Monday, November 23, 2009

Language biff-bash

Lighter side of language bashing. Nothing Thackerayesque here ;)

English vs Kannada (ah, the controversial topic) came up recently, when we were at a wedding over the weekend (me and 2 other friends-I'll call them Quiz master a.k.a Pyaaz Kaatke and the C dude - no points for guessing who they are) and the conversation drifted to the aforementioned topic.

Quiz master: Accha, C dude, fiancé ka spelling batha..
C dude: f i a n c e
Quiz master: Woh 'e' nahin, 'é' hain. 'e' ke upar ek tilak
C dude: Kya baat kar raha hain? (He fished out his iPhone with a flourish, opened the dictionary and searched for the word) Arrey you are right man (pause) But there are two words here: fiancé and fiancéé
Me: Haan. For different genders. One is pronounced fiancey and the other fiancei
C dude: Nahin. Pronounciation is same for both. See..
Me: (trying to recover) Ah.. It's a word derived from French. In French, if you add le before a word it's masculine; if you add la it's feminine. But English has no such distinction, hence they have extra é (a.k.a e with tilak)
C dude: What a stupid language. Indian languages are much better..
Quiz master: English is like that because it's not rule based, it's practise based. Let's take another word - spell Django
C dude: I give up
Quiz master: It's d j a n g o
C dude at this point made a statement that was almost a copy of Dharmendra's go = ಗು  dialog of Chupke Chupke. I remembered that he had once told me his name should actually be pronounced as rhyming with cream. I shuddered..
Quiz master: ?!?
C dude: That is why I call it a stupid language. We have no such problems in Kannada
Quiz master: Ok.. Let's go and wish the couples
Me: phew

Basher bashed:
Long long ago, I had a friend who's favourite topic was(guess, guess) English vs Kannada. He is rumoured to have asked an English teacher a question that stumped the lady completely, and  made sure she reserved the lowest marks in her subject for this guy. He also asked that question to a lot of other people mercilessly. My turn came one day.. He asked me: ನೆಹರು ಭಾರತದ ಎಷ್ಟನೆಯ ಪ್ರಧಾನ ಮಂತ್ರಿ? Translate this to English.. Heh he!!

Gears turned in my brain and out this came: If one were to prepare a list of Prime Ministers of India, sorted on the order in which they swore in, what position would Nehru occupy on that list?

Bash that!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Koda and the Zen of stomach ache and other maladies

You are a bigwig in the society (perhaps political), who has hundreds of people working under you. You have wielded power for a long time. You are thinking all this is going to last for ever, and you'll live to a ripe old age to enjoy the fruits of your (poor taxpayers ??) labour, when one day, all of a sudden, like a bolt out of the blue, you find that Income tax department has raided your palatial home, found that you have been involved in illegal transactions ammounting to several crores, and you are now facing detainment and possible arrest. So what do you do?

You fake it ofcourse.

Hmm.. This may not make much sense to all the readers out there, the humble voters/taxpayers. So let me elaborate. What you fake is some sort of illness. And what choices have you got? Well you could go for faking chest pain (do not go all the way one "patient" in Munnabhai MBBS does when Munna's dad visits his "hospital" - that won't work I suppose.. But then again, I'm not really sure of that) Or you could try the good old uneasiness and blood pressure thingy (you wont have to go to great lengths to fake uneasiness - just picture your imminent arrest - that should do the trick) There are several such illness you can always fake, but just make sure no other bigwig has used that reason in recent times. Not that it'll be easy for the sleuths to spot the fake. You see, my sir, people deserve something original..

If you have observed, I've never mentioned the humble stomach ache here. Yes, the world famous refuge of school-going children worldwide has now been used by Mr. Madhu Koda. So Sonu, if you want your mother to be convinced that you are indeed sick enough to skip school today, you'll have to use a different excuse. Sorry kid.. You see, it's all politics :( What really bugs me is, how is it that the IT department and ED (you pervert, it's Enforcement Directorate) bought this story, when, not once in all my school going years did my mother fall for this trick.. Koda ke performance mein kya hain jo mere mein nahin?!?

Madhu Koda, whose surname was carefully chosen by his grandfather, a Star Wars fanatic, now joins the great list of Movers and Fakers. Some of the more notable names on this list include Abdul-stamppaperismymiddlename-Telgi, Ramalinga Raju amongst others. A visibly heartbroken Koda granddad, told the press today that he had never expected his grandson would land in such trouble one day. "I had christened him Koda, along the lines of Yoda, hoping one day he would reach to great levels as the Jedi master. Actually I would have named him Madhu Yoda, if it weren't for the insistence of the village astrologer, who said it was numerologically advisable to have a surname starting with 'K'. This same piece of advice from the same astrologer worked wonders for Ekta Kapoor. I don't understand what went wrong", he said revealing the K connection

So finally what happened was that Koda was discharged from the Apollo hospital today. The doctor who treated him, told on the condition of anonymity that Koda's stomach ache was due to high levels of acidity, caused by indulging in all the spicy festival food his mother-in-law had made for him. "We have intravenously administered Gelusil to Mr.Koda. Joh karna tha humne kiye hain.. Ab toh bus unko dua ki zaroorat hain", he added in a quite filmi fashion. Now the nation awaits with a bated breath (reserved for such cases), as to what happens next...

One word of advise to dear readers. The above techniques though tried and tested over the years by several bigwigs, may not really work for you. So if you are in a similar situation, please do not try this, for the above stunts are performed by trained professionals. For the harder you try, the harder you fail. Do not 'try' to fake it, for it fakes all by itself.  Better yet, do not get into a similar situation at all. How do you do this? Pay all your taxes on time, do not bribe or get bribed and please for God's sake do go out and vote.. To make sure such people do not get elected ever again. I know, the next guy may be not be better than this one( he could be a lot worse), but let us by a process of elimination get rid of all these babus one by one.

Jaago re!! (and drink your tea too)