Glossary of Common Terms used in CMC circa 1978-1984

I thought you may find this interesting as it consists of a lot of

Tamil words, of a lot unparliamentary!

Glossary of Common Terms used in CMC circa 1978-1984

Before you read I have to give the customary statutory warning. Some
of you may find the contents offensive, in which case please do not read further. The Words are fairly earthy and not all of you would appreciate it. However to do justice to a glossary all words have to be included.

Dear Friends,
Another memory to be shared with you guys. Every great institution has its own campus language and so does CMC.
These days the superhit song is ‘Why this kolaveri di’ is on every channel and is supposed to be in Tamlish. A mixture of Tamil and English. This song whether good or bad is debatable but definitely unusual and the words gave me a feeling of Déjà vu. We also used a mixture of English mixed with some Tamil and occasionally other words which conveyed our meaning more effectively than any other language did. Some of these words are fairly earthy and readers discretion is advised. These word have a slum origin (Men’s Hostel slums) which may explain their earthiness. The list includes as many as I can remember however all are free to add to this glossary.

Maccha: A very commonly used word which in Tamil means brother-in-law. Similar to the Hindi Saala which means the same. However few realize in Hindi there could be a darker connotation on the lines of ‘I slept with your sister’. However Maccha was used widely it could be before a sentence, “Maccha! Did you hear the new?” or at the end of a sentence,  “Got Muddied! Macchaaa!” It was also sometimes used to describe a Tamil son of the soil. If you notice Alfie still refers to himself as Maccha!

Muddi:- This was used to when one got finished either in an exam or otherwise. I could be a ‘muddi’ scene as apposed to a ‘cool scene’.
Cool Scene:- This was used to indicate that the going was good. So a party could be a ‘cool scene’.

Ocee:- This was used to indicate something was free and without cost. This apparently had it’s origin from the colonial days. The East India Company had it’s mail stamped OCS on company service and were delivered free of cost.

Zap:- When asked a question in an exam which we had no idea of then we would say ‘I was zapped’. There is a lot of regional variations to the term zap, I remember a junior Alok Ranjan who had a thick Bihari accent on being asked how his physio pracs went he replied “Jhak Jhapped me.” For a moment we were uncertain (zapped) about what he meant however later it dawned on us he meant ‘Zak (P. Zachariah our physiology professor) Zapped me.” This word of course is an English word.

Lawda:- A corruption of the Hindi gaali ‘Lourra’ which refers to the phallus. However when used it was more often used to indicate ones dissent, like if someone was asked “lets go to Verghs canteen for coffee” the reply could be “Lawda!” I have a lot of studying to do.”
Once in a while during a Class Meeting or a General Body Meeting there would be a lot of cacophony going on regarding some contentious issue. Someone in the front benches was trying to make a point while the back bencher where shouting what everyone thought was “Louder! Louder!” But actually it was “Lawda! Lawda!” conveying their dissent.

Fart:- This was used to describe anybody stupid or who did not measure up to your personal standards of cool. So when asked “how is that fresher?” The answer could be very short and sweet, “he’s a fart!” or some people got the classification of ‘superfart’ if they were really obnoxious. The usage is far removed from the original English meaning of flatulence.

Kusoo:- I believe this is the Tamil word for flatulence and was used by some of us as an alternative for fart. However was not that popular as fart. In our first year we affectionately called Venky (B. Venkatesh aka Bala) as Mr. K.K.B.J.L. Gopalan, the long initials stood for ‘Kakoose Kusoo Blow Job Lawda Gopalan’ in other word Shitpot Fart Blow Job Dick Gopalan. But realize there was no malice and it was with great affection we used this sobriquet. When I met Venky during Agroos 50th birthday I asked him if he remembered his name and he did.

Poondax:- Where this term originated from I have no idea and leave it to the rest of you to enlighten me however it was used to indicate the gate crasher or the odd man out. So if a couple was going out for a romantic dinner someone would ‘poondax’ by inviting himself as the third person. It was what is known as in Hindi as ‘Kabab mein Haddi’.

Checks:- If you have been following my posts you will recollect the one how the word checks gets pronounced as sex by the native Tamil speaker. Well after that incident a lot of the girls began using the word ‘checks‘ for sexy. So if you asked how your shirt looked you could get a response like ‘checks’ and so on.

