The Bombay Times of February 27 carried this item, under the heading "The Tip":
- Q: How do I maintain a healthy singing voice?
A: When learning to sing, you'll be using your anatomy in new ways. Initially, don't sing too loud, too long or too often.
Or, in fact, at all.
Save your anatomy for other uses, is what I always say.
My hotel receipt from a couple of days ago in Nagpur acknowledges that I paid them my hard-earned money for, yes, "Loding and Bearding."
Well, as you can imagine, that was good news. I had been wondering where I could be bearded. I wonder, though, what they do with Sikhs.
Driving out of Nagpur towards Wardha, one stretch of the highway has milestones only every 5 kilometers. How do I know this? Because painted on them are these bits of information: "Kanyakumari 1585", "Kanyakumari 1580", "Kanyakumari 1575", "Kanyakumari 1570" and so on.
I know I might be wrong, but somehow I don't think most drivers on that route are heading for Kanyakumari, and thus need to be told every few minutes that they are 5 km closer, out of nearly 1600 km, to that delightful spot. Wouldn't it be more useful to count down the kilometres to the next town, like Wardha?
Naah! What a thought. I'm writing to the Highway Department to add Edinburgh, Ouagadougou and Guayaquil to those stones.
Seen on a truck that would not let us pass, thus giving me plenty of time to write this down:
Slow Drive Long Life
Neem kadwa hai magar chandan se kam nahin
Apna shahar Jabalpur London se kam nahin.
Though why we were being exhorted to blow Anil's horn escaped me. Couldn't he do it himself?
Sign on a gate in the dusty town of Pandharkawda:
Round Officer, Pandharkawda
I spent the rest of our time there searching for the Square, Triangular and Dodecahedronal Officers, but couldn't locate them. If you visit, and are able to find them, please let me know.
Barber shop in Pandharkawda has this sign up:
"There are always fireworks available here."
Well, good. But at a barber shop? Or is this a reference to the sort of haircut you can expect here? Or does this have something to do with bearding?
The newspaper Hitavada is a venerable Nagpur institution, so naturally I pored over the copy that someone slid under my hotel door one morning. (The selfsame bearding hotel).
The "Small Ads" section -- what they call classifieds -- had hordes of ads under such headings as "Health", "Educational", "Vacancy", "Accounts", "For Sale Property", "Home Tuition" ...
... and then, I swear, "Roof is Heating?"
With the question mark.
T-shirt on a scooter-borne young man, printed on it are two long rifles, crossed. Printed over the rifles, this legend:
Fantastic. I remember some lovely ones:
Galaxy Goats (meant to be Galaxy Coats for a paint shop of course). I pictured some goats flying in a starry night sky.
No Pising Allowed (=yahaan peshaab karna mana hain)
Amol Sank Bar (this was on the way to Cuffe Parade), don't know if it still exists.
Sigh, how I long to be back.
Really enjoy reading ur blog. This one made me laugh out loud on a particularly grumpy Friday morning - Thanks :)
My favourite is child bear...
Well...this goes a long way back but I still find it funny. In my Taluka (Tasgaon in Maharashtra), they had "renovated" the Tahsildar kacheri. They had big long counters and tables with white "sun-mica" (the kind of glossy plywood coat we have everywhere). There was also a stamp pad for people to use to put their thumb imprint. Many people must have wiped their thumbs on the new (and white) furniture, making a mess and making someone angry. SO they put up a board in Marathi near the place where they put the stamp-pad, "Krupaya aangtha uthavlyavar table var haat pusu naye - Hukumavaroon" (Please do not wipe your thumb on the furniture)
I found it very funny. If only the people who were wiping their thumbs could read, they would be able to laugh about it too.
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