Once upon a time there lived an IT guy. He was young, some say he was good-looking. He loved and was loved by a young IT gal. They loved in a small flat on the ground floor of a quiet neighborhood of Calcutta. He was not quite tall and not really of medium height, but somewhere in between. She was of just the right height.
We have met the IT guy and his lovely wife before. They are the same couple who wrested control of their flat from Cantankerous Cats. When we last met them, they had discovered a peeping tom, peeping in on them late at night. They were hard at work at that time of the night. The traveling IT guy was back for a brief conjugal visit home and was engaged at the time in filling in his expense forms. You can read that story by clicking this sentence.
The traveling IT guy was often missing for longish periods of time. Leaving the young IT gal alone for lengthy periods of time. On the left of the house as you looked at the house from the street, was the house of the landlords relatives. On the right, directly accessible from the IT guy’s “front” (side) door was a nosy neighbour in the form of an older lady, possibly of South Indian descent.
Well, she wasn’t really as nosy as she was curious. What she saw was a young lady living by herself. Some strange guy would show up every once in a while and stay a few nights. In between, various people came visiting, when the IT guy was back and even when he wasn’t. Two of these, a big bulky guy on a noisy Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle and a tall guy also on a similar motorbike were regulars.
One day the IT gal was standing at the open front door and was spotted by the neighbour. The IT gal smiled a weak and polite acknowledgement. The neighbour then broke into a broken conversation.
Now, it is important to note that the IT gal is not a native Hindi speaker, but does a speak it rather well, with much fluency, with only the odd masculine/feminine wiles of Hindi getting the better of her. Some of the more quaint colloquialisms were bound to trip her up.
The neighbour, as mentioned before, hailed from one of the South Indian states, so was also not very sure of her Hindi. But she was curious and wanted to know about the strange young people who lived next door, the midnight cooking (click this to read about that!!), the loud voices, the loud motorcycles reverberating in the middle of the night, the seldom seen IT guy. Most of all, I suppose she wanted to satisfy herself on the moral makeup of the IT gal.
The following conversation then ensued. In broken Hindi.
Neighbour: You’ve moved in recently?
IT gal: About 3-4 months ago, yes.
Neighbour: You go to work?
IT gal: Yes, I go to work near Manoharpukur
(this detail is not important, but is being used only to get to the punch line, which, I realize now, may not be as hilarious as it was to the IT guy and IT gal back then. It’s too late to back out now, I’ve already written over 500 words of this lame story !)
Neighbour: The guy who comes sometimes and stays here, is he your mister.
IT gal: taken aback by accent and unfamiliar terminology hears “mister” as “master” No, No! I don’t have any master or anything.
Neighbour: silently moves away, goes inside.
The IT gal is mystified, but happy to go back into her own flat. The neighbour never catches her eye again, but studiously and conscientiously avoids her at all times in the future.