Thursday, May 5, 2016

The earworm

We had a power outage at work. Something major, evidently because a team of four or five people arrived from the power company, after about an hour of the power going. By this time, it had become very stuffy inside and people wandered around outside, trying to find a place which was breezy, in the shade, and not crowded. But it was two out of three, really, and I shuffled from one place to another without finding anywhere comfortable to stand.

"Must ask the power company gents how long it will take", I thought to myself, and went off to institute inquiries.

The power company guys were toiling. There were three or four really sweaty guys poking around in a jumble of cables, with a distinguished looking guy, also really sweaty, standing behind them and telling them what to do. The sight of all this, plus the bunch of open-mouthed lookers-on awakened the engineer in me. Actually, I'm a mechanical engineer and singularly ill-equipped to offer any kind of expertise in an electrical situation (for that matter, I'm pretty ill-equipped to offer any kind of expertise in a mechanical situation as well, but I digress) but that did not deter me from contributing.

"That is  the main cable?" I asked one of the sweaty guys who was poking around in that general area.


"Hmm. And that....that is an HRC fuse?" Another sweaty guy admitted it was

"HRC stands for high rupturing capacity" I announced in the general direction of the sweaty guys.

The distinguished looking guy gave me a look like he'd highly like to rupture something

"That is a circuit breaker?"

The distinguished looking guy had had enough. Tactfully announcing that it was too dangerous for people to stand near electrical equipment like that, he shooed us away.

I returned, only to find even more people occupying the few shady and breezy spots. Also, I realized I had forgotten to ask the thing that I had gone there to ask those sweaty guys - when the power would be back. Just as I was turning around a bunch of guys standing in one of the shady, breezy spots started singing songs. A couple of them were dancing.

"Nanananana Chicken, kukudookoo, nanananananana chicken, kukudookoo"

I watched on in fascination at the spectacle, as I tried to make sense of the lyrics, which sounded daft to me. It turned out to be a song from the Salman Khan Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

Just then, the power came back on and everyone scurried back to their ACs. The day wore on, and I reached home at my usual hour.

"Annie, can we go to the mall?",  missus asked

"Right now? Why?"

"It's your niece's birthday. We have to buy her a present"

The fact of the matter is, my niece's birthday is not until next month, and I couldn't see why we HAD to go right now.

I opened my mouth to voice all this and to my consternation, all that came out was "Nanananana Chicken, kukudookoo, nanananananana chicken, kukudookoo"


"Let's go" I told her, sadly

We shopped around for a while in one of missus' favorite stores which, happily, had a 20% discount, so she tried on something and asked me for my opinion.

"Do you think it's a little tight on the hips?"

The right reply is "No, no, it's just right" but instead, I said "Nanananana Chicken, kukudookoo, nanananananana chicken, kukudookoo"


"I meant, it's just right"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, yes"


"Yes, yes"

and so on, till she grudgingly accepted that perhaps I might be right.

After we had finished shopping and in the car headed back home, she remarked that she was very happy with her buys.

"Really good clothes for THAT price, don't you think?"

"Nanananana Chicken, kukudookoo, nanananananana chicken, kukudookoo"

"NAREN!" she said, with an angry look

"I'm sorry" I told her "but that infernal song is just stuck in my head"

Something in my expression softened her

"Aww you poor thing. I'll tell you what to do. Get it out of your system"

"But how?"

"Sing it as many times as you can, while we are in the car, it'll get out"

So I sang and sang till we reached home and sure enough, it was gone! It didn't pop into my head again till I slept and it stayed out even when I woke up this morning.

Mornings are a tense time in the Shenoy household. There are milkmen to take milk from, paperwallahs to open the door for, clothes to take to the washing machine and so on and everything works with pretty much military precision.

As I was leaving, I asked missus if she had decided if she wanted to watch a movie this evening

"Nanananana Chicken, kukudookoo, nanananananana chicken, kukudookoo" she replied, sadly

"Sing it out of your system" I advised.


Anonymous said...

The technical term is Brain-itch - Of course you could shoo me away like the distinguished electrical engineer did. For after all, there is nothing useful in that statement.

"Nanananana Chicken, kukudookoo, nanananananana chicken, kukudookoo" - can you indicate the raag and taal to use please?

Nice write up!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me listen to the masterpiece. Chances are that I'll also have to sing that out of my system. Today I am not even supposed to eat non-veg, and this song is stuck in my head like a piece of chicken in the teeth. Remember how it had happened to one of your kids? I have a similar dilemma.

Glad to read something after a long time, from my favorite blogger. Keep writing, please!

Unknown said...

HAHAHAH This post had me laughing so hard. Thank you so much. When the tears finally dried I went and looked up that song and started laughing all over again.

Unknown said...

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