27 December, 2009
Screwing up the English Language again!
Being an English teacher has its pros and cons!
We’ll keep the pros for some other day...anyways you guys know of them reading about my Teacher’s Day experiences last month. How much can one speak about the adoration one receives anyways? I think it’s foolish to state the obvious! ;)
So let me concentrate on the cons now...
For one I am always checking spellings....
I think it is a mental disorder and maybe such a disease has not yet been detected (I file for copyright issues hereby, in the written!)
When a wrong spelling appears on my screen on Facebook comments or otherwise....a kind of a chill passes through my spine!
And then I have to physically hold me right palm with my left one to stop it from typing the correction in the reply. Needless to say, like our ‘bade buzurgs’ (mind you...that’s ‘buzurgs’ as in elders and not ‘burgers’ as in what we gulp down thanks to Mcdonald’s bhaiyya every weekend!) have said...ant mein jeet hamesha right ke he hote hain...So there, without much that I can do about it, I spread my pearls of wisdom to the defaulter...much to my annoyance and his smug pleasure!
With the result that I am now officially jibed at as the ‘spelling corrector’!
Sometimes I feel my friends test me in game just to ascertain if my resistance powers have been strengthened or finally cultivated!
And like I do with everything else...I just give in to temptation!
But then some cons are quite hilarious actually that need to be shared with the world...
I happen to know a very sweet lady in her early forties...
She is a darling, a complete socialite and a charmer to say the least...the most polite and magnanimous soul that you could have come across...always ready to lend a helping hand and so ready to ask you to lend her your ears for displaying her gift of gab! But, but, but...and by ‘but’ I don’t mean her ‘rear’ side baba...here I would like to give you a peek into her ‘rare’ side!
Her ability to screw up English language with her literal translations!
Statutory warning: With due respect to all those who are not so fortunate to get education at elite convent schools to be able to ramble off English like a pro...this is just in light hearted humour, which she MIGHT also enjoy...but I have no qualms in admitting that I am a ‘Phato Singh’ and wouldn’t dare to let her read this!
Let’s call her Madam X for reference’s sake!
It’s so much fun as well as a torture to converse with Madam X.
‘Fun’ because in almost every sentence she would attempt to bring in her limited knowledge of English to exhibit how “with it” she is!
And ‘torture’ because you have to press your teeth hard so that the jaw does not open in a full spirited laughter or guffaw at the horrendous errors she contrives....
Madam X is angry this day because she and her dhobi are at loggerheads over some petty matter, when a poor soul walks in unaware that she would be witnessing a big bugle...
“Oh my god beta ji, you know this man is arguing and arguing and does not give down (she means give in)...I don’t know which mud he is made of (she means yeh aadmi kiss mitti ka bana hain)!
Madam X is knitting...and the electricity goes off. In a hurried bid to get some light, some of the stitches from her needle slide off....
Poor Madam X...all her efforts of the last half an hour gone down the drain. How does she react?
“Oho bhabhi ji...you know what happened today...I was doing knitting (mind you...not just knitting but doing it also!) And the light went away (not to the market my dear friends...it just went, ok) and my houses were falling in the dark (she meant to say...mere sillaaye ke sab ghar udhar gaye andhere mein...phew!)
Madam X has fractured her leg and is on bed rest, as well wishers pour in to find out how she is doing. A very tall visitor comes in and she tries to hug and give a peck on the cheek to the poor patient as a consolation...But obviously the restraints of space and heights come in between...
Madam X’s response with an innocent grin: “Beta ji...you would have to come down to make love to me...”
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! (She meant the girl would have to bend down to be able to embrace her lovingly)
Thank god the visitor was a girl and thank heavens she knew of her habit or else she would have fainted at the idea of a not so acceptable proposal of ‘making love’ to her aunt!
And at another time...she was expressing her well worded concern for me when she made this rejoinder:
“Beta ji, I have a feeling that you are not feeling too well?”
OMG...my feeling being felt by her...I then felt a feeling that the ‘pulse has something black’...daal mein kuch kaala hain....
OMG again...is this thing bloody infectious because I’ve begun to talk like her!
Madam X’s door has got jammed and try as much with her petite frame to push it open...she fails. So she hollers to the two sturdy young nephews who live on the ground floor to come up and help her open up...the door that is!
They oblige...use their shoulders and then their legs to shove it open, till they finally succeed....
Now in lieu of their services...she had to say something....she would have said something anyways even if they had failed or some other catastrophe may have conspired. So what does she say?
“Beta ji, thank you so much for the kicks...it feels so better now that it is opened!”
Nope...she is not semi pornographic my friend...she is just graphic and brilliantly literal at it!
Madam X goes to a party looking oh-so-page-3 and wanting oh so desperately to sound like one too...
She looks around like a lioness squinting here eyes incisively for a prospective prey and catches a glimpse of me...so I am the target today, huh?
I hear the prophetic words in the backdrop as though some aakashvaani blaring: “Thou shalt not laugh...though shalt not faint...thou shalt just grin and bear!”
She walks up to me, seeing me in jeans and a top for the first time, since she has generally seen me in the traditional salwaar-suit.
And what does she come out with:
“Beta ji, you are looking nice for a change!”
Oh ya aunty ji...you mean the change is looking nice on me or is this the first bloody day of my existence on this planet when I am looking nice!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course I didn’t say anything...I just grinned and bore!
She moved on to her next victim- the host!
“Oh my god bhabhi ji...see what your servant has done...so much water spread on the floor....
You know I was supposed to fall down here...and i saved myself from falling!” (mein shaayad yahan gir jaate aur mein girte girte bache!)
She meant she could have fallen down there...but then like the hundred other things that she supposes...she supposed this one too!
The evening concluded with the meal, as the sweet-tempered host came up to Madam X to ask if she’d take another serving of the dessert:
“Na na bhabhi ji...you know my stomach is full uptil here (she makes a line with her palm on her throat). Wow, her stomach had managed to rise up to her throat! Do we need to call the Guiness or something to inform of a new record being made here?
Boo hoo...we all could have cried for our inability to laugh at such a juncture. But then like always, we just took mental orgasmic pleasures in imagining how her hands and edges of fingers would have also been filled with food...poor soul...tch, tch...and by soul here I mean me!
Errors like these abound in everyday encounters. Although my dear friends, I don’t sit in vain pride to mock at them for each one of us is contrived of some folly. But at the end of the day...it never harms to be able to laugh at ourselves and squeeze out moments of humour that are harmless and not really at anyone’s expense. I still uphold that Madam X is a darling and the centre of attraction wherever she goes. She brings smiles on faces...knowingly or unknowingly and all adore her despite waiting every moment for her to falter...thankfully they all would be also just as willing to catch her before she falls!
Three cheers to Madam X! May she continue to screw up English language...we all are screwing it in our own right anyways!
P.S. Just to add to the screwing mode: I asked a little girl in my class to give me the female gender of a ram (a male sheep)...I was expecting her to say ewe (the female sheep)...but pat came the confident reply... “Ma’m Ram’s female would be Sita!”
Another student who insists that the abstract noun of truth would be truthness and badgers me on why make it full by calling it truthfulness? He invents words like repupulsive which means height of being repulsive...
Yet another was learning spellings when the word “jaunty” appeared...
His way of learning it....ma’m when “J” hooks up with “aunty” it becomes “jaunty”...
Phew! Would you still like to hear more?