Monday, July 09, 2007

A Queer Conversation

Have you ever been so astounded by another person's comment that you have been unable to talk for some time? It happened once with me when I met that rickshaw puller, and it happened again last week.

As software engineers we are sometimes required to talk/chat with our clients and explain things to them, or get clarifications. This was the first time I was chatting to a French person on the client side, so my enthusiasm got the better of me. I thought I would open the conversation in French, a language in which I know only a few words. The chat proceeded somewhat like this:

I: Bonjour!

He: Hi.

He: Bonjour? You speak French? Where are you? France?

I: No no! I'm in India. I know only that much French. :-)

He: Ok...

*** Confidential chat that will cost me my job if published***

He: I'm sure it's clear to you now.

I: Merci! :-)

He: Only two words in French? :-)

I: Oui.

He: 3

I: Au revoir.

He: 4

He: Bhalo.

He: Pore kotha bolbo.

These last two lines, delivered in pure Bengali (meaning "Good. We'll talk later.") stunned me so much that I was unable to type anything more. My first thought was that the guy was a Bengali working under an alias and had been enjoying himself all this while. However, I was soon told that he knows only that much Bengali which was taught to him by one of my colleagues here. Nevertheless, it was a nice surprise and provided a welcome relief from my boring routine work.


  1. Yes! the life is full of surprises!

  2. Funny story.

    Europeans seem to have a natural knack for languages.

  3. sahi! :-) life brings so many surprises to us...that too very surprisingly! :-)

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  5. nteresting read Sugata.

    You are linked at my Blog. [:-)]

  6. @km: I'd say Indians too.

    @kalyan: Thanks for linking me.

    @all: Thanks for the comments.