Lobo Lobo, hydroxychloroquine and the hand jive

Updated: May 24, 2020, 07:19 IST | Rahul da Cunha | Mumbai

"Aatmanirbhar, means self-reliance. Look, Lobo Lobo, did you come over to only complain about long words?"

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul da CunhaLobo Lobo came over, with two large tomes in his arms—a Hindi-to-English dictionary and a large journal of medical terms.

"Lobo Lobo uhm, you want to tell me why you are, uhm, carrying these massive books," I began.

"Dikuna men, can you explain during dis lockdown, why so many big big words are being used, men? Can't bleddy understand only! I'll have to call to aks dat fellow who only speaks in words no less dan 20 alphabets, wot his name is? Ah, Shashi Taroor!"

"What do you mean, Theo, give me some examples?" I asked.

"Okay, Boss, fust tings fust, take 'Coronavirus', big bleddy long word, men. Arre! Illnesses should have simple words, na? Like fever, flu, cough, cold, polio, TB… dey are all short and sweet. As a total opposite, dey have named dis ting, Coronavirus men! And de shot form, COVID-19, why 19 men, when de year is 2020? Oooof damn tough to understand chhe!"

"Yes, Coronavirus, is..." I began, but again Lobo Lobo cut in.

"Den dat US Prezzie Trump chappie, wot wot drug he's aksing for, to cure malaria… oof has so many syllables—can't pronounce only. 'Hydrobleddywhatsitsumtingchlorine'" 

Hydroxychloroquine," I corrected.

"Arre men! Why dose medical buggers gave such a long long name, chhe? Just imagine, a blinking mosquito bites you, by de time you can say, 'Hydrobleddywhateveryoucallit'. De damn 'machhar' calls his entire khandaan to bite you men, and you will die of damn dengue before you have completed saying de word."

Lobo Lobo paused for breath.

"And dats not all. Den lets talk about closer home—every time, some announcement is made on TV, dere is a whole list of words dat go bumper over my head man. What is dis app 'Aarogya sethu', dat only sounds like a blinking disease. Den dere's 'mahamaari' dat sounds like 'maraamari'. Dere's 'Laxman rekha' and finally, please to explain to me, wot de devil is 'ATMnirbhar'?"

"Aatmanirbhar, means self-reliance. Look, Lobo Lobo, did you come over to only complain about long words?"

"No men! I also came to talk to you about my plans. My better half and I have decided to conduct dance classes."

"Nice! What kind of dance? Rumba, samba, salsa, cha-cha-cha, Charleston, ball room, tango?"

"Arre Dikuna men. Don't be a daboo men! No touch is allowed, na! Myrtle and I had to choose a dance form where during de lockdown we can teach on dis Zoom ting men, and den later, you don't always need to make contact wid your partner men."

"Why would you have to do that, Lobo Lobo?"

"Arrey men. It's obvious Boss. People are scared to touch each udder, dey want to keep social distancing. So our dance only involves hand movements."

"Ah Lobo Lobo, like the 70s movie, Grease, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John?"

"Yeah Dikuma men, but we have our own movements. You have to rub your palms together for 20 seconds."

"So, what's that dance called, Lobo Lobo?"

"It's the Handwash Jive," he concluded.

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahul.dacunha@mid-day.com

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