Humour Topic: Language(s) — 27 November 2013

There is a conspiracy afoot to get us to speak perfect English.

There is an astonishing number of advertisements in the papers for English language training to correct our voice and diction, get our grammar straightened out, to make our sentences march in neat little lines like soldiers.

Basically to take the Indian out of our English.

Please stop them, someone. Indian English has masala – not found in any other English in the world. I am lobbying to let it take its place as another kind of legitimate English, not as an incorrect version of real English. Like Indian food, Indian English has real flavour. Where else would they say things such as:

* Don’t stand in front of my back.

* A cow gives milk which we drink. Therefore it is our mother.

* Who took the breeze out of my cykill?

* Will you have some tea-shee? Biscuit-viscuit?

* Why aren’t you kneel-downing?

* Hurry-upping ma’am.

* Open the windows and let the atmosphere come in.

* Open the windows and let the Air Force come in.

Or the gentleman on the flight who told the stewardess: “I am vegetable but my wife is not and I will drink a Walking Johnny.”

Or my yoga teacher who guides us into shavasana by saying: “Now be relax. Loose your body, loose your arms, loose your face. Let the breathe come in from the nostril and look at your breathe.”

Or the nosey but well-meaning Punjabi couple, who within minutes, wanted to know everything about my life: “Pinky, are you married? Any issues? What does your husband do? What salary is he making? Where do you live? We live in Patel Nagar, right above Bhasin tailors, please come over. Do you like pickle? You can be having mine.”

Or the school Principal who gave this speech: “The school is like a garden. You are the seeds, school is the soil. We will bury you in this soil, pour water of knowledge on your heads and one day you will become great phools.”

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