Sexy:- Those day every Malayalam film had an English translation of their titles like ‘Sexy Dreams’ or ‘Her Nights’ and screened in theatres with suggestive names like ‘Blue’, though our hard core
Malayalees would vehemently clarify that the title in the original Malayalam had no reference whatsoever to either the ‘sex in her dreams’ or the ‘nights in her days’. But in CMC the word sexy was used to describe anything good or attractive. A dinner could also be sexy as well as a podima (request reader to refer to earlier posts) and had no relation whatsoever to the act.

Galata:- This is a Tamil word which means festival, carnival or dhammal but we used it for a noisy gathering, “there was a galata in the slums and the buggers got ducked”.
Ducked:- This could mean throwing a bucket of water on the juniors when they are making to much of noise or even otherwise or throwing someone into the Mens Hostel pond to celebrate his birthday or any other day.

Gumbal:- Literally meaning “crowd” in Tamil, the term is variously used to signify any gathering of people such as a group, a gang or a class. However in CMC it meant a group song where all and sundry sang in sweet cacophony.

Kai thook:- Literal meaning in Tamil is to raise your hand but it was used by our class to indicate a bad joke. I remember around that time the ‘Kumbh Mela’ was going on in Allahabad and a variety of weird Sadhus were assembling over there and one in particular had kept his hand permanently raised for the past 11 years. On reading this in the paper one of the wags in our class remarked he must have really cracked one bad PJ. This term originated when Priyo Sada made a speech in which he told the crowd they will know when to laugh when he raises his hand.

Kai Pottach:- Another use for the ‘kai’ as paws to ‘cop a feel’ and the word was used precisely for that action.

Soot:- Referred to the posterior end or more precisely an arse. So if someone thought you were an arse he would call you a soot. This I also believe was of Tamil origin.

Kottais:- In Tamil I believe this means a seed but this was used along with an ‘s’ to indicate plural to say ‘balls’. It was also said along with a hand gesture, like a spinnner turning a ball in his hand to indicate torsion thereby causing injury on insult. It was also used as a negation, for example someone requests you to do something you simply say ‘kottai’ or don’t say anything at all just make the gesture.

Ingay okaar:- This was a unique way of giving someone the finger. You just raise your middle finger and say ‘Ingay Okaar’. I believe that means sit here in Tamil.

Chumma:- This was an all time favourite term used whenever you did not want to give an answer or elaborate.
Question: Why are you going to town? Answer: Chumma! There is also the
famous ‘kaithook’ joke popular then, Why did the Tamilian cross the road? Answer: Chumma! and why did the Malayalee cross the road?
Answer: Simbally!
This also reminded me that Sunil Agarwal was in Ludhiana for a stint and was taking clinics for the students. He forgot that he was in Punjab and used the word ‘Chumma’, which means ‘kiss’ in Hindi. I could see the students smiling though Sunil was oblivious.

Gundale gud guddu:- This is a Telgu colloquialism for palpitations but it became viral because the lets say the ‘alliteration’? So it was used to ride the
Goltis. I remember a lecturer in ophthalmology trying to communicate with a Telgu patient. The Telgu speaking patients were notoriously dumb (maybe because most of them were from the villages across the border). Finally this lecturer in frustration slams his torch down hard on the table brings his face inches away from the patient’s face and says loudly in frustration ‘Gundale gud guddu!’ The patient totally unperturbed says “Aim chepistanaru Doktor garu?”

Broads:- This referred to the residents of ‘other side of the road’. Possibly referring to the breadth of their behinds brought to notice by the waddle of their gaits.

Other side of the road:- This was the euphemism for the women’s hostel, commonly heard was, “He’s gone to the other side of the road to gonad with the broads”.

Gonad:- A medical term referring to the human reproductive system however used in CMC in the context of making out. Possibly the origin of this term in this context is as result of one of the traditional activities the freshers were subjected to, going to town and collecting ‘ads’ from the shopkeeper in town along with our immediate seniors. Not a very pleasant job as the shopkeeper were not willing to part with their money. But a good opportunity for the seniors to gonadotropin with the junior girls.

Da:- Was an affectionate way to refer to a friend or another resident of Men’s Hostel.

