Roti once told me, talking on phone is not a hobby but an addiction; I take his word for it. When I see people glued to their mobile phones for hours, I wonder what exactly they talk about. Am totally clueless, what matters are being discussed on daily basis atleast once in a day, many times twice or even thrice. They must be discussing some serious business, matters of life and death that’s for sure [they must be; people actually miss lecture after lecture to discuss them]. Perhaps solution to the Indo-Pak dispute, or analyzing how Obama won [we got an assignment on Obama; rumor is our DG is writing a book on him and to ease things for himself he gave this assignment to 900 students].
I tried my hand at this talking activity a few times, but all in vain. Well finding someone to talk was not an issue but what to talk was [as I seldom discussed world politics or problems]. Moreover after few minutes the ear starts to ache followed by the hand [which is holding the phone] ending with the head. So I figured that it ain’t worth taking the pain.
Tell me something what is the most common and frequent phrase which you hear during such kind of conversation? No it ain’t ‘hi’ or ‘bye’. Neither ‘take care’ nor ‘see you later’. It is ‘Aur Bata’ [tell me more]; the subject of our today’s chit-chat.
While discussing matters of life and death there comes a point when either of the concerned party utters this phrase ‘Aur Sunao/Batao’. This means the current topic do not have anything else to discuss, Indo-Pak dispute is resolved let us move ahead.
I never understood exactly what they mean by ‘aur suna’. They want me to sing or what? Is this a sign meant to convey something? Does it indicate I should keep the phone down now; the other person is getting bored? Or does it mean I should keep on talking, person is actually enjoying it? It may be also possible that this ‘aur suna’ is actually said while anticipating another topic for discussion. The uttering party actually wants to talk but has run out of topics, so is asking the other one to throw in some points. I don’t know!
The answer to this ‘aur suna’ query is equally conventional and predictable ‘bas kuch khas nahi’ [well nothing much] preceded by a small pause. This is the time when the conversation is about to end. If none of them is interested in talking further, then after the reply there will be a comparatively longer pause and the one in a hurry to keep the phone down will bid adieu; if other also have had enough then it is the end of the road.
But if the other party still wants to talk, then will come up with some other world issue to be discussed. Depending upon the level of boredom of the first party the discussion on this issue will go on. If it is heights, sooner than later it will be ‘aur suna’ again and I guess this time it will be final adieu from both sides.
Generally nothing much comes out of the ‘aur suna’ ritual, but then they are not actually expecting any output either. I guess this is what rhetorical ‘aur suna’ all about.
P.S. not meant to offend anyone who is in talking on the phone and discussing world issues for hours [after that comment on ‘B schools and Lappys’ its good to play safe].