Language Barriers

I have lived most of my life in Tamil Nadu and I have never had any issues with language. I mean, I can talk Tamil as well as the next guy, read a bit of it and write enough to get me in trouble. I have never had issues, since wherever I went, I could easily manage with English, Hindi or most often Tamil. So, all my life I have never known what it is like to be spoken to by someone in a language you don’t know.

Suddenly that’s changed. I find myself in the middle of (nowhere actually) a place where I know not what they are saying. Sure, I can manage with Hindi, but there are people who don’t understand it. And I’ll tell you what, I don’t like the feeling one bit. Not knowing what someone is saying to you is pissing off.

Why am I writing this all of a sudden. Well, this morning a respectable looking lady asked me directions in Kannada. Well, all I understood was that she was asking for directions. I knew the place she was inquiring about, but then didn’t know how to make conversation. So instead of telling her “Go to that bus stop. Take bus 45 and you’ll be there”, I shrug. Now, I am a decent chap, and I feel bad about this. Now, if she has left it at that, I would have been relieved. But then she asks again quoting another landmark, she hopes I will know. I know this too, but then I don’t know how to tell her in Kannada. Also, worth mentioning is the fact that I was rushing to office. I can’t bring myself to shrug a second time. So, I point to the bus stop and mutter something, no one can understand, and flee from the place. Poor lady, must have been wondering what she said, that made me rush. It was embarrassing.

The second incident happened barely 13 hours later (the number of hours I work these days). I am in a bus back home, when some hot shot two wheeler decides to do some stunt in front of the bus. Now, the conductor getts annoyed and starts saying something. I turn back to see him , and eye meets eye. Suddenly, he takes I am interested in what he is saying and goes on and on with his discourse of which I don’t have the slightest of clue. I dare not tell him “Kannada Gotthilla” (I don’t know Kannada (The only phrase I know in Kannada) ), for the fear that he will punch me in my face. All I managed was to smile at him, turn my gaze away and never look in his direction again. And on the walk back home, I realised, how difficult it must be for people who don’t know the local languge in any place.


Typical Work Place Scenario

Have you ever been annoyed and pissed off by

a nincompoop higher up you’re really against? I have.

I just hate his gut and want to get this real straight.

(Ok, that came out real bad.) If you are a working individual, and are working in the IT industry (yeah industry), then you definitely have a higher-up who just annoys you so much you really want to inflict some damage on him/her. However, since I cannot do that without either being kicked out or being kicked out, 🙂 all I can do is vent it out on my blog.

Do you have a higher-up (I say higher up, because every company has its own terminology all of which sound equally funny. Module Leader, Group Leader, Program Analyst) who is so pathetic at English, that it makes you feel bad that you were even allocated to the same project ? On top of that when there is a mis-communication  and he/she says “Try to get what I am saying, ok?” , it just drives you up the wall. So, here’s an imaginary chat between my module leader and me, over internal communicator:

Me: Hey X, I need to go out for a bit. I should be back soon in 15-20 minutes.

X: were u going…. ??? (typical of people who think its cool to type with multiple punctuations)

Me: I just need to go to the bank.

X: oh. y ? (notice again how such people like typing y and sound cool and all that)

(I actually want to yell, on personal business. Do you mind ? But then I think of something better.)

Me: I am just going for a heist.

X: okie….just mk sure u cm bk in 1/2 hour.

Me: Thanks. Ill be back soon.

Ha! gotcha!! You should actually try something like this. I remember writing “colic” this once in my leave letter just for the kicks and my class teacher didn’t ask me a single question after that. 🙂 I guess I even got away with skipping a test.

Indian Traffic Boards

This morning, I had just finished watching the second movie back to back, when Abhishek (my Quizmate for the last year and a half, before which I had teammates of the likes of Shiva, Madhu and Hari), messages me taunting me. The message read “….I know you will be shocked seeing this message, especially at this time. I just wanted to say Good Morning…..” Now, I couldn’t resist messaging him back wishing him the same. We got messaging and I asked him to come out for a walk, which he declined. I went anyway, and got a few photographs. I normally go walking late evenings and that makes it very hard to get photographs, The lighting makes it almost impossible even if your camera boasts of a Xenon flash and there is always the risk of people thinking you are being voyeuristic. 🙂


It’s almost as if these boards are meant for disoriented pedestrians . It’s a warning. Look out. There is a tree ahead. If you are carrying a torch, the reflectors will come in handy.


Thank God, I was walking. If you were on a vehicle, you are actually expected to throw your cell phone out. Don’t you know the new rule ? It was passed in the parliament a few days back. It is to target cell phone users to use public transport facilities. The MTC drivers did protest though.


This is awesome. The speed limit is 40. You know, if ever you get caught, you don’t have to pay the cops money. You can prove it to them that you were traveling only at 40. You need to do a few conversions, and confuse them of course. But then if the cops are relentless saying “That and all I don’t know. 40 means 40, now give fifty and go”, then you still have a weapon. Pay him only twenty five bucks. (If you are an engineer.) Do you know how they say they will reduce half the marks for answers where you forget to mention the units ?


If the previous one was awesome, this one is even better. 40 kmps. Whoa!! Do they even know how much that is ? I’ll tell you what, all of you drive at whatever speeds you want. Feel confident. No matter how hard you try, I assure you, you will be within that speed limit prescribed there.

