired and I called him and came to know that he was in funeral and offering pyre to Taiji's dead body. After an hour he gave miss call, as usual I called him and said sadly, "I am sorry Tai Ji expired. She was my second mother for me"
Happily and applaud he answered," Yes mother is no more but our village achieved hundred percent modernity. Now our village is hundred percent modern"
I confusingly asked,, " How come by the death of Taii our village is hundred percent modern"
Chandu Bhaiji answered joyfully, "You know! My Mother was the only person in our village who used to speak in our mother tongue that is Garhwali language and forcefully I and my wife had to speak in Garhwali language with her. Now she is no more and nobody will speak in Garhwali language in our village. Now, everybody will talk in Hindi only. Bhishma ! We improved fifteen percent in realizing the 100% modernity in the village. Now you can call us modern too." He further informed me, "All villagers decided that we shall celebrate this biggest ever achievement of hundred percent modernity on Terhveen (thirteenth day of death) of my mother and we shall take thirteen types of alcoholic drinks on that day"Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti