Category: Life Confrontations

The Bangladesh Eye Flu

The Bangladesh Eye Flu
(Sarbjit Singh)

Sarbjit Singh

It was probably sometime in 1971 when I was around 12 years old that there was a very widespread epidemic of eye flu christened Bangladesh Eye flu. It was probably named so because this was brought in by the huge influx of Bangladeshi refugees into India around the time of Indo-Pak war. Very infectious, every third or fourth person seemed to be getting it.

As boarders in PPS (The Punjab Public School, Nabha, Punjab, India) there were very few ways of getting away from classes. Worse still, probably the only way to be able to go home during regular school days was if we got very sick. This Bangladesh Eye Flu was like a gift from God. Those who were getting ‘red eyes’ were sent home immediately because of fear of spread of the disease.

These kinds of ‘gifts’ however have a way of playing hard to get, really hard to get. I and some of my close ‘associates’ just wouldn’t get it no matter how hard we tried. We even tried touching the eyes of the inflicted individuals and then touching our own. Nope, it just wouldn’t happen. Damn ! what do we do now?

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(588)

“Chugalkhors or The Gossipers”

“Chugalkhors or The Gossipers”
(Sarbjit Singh)

There is no doubt almost everyone sometime or the other in their life has participated in some kind of gossip and enjoyed it. The only time someone doesn’t enjoy gossip is when it is about her or him.

There are very few people who outrightly reject participating in gossip. As I remember, my late mother was one of them and as far as can remember, she would not allow gossip in front of her at all.There were however, some other members in the extended family who would indulge in, ‘enjoy’ and practiced this very prevalent fine ‘art’. They even gossiped about my mother behind her back. Such people never realise that they, inadvertently might be passing this ‘art’ to young impressionable (more…)

(1675)

“My Tryst With God”

“My Tryst With God”
( Sarbjit Singh )

I was born in a Sikh family and religion was an integral and important part of life. My father was an eye doctor and my mother was a convent educated girl from Malaya (now Malaysia). Though important, our religious rituals didn’t go beyond getting together in the evenings and reciting from the “Nitnem Gutka”, a collection of five religious prayers. My father however, did try to read through a couple of pages of the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious book of the Sikhs every day. Though religious minded or should I say spiritual, he was not a fanatic and believed in interpreting religion logically.

I was a very curious kid from ever since I remember and wanted answers to all that happened around me. My father would try to answer my questions whenever he had the time. Besides medicine, (more…)

(1154)

“Give them a finger, and they’ll take the whole hand” : Sarbjit

“Give them a finger, and they’ll take the whole hand”

(One Act Play based on real life incident)

(Scene 1)

Receptionist on the phone:
Sir, I am calling from Dr Shamsher Singh Eye Hospital. Is Mr Kirpal Singh there?

Answer: No such person here

Receptionist: But this number was given by him to the hospital. He was supposed to come for eye surgery today at 7.30am. His surgery is scheduled for 10:00am. It is already 9:30am.

Answer: Ok, he is coming.

(Scene 2)

11.30AM

Man: My name is Kirpal Singh. I have come for my operation.

Reception: But Sir, you are too late. The surgery list is over.

Kirpal Singh: I was busy. Do my surgery now.

Reception: Sorry Sir, that is not possible.

Kirpal Singh: OK, do it on Monday morning.

Reception: Sorry Sir, It can now be rescheduled only for next Friday.

Kirpal Singh: You think I have no other work? Do it on Monday.

Reception: You can speak to the doctor.

Doctor: Yes Mr Kirpal Singh. How may I help you.

Kirpal Singh: Do my surgery on Monday. I am busy on other days.

Doctor: Mr Kirpal Singh, we are doing your surgery free of cost under charitable clinic.We are fully booked on other days. We can schedule your surgery only on Friday. If it doesn’t suit you, you can get it done elsewhere.

Kirpal Singh: OK Sir, I’ll come on Friday.

[Happy Ending]

(Sarbjit Singh)

(809)

Is it Wisdom or Defeat ?

R.I.P. Mr. Honest

R.I.P. Mr. Honest

This is a story of early nineties when one fine morning a turbaned sikh along with his young wife was traveling from Delhi to Punjab in a white hard top Maruti Gypsy jeep. They had just checked out of a hotel and were all excited to go home. Very near the Inter State Bus Terminus in New Delhi, they were flagged down at a police check-post by three uniformed Delhi police constables.

After examining the relevant car papers and finding all in order, they started to ask some mundane questions like; “Why the jeep’s headlight glass is not blackened in the upper half?” “The car number plate is a little small.” etc. etc.

It was by now obvious to the couple that thepolice were just harassing them to get some bribe out. As the policemen discussed something with their officer who sat in a small cubical on the roadside, the young couple started to have an argument. The wife suggested that they give a little bribe and then they could be on their way. The husband would not budge from his committed stand of “No Bribing!”.
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(1464)

Don’t Call Us Indians Stingy !

Cut Scrub Tube

Cut Scrub Tube

We Indians do not waste anything. When a tube of scrub, a bottle of shampoo or a bottle of moisturizer finishes, we cut it up and bring out whatever stubborn bit has stuck to the walls and refuses to come out. We squeeze the hell outta a toothpaste tube till it becomes a small little pebble and there is not a drop of anything left in it.

Most of the time these generalizations are said with a hint of ridicule and as a source of entertainment at our cost.

So why do we do it? Two words come to mind. Are we being stingy to the extent of being cheap? Or are we being frugal, in which case we need to be complimented.

Sarbjit

(759)

A 30 Cent Dilemma!

Yesterday I went to Sogo Mall in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Had to park my car there and go to an office in Pertama Complex building next to it. After I finished the office work, came back to Sogo and felt the need to go to the washroom. Most Malls in KL now don’t charge to use the washroom but Sogo still charges 30 cents per visit. There was no attendant when I went. So I did my business and as no one was there to accept or was it demand the 30 cents due on me, I left for home. Today I went back to Sogo for some work and left the 30 cents on an unmanned table.

It was just a matter of 30 cents but it bothered me. I felt like a cheat. Was I reading too much into it? Would it have mattered to anyone? Was I being too sensitive? Should I have in fact been happy to have saved 30 cents?

Is there any merit to the saying “Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so”!

Sarbjit More