I feel a bit dejected though. They didn’t include aeroplanes and space shuttles on the picture. Maybe even Light. 🙂

(There is also this pic which I will post later where the unit for speed is equally creative. Credit goes to Marc for spotting that one. These three photos are almost like triumvirates of Indian Traffic Boards.)


Speed break. Yes. And have you observed how these boards always have two curves, whereas in reality there is always either one of them or three of them. It’s so that the driver brakes anyway. 😛 Even if he doesn’t read the board. Trust me, it works.


What message are they trying to convey ? I fail to understand.


Be aware. Be totally aware. What they are saying is if you (men) ever get married (or already are), and your wife will/is carry/ing your baby, then you can accuse her of being a thief. “You thief!! I read that board in Besant Nagar.I know what your intentions are. I am aware of you” Don’t be surprised if your wife then plans to divorce you.


Those house owners need to take it easy in and out of the garage. What are they thinking ? (Actually while photographing this, this girl from inside the house was looking at me suspiciously as if I was up to something. My intentions were honorable of course. 🙂 Which is why I had to stand there an extra few seconds and make sure only the board was in the photo.)


This one reads “No Sound Horn” “Ok, driver, quick, switch to ultrasound. That should drive the bats away. Is that bat mobile in the front ? Use it again. That bugger never moves”

And that concludes this compilation of Indian Traffic Boards. There’s more to come. I am jobless and I carry a camera phone. 🙂

English Massacred by Indian Government


Well, the other day I remember discussing with Marc somewhere as to how the experience of obtaining a Driving Licence can be a whole lot worse than obtaining a Passport. Right now I am so confused and dizzy (thanks to the application), that I ask of the readers to “bare” with me if there are any errors at all in the post.

Here is (ample ample) proof. English language murdered and massacred and on an Official Government of India form. Talk about revenge. 🙂

  • Signature of Thumb Impression

Signature of Thumb Impression

Ever thought about that ? You thumb impression can have a signature now. Completely digital too. Haven’t you heard of digital signatures ?

  • Yes I Enclose. And… ?

Yes I Enclose. And...?

#17 on the form says “I enclose three copies of my recent photograph (passport size photograph)” followed by a line where you are supposed to write something. What ? Yes, I do. ? Or do they expect us to write stuff like “This photograph was taken when I was in my 2nd year B.E. I used to play sports back then. That should explain the tan.”

  • Mot less than

Mot Less Than

Em En O Pee. How does it matter ? It’s all the same anyway. Ever seen how MIT spells Massachusetts anyway ? With a V. And here we are criticizing our poor Govt. officials.

  • Vehical fitred

Vehical Fitred

Vehical is like logical. We don’t say Logicel now do we ? And it’s supposed to be fitted with some red thing of some sort. A Half lime smeared in blood perhaps ?

  • Steering Whell

Steering Whell

Whell, what can I say ?

  • Au ourside, reaeily, ordinery, disbility

Au ourside, reaeliy, ordinery

Au ourside ? Wow, we have the Gold on our side now. How boring an outside would be ? Who wants an outside when you have gold on your side ?

But then how can you be suffering from muscular power ? Isn’t that like awesome ? Having muscular power ? It’s like saying Superman suffers from superpowers. Indeed he does.

Once you are involved with a distillery, its quite ordinary to spell ordinary as ordinery. Big deal.

Disbility is like Invisibility. Another superpower.

  • Here declare, there in are true

(shall upload soon)

  • Beleif

(shall upload soon)

  • Amplity


Amplity. Ok, I am clueless on this one. (Except it probably should have been amplify.)

  • Maybe required to given further

Maybe required to given further

Yeah. That’s right. Maybe required to given further details. Not give. Given.

  • Spectacle, less of member

Spectacle,Less of member

That these guys can even read and write English is a spectacle.

Less of a member ? This guy sure lost his member. Dismembered.

  • Ordinery


Just an ordinery spelling mistake. Nothing to it really.

  • Adriver


Adriver ? Is it like screwdriver or something ?

  • An details

An detials

Now this could be in detail or and details. It’s your guess.

  • Affax


Affax!! Meaning you can also do it over fax. Normally it has to be affixed in person.

  • A manner of his signature….???

A manner of his signature

I leave this for people to comment.

P.S: Some of the images didn’t come out so well. But you can’t really complain. I used a camera, not a scanner. Now,there were (or surely must have been) more of this funny stuff on the form, but then it was quite tiring to get even these many.I hope it was enough to keep you entertained and keep the British away and any idea they might have of invading India again. Hurray to Indian Culture. 😀

Indian English-Part I

After completing today’s ISRO Scientist Entry Test (which I am sure to flunk), I was walking back home from Thriuvanmiyur Signal. (The one between Bus Depot and RTO) and I saw this poster. How we Indians kill English. 🙂

Byeing and Selling

Ness Wadia (and hence Preity Zinta too 😉 )sure has reasons to be happy about. Bombay Dyeing is creating quite an impact on Indians.

Oh, the numbers are blanked out because I don’t want to be flooded with comments saying “I want a house in Adyar, Thiruvamniyur Area. Can you please SEND ?” No, don’t!! I am not a house broker.