English Vinglish

4 years ago

Gulsum Basheer   http://talkalittledo.wordpress.com/


In Bangalore close to the hospital where I did my post graduation there is  a youth hostel, kind of like a supervised lodging. Most of the student doctors, both girls and boys, lodged here, albeit on different floors.

There was always a waiting list to get accommodation in this lodge. It was never given on single occupancy. Two students had to reside together and share the rent, which worked out cheaper.  The rooms were fairly large, furnished with twin cots and bath attached.

The supervisor in charge of ‘letting out’ the rooms was an old man who regarded us with a benevolent eye. He was amicable but strict and was more like a father figure to all of us.

He had one flaw.

He spoke the language of his state, Kannada. But he was not very proficient in the English language.8671613-a-senior-man-is-reading-newspaper

16299432-three-color-version-of-the-cottage-or-a-private-homeThe hostel attracted students from all the states in India; he had to somehow manage to get himself understood with his Pidgin English. But he would always get his tenses wrong. Sometimes he even got  his ‘genders’ mixed up which led to disastrous howlers

At the start of an academic year, my two friends and I (three strapping men) had taken up lodgings there. One friend and I shared a room while the other friend occupied the last available room and was waiting to get a roommate.

That same day, a doctor (a guy) and his father approached our caretaker for a room.

They wanted a single occupancy room.

Our custodian told them:

“We no have single rooms. Rooms given only on twin sharing. At present only one room available. Already one person occupying it. Your son can share room with HER!”

10513358-grandfather-father-and-sonThe boy’s father had the shock of his life. Here was a man openly telling his son to live with a girl!6466054-blue-pillows-isolated

“I would prefer my son to share a room with another MALE doctor” said the father sternly.

Our friend was quick to put him at ease.

“Don’t worry sir. SHE is very much a MALE!”

PS: The father was not convinced. My friend was sent for. Seeing the six-foot guy from Kerala, the father was assured that the person with whom his bachelor son was going to share lodgings for the next two years was:

“Very much a MALE!”

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