Saturday, 24 January 2015

PAGREE



I am fond of Bengali song Bawshonto Eshe Geche ….’ It’s from a popular Bengali movie ‘Chotushkone’.  Since today is the Vasant Panchami and this Hindu festival marks the beginning of spring, it’s the right time for playing the song. I don’t miss that. But even before the arrival of Saraswati puja amidst winter, at times both my wife and I chanted these lines to invite spring. This year, the winter appears a bit wayward to me. I am a patient of high blood-pressure. Perhaps, for this reason I suffered a lot this time. My sleep was disturbed on many occasions and along with this I tasted some peculiar dreams. In one such dream, I found myself on the steering of a heavy truck. It was evening and I drove the vehicle from its initial parking place to a different location, just for a mischief. But, in the process I was caught red handed by a person who was aware of the registration number of the vehicle and its garage. I woke up at that critical moment to realize that it was a pure dream. So far I recollect, only once in my life time more than fifteen years back during the peak of insurgency I drove a canter truck for few moments when we were returning from a successful operation.
In another dream, I found myself in a posh hotel. The bathroom was quite big and there was a giant bathtub. Till that period, everything was alright but what I was planning to do I can not narrate in words. After the nightmare, on that night I had to attend toilet. It was the longer call. There had been few other experiences in the dream which I had forgotten as I discovered a way of getting out of this awful experience.
          I can not sleep wrapping my head and face. One night, I covered my ears making a Pagree (turban) with my muffler. That night I had a sound sleep. So, I repeated the tricks and was successful in my endeavor. Such benign use of Pagree was beyond my imagination. Fastening of a ribbon or cloth around skull always gives a person confidence. Glaring examples are tennis stars. You can not imagine portrait of players like Björn Borg, John Patrick McEnroe, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and so on without a bandana around their heads.   
          The word TURBAN has been derived from the ancient Persian word dulband through the Turkish tarbush which is a long scarf wrapped around the head. In ancient Egypt, the turban was worn as an ornamental head dress. They called it ‘pjr’, from which is derived the word ‘pugree’, so commonly used in India. It is a common head-dress for men in Middle Eastern and South-Asian countries. Early Persians in modern Iran and Phrygians in modern Turkey wore a conical cap (Phrygian cap) encircled by bands of cloth, which historians have suggested as the prototype of the modern turban. An early reference of the turban is found in the Roman author Ovid's Metamorphoses, dating to the 1st century BC. Ovid recounts the myth that Midas king of the Phrygians, an Indo-European people of central Turkey, wore a royal purple turban to cover his donkey ears. A style of turban called a phakeolis continued to be worn in that region by soldiers of the Byzantine army in the period 400-600 AD. The Prophet Muhammad, who lived during 570-632 AD, is believed to have worn a turban in white, the most holy colour. Many Muslim men choose to wear green, because it represents paradise, especially among followers of Sufism. In parts of North Africa, where blue is common, the shade of a turban can signify the tribe of wearer.
The Sanskrit word pak, from which the Punjabi pagg, or turban, is obviously derived, stands for maturity and greyness of hair. The turban of a Sikh is a gift given on Baisakhi Day of 1699 by the Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh. After giving Amrit to the Five Beloved Ones, he gave us bana, the distinctive dress that includes the turban. It is helpful to understand the historical context of his action. During Guru Gobind Singh’s time, the turban, or “dastar,” as it is called in Persian, carried a totally different connotation from that of a hat in Europe. The turban represented respectability and was a sign of nobility. At that