Pehchaan Kaun


The other day Sharmila aunty called at our residence number. Arrey wahee, Soha’s mom. Can still not place her? Ok, considering that Saif’s more popular – his mom as well. But it’s good that I did not receive her call. I would have been all over myself trying to talk to her and would not have been putting up a faux front like this. I don’t even remember how she introduced herself. But I am sure, had I or my parents picked up that call, we would have started bombarding her like those overwhelmed fans of Amitabh Bacchan on KBC.

Hello, mein Amitabh Bacchan bol raha hoon Kaun Banega Crorepati se.
FOP (Fan on phone) : Hello sir, jee sir, yes sir. I am a BIG fan of yours sir. I have seen all your movies sir.
You have a great influence in my life sir. Can I recite a poem in your honour sir?
[quick recital of lines from Madhushala followed by polite reminder by Amitabh Bacchan]

It’s good that my sister picked up the call, for it was intended to be for her. There was some documentary that was being shot and they needed a scriptwriter to translate the English script into Hindi. And they zeroed in on my sister of all people? I mean the sorts who insert all kind of random hindi words anywhere in a sentence without knowing what they mean? The sorts who tell a shopkeeper ‘mein aapka vikreta hoon’ thinking that vikreta = customer. Well even I didn’t study Hindi beyond 10th standard (and I so regret it), but certainly my command over that language, my understanding of shuddh hindi and my usage of grammar, tense and even sandhi vicched/samaas etc is ahem..I would like to think, quite remarkable. (Contact Lazy lump or Bhavna or Amit or Mamta for a verification – after all no one else can translate ROTFL into hindi as well as I did).

Oh, I digress all over again. So Sharmila aunty basically wanted my sis to work on this documentary and work she did. Even went out of station with her. When she had called home, my father and I instantly started competing with each other over who could chauffeur my sister to Sharmila aunty’s Vasant Vihar home. Oh! even the polite conversations we would have with her about generally everything or even about her and Parimal (Dharmendra) had started germinating in our minds. Nothing doing. My sister went alone via public transport. No nonsense and no bhaav when it comes to these bollywood types. After she came back, she was thoroughly interviewed by the rest of the family.

How’s her house? How’s the decor? Does she have starry airs? Was Nawaab Pataudi there? Oh, Sharmila aunty was on the exercycle? Oh, Soha was there too? (RDB had not released as yet) Oh, she got scolded by aunty as a regular kyonki maa bhee kabhee beti thee pair? Oh, they were having Daal roti? Oh, so they are normal ppl after all.. phew what a relief.

But I am sure if auctioned, our phone would definitely fetch a big price at least within our relatives. After all Sharmila Tagore doesn’t call everyday.


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