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RESPECTABLE (DIS)APPEARANCE

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The respectable middle class restaurant was not very crowded that day. It was early evening and my wife and I were among the few patrons at that time. Waiting for our food, my wife idly scanned the nearby tables for occupants.

“See how gruff looking that guy is!” she remarked at one lone huge guy next table as I hastened to hush her, lest he hear. The gruff guy also had an equally gruff voice and was giving staccato orders to the aging bearer who appeared a little harassed.

At another table there was a young decent looking pair of youngsters, who were very soft spoken and mild mannered. Soon, however, we forgot about them and got immersed in our evening snacks when they were served.

Suddenly, there was a lot of unusual commotion. The elderly bearer was standing near the gruff man’s table, though the latter was not to be seen. As we were wondering what happened, gruffie returned and said, shaking his head angrily, “The rotten fellows have bolted.”

From their talk, we could make out that the ‘decent’ youngsters had disappeared without paying their bill.

As the poor old bearer started sobbing that the money would be deducted from his salary, we were amazed to see the ‘gruff’ man patting his hand and declaring, “Bring their bill to me. I will pay.”


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LINGUA-WOES

A Tamil gentleman nearly got clobbered when he appreciated the food served for lunch at his Telugu friend’s place.

The poor guy innocently said ‘Pramadham’ which means ‘Excellent’ in Tamil, but unfortunately means ‘Danger’ in Telugu!

‘Tamasha’ means ‘light stuff’, ‘Comedy’ etc in Malayalam, but beware if you use it flippantly with the Hindi speaking people.

Indiscreet use of this word- which means a street dance or something in Hindi- is not received kindly by them.

The simple word ‘Avasar’- which also is a Sanskrit root word- means ‘Occasion’ in Hindi; ‘Avasaram’ means ‘Requirement’ in Telugu; ‘Opportunity’ in Malayalam and ‘Hurry’ in Tamil!

There must of course be several such examples in the various languages ‘spooken’ in our delightful India.




RIGHT WRONG

Seeing her eyes glow in excitement,
Obviously though she has it all wrong,
I rush to grab the correction opportunity,

Till I have another look at the gleam in her eyes.

Hell, I think, let me be wrong a hundred times over,
If only to preserve that glorious joy,

Rather than prove her wrong
And watch her enthusiasm wither.

THULABARAM

There is, in the Lord's Abode in Guruvayoor,
A common balance for weighment of offerings.

It's called Thulabaram.

Only, it is anything but common.

A priest there is entrusted the task
Of weighing the offerings you committed
To Lord Krishna.

It may be a few kilos of some vegetable
Or fruit, grains or sugar or what you will.


But it got to be necessarily what you committed!

For,

Have seen with my own eyes
The priest struggling to weigh
A couple of kilos or maybe three
Of a certain vegetable, think it was yam.

But it simply wouldn't balance, though he
Kept on heaping the yam on it!

Then, on the priest's asking,
The devotee said he had thought
Of a different vegetable, maybe raw banana,

But had settled for yam since he couldn't
Get the banana.

The priest quickly removed the yam
Asked the devotee to be back
With the vegetable committed!

Only then, the priest said with conviction,

The weighment would happen.