time, a Mughal aristocrat or a Hindu Rajput could be distinguished by his turban. The Hindu Rajputs were the only Hindus allowed to wear ornate turbans, carry weapons and have their mustache and beard. Also at that time, only the Rajputs could have Singh (“lion”) or Kaur (“princess”) as their second name. Even the Gurus did not have Singh as part of their name, until the Tenth Guru. The Sikh Gurus sought to end all caste distinctions and vehemently opposed stratification of society by any means. They diligently worked to create an egalitarian society dedicated to justice and equality. The turban is certainly a gift of love from the founders of the Sikh religion and is symbolic of sovereignty that is of Divine concession. People in Punjab have been and still do exchange turbans with closest friends. Once they exchange turbans they become friends for life and forge a permanent relationship.
Pheta is the Marathi name for the traditional turban worn in Maharashtra, India. In ceremonies such as weddings, festive and cultural and religious celebrations as well it are common to wear Pheta. In many parts it is customary to offer male dignitaries a traditional welcome by offering a Pheta to wear. The choice of colour may indicate the occasion for which it is being worn and also may be typical to the place it is being worn in. Typical colours include Saffron (to indicate valour) and White (to indicate peace). In the past, wearing a Pheta was considered a mandatory part of clothing. Turbans worn in Rajasthan are referred to as the Pagari. They vary in style, colour and size. They also indicate a wearer's social class, caste, region and the occasion it being worn for. Its shape and size may also vary with the climatic conditions of the different regions. Turbans in the hot desert areas are large and loose. Farmers and shepherds, who need constant protection from the elements of nature, wear some of the biggest turbans. Rajasthani turbans are a prominent tourist attraction. Tourists are often encouraged to participate in turban-tying competitions.
Apart from Pagri, Gamucha (also gamocha, gamchcha, gamcha) is also used in India and Bangladesh as head-wear. However, traditionally it’s a thin, coarse, cotton towel that is used to dry the body after bathing or wiping sweat. It is often just worn on one side of the shoulder. Its appearance varies from region to region. Gamucha has been traditionally worn as scarf by male folks of Orissa which was mentioned in Oriya Mahabharata by Sarala Dasa. Male villagers wear it as dhoti. Weavers of traditional tantubaya or jugi community migrated from Bangladesh to Tripura and weavers of Orissa produce good quality gamucha.  Assamese Gamucha is traditional attire. Gamchas can be turned into an effective weapon against wolves, leopards, wild dogs or feral dogs or even dacoits, by knotting a large stone pebble into one end and using it like bolas.
There is nice little joke about the Behari Gamucha. Mokama Bridge over the Ganges connects North Bihar and South Bihar. Its span is about two kilometers and it was constructed in late fifties. It was very malaria-prone then. So, the workers engaged in the construction stitched a mosquito net of giant size collectively. Initially they were very happy with their efforts, but soon they realized that the concentration of mosquitoes both inside and outside the net is alike. Actually, the users of the mosquito net were regularly irregular in going out and coming inside the net and the insects did not miss the opportunity to sneak inside and suck blood. Ultimately, the labourers realized that it would not serve their purpose. They took their individual share of the cloth which they started using as Gamucha.
Gamucha had once saved my life. It was the spring of 1971 and our country was fighting battle with Pakistan. I was then a primary school boy. One morning I was digging a ‘V’-shaped trench with one of my friend. I had tied a Gamucha as Pagri. My friend was cutting the earth just behind me with a spade. Accidentally the sharp edge of his spade landed on my head and it touched my scalp cutting the layers of cloth and causing only a minor bleeding injury.

