Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bas Hisaab se

Hindi is such a deep and vast language. I speak very little Hindi in Mumbai. A maid came for a job and was talking fluent English and I was shocked. Mumbai's English speaking maids want to work for the expat community where the work is less and salary is more. The English speaking can get jobs in offices as receptionists and some of them want to work as maids or nannies abroad .

 There is a Hindi word called 'Bas' pronounced as the word 'bus' of the English language. This word has loads of connotations . Bas means 'enough'. It also means ' stop'. So 'Bas Karo ab'  is 'Stop it now'. But people in India understand and use 'Bas ' in different contexts. The Hindi belt is using it in interesting ways. When someone asks them "How are you?" "Aap kaise hain?" , the reply is " Bas". It does not mean 'stop' asking me this question or 'enough' of your questions. It means all is well. It also means life is dragging on. The tone in which the reply is said , decides what the person means. When I say " Bas main paunch rahi hoon" it means " I am 'just' reaching" or " I am on my way". "Bas Kya" is used as a local slang when one is saying " what else" or  "What more" . It also denotes "Is this all you will do for me"? This one is used in a humorous way to say hello to someone or even convey your disappointment.

Another fascinating phrase is ' Hisaab se'. Hisaab means 'calculation'. 'Hisaab se' means ' stay in your limits'. Hisaab se also means do everything in moderation. When I ask my cook Maharaj how much he has added a certain ingredient in the dish? He replies " Hisaab se". It means 'in proportion'. It doesn't tell me the quantity. It just means all this balances out.  When I ask the Dhobi or Istriwala, hisaab dena, I mean " tell me the monthly total I have to pay you with break up". When he replies, 'Bhabhi hisaab ka dena', he means "Please pay my last month's dues". In our world of calculators on mobile phones, the young generation is unable to do any 'hisaab' or addition without a gadget. My parents and am sure grandparents can do a page full of addition without a mistake and without a calculator. Saw my Mom add a long list of the gift money received from family and friends after a family function and I was zapped. The schools are modernising the education and I am not sure how good is it. The children, before they learn the tables, the teacher has moved to division. I think this system of not mugging and over simplifying things is harming the child. It is hampering his growth. Indian children have high IQs and why isn't our system tapping it instead of aping other not so effective systems? Our strength lies in Maths and science and we still need to explore the whole domain. This is of course coming from  my experience of the school and college education in Maharashtra.

Makes me wonder if I am living my life Hisaab se? Do I follow rules? Do I stay within limits? Do I explore the limitless opportunities or do I live in my own fear filled boundaries? Do I let the past decide all my present actions as all has to be hisaab se? Do I give love hisaab se? Do I treat all relationships as a hisaab ? Is my hisaab only about 'len den' i.e. give and take? Do I allow people in my life or is there an unsaid marked territory, where outsiders are prohibited? Does my mind keep telling me "Bas hisaab se"?








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