About Hum Jayega
"Hum Jayega" is a popular name among the people of Eastern and Central Nepal, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Sikkim, Assam and Manipur for being associated with witty and funny jokes.
Literally, ‘Hum Jayega’ means ‘I will go’ in Hindi language and the phrase ‘Hum Jayega’ is a character widely used in the jokes and humorous pieces. In the 1980s and 90s the jokes enjoyed widespread popularity amongst youths in Kathmandu too. Many youngsters had memorized a lot of ‘Hum Jayega’ jokes that were retold to their friends. The jokes and stories of ‘Hum Jayega’ had also been a favorite pastime for many youths. The Hum Jayega jokes are still being told and equally enjoyed although it is much difficult to identify the original ones and the modified (or, the entirely new) ones.
The true identity of the joke teller driver Hum Jayega was not known to many. Many believe he was a fictional character and didn’t exist at all. Even the youngsters who have memorized many of the jokes of Hum Jayega don’t know who he was. Well, many were busy eating the fruit and didn’t care where it came from.
Well, that is where this website comes in. We want to eat fruit and also identify the tree. We would like to give the true identity and the true story of Hum Jayega, the legend of Nepali jokes.
Yes, Hum Jayega a real man, also known by Hum Jayega by many, his real name was Dal Bahadur Gurung. Dal Bahadur was born in Chungthung tea garden of Darjeeling, India on March of 1922 (some say, it was 1921 AD but there is not proof of his exact date of birth). His ancestors were from the place called Makluwa of Panchthar district of Nepal. Hum Jayega’s great grandfather Dhaujbeer Gurung migrated along with his family in 1814 AD from his native land and settled in Darjeeling. ‘Hum Jayega’ was the son of Man Bahadur Gurung.
Hum Jayega was from a poor family and hence wasn’t able to continue his studies beyond third grade. Frustrated from being unable to continue his studies, Hum Jayega then ran away to Calcutta in 1936 AD, at the age of 15. He faced various hardships and troubles during the journey. Lost in the crowds and alleys of Calcutta, Hum Jayega was later rescued by a saint named Prabuddhanda who took him to the place called Bhawanipur and consigned Hum Jayega to his uncle’s care.
That was the time of second world war and every unemployed youth was seeking his career to be a British Soldier. Camps had been setup for recruiting the soldiers. Hum Jayega also reached one of the camp to seek the job opportunity. But, he was rejected because he could not talk in English to the British officials. Hum Jayega became frustrated but didn’t loose hope. Later, with the help of British officials, he was admitted in Baligunj Engineering College for a year long course. After that, he was recruited in the army.
In the army, Hum Jayega learned driving and when his English officers had to go on a long journey, they would ask- "who wants to go?". Hum Jayega would reply, "Hum Jayega" (I will go). The reply became so popular among his friends and colleagues that "Hum Jayega" became his nickname – forever.
In 1948, at the age of 27, Hum Jayega returned back to Darjeeling. In Darjeeling he couldn’t find any jobs to get himself busy. So, Hum Jayega became a cab driver at the club side Motor stand. He used to tell the "Hum Jayega" stories (not the jokes – but they used to be very funny) during his service in Army. The stories were very popular in his new circle of friends who started calling him Hum Jayega. After a while, his friends forget his real name and the legend Hum Jayega was born.
One day, an English couple wanted to go to tiger Hill, which was then known for its difficult topography. Since the roads to Tiger Hill were under construction, the journey to Tiger Hill was risky and hazardous. And due to this, no cab driver was ready to take the English couple to the Tiger Hill. Hum Jayega, being a new driver didn’t know about the risk of the journey. So, he impulsively said, "Hum Jayega" (I will go). Hum Jayega’s friends believed that Hum Jayega wouldn’t return alive from Tiger Hill but to their dismay, Hum Jayega not only returned safe but also became the first man ever to take a vehicle to the summit of Tiger Hill.
Not only this but Hum Jayega was the first person to take a vehicle to Tumling as well. At around 1953 Hum Jayega drove his passenger to Tumling. Because of these deeds Hum Jayega gained popularity. His jokes (some told by himself and some with his name) added to his popularity.
From 1984 Hum Jayega started acting in humorous plays, satires and farces. By the help of these, he criticized the negative aspect and events of the society in a humorous and satirical ways. He was a master at his act. Yet, he has published nothing except his jokes collections.
Father of seven daughters and three sons, Hum Jayega or Dal Bahadur Gurung had a vice, ie. he drank excessively. He was aware of it but, was unable to improve himself. He has satired his drinking habit in the poem below:
आज पनि मैले एक पेग रम खाँए र मन तातो छ
सेतो छ कपाल, चाउरे छ गाला, नाक मेरो रातो छ
यो मैलो कोट छ, फाटेको नोट छ, कसैले लिँदैन्
अब त मलाई सबैले चिने उधारो दिदैन् ।——हम् जायेगा
(Today also I drank a glass of Rum and my heart is warm
My hair is white, cheeks wrinkled and my nose is red
I had this dirty coat and a torn note, no one accepts
Now, Everyone knows me so nobody gives me anything in credit.)
Hum Jayega lost all his wealth due to his drinking habit. So, the family was compelled to live in poverty. But the misery was never able to estrange Hum Jayega from laughing and making others laugh. Hum Jayega, who become legend like in just about 6 years, passed away on the April of 1992. (Originally collected and compiled by: Surath Giri)
More details of Hum Jayega was given by his grand daughter Bidhata Rai, who was 11 years old when her grandfather died. Bidhita provided the following photo of hers with her grandfather Hum Jayega and her brother to be published in Nepali daily Kathmandu Post.
Bidhita was working in the newspaper’s sister organization Kantipur TV, as a news reader.
In early 1980s he was screened for about two minutes in a popular Nepali movie Kusume Rumal. According to Hum Jayega’s daughter, Jeena, her father was very fun-loving and he was equally good in dancing, singing and acting, besides telling jokes. That was the reason the producer and director of Kusume Rumal, Tulsi Ghimire invited him to play in his film.
The following photo shows young Hum Jayega with his daughter Jeena:
- Kathmandu Post article on Humjayega
- Wikipedia page
- Cybersansar article
- Kusume Rumal movie (There is a short role of Hum Jayega in the movie)