During my travel across northern and eastern India in extreme summer I have noticed both Pagri and Gamucha are the best protection against the ‘Loo’. Lastly, there is a winter connection of Pagri. In Tibet there is a place called Pagri Valley. It lies in an alpine steppe zone on the south Tibet, with an average annual temperature -0.2, and an extreme maximum temperature of 19.3. Pagri is rich in minerals, wild animals, plants, and tourism resources. 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

HELLO!


My daily routine includes a worship round inside A.D.Nagar Police Complex with my pet Molly in the morning. This ensures my canine to attend natural calls. My better half also joins us most of the time and inmates of the Complex have become habituated to this. They put question even if I skip for a day. In fact, one day I received a surprise gift from one inmate, an aged Havilder. I used to carry a dry tree branch for scaring street dogs so that they can not cause harm upon Molly. The gentleman was waiting for us and as we were crossing him he said, ‘Sir, your stick does not look nice. It’s for you. Take this one.’ Saying this, he gave me a solid bamboo cane which looks really very nice.
We come across some other regular persons and school going students. One such person is a retired police constable. He has slight insanity. The gentleman performs morning walk from very early in the morning till around ten. He walks in a zigzag manner and sometimes even caries out some free-hand exercise at the mid of the road. He carries dumbbells with him in a bag. When he was in service he was popular for his voracious eating habit and walking habit. As he was entrusted with runner’s duty, he had to visit various offices for delivering letters. Generally, he preferred to move on foot and one occasion, he covered the distance of fifty kilometers from Agartala to Udaipur on foot. He is a caring father of a teenage girl.
This morning, he stopped in front of us seeing Molly attending her potty. First, in his customary manner he praised my pet for its cuteness. Then he expressed his dismay over the release of only five percent DA by the State Government. Next, complaint was about the absence of natural justice system all around. Finding a silent listener in me he also told me the Bengali meaning of natural justice system and finally he added, ‘Sir, Sab Jaygay Hellor Upore Chalche….Sir, Everywhere Hello is in reign!’
As he left us I said to my wife, ‘What does he want to mean by Sab Jaygay Hellor Upore Chalche?’
She grinned and said, ‘I have seen other people including one of your PGs to utter this phrase. Perhaps, he wants to mean that these days a work can not be accomplished through normal channel. A phone call or a recommendation gives extra mileage.’
I was not aware of this ‘Hello culture’. So, I asked the same question to one of our officers in the office. He also said, ‘I have also noticed our police personnel in the control room to use this phrase. Perhaps, it means that the mobile culture is spoiling our society.’
Then, he narrated me how cell phones have engulfed our orthodox society. It left me further confused. So, I surfed through the net at night to add to my confusion. Hello Culture is a series of events that explores how digital technologies and media are disrupting the way cultural and heritage organizations can produce, interact, create, curate content, transforming how audiences can connect and engage with cultural experiences. “Hello Europe”, is a portal that links the European Union with neighbouring countries in the South Caucasus.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, hello is an alteration of hallo, hollo, which came from Old High German "halâ, holâ, emphatic imperative of halôn, holôn to fetch, used especially in hailing a ferryman. It also connects the development of hello to the influence of an earlier form, holla, whose origin is in the French holà As in addition to hello, halloo, hallo, hollo, hullo and (rarely) hillo also exist as variants or related words, the word can be spelt using any of all five vowels. Hellow is a form of greeting used by a hyper-active person in The Netherlands.
Hello is a salutation or greeting in the English language. It is attested in writing as early as the 1860s. The use of hello as a telephone greeting has been credited to Thomas Edison. According to one source, he expressed his surprise with a misheard Hullo. Alexander Graham Bell initially used Ahoy (as used on ships) as a telephone greeting. However, in 1877, Edison wrote to T.B.A. David, the president of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company of Pittsburgh, ‘Friend David, I do not think we shall need a call bell, as Hello! can be heard 10 to 20 feet away’.
By 1889, central telephone exchange operators were known as 'hello-girls' due to the association between the greeting and the telephone.
Our friend Nandu Panikar perhaps knows about Malayalam film Hallo. Its hero is Shivaraman. Initially he was a brilliant advocate. He went into a self-destructive mode and became highly intoxicated. His clients abandoned him. But he has a very devout follower Chandy. Whenever Shivaraman gets into one of his drunken brawls, it is Chandy who rescues him. Strangely, that doesn't diminish Shivaraman's public relation skills. After one particularly bad fight, he ends up becoming good buddies with three notorious rowdies in the area: Vadakkancherry Vakkachen , Bathery Babu and Pattambi Ravi.Soon, they too join his gang of loyalists.
The reason why this once-hotshot advocate had hit the bottle is revealed later. He was in love with a girl named Priya. But, his father and brother weren't happy about it. They come up with a very cruel way of ending the relationship. They lock Sivaraman in a room in the house on the day Shivaraman and Priya decided to elope. Priya, unaware of this happening waits for Shivaraman. A group of gangsters see Priya waiting late into the night, molests her and then kills her. When Shivaraman finds out about it, he is devastated and reacts by becoming an alcoholic.
Then one day, he receives a phone call on his mobile phone from a stranger named Parvathi. She reveals that she is the daughter of a local Marwari banker. On the phone she tells him that her life is in grave danger and begs him to rescue her. The phone call changes his life...
Parvathi is the daughter of Bada Bhai, the owner of a very successful bank - Dalal & Dalal. The bank is jointly owned by him and his brothers and relatives. They want to take control of the bank by killing Parvathi. When Shivaraman finds out that the threat is from her family, he takes her home and pretends to be her husband.Then begins the battle of wits and muscles with her greedy relatives. Slowly, Parvathi gets impressed by his brilliance and ends up falling in love with him.
Students learning a new computer programming language will often begin by writing a "Hello, world!" program. Last but not the least I have noticed "hello" is pronounced almost similarly by Afrikaans , Albanian, Arabic, Assamese, Bengali, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Gujarati, Hungarian, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Irish, Khmer, Marathi, Norwegian and so on.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