Dey:- Was sometimes used as a warning like in, “Dey, Dey”, but generally used to denote less affection.

Whoataa:- Eff you! I think it also means the same in Tamil.

Whoatistanaru:- Adding some Telgu spin to a Tamil word to make it more interesting.

Maadari:-This in Tamil means ‘like’ in a comparative sense so if you wanted to say someone looked like someone or did something like someone you said “He’s muscular Moji maadari.”

Steady:- We were first exposed to this term during our ragging. Sunil Agarwal was the Nazi field whore who carried a toy rifle and wore a tin helmet with a Swastika painted on it. Whenever any senior said “steady Agarwal” he was supposed to stand at attention raise his right hand in the Nazi salute and say “Bugger all! Bugger all!” Thats how
Agroo became Bugaroo. The word steady was ambiguous and could be used in most contexts.

Heavy:- Anything could be described as heavy. If you are going with a girl it could be heavy. If you are wearing good clothes it could also be heavy.

Kudi:- Another term of endearment used in the men’s hostel. Origin is Tamil and I believe it refers to the female reproductive system.

Grub:- Any kind of food was referred to as grub. Our class even had special prayer. After the Grace ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow…’ was sung then in chorus we used to say ‘Rubadubdubdub! Thanks for the Grub.’

Saapaad:- Another Tamil word which means food and used for the same. But it also referred to the procedures we were allowed to do as a reward for hard work during our internship.

Other side of the road:- This referred to the Women’s Hostel and their inmates. When the whereabouts of someone was enquired. The answer would be ‘ Oh! He’s on the other side of the road gonading with his broad’.

Architaan:- This again I believe is a Tamil word but used mainly to indicate a ‘Eureka’ moment.

Mansion of the Gods:- This is where the Gods resides and we all know who they are.

Gujaal:- This is again of Tamil origin and it was used to indicate confusion or trouble brewing.

Baaila:- If I am not mistaken this word originates from Sri Lanka and used by us for a group song.

Golti:- A Telgu was a Golti when reversed.

Oily:- Referred to the Malayalees because of the characteristic way
they pronounced the word Ooyeel (Oil).

Kundi:- We had so many word for the backside and this was one more. The word was of Tamil origin. Funnily the same word in Hindi means a door latch. So in North India if a South Indian was told ‘open the Kundi and come in’, he’d be zapped.

Gooseberry:- This again means the third person who makes company into a crowd.

So folks you are free to add to this Glossary. There maybe new terms

which are used in CMC so updating is necessary. But this is as much as I can remember. Three Cheers For the Silver and Blue !

Wilkinson’s Theory of Relativity of Time

Einstein propagated his theory of special relativity in 1905 and general relativity in 1916. These dealt with space  time. A moving clock ticks slower than a stationary clock. This was the concept of time dilatation. It is an interesting concept and I have also observed variables in the perception of time. This made me propagate my own theory of relativity of time. Mind you this theory is a theory of perception rather than an actual physical phenomenon. I took the liberty of calling of giving it the pompous title of ‘Wilkinson’s Theory of Relativity of Time’.

1.Work expands to fill the available time:- We all have heard about the saying “the maximum is achieved at the eleventh hour”. This is especially true for studies, if we have say x days for preparation for an exam, our preparation in earnest will only begin on x-(x-1) day or in simpler words a day before the exam. We always feel we have plenty of time on day x and even when we attempt studying on that day the adrenalin does not kick in sufficiently and even if we stare at the books are mind maybe miles away. This holds true in almost every task where we have a number of days to complete, invariably the eleventh hour is when the maximum is achieved.

2.Perception of the length of time is inversely proportional to your age:- This is a practical concept which everyone would have experienced.  When you were studying in first standard a year seemed so long. Then as you progressed a year began to shrink. As you age a year doesn’t seem so long. This can be explained by the fact that when you in first standard a year, you would be around 5 years old and a year represents 1/5th of your entire life. As you age this fraction decreases so for me it is now 1/53rd of my life. Therefore my perception of a year has shrunk inversely to my age. If I ever reach the century mark the fraction would have shrunk further.

