Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Only Words

I have to admit (with a tinge of regret) that I have had my fair share of faux-pas in conversation. In serial fashion, here is a list of 3 forgettable incidents.

(At age: 13 or 14)

My Dad and I were sitting side by side facing the TV - Dad reading the newspaper, I with a book in my hand. My mind was elsewhere - things at school had been a bit rough that day, thanks to the actions of one particular classmate. To lighten my load, I struck up conversation with Dad, "Baba, Rajat ke mone aache?" (Dad, do you remember Rajat?)

Dad replied, "Haan mone aache. Keno ki hoyeche or?" (Yes, what about him?)

I continue, "Kichu hobe keno? Just bolchi - o ekta real bugger. Shobai okey hate kore. Aajke jaano ki koreche - teacher homework joma newar kotha bhule gechilo. Aar amra-o decide korechilam je kicchu bolbo naa. O Beta hothat uthe bole ki naa, 'Mees, aajke homework joma neben naa?' Beta bohut jalaaton kore."
(What about him? Well only that he is a real bugger. And that's why everyone hates him. Know what he did today? Miss had very conveniently forgotten to ask for the homework, and we had got it all figured out - no one would utter a word about it. And then there was Mr Rajat, standing up to point out to his dear Miss, 'Meees. Won't you take the homework today?' Man, does he think he is Jesus Christ.")

Having thus vented my frustration on the despicable Rajat, I was feeling a little elated. However, my elation was to be short-lived. Dad, who had been patiently listening all the while, said, "Son, you're growing up. As you grow older, you will take up jobs of responsibility and meet up with people for important work."

I was getting confused. I wanted him to join me in the denunciation of Rajat Mehta, and he was talking about my future! Dad continued, "In those times, you need to remember to choose your words correctly."

Come now Dad, can't we have the vocab class later? I realized not, when Dad concluded thus, "Otherwise people might misinterpret you in a terrible fashion. I agree that the word 'bugger' seems to mean a person who disturbs you. But I promise you that if you will go and have a look at the dictionary, you will receive quite a shock."

Perplexed, I left the room. There I was thinking of ways to teach Rajat Mehta a lesson next day, and now here I was forced to go and consult the dictionary. However, after seeing the meaning, I could not enter the room again for quite some time afterwards. Rajat bashing would have to be taken up some other convenient time.

The meaning listed in the Cambridge dictionary was this:
- One who engages in sodomy, especially with animals.

... to be continued
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