Aroba's first day with Tomba Hanks
S Waikhomba Mangang *
Lotus Temple , New Delhi :: 2008
Knock. Knock. Knock Knock...
The door was not locked. He moved towards his bed stealthily. Tomba was laying on the bed feigning sleep.
Mujhko pehchanlo main hoon don... main hoon don... main hoon don...
Mujhko pehchanlo main hoon don... main hoon don... main hoon don...
"Ema?" whispered Aroba.
"Wo Arobaaa... chak charabaro?"
"Ema ei chadari... Ema Dilli da mei chattaba manle. Kerosene leidrasu yagadaba manle," quipped Aroba.
"Oh... yam phare... Aroba, nang cheksinna leiyu ko... Emadi yamna pakhatli..." Tut.Tut.Tut...
Aroba dialed back the number.
~You have insufficient balance to make the call. Please recharge~
A very caring female invoice responded.
Station 1: 'Yeh saazish hain boondon ki... koi khwahish hain chup chup si... suno na...'
Station 2: Vicco turmeric... Nahin cosmetic... Vicco turmeric ayurvedic cream...
Station 3: '....is blowing in the wind...' Ah! Huh! That was the dream-maker Bob Dylan with his amazing voice. Let's hear to our next listener... 'Hello?'....
Station 4: Tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun... Tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnn...
Station 5: Shrotaon ab Vividh Bharti main agla karyakram hain Hindi main samachar....
"Keino Tomba! Pung taret makhai gi pao karamba station da lakke?" enquired Aroba.
Tomba, now Tomba Hanks after being immensely inspired by the Hollywood actor Tom Hanks, and Aroba have been friends since Tomba's parents decided to settle in Thoubal.
Tomba's father was an employee with the Revenue Department. Though of same age, Aroba was three classes junior to Tomba.
The only time Tomba and Aroba fought infamously was over a girl. Both fell for the same girl from the Mamang Leikai. The Leirak Ahals came to know about the enmity between the two friends and the reasons too. Albeit late, peace finally prevailed between the two warring friends, upon learning that all three of them: Tomba, Aroba and the girl were from the same Sagei.
1. Two unhappy friends-cum-newly-discovered-blood-lineage-brothers.
2. One happy sister [courtesy: same blood lineage]
Tomba topped his school in High School Leaving Certificate examination. Kaka Achou wanted his son to avail the best education the country could offer. He wanted Tomba to become a physical scientist to study the forces of heat and light.
On arrival in Delhi and being in solitary confinement, Tomba started learning about the social mores of the society in the harshest possible ways. He started questioning almost everything that came across him, even questioning his father's dream to see him as a physical scientist citing that he too had a dream of his own. His mother tried to reason out with him with an overdose of Ema-Pabana-asuk-wana-hotnaraga stuffs.
He gradually came to know that both of them wanted him to live their dreams. He started hating his parents. His parents started hating him for being an ungrateful son. Cold war ensued between father-mother allies and a lonely son. He edited and resaved his parents' mobile numbers as:
Baba: ATM 1
Ema: ATM 2.
Aroba's decision to pursue his higher studies in Delhi was great news for Tomba's parents. Tomba never updated about himself and his academics to his parents. The only time his parents came to know about his academics was through his old school mates who came back from Delhi. They informed Tomba's parents that Tomba became a scientist. The happiness was short-lived. Tomba discontinued his physics classes to enroll himself in some humanities course to become a different scientist: a social scientist.
"Keino?! Pung taret makhai gi pao Delhi da kaida ta-phangdouno? Nangsidi bera-ni-he!"
"Aroba nanggi ringtone-do henmanle. Silent nattraga vibration mode ta thammo. Yamna taningde," came the no-nonsense command from Tomba Hanks.
"Hoi! Yai... vibration mode-ta thamlage," spluttered Aroba.
"Ado Aroba... si kaada leirage na khanladi, si kaagi oina Constitution macha ama leijai. Follow toubiba compulsory oi. Constitution se khara sangmanle. Preamble oina pagadara?" asked Tomba.
"Hoi! Preamble oina yenglage....," responded a confused Aroba.
He wondered what could be so official for a pigeon-hole-type tiny, dingy, dirty and dark single room with toilet above the kitchen. Tomba could have easily passed off as a specimen for a fossil body. At most he was a zombie. He could actually count the number of times he bathed till date. The neighbours would cringe at his appearance. Though every time he had a bath, the effluents from his bathroom would either kill or quarantine the micro-organisms all along the stretch of the drain that lead to the other end of the neighbourhood. Speculations were rife about the visible numbers of reduced breeding space for mosquitoes and a consequent reduction in the number of mosquitoes.
However, there was no official confirmation from the municipality.
ROOM NO. 22/3B, DOUBLE STOREY, VIJAY NAGAR
1. The occupants of the room should acknowledge the unique history of the room.
2. Article 3b of the Constitution of this room cannot alter the territorial jurisdiction of the occupants unless decided upon by a majority.
3. Disputes arising between the occupants may be discussed at the highest level at a neutral venue.
4. Ethnic delicacies, non-endemic to Delhi, may be prepared taking due cognizance of the geo-socio and environmental repercussions thereof.
5. The occupants should compulsorily declare themselves as neo-socialists.
"Tomba, sidi preamble mande-heh...," said an amused Aroba.
"Angta loinaba pabishi. Please read all the text and; comment later," was the stern reply.
6. Tomba Hanks is always right.
7. If you ever find Tomba Hanks to be wrong, slap yourself and check serial no. 6.
"Heima! Sidi khara henmandro... Keino hairisibo...? Tomba Hanks is always right ka...," murmured Aroba to himself. But deep down he knew that he had to be with Tomba. The only thing Tomba is known for apart from his academics was his loyalty. He was fiercely loyal to anybody he cared for, though in a very weird way.
Drrrrrrrrrrr........... Drrrrrrrrrrr.......... Drrrrr........
"Hi! This is Liz Noo... JK na nangze hayengz ngantaz na laa-oo na haibanez! Bring all your documents. Let's start early to avoid the forenoon rush at the campuses. Okeyz?" chirped Liz Noo.
"Hoi! Yai". Aha! Admission time.
* S Waikhomba Mangang wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This article was posted on November 30, 2012.
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