December 24, 2004

Notes for a standup routine

My wife, she teaches French. Likes all things French. Most especially, cheese. In France, cheeses come with these crazy names that leave me baffled.

She'll yell "Do you want chevre cheese?" And I'll say "Sure I want to share cheese, but watch your grammar!" And she'll say "Leave my grandma out of this, OK? My grandpa too!" Which is how we get into a fight.

Then she'll say "Camembert cheese?" And I'll say "If you cannot bear cheese, why the hell are you eating it?" And we get into another fight. I'm coming to the conclusion I cannot stand cheese. Camembert cheese, actually.


Thing is, even if she teaches French, I don't learn much of the language. Gives me a complex sometimes. Had dinner the other night with one of her students, and she asked him in French, "Didn't you get a good grade in your exam?" And he said "Si!", and she turned to me and said "Look, he really knows French, he didn't say Oui, he said Si!" (There's a difference. Trust me). This, to prove to me how good a teacher she really is, and it's my fault that I can't learn the language.

But hey, it might have been the Spanish "Si", showing how confused the man is, can't distinguish between Spanish and French. Or he might have meant "C!", meaning the grade he got, showing how mediocre his French is. Or he might have been saying "See!", meaning here's my marksheet, see for yourself.

But I'm supposed to applaud this stuff.


Woke up this morning and was shocked. Someone had stolen ALL our furniture and left identical copies in the same spots. Can you imagine?

I have a map of India at home, scale is 1:1. They stole that too. Left an identical copy too, in the same place.


College days, I was never much of an athlete. Our wing of 12 guys formed a cricket team for a tournament. I was 12th man.

So I signed up for football. The coach was very good to me. First match, he told me I was going to play right back. Great, I thought. Match time, and he was right. I was right back indeed, twiddling my thumbs behind the goal. Next match, he told me I would be full back ...

But for the third match, he stopped fooling around. Told me I would be left out. Sure enough, I was. Left out of the team. So I returned to my cricket mates. Our first match, they made me point. Why should I point, I wanted to know. Later, I was long off. So long off the field that they called the cops.


My wife, she has something of a problem with American accents. The other day, our neighbour was walking his dog, and Vibha asked what his name was. The dog's name, that is. Now the neighbour grew up in the US (come to think of it, so did the dog). He replied, "Saaks".

Vibha thought, oh, must be some connection to that famous Fifth Avenue store. But imagine naming a dog after a department store! ("Shoppers' Stop, sit! Stay!"). These Americans! Later, she overheard the watchman talking to someone: Kya hai, voh kutta hai naa, uska pair pe voh safed hai na? Voh moja jaisa dikhta hai, moja. Iske liye, uska naam rakha hai Socks. Moja ka matlab socks, samjhe? [Gotta get the accent and intonation for the Bambaiya Hindi down right.] (Translation: You know that dog, seen the white on its legs? Looks like socks. That's why he's called Socks.)


amit varma said...

Lovely stuff. But what about Godhra?

Anonymous said...

I have three questions for you. Is your wife really a french teacher? Really? Really? filled up my quota.

Yazad Jal said...

Mon ami Dilip,

Ce website est pour vous.

Mais oui, il ne vous enseignera pas pronounciation. Pour cela, demander à votre femme pour vous donner les leçons!