THE GANDHIGIRI OF A HORNBILL



Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. According to Hindu belief, he is the son of Brahma and the divine draftsman of the whole universe, the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and the official builder of all the gods' palaces. Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated every year on September 17, as a resolution time for workers and craftsmen to increase productivity and gain divine inspiration for creating novel products. This marks the birth of winter. This year, the very next day after the Vishwakarma Puja I was at Jampui Hills with my better half.
We started from Kumarghat around five and it was drizzling when we crossed Kanchanpur. Then, as we approached Vanghmung, it became foggy. We were then approximately 1000 meters above the sea level. Our driver is expert, and he had been to this earlier. In fact he had married a girl from the area. One local officer, Babul Mahajan also accompanied us from Kanchanpur.
This is our maiden visit to the land of Lushai. Taking cue from the historian Dr Prabal Barman, Lushai (Lusei) tribe is one of the eleven tribes of the Mizo people, residing in the area. They are short, sturdy and heavy people of Mongolian type. According to a popular belief, the Lushais were born of a deity ‘Singlung’, named after a mysterious cave, also named ‘Singlung’, located somewhere in ancient Burma (present Myanmar). Chinglung was a prince of Ching dynasty in the ancient China. He had earned some faithful disciples through his bravery. But, his way of life was not endorsed by his father. Having lost the faith of his father, Chinglung deserted his native place and took shelter in ‘Singlung’ cave with his followers. Due to some unknown reasons, the ‘Singlung’ deity became angry upon Chinglung and his supporters. They migrated towards further South West to present Mizoram and formed the greater Mizo clan. Lushais have their origin in the Ching dynasty.
We reached Vanghmung police guest house safely around half past seven in the evening. At Vanghmung, we were greeted with heavy showers and thundering, on our arrival. It continued intermittently accompanied by load shedding for short periods. The police guest house is actually an isolated two-storied quarters with CGI roofing and we were accommodated in the top floor. Somehow, it created a haunted ambience. I had an erratic dream in the night. In the dream, I found myself crossing an inundated place. Some people were catching fish here and there. Suddenly, one fellow pulled me from behind with a fish hook. He was an aged person. I could identify him though I had seen him only twice in my life long back. First time, it was when I arrested him for taking gratification and second time it was during trial of the case. Amount involved was a trivial, but the complainant was pursuing seriously the case. I escaped unhurt from the dream, as I woke up to see a pleasant morning waiting for us outside.
The scenic beauty of the Jampui hills enchanted me. The sun was yet to rise, but we did not miss to click the approaching dawn under the illumination of solar street light. The Longai River with hill ranges of Mizoram standing on the other side have made this places a treat to watch. But the euphoria evaporated to some extent when the local OC and my officer joined us in morning tea. Mr. Tripura, OC Vanghmung police station was narrating the surroundings and the topography. Suddenly, he said, ‘Sir, have you noticed any bird here?’
We realized, except the poultry bird we had not seen any flying creature. Instantly the song, ‘Bone Jadi Phulto Kusum Nei Keno Sei Paakhi, Kon Sudurer Aakash Hote Aanbo Taare Daaki…’, came in my mind.
The word ‘Lushai’ has derived from combination of two words ‘Lu’ and ‘Sha’. ‘Lu’ means ‘head’ and ‘sha’ means ‘to cut’, together, it means ‘cutting off head’. Hunting birds is a pastime of the Lushai boys. Cutting off heads actually means beheading birds’ head. We visited Eden Lodge and enjoyed the scenic beauty. But, by that time I had started comparing the Jampui Hills with the garden of Selfish Giant of Oscar Wild.
Perhaps, the Lushais consider the existence this beautiful creature bird in this world only as food. So, one will find that the names of local places have been derived from natural sources, other than birds. Thus, ‘Vang’, means ‘Aouwal’ (Vitex Peduncularis) in Lushai language and ‘Hmung’ means ‘place’, together Vanghmung means a place where Aouwal tree grows in abundance. ‘Hmung’ means ‘place’ and ‘pwi’ means ‘big’ in Lushai, together Hmunpwi means a big place or village. In similar manner, Lushai meaning of other places are Sabual : where animals take bath, Phuldungsei : a long grassy place, Tlang Sung : a high mountain, Hmawngchuan : top of a banyan tree, Tlaksih : muddy spring water, and so on.
But, why do I blame the Lushai alone? Hunting of wild animals and birds has become an order of the day. The list of prey of our lust includes deer, boar, bison, monkey, squirrel and so on, apart from all types of birds.
So, the birds have also started their agitation against this. We have a TSR post at Garia Dafadar Para under Kalyanpur police station. A few months back, a hornbill was killed by some greedy people. Its partner started visiting the place from the next day. This time, the villagers did not cause her harm. Rather, they tried to feed the bird, which had started fasting to protest against the human onslaught. The Gandhian laid down her life fasting. After her death, few more hornbills came to the spot and found the place safe for their stay. My friend from the TSR camp has counted their number the other day. They are six in all, all happy in the company of homosapien.


