Friday, May 2, 2008

Communication and confusion

Our class 9 English professor Madam Gonzalez had arrived in Thane for the first time. She was hunting for a house. She was told about a flat in K. Villa. She reached the place with her son and asked a neighborhood shopkeeper for the owner of that place.

Shopkeeper replied, “Aap unse nahi mil payenge, who aadmi Gujarat gaya hai.”

On hearing this Madam Gonzalez demanded, “Thik hai, woh vapas kab aaye ga? Hume unka ghar kiraye pe chahiye.”

The shopkeeper looked scandalized. He shopkeeper responded, Madam aap kaisi baat kar rahi ho? Aadmi Gujarat gaya hai. Aadmi Gujarat jaane ke baad vapas kaisa aaye ga?”

It was Madam’s turn to be scandalized. She answered, “Kyun vapas nahi aaye gaa? Uska ghar hai idhar! Thik hai, agar woh vapas nahi aane waala toh koi contact number hoga naa uska. Hume usse baat karni hai.”

The shopkeeper was perplexed.

He retorted, “Aap samajhti nahi hai kya? Idhar ghar hai toh kya hua? Gujarat jaane ke baad koi aadmi vapas nahi aata.”

Madam was about to snap back at him when her son interrupted, “Mamma, he did not say ‘Gujarat’ gaaya, he said ‘Gujar’ gaya.”

She narrated this incidence in class while she was teaching us the importance of accurate pronunciation and active listening.


Vivek said...

Very true. Enunciation is perhaps the key to better communication at times. Often we end up making the silliest of gaffes when we mishear or interpret a certain word or sentence.

Michael A. Marcus said...

Hello Natalia, I came across your blog while surfing for info on Gujarat. I am a teacher, writer,and photographer in the U.S with a blog
some of my postings involve India/NRIs. prior to the "photo tips". Anyway I have a question for you: I don't know Hindi or Gujarati but I am curious about what the teacher said: was there anything negative being said about Gujarat or Gujaratis? I know some NRI "Gujjus" and I think they are on the receiving end of stereotypes and get an undeserved "bad press" here and in India somewhat. Just curious. Anyway,TIA for your reply:

Swats said...

that is soo typical of gonzooooo some incident regarding her or her son has to be the topic of the day in her lecs....lolz aah well nic estory tho.....gujar and Gujarat...... hahahha

Volksgrenadier said...

le pathetique
and @marcus tulius cicero, its wordplay between gujar (means death in hindi) and gujrat (the mini-dictatorship of india).

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