3.Perception of time either shrinks or dilates related to the task at hand:- Have you ever run on a treadmill and realised how long a second can be? Or waited at a traffic signal for what seemed an interminable long wait but was actually only a minute. In contrast when we are commuting to our work place and are late, how fast the needles of the clock seem to move. Going on your first date is an example of both, time creeps to  the appointed time of meeting and the date finishes off in an instance. Time crawls when you have a distasteful task at hand and flies when you are enjoying yourself. The irony!

Torments of Toilet Paper

Readers are warned that this is a scatological piece.
While travelling abroad the Desis is exposed to the use of toilet paper. Not that they are ignorant about the use, but it is considered ‘Angrezon ki chochlebaazi’ (Idiosyncrasies of the white man).
In one of the medical schools I trained in, there was a British operation theatre nurse. She was the ‘propah’ Britisher and one day she happened to spot a senior Anaesthetist resting his behind on one of the shelfs in the operation theatre where the autoclaved material is kept. She immediately reprimanded him him “Doctor____ could you kindly remove your unsterile posterior from the vicinity of the sterile material.”  The Anaesthetist was famous for his wit and immediately reparted, “Sister we wash them, we don’t wipe them.”   Needless to say ‘Sister’ was speechless and the onlookers could barely suppress their smiles.
Every region of India has their version of fiery food. The state of Assam is famous for it’s ‘Bhoot Jhalokha’ green chilli which earlier held the record of  being the hottest in the world. In South, Andhra cooking is very fiery, with every morsel a sip of water is mandatory and inspite of which your buccal mucosa still feels like it’s on fire.
My home town of Nagpur has it’s own unique ‘Saoji Cusine’, which is very famous for being fiery. Many people who come from out of town want to taste this cooking. If you ask a local he will say it’s ‘g__d faar’ cooking (literally means ‘Ass tearing’). The reason you will soon be apparent.
Saoji cooking is classified into 3 grades depending on it’s fire:
After eating your mouth is on fire.
After eating in the morning there is a burning pain in the epigastrium indicating your stomach is on fire.
When you go to the toilet in the morning your Ass is on fire.
To this a wag added two additional grades for what emerges.
  4.  The pig’s mouth is on fire.
  5.   The pig’s Ass is on fire.

Legend has it’s that the white man visited Nagpur. He was puzzled when he saw the use of water for cleaning as opposed to the more civilised toilet paper.
He also was brave enough to experiment with grade 3. Saoji food. Next morning his Ass was on fire. Wiping only made it worse as the rough paper abraded the sensitive skin aggravating the burning sensation. Relief finally came when he took a mug of water and poured it on his posterior. This was a moment of relief and enlightenment, for now he knew why Indians preferred to wash than to wipe.
I had the opportunity of treating one such patient. He had lived in Pakistan and spoke some Urdu. He kept on telling me about about the burning there “jal raha hai”. When I examined the said area, there was a realistic lipstick mark tattoo on the right cheek of his buttock. Literally conveying ‘kiss my Ass’. He was suffering from acute fissure-in-ano. 
The earliest mention of the use of toilet paper was by the Chinese. They also specified that paper with writing on it should not be used. Various other objects from pebbles by the Hebrews, sticks by the Turks and sponges by the Romans were used. The Americans before the availability of commercial toilet paper used pages from Seers Roebuck catalogue before it began printing on glossy paper then it became unsuitable for wiping. The Farmer’s Almanac, even had a hole at one corner so it could be hung from a nail on the wall of the toilet and pages could be conveniently torn. They knew their predictions were crap! However with the advent of modern sewage lines these had to be abandoned for the use of modern toilet paper, made with short filaments and degraded easily avoiding clogging of the sewage line.
The European have the bidet and bidet showers. The Indian subcontinent has the ubiquitous ‘lota’. Incidentally the slang for sycophants in Pakistan is lota.
In the National Cadet Corp camps, where they instill military training on school children they have a lota parade in the morning at the break of dawn.
But for the unaccustomed wiping leaves an itchy, unclean feeling. Medically this is known as pruritis ani. The person surreptitiously reaching for their behind when the itch becomes unbearable.
A NRI has fully integrated with his adopted country when ceases washing and commences wiping.

Waddling gait!

