SWADESH & VIDESH


Today, I read this very hilarious post about Indianisms

Now, I don’t intend making fun of death or of people dying. But I just want to say that I liked the way Kyla had imagined it in her post – “I get this image of someone walking along the steet, the clock striking a particular time and that person suddenly collapsing. That’s it, he’s expired

At this point, having worked outside India for a few months now, I have slowly begun to understand the way we Indians have developed what I would call “Inglish” (short for ‘Indianised English‘) Over a long period of speaking the Queen’s language, we have created our own vocabulary of English words. And then, armed with our H1B visas & Work-Permits, we go to work in western lands. Here we use this same ‘In-glish’, much to the shock & surprise of the people there.

I had this colleague, Raghu, who often used the phrase “Time-Pass“, which is very common for people in India – or atleast very very commonly used in Mumbai. For example,  “I was walking around the Mall just for time-pass“. Now the phrase is made up of two English words, time & pass. So Raghu thought it would be a commonly used term in U.K.  But that day when he used it in a meeting, he saw a big question mark come across the face of the Yorkshire-born Bob.
Then once we were having a big lunch-event for the entire project team. The project manager, Mark, suddenly points to Raj, and says that there was something he always wanted to ask. He says that the in the mails that Raj sends to the Support-Desk, the last line always was “Please do the needful to resolve this“.
Mark says, “In all my 45 years, I have never heard of the word ‘needful’ being taught in any school in Britain.  Its not even an English word ! Where did you get that word from ?” And then everyone at the table start laughing.

Well, I am sure I also use many such Inglish words. But then I would say its not entirely my fault. Its partly because of what I was taught at school. And partly due to my laziness to perfect the language.

And then, I would like to add here, every place & every country adds its own flavour to the English language.  Like the South African sitting in the next cubicle always says “Here in the US, everything about English is mixed up. They call a sport Soccer, when all over the world its called Football. And then, they call another sport Football, even though its hardly played with the foot !

Hmmmm … have you, at any time, knowingly or unknowingly, used any In-glish phrases ? Or, have you been at the receiving end of any In-glish ?

I like a lot of the “videshi” facilities and features available here, some of which are yet to reach our part of the world.

At the same time, there are quite a few “swadeshi” things that I miss, out here in the western world.
One of them is the friendly, neighbourhood Istriwalla – who comes to your house daily, on his trusted & rusted cycle, collects all your wrinkled & crumpled clothes (even if it is something teeny-weeny as Chintu’s T-shirt) and delivers them back within 24 hours, ironed and crisp like paper !  Of course, we are to forgive him for the one or two “Pan” stains on our pristine white shirts … after all, these happen only once every 6 months or so.

There are many things that I hate doing – but the one thing I hate the most is ironing clothes — especially ironing clothes over a nice & relaxing weekend, to wear to work the whole of next week.

I think it is high time they started giving out Work-permits / H1B-visas to Indian istriwallas, so that they can come over to this part of the world and provide their invaluable & skilled services to the hundreds of hard-working people here.

I am writing this after having ironed a lot of clothes over the long weekend. And even after that, the mountain of wrinkled clothes still stands huge & threatening.

Anyway, heres wishing A VERY VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! … To All Those Who Came Visiting Here … and especially to all those guys who, like me, are already thinking about all the ironing to be done in this new year !