RED-TAPISM



There was an old blackberry tree in front of an office. One day it was uprooted by cyclone. Accidentally, a person was trapped underneath the tree. But, he was still alive. The garden attendant tried to rescue him by removing the fallen tree. He was restrained by his bosses who preferred to take permission of the department for cutting the tree. On the second day, the Forest Department gave permission. But, they suggested for the clearance of Horticulture Department before removal of the tree. The man was still alive, trapped under the plant with rapidly deteriorating health condition. Only the garden attendant was trying to save him by feeding in that condition. On the third day, the Horticulture Department gave clearance. But, they suggested for a clearance from Soil Conservation Department. The permission of Soil Conservation Department was received on the fourth day. When all efforts were made for removing the tree, somebody pointed out from records that the blackberry plant was planted by none other than the visiting Prime Minister of Mauritus. Cutting of this tree will pose a threat upon the international relation between India and Mauritus. So, the clearance from Foreign Ministry became necessary. The Foreign Ministry gave their permission quickly by the fifth day. But, it was not quick enough for the trapped man to survive. 

It’s an excerpt from one of my earlier stories, ‘The Memoir’s of the Kanchanjhanga’. The original story was written by Krishan Chander in Urdu during pre-independence. I called up this story yesterday on listening some practical experience of one of our officers. He has just retired on the last day of November. Since, we were awfully busy with the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister to our State on 1st December, we couldn’t arrange his farewell. Finally, yesterday I could manage some time to have a chat. His story goes like this: It was May, 1987. I was then a Sub-Inspector of Police. One Yugoslav national was detained at Sonamura for entering into India without valid documents. He was penniless. Police prosecuted him under the Indian Passport Act. The Court passed order, directing police to hand over him to Yugoslav Embassy, New Delhi. I was entrusted with the task by my boss.

Accompanied by a constable I escorted him to Yugoslav Embassy, New Delhi. There we met the Consul assigned for the purpose. The gentleman said to me, ‘Look, I can’t take the person on the strength of your Court’s order. We require the direction from your External Affairs Ministry.’
Camping at Tripura Bhawan, New Delhi, for next seven days I shuttled between the External Affairs Ministry and the Ministry of Home Affairs for the order. Finally, when I got it produced before the Yugoslav Embassy officer, he said, ‘See, I am receiving the order, but I can’t receive the subject. He needs to be identified by an officer from police station of his native place.’


