Micro Fiction: Communication


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He was new to everything, having arrived barely a couple of weeks ago, on the shores of this British dominion, as one of the administrators assigned to the then Governor General and Viceroy of India. Yes, the one referred to as the 'Laat Saab' by the locals, aka the hoi polloi. The many languages and the strange customs that the country boasted of, were alien to him. He seemed tentative and unsure of himself, an unusual change.

Being totally unfamiliar with Bengali, the local language of Bengal, or even Hindi, he was completely stumped for words while interacting with the servants. Thankfully, one of his senior colleagues, sensing his predicament, had given him a few 'tips', saying that there was no need to learn the local languages.

The senior told him that most of the staff spoke English while the servants spoke a kind of pidgin English, which he'll soon get used to.

The older man had then smiled and added, "Hindi is very much like English, they say." And had then proceeded to share with him a little 'trick'.

The new 'Laat Saab' was astonished at first, and then thought perhaps it was meant as a joke, and laughed.

The strange and amusing part of it, however, was that it worked... leaving him quite flummoxed... perhaps by the familiar-sounding words and the unexpected results they produced!

In the evening he would call, "Chawkidar!"

The fellow would appear, "Ji Saab?"

He then said, "There was a brown crow."

The Chowkidar: "Ji haan Saab," and carried out the task.

In the morning his instruction would be, "Chawkidar! There was a cold day." Again the fellow would do as asked.

And all the while, he would chuckle to himself and silently thank the old man profusely.


Picture Credit: 1st Art Gallery



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