Before my memory fails me or I go to my heavenly abode let me retell another story of our sojourn in CMC.
This story dates to circa 1979 when we were 2nd Juniors and finally exposed to the actual medical studies like anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. We loved to find some clinical application to the dry subjects we were learning especially anatomy.
As all of you recollect we were divided into groups of 4, two per side of the body and one read the Cunningham Manual aloud while the other dissected. The portion being covered was the lower limb and the star of my story was R.M.K and his dissection partner was ‘Johns’ (I am trying to use generic names to avoid identification of the characters).  The area of dissection was the lower limb more specifically the gluteal region and R.M.K. was dissecting and Johns reading. One vignette was read by Johns, “weakness in the gluteus medius muscle will give rise to a waddling gait”. This stuck in R.M.K.’s mind and when we broke for lunch he carefully observed the gaits of our classmates. His eyeball then zoomed on one particular member of the fairer sex who though otherwise extremely petite, had a derriere which did not quite fit the description of ‘petite’. The gait resembled a ship rolling on the ocean and reminded you of the Mitch Miller song, “She’s got a pair of hips just like two battleships……….”.   A bulb light up in R.M.K’s mind and immediately he went up to her and stuttered “you got a waddling gait, you must be having weakness in the gluteus medius”. As you can imagine the lady in question was totally flabbergasted and didn’t know how to react. She turned to Johns who was in the vicinity looking sheepish and said “Johns scold him!” Poor R.M.K.! A remark made in all innocence with no malevolent intent!