By that time we were running short of money. One option of moving the External Affairs Ministry for order of deportation of the Yugoslav national appeared suitable to us. So, I again sought their help. We had to pass another week anxiously. Finally, we receive a deportation order. But, another problem cropped up, ‘Who will pay the journey fare of the Yugoslav national?’
Necessity is the mother of invention all the time. We came to know that the government of India maintains a contingency fund for such purpose. With much difficulty I managed the air-fare of the Yugoslav national for his return. He was put in a Moscow-bound flight from New Delhi Airport. 
Indeed, the bureaucratic red-tapism is omnipresent and it has crossed the continental boundary.

NOSTALGIA




Not all ads we see in TV charm us, but some ads leave indelible marks in our mind. The one of Lufthansa Airlines in which an aged person travels with his grandson and says to his young companion, ‘You know the Germans are a bit different’, belongs to this pedigree as per my count. Indeed the Germans are different. They can make history by ensuring fall of the Berlin Wall to reestablish unified Germany. In contrast, in our sub-continent we prefer to thicken the Radcliff Line by erecting barbed-wire fencing. 
It’s a common experience of listening nostalgic stories for many of us, placed like me whose parents and aged family members who had spent their childhood in present day Bangladesh. The other day I enjoyed the experience of visiting his motherland from an octogenarian retired engineer. Badal Basu was a boy of fifteen when he left his small town Feni in 1943 for study in Calcutta. It was then a sub district of Chittagong. Now, Feni is a small southeastern district of Bangladesh bordering Tripura. It has boundary with Chittagong district, Noakhali district, Comilla district and the Bay of Bengal. The Noakhali riots of October–November 1946 forced all his family members except one to take shelter in Tripura. The genocide or the Carnage did not perturb his elder brother Bidesh to stay with the Muslim community even after independence. However, he preferred to lead a bachelor’s life.
After retirement from service, in October 1993 Badal Basu could manage time and means to visit his native place which is now an abroad. The rickshaw journey from Akhoura border to the motor stand and subsequent journey by bus and train did not appear strenuous. But standing at his native place he became puzzled and started thinking if he had arrived at the right place. The changes that took place in a span of half a century was beyond his imagination. He took confirmation from a gentleman that he had arrived at the correct location. He preferred to move forward towards his brother’s house judging by his childhood knowledge. Again he fumbled, the roads are now wide and every now and then speeding cars passed him. Certainly, it was not the village road which he had left. It was afternoon. He found an option in the form of an aged rickshaw-puller to get his track confirmed. The rickshaw-puller drew his attention towards the sign-boards of road-side shops and said, ‘You seem to be a literate person. You can read the name of the lane.’
The lane is in the name of a prominent personality whom he had seen in his childhood days. He was relieved from this troubled situation by an elderly person of his age. The gentleman is a Mohammedan. He said, ‘It seems you are from this land. Where will you go?’
- To the house of Badal Basu.
- Badla! Can you identify me? We played football together. You were our star footballer.
Badal could identify his childhood friend. Meanwhile his comrade had sent advance information about his to the village through a motorcyclist. His friend hired a cycle-rickshaw and went forward. But, soon it became a small procession dominated by aged persons. Some of them were his childhood friends. He realized that the average longevity of people had increased.
Badal Basu spent a week at his paternal house. He was a late riser. But, in all those seven days his friends used to pick up him early in the morning for a move around in the village, followed by breakfast at someone’s house. One day he was taken to his school. The L-pattern mud-wall school has become a four storied mansion. The new generation students gave him felicitation.
However, the experience of penultimate day’s stay was the most memorable. On that morning he was taken by his friends to the local village chairman. The gentleman was in his forties. He had some visitors to meet, yet he extended due hospitality and sent the group of aged guests to his father in an inner room of the house. Chairman’s father was sitting in a raised chair and he was more aged than any one of the visitors. After brief discussion with Badal Basu, the aged man went inside only to return with his wife and his chairman son. Suddenly, he knelt down in front of Badal Basu and said, ‘I am your Mafizda. I used to serve as servant at your house and take you to school.’
Recognizing his Mafizda, Badal Basu embraced him and said, ‘You were my first guru for Bidi smoking!’

