Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Language misuse

I was walking leisurely when a person approached me.
“Do you know where the HK bank is?”
Before I could think, he continued: “This is Wahda Street, right?”
“Ye,” I did not complete the word when he queried, “That parallel road is JAN Street?”
He then pointed out a building at a distance and asked, “Do you see that blue skyscraper?”
 “Next to that - the yellow building. That must be the bank.” Saying so, he moved off.
I wondered whether I was the one looking for the bank.
The other day a similar incident happened.
A person asked me whether I knew where a restaurant was.
When I blinked, his partner mentioned in Tamil, “What a fool you asked. Look how he is blinking!” He apparently did not guess that I knew Tamil.
However, he is not the only culprit when it comes to language misuse.
I was in a taxi in Mumbai with my wife when I muttered to her in Tamil, “This driver will get an award for slow driving.”
Obviously, I had presumed he did not know the language.
He turned and remarked, “You want me to reach your destination or final destination?”


  1. Ha ha! Once my cousin and myself were giggling away in Bengali in Benaras on a cycle rickshaw... when he got fed up, he actually turned and asked in crystal clear, accent free Bengali, "What are you two girls laughing about?"

  2. The last one is the best! Typical Tamilian!

  3. Funny!
    One of my co-worker was traveling by subway when two ladies started badmouthing Asians - in German. Having spent his entire childhood in Germany Faisal gave them back a big lecture in German to the shock of those ladies.

  4. moral: It is always better to get confused yourself than to rely on a consultant for that!

  5. Ah if only there was a universal language understood by all - not nearly as much fun I know but it would be easier.

  6. LOL Yes I've noticed that people often assume about languages. I once noticed a family criticizing immigrants in Bangalore note Hindi speaking folks. They didn't understand that I understood perfectly well what they were cribbing about. The same happened when a couple were talking intimately in Gujarati, and I could perfectly follow them. It was only when I addressed them in Gujarati that they turned red :).

  7. I tried this trick while in London and I seem to have made a fool of myself

  8. lol! U have such hilarious tales to share :)

  9. Dear brother, you made me laugh rolling off my chair, this is one of your best humorous posts, its just flawless, very true that such incidents do happen in daily life and I had similar experiences too!! :)

    Thank you for the push, am back to blogging after a sort of break, now I'll be regular!! Credit goes to you, you have always stood by me, motivated me every time I lost track, blessed to have met you and lucky to have you as my friend!!

    Cheers bro,
    Sai :)

  10. All the incidents described by you are really funny, especially the HK Bank one. To get a shot of humour, one must always visit your blog.

  11. lol so funny
    .. this is called "smart Ass"
    (I m talking about the cabbie driver)

  12. Your blog is exactly like you say 'Cheese-24/7'.
    When we were in Pune, me & my wife use to comment almost everyone in Tamil & Malayalam and say this is called "Freedom of Speech" :). But that freedom is gone when we came to Cochin. :(
    We miss Pune. Thank god we dint get caught.