Guwahati: It is known that everyone must wear the mask in the wake of the Coronavirus. Against this backdrop, a filmy scene in Assam took place.
A villager with fever recently visited a government-run primary health center to get medicine in Assam’s Udalguri town.
The villagers face wasn’t covered so a nurse in the health center asked him to go to the nearest medical shop and get a mask. He had no mask on his face due to his lack of awareness of the coronavirus. The man left and soon retuned back with a fish leaving everyone astonished.
The nurse was shocked to see him with a fish. Later when she asked him about the whole scenario, he explained her that she himself has asked him to get fish.
This is because fish is called ‘maas’ in Assamese and he must have misheard the word ‘mask’.
According to the villager nurse asked him to get a ‘mask’. So he bought the fish instead of a mask.
Someone who understood his condition went to the medical shop and bought him a mask and asked to take the fish along with him. He reportedly left with the fish and the medicines.
The man has not been identified and hence could not be reached for comment but a senior health official confirmed the incident occurred a few days ago.
In most of the villages in our country, people have a little knowledge of English. That is why he, too, thought ‘mask’ as ‘mass’. English or Hindi is not the first or even the second language for many Indians. It is natural to get confused between similar sounding words that have different meanings in someone’s native language.
To everyone’s surprise, nobody ridiculed him for innocence rather helped him and made him understand the importance of the Mask.
English terms used by the government in its awareness drives on the pandemic are misunderstood by a section of people in rural Assam and perhaps in other parts of the country too and this is quite common.