Presumed Perversion

This story dates back to Circa 1985 when I was a ‘wet behind the ear’ fresh MBBS graduate. I was working in a Hospital as a Junior Doctor.
I was on call every alternate night and during these call nights I had to attend to all patients presenting in the casualty and all emergencies in the wards. I had a room in the Hospital Guest House which was fairly decent.
In those days getting a landline connection took 4 years, forget about
cell phones. So calls were written in a notebook by the nurse on duty and hand delivered to the Doctor on call. These were predictably worded like, “Respected Dr. on call,
A patient with fever has presented to the casualty so kindly come and see.” There is a joke whether true or not but it’s part of folklore, once the duty Doctors got this call, “Respected Dr. on call, A patient has presented in the  casualty unable to pass urine. So please come and pass urine.”
The hospital was mainly staffed by student nurses doing their training and night duties were done almost exclusively by these students. Majority of them were from Kerala with highly accented Hindi. They came bearing the call in pairs. I am a night owl and once I sleep I have difficulty in getting up so I would normally remain awake late during call days. Foot falls on the path leading to the guest house would herald an impending call. This is followed by louder foot falls in the corridor as soon as they enter the guest house, then a momentary silence outside my door, some mumbled conversation in Malayalam followed by giggles and then a tentative knock. I open the door and promptly the call book was thrust into my hand. Predictably it read, “Respected Dr. on call,  A patient with bleeding has come to the casualty so kindly come and see. “Kahan se bleeding ho raha hai?”(from where is the bleeding?) I ask irritably, “Pata nahin” (don’t know), comes the reply followed by further giggling. Now I am ready to explode but better sense prevails and I pacify myself with thoughts like “forgive them for they know not the language” and “be kind to dumb animals.” I hand back the call book to them and say “Okay.” Which they promptly hand back saying “Call sign kar do (sign the call). ” I almost have an apoplectic fit but control myself and sign the book. Then I change from my night clothes cursing the loss of sleep and the patient for bleeding at this time of the night.
The walk from my room to the casualty is fairly long and during this walk my mind goes through the possible case scenarios. The patient may have got cut accidently or having blood in stools or maybe vomiting blood. On reaching the casualty I am shown a young lady, she is obviously from a poor socioeconomic status. Her saree and jewellery suggested she is newly wed and her head demurely covered with her saree pallu. I ask her what her problem was, in reply she looks down and adjusted her head cover to completely cover her face. Meanwhile another elder lady amongst the retinue of relatives accompanying her piped in, “isko BP ki bimari hai” (she is sufferng from BP), further confusing matters. Finally a sensible lady amongst the accompanying crowd presumably her Mother-in-law, said “sachi baat yeh hai ki inki nai shaadi hai” (the truth is they are newly wed), pointing out to her son who seemed to give a self satisfied smirk back at me. “Aaj isko bahut khoon beha raha hai” (she is bleeding excessively today). I then examined the patient, her sanitary napkin was soaked with blood and  more blood was trickling from the vagina. I knew I was out of my depth so I sent a call to the gynaecologist. Meanwhile I asked the patient how this had happened? The patient in absence of her in-laws was more vocal, “gandhe kaam kar rahe the” (we were doing dirty things).
The gynaecologist was a middle aged spinster who like all middle aged unmarried gynaecologist was crabby. They tend to vent their irritation on their patients. Perhaps an undercurrent of envy ran in them of not have gone through these natural stages in life but being forced to witness others enjoying it. After scolding the relatives for not coming earlier and generally not taking care of the patient, she examined the patient. “Yeh toh post-coital bleeding hai (this is post-coital bleeding)!” She tells me. Inform the anaesthetist and prepare her for exploration.
The Anaesthetist was the reigning Queen Bee of the Hospital, known as ‘Kalra Bai’ to all and sundry but not on her face. She lived in the hospital campus and her quarters were so strategically located that she had to barely walk a few feet to reach the operation theatre complex. During the day her anaesthesia was interspersed by visits to her kitchen. She would do the fine juggling act perfectly between the anaesthetised patient and the required number of ceetees of the pressure cooker. The food in her house was always perfectly cooked. She was a fount of information about everything from solar cookers which she had installed to various fabrics and where it was available. We were bombarded by her monologue whenever we were operating. She never wasted her time, after the patient was anaesthetised she always had some needle work or handicraft she was working on in her bag.
After Kalra Bai was informed and the patient was taken into the operation theatre. I scrubbed up to assist the gynaecologist. Under anaesthesia we could examine the patient properly. The tear began from the introitus on to the left lateral wall of the vagina, upto the cervix and went halfway around the circumference of the  cervix. The gynaecologist efficiently sutured the entire tear with catgut. I had not seen so much destruction from an act of love. I asked the gynaecologist whether this was possible in the normal course, to which she replied “Yes if the lubrication is not adequate.”
But I was not convinced, especially since we had gone through all the possible sexual perversions in forensic medicine. It even has a scientific name ‘polyembolokoilamania’, meaning insertion of foreign objects into the vagina. In this case the husband appeared to be the guilty party, which explained his smirk.
A case scenario emerged in my mind, the husband is a sadist in addition is impotent. In this pre-viagra era he compensated for his lack of rigidity by using a ‘danda’ (staff).
I decided to do some investigations of my own. So I waited for the next day and for an opportune moment when there were no relatives with the patent. After the niceties of enquiring about her health, I mentioned that there was considerable damage. Then I again placed the question, how did it happen? The reply from the patient was “Bataya na Doctor, gandhe kaam kar rahe the (I already told you Doctor, we were doing dirty things).
If she had said “we were having sex,” I would have questioned her no further, however she chose to state it euphemistically.
The word ‘sex’ is taboo and is considered dirty. However the ‘dirty things’ could also mean perversions. So I persisted in my questioning, “kya gandhe kaam kar rahe the?” (What dirty things were you doing?) Her reply was “jo shaadi ke baad karte” (what is done after marriage). This should have satisfied me but I was so convinced that there was perversion involved I persisted in my questioning. Now I framed my question in a more direct manner to avoid an ambiguous answer, “kya lakdi istemaal kiya?” (Did he use a stick?)
The patient had the most incredulous expression on her face which changed briefly to pity, “kya Doctor aap itne nadaan ho, aap ko yeh bhi nahi pata ki shaadi ke baad kya karte. Kabhi lakdi istemaal karte?” (Are you so innocent Doctor that you don’t know what is done after marriage. How can he use a stick?).
I beat a hasty retreat and remembered the quotation in Bailey & Love, “The ward is your library and the patients are your teachers.”

My first motorcycle ride!

