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08 May 2007

"Appreciate", what?

"Why are you reading the dictionary?" I asked Rajeev.
For, Rajeev was doing just that. Lying flat on his bed, listening to some soft music on his music player, this guy was going through Oxford English Dictionary like it was some thriller.
Rajeev is a friend and colleague of mine. He is highly educated in Finance but like his kin from Bihar, is slightly weak in english.
It was to this Rajeev that I addressed that question on that sunday afternoon.
He looked up at me. He had that 'whadayacallit' look on his face. The same look that you will have if you slap a guy at a party thinking that it is your friend and the guy turns out to be your CEO. Or the same look that a sheep has....
Sheepish, I think they call it.
"Ask me the meaning of any word. I will tell you. Throw away that book since you have the walking dictionary standing in front of you." proclaimed I.
He looked at me thoughtfully. He had a different look this time. The guy was wrestling with a dilemma, I could tell. On the one hand he had come across something which warranted that sheepish look and he was in need of some clarifications. On the other hand as it were, whether he should confide in me, the world's most renowned news caster, from whom no secret is safe, about whom it is said 'What R knows today, Durgapur knows tomorrow'....
Finally he resigned to fate. "What is the meaning of 'appreciate'? " asked he (to me, of course. No one else was there)
I felt disappointed. Such simple word. He could have very well used the dictionary instead of wasting my talent on such trivialities.
But one has to oblige. "Praise, encourage..." I informed.
Again that thoughtful look. A look of a person with an unfulfilled clarification.
"Why what happened?" I asked casually. My curiosity was suddenly aroused. There is much deeper waters here I felt. One has to unearth and broadcast. One has a duty to the world.
" Sometime last week, the manager of BTS booked an appointment with me for yesterday" began Rajeev, "I waited for him the whole day, but he did not turn up. Today morning I met him. After the preliminaries he told me "Mr.Singh, I was supposed to meet you yesterday. I could not do so since I had to go to hospital to get an injection taken. I hope you will appreciate my problem". " Said Rajeev.
" I told him "That is a very good problem" ". continued Rajeev, "He gave me a vague look like I said something silly"
"I know I made a mistake somewhere, but I don't know where" he commented plaintively.
He again looked at the dictionary. "Ah, here it is. 'Appreciate' means "to look at a problem with sympathy". So that is what he meant"
"I don't know how I will face him tomorrow" said he as he covered his face with the book.

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