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Time-Pass
by A. J. Rao Bookmark and Share
 


A very amusing thing about our way of living is our ingenious methods of filling time, known by a typical Indianism called 'time-pass'. Two brothers were travelling by a local train in Mumbai and the way one had to find standing space for oneself in the crowded train compartment left no scope for reading or any other activity forcing these two gentlemen to indulge in small talk between themselves. The talk goes on these lines:

Bhai saheb , where do you reside ?
Oh,I stay in Andheri
Surprising ! I stay there myself .By the way where in Andheri ?
In Lokhandwala complex .
Amazing . I stay there myself ! Which floor ?
The fifth floor . Don't tell me you stay there yourself !
Of course. That is where I stay . But which apartment ?
Apartment No 501 . 
Don't tell me that . As a matter of fact I stay there myself.

At this point of time a fellow- traveler who has been listening in is thoroughly bugged :

Bhai saheb, if you both stay in the same apartment isn't it intriguing that you don't know each other?.
The reply is classic. Of course we know each other. We are brothers. Do you have any objection to our little game of 'time pass '?

Our train journeys are long and tedious. The crowds do not let you sit in peace in a corner of the compartment in a seat allotted by the Railways. There is nothing sacrosanct about any seat allotment. You will find people without reserved seats nudging you out of your own seat. The coach becomes extremely hot in summer and the gentleman in the neighboring seat is puffing away his bidi smoke in your face. Under such circumstances what would you do except munch a packetful of roasted peanuts slowly breaking the shells and throwing them one by one all over the floor of the train? A paper cone full of peanuts is a perfect 'time-pass' in such circumstances. The vendors, in fact, sell them as Time-pass. The fun consists in breaking the shells one by one and littering the place with the shells. You have got value for money.

If you visit any one of the courts in the noontime you will find hundreds of people standing under the tree or near the chaiwallah's cart doing absolutely nothing. A majority of them are just hangers-on of the people who have come to transact some business in the Court. As a matter of fact some of them frequent the Courts regularly with no business of their own. They are here basically for Time-Pass. Many of them love being present in the Courts merely for the pleasure of making the people back home feel that they are important people. Many lawyers too just hang around in the courts with no specific business of their own.

The story is told of a client who approached a judge of the high court with a request to hear his matter directly without a lawyer. The Judge told him that there were many lawyers in the Court premises and he could have his matter argued by one of them. The client was unwilling to spend money for engaging a lawyer who would charge him a hefty fee. The Judge told him that there were so many lawyers without work that any one of them would gladly represent him for a mere Rs.10/-. The client approached one of the lawyers and requested him to represent him for a fee of Rs. 10/-. The lawyers present there told him that none of them was willing to work for him for Rs. 10/-. All those lawyers who worked for Rs10/- have already become High Court Judges!            

30-Jan-2005
More by :  A. J. Rao
 
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