When I was growing up owning a bicycle was a big thing let alone a motorcycle. Now that was a pipe dream! Those were simpler times and a plain vanilla bicycle was an object of envy.There was a wide variety of bicycles brands to choose from, Raleigh, Atlas, Humber, Norton, Avon, Hercules, BSA and of course Hero. Most of these brands have gone the dinosaur way or consumed by their competitor. Though there was not a lot to choose from one bicycle or the other. They were all solidly built and came in varying shades of black! A few were in olive green and all had the solid hand brakes dating back to th British Raj. Only BSA manufactured what they called a ‘sport’s bike’, which had caliper brakes, some variations in colour and a more sporty look. Boy’s would ‘pimp up’ their ride by adding additional reflectors, some tassles to the handle grip. One of my friends made his seat higher by extending the rod which connects the seat and cycle. He also had to raise the handle bar by not only increasing the length of the bar but by giving the handle an inverted Omega shape’ a la chopper like handles made popular by the 1969 movie ‘Easy Rider’. He also changed the colour and got it painted a shimmering orange. There was a unique problem those days associated with the fashion of the times. Those were the days of bell bottom trousers. No self respecting boy would be caught without a 32“ bells. Yes the cuff of the pant measured a whopping 32″ and worn along with 3″ block heels. The problem is that the cuff would get caught in the sprocket of the pedal shaft while pedalling, resulting in tears in the cuff. Bicycle clips, also called trouser clips, which were small C-shaped pieces of thin flexible metal worn around the ankle when cycling in trousers. They were designed to prevent the bottom of the trousers from becoming caught in the chain or crank mechanism, and from being covered in oil and dirt.
Motorcycles were another thing altogether, in those days the reigning king was the Bullet 350cc manufactured by Royal Enfield. the company originally British started out as a weapons manufacturer.The legacy of weapons manufactureris reflected in the logo, a cannon, and their motto “Made like a gun, goes like a bullet”. It is still available in varying avatars now and hold the all time record of the oldest motorcycle brand in the world still in production.The engine gave a deep throated dhug! dhug! Of a four stroke engine. Very heavy so handling it required a certain amount of skill, otherwise you tilt it to one side and unless you had strong legs, it ended up falling on one side and the entire weight of the bike on your leg. Anticipating such mishaps the motorcycle was fitted with an engine guard in front and an optional leg guards in the middle. In case the bike did fall those two tubular projections prevented the entire weight of the bike falling on your legs. A good insurance policy especially for a spindly legged teenager like me. Then there was the Jawa or it’s later avatar the Yedzi. This was made with Czechoslovakian collaboration by the Ideal Jawa company in Mysore.The catchphrase for the bikes sold by the firm was “Forever bike forever value”.It was a 250cc motorcycle and much lighter than the Bullet and the engine gave a puny phut! phut! sound. In a Royal Enfield the gears were on the right side and the brakes on the left whereas in a Yedzi the gears on the left and the brakes on the right. This could cause confusion if you are used to one bike and by chance drove the other. You would be reflexively be pressing the gear thinking it’s the brakes and land up in a catastrophe.
After finishing my 12th examination and writing competitive examinations I had been called for the interview for Christian Medical College, Vellore. I had gone to celebrate in the evening at C.P. Club and there met my friend Bobby. He had borrowed a Bullet from one of his friends and driven it down to the Club. We both went down to the parking lot and admired the motorcycle and after which followed the most natural thing. I asked him whether I could drive it, to which he readily agreed. I drove it out of the Club Compound, the feeling was great with the wind raking through my body and the power of the motorcycle under me. A slight raise of acceleration and you could feel the motorcycle surge forwards. Sharp turns could be negotiated by shifting the body weight to one side and the motorcycle would bank to that side. By the time we were returning to the Club it had become dark. I had turned on the headlights only to discover that the headlights were not working and we were going on a lonely stretch at a fairly brisk speed. In the middle of the road there were sitting and ruminating a white cow and a black cow or maybe a buffalo, now I am not sure. Because of the fading lights the white Cow was visible but the black one was invisible. I shifted my weight to one side to avoid the white cow, then suddenly the handle bar along with the speedometer rose to become almost parallel to my nose and next equally suddenly it dropped to below my waist level. I was catapulted off my seat over the handle and face first to the ground, luckily self preservation instincts kicked in and my hands came forwards in front of my face preventing me from landing flat on it. I looked up and saw my friend sailing above me and landing unceremoniously on his bum just a little ahead of me. Then I looked behind and saw the cow casually get up and walk away. We had driven right over the cow which explained the suddenly rise and fall of the motorcycle. Both of us not seriously injured we examined the damage to the motorcycle. The front fork was bent so badly that the wheel of the motorcycle was perpetually turned to the left. We somehow managed to get it back to C.P. Club and left it in the parking lot. The next day we got a mechanic and managed to get it fixed. The fork had to be straightened by a hydraulic press and we had to pool our resources to pay for the damages. The motorcycle was returned to it’s rightful owner who I am not sure was the wiser and both of us laughed it off as another episode of our lives.

