There is an old Bollywood number – socha tha kya, kya ho gaya- sung beautifully by Surayya , the melody queen of yesteryears. This starting line has become my favourite these days , as I also repeat to myself – socha tha kya , kya ho gaya, instinctively. After slogging through for thirty five years of bonded service life, I had hoped for a happy retired life of a vagabond or an Albela i.e. a self willed person who is free to do or not to do anything , as he likes- with no boss overhead to control or dictate. These last about seven- and -a -half months of retired life have earned me the epithet – ‘bela’ courtesy my ever inventive ‘ well educated ‘ wife who repeats or rather parrots the expression a score of times every day , not entirely jokingly , much to my annoyance and consternation . Now ‘bela’ is a distortion of Punjabi word ‘ vehla ‘ meaning ‘ idler ‘ with nothing to do and has all the spare time or ‘ vehal ’ on his hands . I do not know what she expects of me in the twilight years of my life , though mercifully I enjoy good health, thanks to – more than anything else- my devil- may- care attitude. Now who can tell her, a typical housewife that a person has to pass through & bear with much in life to ensure a superannuation pension to spend the rest of life peacefully and in cool comfort. Instead she has made me feel like not only an idler but the epitome of one so much so that I am forced to go a step further and call myself Al- bela a la other expressions with the Arab prefix Al .
Now here is a call from me to all my fellow ’ belas ‘ to unite and become a Valentine unto one another , as there is little hope elsewhere !
Any takers ?
Happy Valentine Day !