Thursday, April 1, 2010

Squeeze me, please?

"Thank you, thank nice of you".

These eight words are like a time machine. They take me back to a time when people started letters with "I beg to state, Sir...", which ended with "Yours faithfully...".

Somehow, these words, they seem a bit out of place in this century of conversation wrap-ups like "will do" or "sure", "no problem" and "see ya", or, if you must, email deal sealers like, "cheers", "warm regards" or "best".

My first and only reaction is an irrepressible urge to giggle every time those eight words are uttered -- by a man of indeterminate age, who I have to liaise with sometimes, and who uses them to respond to my every 'thank you, Mr. T.'
Well, I guess my reaction to him is probably akin to what I imagine it would be if my boss turned up in a tuxedo to work. The  thought belies all reality and even our team's collective wild imagination. And of course inspires that chuckle. Unless, of course, the boss is reading this and grim meeting is to ensue. Hmmm, be that as it may (ah, that expression now!), the boss-in-a-tuxedo is what you might call a comforting thought, with its warm certainty of  'not likely to happen'. Like, ever? Surely there's comfort in such thoughts.

Now I wonder why some expressions endure, and reasons people choose to use them. I must admit to feeling a wee bit insecure every time I have to use an emotionally loaded "bloody hell" -- my absolute favourite. I fear that one day I'll find out that my star expression has gone the scary way of Dolph Lundgren and Sunny Deol and is not even in the B-league anymore. And that upon my uttering it, someone on the other end of the line would be helplessly chuckling at my anachronistic way of expressing extreme emotion while trying to imagine their boss in a lungi or kilt...or something. And I'm suddenly acquainted with the dread that lovers of 'peace, bro' must have to live with constantly.

Unless I have it all backwards anyway and 'bloody hell' never even made it to anyone else's B-league. There's some comfort in that too. It's all mine.

And then there's that favourite come-back word that all lecherous men in crowded Delhi subways/ pedestrian walkways/ movie theatres/ malls and grocery stroes use to brutal effect. It usually is uttered in response to a distracted "excuse me" on your part , one that magically transforms itself into a very focused, top-to-toe survey by the one blocking your way and ends with him muttering a cheeky "excuuuuused...."  back.
Now, what's with that?

Bloody hell. I beg to state that this might be the lamest blog post ever. But Mr. T's niceties needed to be acknowledged. My heart was bursting with his generous proclamations of my niceness, even as he deftly continues to avoid doing any work for me at all.

Many thanks for reading, anyway.
Sincere regards.
So, so very nice of you...

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