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Initiation entertainment

Our 35 year class reunion was a refreshing affair, met many old friends from 35 years ago. The batch who were celebrating their 40th year reunion was also there. We have a special affiliation for this batch because these were our ‘Lords and Masters, Senior Doctor Sirs, Fagmasters’. It was great to see them still sprightly and spirited. I spotted My Lord and Master doing a Salsa on the stage with his beautiful wife. Then there was another Senior Doctor Sir doing an energetic belly dance. This took me 30 years back to Men’s Hostel, 17th of July 1978 to be precise when we took our first tentative steps into the ‘Mansion of the Gods’ and the resident ‘Gods’ took it upon themselves to convert us into Godlike material through acts of initiation which were anything but Godly.
Evening entertainment provided by the ‘Pseudo Priapistic Catmites’ was a well awaited affair and preparation and planning were of the essence. The planning went on in the Lords and Masters rooms with us sitting on the floor as mute spectators, listening to our seniors planning our fate. There were of course immediate seniors who would also join in the machinations and contribute their mite. I was along with another class mate of mine, our Lords and Masters were neighbours hence we were initiated together. No ideas for anything entertaining was forthcoming, one of the immediate seniors asked my classmate which school he studied? He proudly replied “St. Peters, Panchgani, Senior Doctor Sir!” What was your school song? Was the next question. He sang it out for them,
“Bells are ringing!
Bells are ringing!
We must hasten to their call….”
Somewhere in the song the word ‘penetrate’ came, and that was like a Eureka moment for the seniors. The song was then rewritten and now went like this,
“Balls are clanging!
Balls are clanging!
Right upto the bogs and shagging,
We must hasten to their call,
render arses when in need,
penetrate the art of laying……. ”
The choreography was also planned, my classmate had to wear a tie and school blazer, hold two cricket balls tied with a string. And before beginning the song allow the balls to clang together accompanied by his own Tanndd! Tanndd!
Then it was my turn. The night before was the interclass music competition and a certain girl from the batch of 73 had sung the Hindi number “Aaj ki raat, yeh kaise raat, ki humko neend nahin aati….”. The girl was very attractive and had a characteristic way of swaying her hips while singing, I spotted her in the reunion this and she looks the same. This became the basis for my entertainment. I had to fashion a saree with two of my bed sheets pinned together length wise, for lipstick red marker pen was used! Yuck! Those were simpler times and who thought about toxicity. I was supposed to go on the stage sing the song while swaying my hips ‘___ madari’. Then at end of the song I am to announce, “I am ___ with a difference” and then dramatically lift the saree. Under the saree would be a bamboo and two cricket balls suspended from the waist.
So with the preparations completed we gathered outside the lower common room where a make shift stage had been made awaiting our turn. Our other class mates were also assembled there with varying attire varying from bra and panties, trophies from the raids of Women’s Hostel to a pink bow tied on the hair.
While awaiting our turn we could witness some of the other entertainment.
In those days there used to be a popular animated ad for red ‘lal’ eveready battery. It featured an animated radio walking and singing “kabhi kabhi mere dil aata…” then suddenly his voice would stop. Another radio would come and advice him to use ‘lal eveready’. Inspired on that theme one of my classmates enters the stage singing the same song and he stops. Then enters another classmate and says “Sir your voice is a eff up!” to which the first one replies, “yes I think I got the wrong thing stuck up.” To which the second one reaches to his back orifice and produces a ‘lal eveready’ and says “use lal eveready.” The first one takes it from him and pretends to use it as a suppository also giving a satisfied aaah exclamation. Then both of them leave the stage singing with arms around each other.
Next came three, one stood tall and thin covered by a sheet and wearing a helmet. The other two crouched on either side also covered by sheets. “I am ___ ‘s dick and this is my right ball and this is my left ball” declared the tall and thin one. “And we are going to show you how it’s done” declared the dick. Then all three of them began jumping in unison. “How is the weather up there?” asked the right ball. “Hot and humid replied the dick.”
As you can imagine there was a riot of laughter making our acts insipid in comparison.

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