Friday, November 6, 2015

Humor in Uniform – Sudden “Death”

A Spoof

A few days ago  I saw the hilarious spectacle of a lady forcing her small daughter to speak to in English.
The lady herself did not seem quite fluent in English,
Her smattering of malapropisms was quite amusing.
Yet she insisted on speaking in English  and she was forcing her daughter to speak in English too.
It seemed as if she were embarrassed to speak in her own mother tongue  despite the fact that she was fluent in her mother tongue  and the persons she was conversing with all understood the vernacular language which was her mother tongue.
This reminded me of an episode that happened long back  more than 15 years ago – when I was in the Naval Dockyard at Mumbai.
We had a worker.
He was a USL (Unskilled Labour).
The beauty about him was that he took immense pride in speaking English.
He insisted on answering in English  even if someone spoke to him in Hindi or Marathi  which was his mother tongue.
He was cleaning my office one morning  when the phone rang.
The worker picked up the phone.
An officer from Delhi wanted to speak to me.
He is no more,” the worker answered.
He is no more?” the officer from Delhi asked – stunned on hearing these words.
The officer from Delhi was taken aback by the shocking news of my untimely and sudden “death”.
Still recovering from the shock  the officer from Delhi commiserated with the worker and he said to the worker: “Oh  I really did not know that he is no more – I am very sorry to hear this.”
With these words of condolence  the officer from Delhi disconnected the phone.
The worker felt good.
He had effectively communicated in English. 
In fact  he had matched the Naval Officer from Delhi – word for word  in the English Language.
After a few moments  the concerned officer from Delhi rang up the General Manager (GM) of the Dockyard to enquire about me.
“He is sitting right in front of me,” the GM said.
The officer from Delhi then told the GM about the phone call  and that he had been told by someone in my office that I was “no more”.
“Oh  he has been shifted to another department,” the GM said, “now he is no longer Manager XXX – he is now Manager YYY.”
We all had a good laugh.
The worker had said: “he is no more”.
What he meant to convey was: “he is no more here” (in this department).
He had just missed out one word “here”  – and the meaning had changed  and I was “consigned” to the “Davy Jones’ Locker”.
Or  was it a Freudian slip?
Not likely  since the worker  an innocent USL  was a really nice guy  who just wanted to show off his proficiency in the English Language.
It was just a case of “Effective” Communication.
So  next morning  I went back to my old office  and I gifted him a copy of the book: “Rapidex English Speaking Course”.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story was written by me Vikram Karve 15 years ago in the year 2000 and posted online by me a number of times including at urls:  and 

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