“Kamur” reaches a new high, sigh.

The following post is a lesson on “kamur”, and it serves the dual purpose of reinforcing the importance of learning from other’s mistakes (very specifically mine) so as to avoid “kamur”. However, to be fair to the unlighted of our species who have not been introduced to the wretched world of “kamur”, and also so as not to deprive them from the wonderful joy of learning a new word and adding to their hopefully ample vocabulary to describe a deplorable state of distress and misfortune, here’s the definition of this multipurpose word.

kamur (pronounced kaa-moor) origin and literal meaning, from the Assamese word for “bite”.
adjective feeling of excruciating and helpless irritation (definitely not physical but just as much palpable) on being in a situation one can’t escape from. Used to describe an event.
noun a person who is capable of making the other person feel excruciatingly and helplessly irritated. Also used to describe an event.

Now this bit would be confusing to anyone who’s not known the versatility of this word in Assamese. My theory is that basically “kamur” fits everywhere one feels like a misfit. It is meant to describe that feeling one gets from being slowly and painfully bitten in the mind (and nothing less, too!) because of someone, or something. Nauseated, bored, irritated, frustrated… everything combined into one word. “Kamur”. I could come up with a million examples to show what “kamur” really stands for but I need to focus on the next part of our lesson. The more practically useful one. The one that deals with the first definition of kamur.

But like all lessons go, I would want you to go through this semi-relevant piece that will further enhance your understanding. I am kind of fanatic about making sure you get what I am trying to say. So now pay attention to this lesson.

1. You get a phone call from your father in the university asking you for some seemingly harmless help during the coming B.Tech admissions to the university. You say yes without batting an eyelid. Come on, it is your Dad. You never say no to him, right? You put in your best loving and whining daughter voice and say no. You would have loved to, but it just doesn’t sound fun enough to be spending a precious day out of your endless summer vacation, working for a thankless university. So may you be excused, please? And you say thank you and hang up.

2. Your Dad asks you to travel forty-five minutes in a rickety bus through an excuse of a road (more like ribbons of road threaded through potholes) to the university on the day before the admissions, so you can “learn” what to do on the actual day. You gobble down your lunch and rush to catch the 1:45 bus in the torturous unforgiving summer sun, reach there panting and puffing to realize what you had to “learn” took all of three minutes, and that it could have been done over the phone. And then you wait for the rest of the three hours for the next bus to bring you back home. You know your Dad either underestimates you or overestimates the “work” you’re supposed to do (which, by the way is to enter some data, and hand out the printouts to the newly admitted student), so you call him up with some valid sounding excuse, and refuse to undergo the “kamur” (see, now you understand the usage?) of travelling all the way for absolutely nothing, waiting for three hours doing absolutely nothing, and coming back by the same rickety bus through the same way.

3. You reach the admission hall along with your Dad at dot nine, because that’s how your Dad is. You see the nice hall, you see the nicely done admission desks, you see the five (not one, not two, but five) computers lined up for your benefit, where “you” includes four other scapegoats they’ve managed to drag into this chaos. And you feel a sense of excitement in the air, fresh and crisp as a bright new day. You become nostalgic about the day you got admitted into this place, and you look forward to being a part of this….this day, which will, for a long time to come, remain etched in all the new students’ mind. You see light…! You actually expect yourself to enjoy the day…! But then again, you remind yourself that along with excitement, is the sense of pervading gloom, just like the shadow to the bright light. That way you don’t raise your expectations. Or even let expectations of having a remotely good time seep into your impressionable mind. And that, in turn, would not make the whole ordeal that much of a “kamur” for you. (Note the usage again. Alright. I should stop doing this. You get the point by now)

4. You sit on your alloted computer after the in-charge gives a demo of what you are supposed to do and wait for the admissions to start, and students to pour in like they should. And wait. And wait. The announcer keeps yelling name after name and you wait to see the physical entity you can attach to the name, but that doesn’t happen, and your overactive imagination is left to its own devices. And then finally whenever a student does materialize, he approaches the first computer (while you are at the third) and gets his print-out taken out. And then realization strikes you that this is how it is going to be for the rest of the day You are tad disappointed that there’s not much to be done, and keep waiting for the crowd to grow so your help is needed as well, and you somehow feel useful in some way. Yay! You talk to your Dad right then, demanding to be sent home by the next bus since you are not needed. You don’t wait till lunch. You definitely do not wait for the bus at 5:40. And you come back home and get some well-deserved sleep.

5. Well, actually there’s not much of a number five, but I am such a “three” or a “five” or a “ten” person you know. The point is that, don’t ever, ever, let yourself be dragged into a place where there’s too much work. But even more important, don’t ever, ever, ever, let yourself be dragged to a place where’s too less work. Specially when that “work” comprises of sitting in one place for eight hours straight. So much that the very students you had seen in the morning watching the proceedings with rapt attention, slump on their seats by the time it is afternoon. And the excitement you had felt in the air is now but history, so that all that remains is desperation and… well, yes, “kamur”. So much that you hear a million silent “Is it my turn yet?” per minute in those sleepy droopy eyes (if only eyes could scream, sigh!). So much that your own shoulders ache from having nothing to do but send random stupid mails (oh, yes, you have to look important in front of all those hundred eyes watching you, don’t you?) to people you know are not going to read those mails anyway. You simply take off in the opposite direction and run…..!

Enough of the lessons already. Hope the “lessons” lessen your fateful brushes with “kamur”. I don’t want to ramble on and be another “kamur”. Cheerio!


5 thoughts on ““Kamur” reaches a new high, sigh.

  1. Manjil P. Saikia says:

    1. You forgot the verb part of the word.

    2. Why did you call the University thankless?

    3. Who were the other four people getting the kamur?

    4. How many people got admitted today?

    5. Why are you a three,five or ten kind of person?

    Hope this is not kamur from me.


    • ssamhita says:

      Alright Manjil, for your benefit:

      1. kamur verb the act of putting somebody through the process of “kamur”, better known as giving “kamur”.

      2. Thankless because TU gave me a bland lunch and a backache. A pat on the back for enduring the “kamur” would have been helpful, in so many more ways than one.

      3. All research scholars from Physics department who spent half the time “Google”ing stuff for their research.

      4. Not much. Lot of seats are still vacant. Contact the Controller for the exact numbers!

      5. Because my name means numbers, and if I am not in love with a few special numbers I would be doing injustice to my name.

      Enough already?


  2. Purbarag Pathak Choudhury says:

    Now that is what is called teaching..!! Undoubtedly, you could be one of the best teacher anywhere in the world. And I could almost visualize you sitting glued on the pained bums, eyes rapidly switching glances at the small screen and the big screen, the unwanted feeling and the feeling of wanting to be useful, perspiring profusely and the bad backache. So the summary of the story I feel is this: The whole labor was for nothing… a damn crap and all the time you were busy doing almost nothing at all???


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