Thursday, January 13, 2011

Angrez ki Aulaad

Apparently there was some fest/seminar going on at the Symbiosis college campus in Hinjewadi.I reached Wakad square and waited  there for an auto.
An autowallah came by and started conversing with me in English.
Neither did I look like a foreigner nor was I wearing something extra ordinary so as to make an impression that I only spoke English.
He began.
"Madam, Where you go?"
I ignored him. I thought he was drunk.
"Shaam-bee-o-Shis?", he asked.
"What?", I bursted out into a chuckle and asked him to reiterate.
"Shaam-bee-o-shis college, you go?", he asked.
"Nahi, bhaiyaa", I replied.
"Then? Info-shis?", he asked.
"Mc D, Hinjewadi square", I replied, considering the option of boarding that auto.
"Sit Madam. 10 Busk", he replied.
"10 Busk??", I laughed and said to myself, "10 bucks. Great!", and got into the auto.
I wondered what was all this effort about. While I was having a hearty laugh, he broke again and said, "Very winter it is"
"Yes", I replied.
"Weather said, 3 degree it go tomorrow", he added and I realised he was trying to get into a conversation.
I was reluctant initially, but then I thought, this would be something really interesting.
"Aap ko thand nahi lagti, bhaiyya. Aap ne sweater nahi pehna", I asked him.
"No. Habit Madam. No winter, No Summer.", he replied.
"Yeh Symbiosis college me kuch hai kya?", I asked him.
"No Madam.", he said and gestured that he didn't know, finding no words to express.
"Aap English me hi baat karte ho kya?", I asked.
He laughed.
"Why, not good?", he asked.
"No, very good, very good", I replied.
"Passenger to Shaam-bi-o-Shis, daily comes to my Auto and talks Engliss. I shtart also. Eajy talk, lot passenger log, money get eajy.", he replied merrily, fluently and without a hint of the words he was speaking, let alone the grammar be.
"You want to learn English?", I asked, in English.
"No, Madam. I talk English. No learn. I know very much. Very much", he said confidently.
I still had no clue, why this fellow was speaking in English, where all the Autowallahs of Pune proudly conversed in Marathi.
"Bas yaha rok dena bhaiyya. Side me.", I said.
I have him a 20 Rs note.
"10 busk change?", he asked.
"No. Sorry", I said controlling my laughter.
"Why sorry, madam. Never sorry. Only Thank you", he said, realising that he had found a good listener in me.
He gave me coins in return and I left.
"Madam", he called out.
"Engliss, good no", he asked.
I showed him a thumbs up as he kicked his Auto and approached another passenger waving from the other side of the road.

I couldn't make sense of what happened. But it was one of the memorable auto rides for me. What the Britishers left behind, still prevails, to some extent.
The craze for emulating the west is still there..
aur usi chakkar me, kai baar, Aisa kuch bhi hota rehta hai :)