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Friday, June 4, 2010

It is a Funny Language Indeed !

I had this experience during my flying visit to my home before entering into the big bad world of office. My father had lined up a list of activities to be done in my brief four day visit” Update the pass book, close the loan account, fix the loan EMIs, check the insurance details, make your voter card, update your passport”

Hooha, it made me wonder as to why Nikelani does not speed up with the UID thing, would have at least made my holidays lazier.

Anyways I couldn’t argue with reason, so one day I had to go to the election office. Delhi babudom at its peek greeted me. I was happy; it was different from Chennai, the cheerful epithets(a welcome differnce from machan and rascal !!) , and the lazy demeanor. My happiness was soon to be tested; I slid across my Driving License (DL) across the verification counter.

This won’t do, this is not a valid photo identity. I was surprised, the DL had served me well during most of my travels if he was referring to the photo on the DL then I cant help it, I have aged like anyone else and I told him so.

" ना जी आपका ये कार्ड टाइप है,  मैं भी गज़ाबाद का हूँ और वहां तो कागज़ का बनता है ", and he proceeded to show me his DL.I told him that they had switched to laminated cards, but he said "जी जिस बारे मैं मुझे नहीं पता मैं उसको कैसे वेरिफ्य करून,  आप बताइए ? Logic irrefutable indeed :)

I wanted to land a choice comment on his lack of general knowledge, but the laws of babudom flashed in my eyes. I asked him what could be done, and he said to get any other id, thankfully my passport was handy and I slid it across, work done.

In now entered, at the same counter uncle ji aunty ji and their minted engineer back from his first trip to US. All staring at the babudom of Delhi with bewilderment.The uncle went to the first counter with a form and was returned a " " पहेल वेरिफ्य करा लो " .directive in a reasonably polite tone by Delhi standards. Uncle ji was miffed, muttering in English about the lack of direction, courtesies and so on he went to the second counter. Trouble was the verification was  third counter which was teeming with people, lots of queues had formed, uncle picked up one which looked straight.

After some time, he landed close to the window and showed his forms, and started in typical cultured south Indian English." लड़का आया है क्या " ? “ uncle ji couldn’t understand and the third time the babu shouted .

Uncle ji had enough he proceeded to give a tongue lashing in English and the babu just kept the forms leaned close to the window and said " सुनो जी उम्र का लिहाज़ कर रहा हूँ , एक बारी मैं आप बात समझ नहीं रहें हैं और दूर यह अंग्रेजी मैं गिट पिट बंद करो हम्मे और भी काम हैं"

It was fun. Madrasi babu dilli main !!

I had a beard about a week old so my lineage wasn’t entirely visible. A local standing next to me leaned across and said " यह मद्रासी बड़े अजीब होते हैं सब अंग्रेजी मैं ही बोलते हैं और उनकी मद्रासी भासाह बड़ी ही कटुक सी होती है, ससुरी कुछ सज्मझ ही नहीं आती"

Ahh irony of it, that made me smile, smile nice indeed. I nodded my head and after collecting my card went home and narrated the same incident to my mother. She had a hearty laugh too and said” ok Mr Kale madrasi, have your fulkas, going to be the last you see them for a couple more months to come.”

True indeed and I proceed with gusto.