Er

The pay structures for employees in Public Sector Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratnas in our country are much higher than that of the State government employees, apart from medical and other facilities. So, one of our Inspectors was all elated on getting chance of serving as a security officer in a Navratna for three years on deputation. His experience graph starts with the orderly of his immediate boss. The man was from his own native place and my officer cherished a belief that the gentleman worked in some high position. He was lavish in expenditure in the locality. Finding him in the trade of serving tea and snacks in meetings, my officer virtually stumbled. But he was relieved by the peon, clad in safari suit, who actually requested my officer not to disclose his status in office at their native place.
The next point in his learning graph was an automobile engineer. The man was a member of Home Guard organization with knowledge of driving vehicle. He was an attendant of a DSP, occasionally performed marketing for his boss. But, he didn’t like his boss’s wife specially her efforts of putting him on domestic work. He quit his Home Guard job and joined as a driver in a private concern entrusted with providing hired vehicles to the Navratna. It had so happened that one day a heavy vehicle with rig-machine got struck in a marshy land. The experts of the company made some abortive attempts to restart the vehicle. When the regular officials gave up their efforts, our ex- Home Guard said, ‘Sir, may I have a try?’
Getting permission, he opened the bonnet of the vehicle and made some adjustment in diesel filter. The very next moment,sitting in the driver’s chair, he started the vehicle and after putting the vehicle in reverse gear he brought out the vehicle from swampy land. The officers present there were so impressed that they gave him a berth as motor mechanic in the company. In course of time, he attained the designation of automobile engineer.
The learning curve of my Inspector continued to rise and perhaps, on the third day he met an Assistant General Manager of the company, again an engineer. As my officer entered into the room, the engineer stood up on his feet and he looked perplexed. My officer could recognize the AGM. He was none other than a rowdy element whom he had arrested quite a number of occasions for breaking law. The cop could learn that his subject had managed the job on the strength of an ITI certificate.
In Tripura, we are accustomed to see such engineers. Once, I had enjoyed a nice little duel between one such Assistant Engineer and Professor of an Engineering College in course of morning walk. On getting the information that the gentleman was serving as an Assistant Engineer in a Navaratna, the Professor asked him from which college he had graduated. The Assistant Engineer was not able to pick up his question; rather he started arguing with the gentleman about the necessity of graduation degree for becoming an engineer. When the situation was going from bad to worse, one of my friends intervened and said, ‘Look you are Mr. X, Assistant Engineer and our sir is Er. Y, Professor of Engineering College. For putting ‘Er’, before the name meaning an Engineer, one requires a degree from recognized university.’
The professor had all praise for my friend for making the explanation so simple. Indeed, I have found diverse use of ‘Er’ in the net. So, it is used as suffix with adjectives or adverbs to form a comparative (e.g. fast to faster) and verb to make it an agent noun (e.g. cut to cutter), and so on. 
Er is a Myth as well in Greek philosophy. The story begins as a man named Er, son of Armenios of Pamphylia who died in a battle. When the bodies of those who died in the battle were collected, ten days after his death, Er remained un-decomposed. Two days later he revived on his funeral-pyre and told the others of his journey in the afterlife, including an account of reincarnation and the celestial spheres of the astral plane. The tale introduces the idea that moral people are rewarded and immoral people punished after death. 
I would like to conclude my write up with a quote, of Albert Einstein made in April 1921, during Einstein's first visit to Princeton University, ‘Raffiniert ist der Herr Gott, aber boshaft ist er nicht’. The words were later carved above the fireplace of the Common Room of Fine Hall in the former Mathematical Institute; in 1946 Einstein gave a freer translation: "God is subtle, but he is not malicious”.