A majority of my readers (that is, 5 or more) have said I’m pedantic. That I’m finicky. A few (i.e., 3 or less) have even said they spell-check their comments because I might point out errors. I am aghast. As a double drop-out, I don’t know enough to ped any ants. But I do hate bad spelling and bad punctuation. Which is why THESE guys are my current heroes. Go for it, Herson and Deck!
Another unlikely hero came into my life yesterday. Very Nice Colleague was in my office for a meeting. Received a call on his cell-phone. Spoke for a while. Tried to explain that he could help out the caller, but only if he were given a complaint in writing. Now VNC is a totally chilled person. Suddenly, he burst out in Hindi – Abbe b*****i ke, tu kar le jo karna hai! Haan record kar le, sun aisa kar, loudspeaker on kar aur poora
It was a little like seeing Federer spit at a line judge. Parallel universe. Turned out it was a call from a collection agency – some lady in his office had defaulted on a payment to ABN-Amro and they wanted him, as head of office, to Make Her Pay. After he’d pointed out politely (about 11 times) that her personal loan was her personal business and he really has no jurisdiction over it, the caller from the collection agency threatened HIM with dire consequences. At which point he lost his cool. (The caller hadn't realised that VNC is a Bihari, not a Bong)
We carried on with the meeting. The same guy kept calling. After the 15th call or so, I answered the phone. And thoroughly, oh so thoroughly, enjoyed myself. Sample exchanges (pardon the Pnjaab-bi and the lack of translation, but I thought the accent would make him feel at home)
§ O jee, aap ka naam kya ai jee? Kalra? Aap Pnjaab ke ai? Naeen? Jee ey to Pnjaab-bi naam ai jee. Ya to aap ke purkhon mein se koi Pnjaab se aaya owga, naeen toh koi Pnjaab gayee ogee, ai naa? Aap smajh rae ain naa?
§ (Later, when he had shouted at me thrice and used the familiar tu) Jee aap kee tehzeeb toh lajawaab ae – aap
§ Jee ae Archna kaun ae jee? Manne kahaan milegi? O jee baat sun lo, ladkee se gal karni ae toh himmat rakho, khud jaa ke gal kar lo jee, humein beech mein mat laao.
§ Baat bataao, aap ka is Archna se kya rishta ae? Darte kyun ae? Kya aap shaadi shuda ae? Nahin ae? Jee aap ke maa baap bhi shaadi shuda nahin the? Parampara ae kya?
§ Kya jee? Eddrass likh loon? O jee main kya likh paoonga, aap jaisa parha likha kahaan hoon, hota toh main bhi call centre mein na baith jaata?Kya? Meri naukri pyaari hai ki nahiin? Jee naukri toh bas naukri otee ae, aap mujhe doosree naukri dilwaogey kya? Main toh tyaar hoon.
§ O jee dil chhota na karo jee, maa-baap ne aap ki padhai adhoori rakh dee toh aap ka yeh haal, toh kya hua, aap bhi sattoo besan ke pakore bech ke trakki kar sakte ho jee.
§ Jee aap gussa thook do jee, aap ka blad prashur barh jaawe toh call centre mein toh madkel banfit nahin hogi, hai naa?
After 7 minutes and 48 seconds, spluttering incoherently, he hung up. With the promise to call again. And again. Sadly enough, he hasn’t kept his promise. I miss him. Come back, Sandeep Kalra who collects for ABN-Amro. I SO enjoyed our conversation. See, I could even introduce you to the nice people at ToI who swiped Twilight Fairy’s photo off her Flikr album, printed it in their paper and then offered her 1500 bucks “because they hadn’t asked her in advance”. Such nice people, no? And maybe they didn’t have the time to ask her because they were busy Leading India and Teaching