Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hello is it the Doctor? Good Night !

I just was recovering from my favorite comedy show 'Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasmah" when my friend Murli called and said "I have something to share". Well, we have shared so many things including the same plate for dinner "Once Upon a Time in Bellary". So I was all ears. Here is what he shared; in his own words translated from our common language Tulu to English !

I had a call at around 9:00 PM. A lady was on the line. She said, "Hello, is it the Doctor?". I replied "Yes". She immediately blurted out, "Good night!". Now this was something special; calling a Doctor just to say Good Night! I too said a polite "Good night".

I was about to hang up when she came around with, "See Doctor, my child had fever this morning...". So this is how I had to understand her. She had called me at night and had to wish me. It wasn't morning, wasn't even evening. So she began with Good night! I just couldn't control my laughter and am laughing nonstop. I just had to share this with you!

I was laughing too. I said, "Well, she probably doesn't know you also can start a conversation with Good evening even at midnight!. But anyway, she was nice and polite". Murli quipped back, "That she was. She was nice!". So I said, "Good then, take care and ... Good night". We both were guffawing before we hung up!

This shared tidbit took me back in time when I was working in a small private hospital in a small town in central Kerala in 1996. I was still new to Kerala those days and had serious problems with Malayalam. My experiments or rather misadventures with Malayalam is a material for a full size non-fiction hardback. I hope to deal with that sometime in future !

We had a fellow Doctor who worked as Resident Medical Officer [RMO] with different hospitals around the place. He was pretty good with his work. He was a 'Freelancing Consultant Duty Doctor' to any hospital that called him and he sure was a much wanted man.

But there was a problem, he was too fond of Malayalam, his mother tongue. I often suspected he hated English the same way Kalaingar Karunanidhi and his cronies hate Hindi. With my limited vocabulary in Malayalam, I preferred to talk in English to all the Doctors. Some of my colleagues didn't like this, but were magnanimous enough to let me continue in English.

People naturally never conversed in any other language but Malayalam in and around Pala. Most of the discussions between Doctors in IMA Scientific Sessions took place in Malayalam. For the uninitiated like me, this was amusing !

One fine morning I saw our friend Doctor outside our bachelor's quarters. Since it was too early in the morning, I asked him, "Hey, so early ! Quite long since we saw each other. What are you up to? Where are you heading to? Are you off duty or on leave? Or do you have night shifts going?".

This series of questions was too much for our man. He never liked this English part of me. He just stared at me and pondered over for as long a time as Shoib Aqthar takes to mark his run up. And then he came out with his deadly bouncer, "I offed and went to house yesterday. Today night I climb night at MMC. Today, tomorrow and tomorrow after tomorrow night. Three days I am night only. Thursday I get down".

If my friends from Karnataka and other parts of the world can't understand the fun, it definitely is not lost in translation. Only a Malayalee can understand this. But all Malayalees will admire me for not laughing out loud in front of him, right then, right there.

Honestly, I had my reasons to remain calm ! Our man was a very well built hulk who could have eaten little me for breakfast. At 7:00 AM, I wasn't sure if he had finished his morning grub !


  1. I'm still laughing yaar. Ha ha hah ha ha ha hah

  2. Hai Murli and govindraj ,definitely I am late to comment on this,but I couldnt resist myself from doing so about GOODNIGHT episode. I comment or reply on your blog when I get time from my work ,wife and daughter(of course friends too)
    When I came to this part of the world, at first even I was surprised (of course I was not in a position to laugh,at that time everything was new to me ..thier culture, behaviour,eating habits..)when these people started talking to me at night(around 8pm)"Hai goodnight doc Subodh,How are you? I have a emergency case to book..."and so on.Even on phone they start like that .So I feel that lady might have been lived in a western country for sometime.
    Let me tell you another incident.Here in bahamas,people greet each other although you dont know each other.For eg,if you are walking on a corridor and you come across a another fellow not known to you, he (or she (:-) says "Hai how are you?" while pass by.So last year I had been to Sharekhan office in Mangalore.Naturally I kept on saying "Hai" to people I came across.Few guys started staring at me and might have said to themselves "ANDE PIRKI PANDUDU THOJUNDU".Govindraj beleive me luckily KOYI LADKI OR AUNTY SE PITAYI NAHI HUVA.
    So these are few embarrasing moments I and my Indian friends faced when they visit home.

  3. Good one Subodh ! I can relate to you. I will come out with "My experience in Mallu-land" soon :-)


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