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May I know your good name, Sir?


In the good old student days in Pune when carefree meant dripping the feet in splash of water and flowing with the breeze splaying from one end to the other, I had a peculiar way of addressing people encountered for the first time. “May I know your good name, Sir?” The hair was pulled endlessly by the crazy people around me who broke into a cackle of laughter and claims, there is nothing good or bad about someone’s name.

Thinking that I made a booboo and asked whether something wrong was told, my friend laughed and said nothing wrong but I am adapting the Lucknowi tehzeeb to the English spoken during the old days. “It’s old English,” he told, not without adding that too much respect is not good for health. Ha! That didn’t calm me in using ‘good name’ while addressing people that was fun, quirky, jolly and humorous at the same time. There were many such expressions that I injected into my daily interactions which in turn made me the subject of conversation around.

Or, addressing someone relatively older to me by few ages as Sir made our coffee table chat funnier and everyone going berserk on what has fallen on my head. “By the way,” was another spicy thing that adorned my usually simple conversation and chirruping, “If you don’t mind, can I ask something?” No, we don’t mind at all Vishal, they chorused, for we have our own mind.  Such expressions were rarely used among the cool people that we were and the days when I would go dry without the priceless words ensured that my friend made it a point to remind that ‘good name’ hasn’t been used by me at all. The best friend would be like, ‘Good, good, good’ and I don’t know when I stopped using them.

There were many such expressions that harmlessly popped out of my mouth right from, ‘I’m telling you’ to ‘she’s flat on you’ and ‘outstation’ or ‘she passed out’ so much that someone thought that the ‘she’ has died. No! girl! I told her, she completed her grads that made this girl look silly for not reading through our funny old English Indian words that could actually kill a cool chick in no time. The words were my 2 PM instant Maggi noodle that provoked not just easy peasy laughter but gave gratification at my expense.

“You know what” or “Do one thing” are the other classic and funny Hinglish expressions that I keep using till date with “Arrey”, “Yaa” and “Haan” being part of my daily staple with fellow Indians on social media or the ones that I happen to cross path with. “What’s your good name, Sir?” You see I can be very vernacular with my expressions and sentences.

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