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SMALL MEN (Chotolokhs)


‘CHotolokh,' meaning Small Man one of the most frequently used Bengali swear word. Almost everyone used this word at least once in his or her lifetime. However, did anyone ever wonder what attributes are required by an individual to be branded as a Small Man? What makes a 'chotolokh' different from other people? Hopefully the readers are going to get some answers from some arbitrary, yet classic examples of small men and their deeds given below:

Example 1: Meet X: a leather jacket wearing, pool playing, marijuana smoking, vodka drinking, sports car driving eighteen year old. His friends think he has everything a 'cool' guy like him needs a flashy car, a wardrobe full of conspicuous leather jackets, trunk load of ornaments dazzling earrings and bracelets etc, a rich and powerful politician of a dad, an arsenal of swear words in his vocabulary and last but not the least, a music band. (Heck, how can you possibly be dubbed as a 'cool guy' if you are not a member of an underground rock band?) His foes think that he has got every attribute required to be a complete obnoxious snob. He smokes marijuana in public, goes around threatening people, starts each and every conversation with a crude Bengali slang, beats up people at random etc.

So one day 'cool guy' X was driving his car at ninety miles an hour, listening to some shrieking metal song at full volume with marijuana smoke billowing out of his nostrils. He came across an intersection and as usual jammed down the brakes to bring his car to a screeching halt. Alas! He braked a tad too hard and his car veered out of control and hit a rickshaw. With a heart wrenching (applicable to X only) shatter, his car's headlight broke. X got down from his car. He was angry. Insanely angry. The only thing his brain could contemplate at the heat of the moment was 'duh! car light broken, rickshaw puller's fault, must beat up rickshaw puller' (did I mention his IQ is lower than that of a chimpanzee?). He stomped out of his car and approached the rickshaw puller. Without warning, he kicked the rickshaw puller, imprinting the sole of his size ten Caterpillar boot on the rickshaw puller's body. Then he took out a cue stick from the bonnet of his car and hit the poor rickshaw puller with it again and again and…

Luckily a crowd soon gathered and they started to beat up X (boroloker polare maair de some of them said) and wreck his car. Soon enough X's car was reduced to a pile of junk and he ended up in a hospital.

Wise men say: All's well that ends well.

Example 2: Dr. A has everything required to be an utterly horrendous teacher and a 'small man'. A big small man. Some say he is the missing link between men and monkeys while others believe that he is the living proof that human beings evolved from apes! He teaches O level Chemistry in a reputed English Medium school and despite the fact that a chimpanzee can teach better than him; he firmly believes that he is the best chemistry teacher in Bangladesh, the world even. He has a PhD and spends most of his time bragging about it. Its not surprising that most of the students avoid his classes, which really punctures his over inflated ego. If he catches any of the students (which he frequently does) bunking his class he would give a lecture in his Kitchen Zulu of an English accent: 'Incholent ishtudent (insolent students). How daar(dare) you bunk my kelach(class).. I am Dr A, I have a PhD, I teach in DU. You are going to get an U in O Level Chemistry. Baaad(bad) boys and garls(girls). My celaches are so interechting (interesting). Aphter (after) all, I am Dr A, I have a PhD and I tees (teach) in DU.'

Recently, I have heard that the school authorities found out that Dr. A spent an entire academic year doing nothing but bragging his PhD and his job at DU. So they fired him!

Example 3: Just a few months ago R was just an average guy. He went to an average school, had average grades, average friends and altogether led an average life. In fact the only thing that was not average was his intelligence, which was and still is, far below average. One fine day, R joined an underground metal band and before anyone could say 'Hasina Banu's Revenge is a horrible name for a rock band,' R and his band started performing at concerts and soon became popular (at least that's what he thought). Although their music only consisted of banshee-scream type singing, shrieking guitar playing and eardrums bursting drumming the crowd really loved them (after all, metal music is all about making as much noise as possible). R's pride and ego inflated to gigantic proportions and he started to feel as if he was the coolest person ever. He would tell his friends 'You people are all losers. I am famous. You people are not. I am a 'gitar man' (translation: guitarist) of a popular underground metal band. You people have no women, while I have many women and still got to Geek-arunessa girls school to get more. All metal fans worship me as if I am a super hero or something. And yes, even though I am fat and pudgy, I do look good in Spandex! I am the best gitar man alive. I can even play metal versions of Backstreet Boy's songs. So get down on your knees and worship me.'

Example 4: Mr. Y is just like any other sixty-year-old, old fashioned, religious Bengali man: he hates teenagers, especially teens that attend English Medium schools. He sports Bin Laden type beard, attires himself in dirty lungi and panjabi and is one of those irksome 'anti music internet, TV and all the good things in life' cults. He believes teenagers are 'obnoxious brats who should be studying and saying their prayers all the time' and starts each and every conversation with his self-made cliché: "Ajkalkar chele meyera eto beadob! Pora lekha kore na, namaj pore na, khali sharadin girlfriend ar boyfriend nie ghoore beray. Chi Chi. Lojjar bepar!" Teenagers have the grave misfortune of knowing him think of him as 'a miserly old bat who has nothing better to do than pick on teenagers and wants to suck down all the teenagers to the abysmal depths of his miserliness.’

Interestingly, Mr. Y's favourite channel is FTV and he loves watching Baywatch!

Just a few days ago Mr. Y had a massive heart attack. The sight of his son, riding a rickshaw with his mini skirt-wearing girlfriend was too much for his faint heart!


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