Sunday, April 17, 2016

Do you cook yourself..............?

There are people who are not fluent in English and they know that they are not. They often resort to the vernacular language and do effective communication without causing much misunderstanding. This breed does not bother me. This group has gems like “that fellow does lots of gadbad, can not put your bharosa on him” etc. Though may not qualify for exalted company in the corridors of Oxford, they successfully complete what have set out to achieve i.e., put their point across without any ambiguity or I’d say rather with a flourish.

The other breed with whom I have often been forced to interact, adds new meanings to communication and ends up passing on information absolutely different and unconnected to what they intend to say. This group is not fluent in English but they think they are and what follows is absolute chaos, and from the chaos, may be, new phrases and languages are born. One of my friends belongs to this segment. A bachelor living with his friends, he often amuses me with remarks that are as shocking as they are original. On one occasion during a conversation he mentioned very confidently that he would remember his friend at 11 p.m. I was very surprised at this revelation. Not that I was interested whether he remembers his friend or not. However this candid submission of nocturnal remembrance led me to doubts of a different nature and I became, to say the least, curious. On further prodding it became evident that he wanted to remind his friend. This casual interchanging of two disparate words left me nonplussed. Six years down sands of time, he still remembers when he wants to remind. I admire the courage of this person who is at home in ascribing new meanings to a foreign language.

On another occasion, I, normally conditioned to his peculiar language, was still thrown into a state of utter disbelief when I inquired him about his routine dietary habits. I was hoping to find a good hotel he must be frequenting as I would be in need of the same due to the sudden decision of my spouse to proceed on her vacation, leaving me to fend for myself. “I cook myself” came the reply that knocked the daylights out of me. I could not believe the cannibalistic connotations attached to the probable confession. Pleading for clarity I deduced that he meant he was in the habit of cooking at home. I asked him, tongue-in-cheek, “who cooks your friend?”, knowing his friend had recently graduated and left for his hometown. It was a repartee wasted on a person not tuned to, nor has the capacity to understand, wit or sarcasm. Nonchalantly came the reply “who Vivek? Didn’t you know that he passed away?”

Amazing! He converted a graduate to a corpse with the help of only two syllables without batting an eyelid.

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