All of you will have faced this for sure. ‘Otraii Haeez’ is a very common ‘expression’ that we hear daily. Doctors hear it too very often while dealing with their patients.In Kashmiri dialect Ootree/Otraii means ‘day before yesterday’ and haeez is the respect that one adds to any person.
Making the literal meaning of ‘Otraii Haeez’ as ‘it was just day before yesterday sir/ madam’.But in practicality, ‘Otraii haeez’ has a life span far beyond ‘day before yesterday’.
It can vary from few days back to even few months back and in rare cases it can be even a year/s back. And it will be in varied areas of it being mentioned that the term carries that meaning.
As a doctor whenever I ask a patient or his attendant about when he or she has had her latest tests done, or the last he or she has reported to me for check-up - it will instantaneously be “Otraii haeez”.
But when it comes to checking that in reality it will never be day before or even a shade closer to that, it will always be as I mentioned weeks or months before.
I look at the person and ask him that it is not Otraii but far before that (paetme raete or paeteme waere), and he utters ‘walahaz waen - this is closer to Otraii. Oh My God! I utter to myself.
On the domestic front a query about when did one go to see a relative, the response is Otraii haeez. Again same may have happened many weeks before and the connotation will be same as I mentioned.
Some officers in response to a query will mention the same, as will an occasional religious head when asked did he do this or that. When did you come back from that place, when did you last cook that stuff, when did you last carry out that activity the answer is invariably “Ootraii haez”.
It is rampant in our society at all levels and is being taken as a norm. From religious activities, to health, to social, to day to day affairs we have this propensity to take things lightly and mention ‘Otraii haeez’ too very often. It reflects the easy go mentality of that person or the community as a whole.
It is true that with the fast paced life that we presently are in, the idea of time has changed quite significantly and we do face and feel that a week passes too quick compared to what it used to many decades back once the world seemed to be going at a slow pace. But then the present day is same 24 hours as it was then, nothing has been taken away from it
Does it matter in real world about telling (even though inadvertently) this. Well in certain situations it may not, as it will not be of any consequence but once it comes to health related issues it may make a difference. A test done few days/weeks before in certain situations may carry a totally different meaning compared to one done day before. Difference in coming to a conclusion, difference in management or a difference in one’s approach in handling that patient. Rarely it may mean life and death situation. We as doctors have to be precise in our decisions and so in what we are asked for. If one is not sure, mention that I will check or you check it sir rather than loosely refer to everything as ‘Ootraii haeez’.
Hope we correct ‘Ootraii haeez’ to its real meaning and not carry it anywhere beyond that. Let Ootraii be a day before only, not weeks/months before.
Dr Muzafar Maqsood Wani, Consultant Nephrologist, SKIMS, Soura.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.