What comes to your mind when you read: ‘dates can be naughty!’? Some more Sunandas and Shashis deciding on yet another clandestine meeting in Kochi? Another Liz hurling herself out of the reach of Shane Warne? Some obscure RJ of BIG FM asking Seema Parihar out for dinner? An innocent glance being dubbed ’emotional atyachaar’? Well, a date isn’t always involving yin and yang. A date doesn’t need to come singing love ballads. A date can be a mystery!

Yes, the date that I intend writing about is as mysterious as an idiom, as playful as interpretations, an adventure into translation, and as application-friendly as a moisturizer!

Its a date that I intend writing about. Not my date or your date or somebody else’s date… but just a date. 9th of February 2011. What is so special about the 9th of February 2011?

Put in words, this date in Hindi translates into ‘NAU DO GYARAH’ which is an idiom! This idiom, explained in English, means ‘cut and run’ or ‘do a bunk’… and as this date is yet to come, it will be interesting to see who does what. For instance, how many parliamentarians would ‘do the bunk’ that day? How many employees would be absent without official leave, how many student would be dating their girl friends during their class time, how many convicts would manage to give their captors the slip, and how many thoughts would manage to give writers and poets a block? I guess if the statistics turn out to be different from what a normal day would yield, the idiom has all the potential to hog the headlines!

Some bright spark in some email (forwarded to me, obviously) had mentioned that the ESC key on the keyboard ought to be called ‘Nau Do Gyarah’… sounds rather appropriate in Hindi. Though the English transcription would render the punch lifeless. The IT companies, the software engineers, and all those who love banging the keyboard (particularly those who understand Hindi in its idiomatic nuances) must lobby to officially crown this date (09.02.11) the ‘ESC DAY’… and appeal to everyone all over the world to spare this key on this day at least! If we can celebrate ‘earth day’ and and give electricity a breather every year, why not give a crucial key an opportunity ‘to do a bunk’!


I searched the net for some more trivia on ‘nau do gyarah’ and was surprised to find that the son of the composer of a bollywood film by this name (Nau Do Gyarah) tried his hand at acting and was a big flop. Fortunately, he decided to press the ESC key and re-boot in the industry as a music composer… I am talking of R D Burman (Pancham Da), son of S D Burman. This record (!) of being a flop actor but rediscovering talent in singing/composing is shared by Annu Malik (son of Sardar Malik), Himesh Reshammiya (son of Vipin Reshammiya), and also by Amit Kumar (son of Kishore Kumar). So doing the ‘nau do gyarah’ isn’t so bad after all. It is because of this idiom that wonderful music is in our lives. This bollywood connection is tugging at my sleeves to suggest that 09.02.11 must be a date that naughtily beckons ‘nau do gyarah’ in the AV world.

The idiom is also indicative of ‘to make good one’s escape’… thus 09.02.11 has a fair degree of significance for management too. The day can be earmarked for attempting to solve issues that have escaped attention, tried to run away from a solution, or have been allowed to be swept under the carpet. Obviously, I don’t mean only managements that are in the business domain… even the Government of India has ‘pending decisions’ and ‘out-of-view files’ that netas and babus alike would like to forget. Now tell me, how can we (the awakened, net savvy, connected common man!) allow indecision, bad decisions, and cowering files to make good their escape? Let me use Hinglish here to say: ‘09.02.11 ko aise indecisions, bad decisions, aur daree hui files ko nau do gyarah mat hone do!’ Now that makes the date rather naughty, doesn’t it?

To end, the fact that appealed me most was that the Dev Anand starer ‘Nau Do Gyarah’ was made in 1957… the year in which I was born. That does bring me nearer to fame of some sort… well?


© Arvind Passey
22 December 2010

Featured image credit: wawawa