Confusing Origins

3 Jan

“You never told me you had a cousin from the US…” this girl told my cousin Ash, when I was drinking and snacking there in New Year’s Eve’s Eve at Ash’s place.

“I don’t have a cousin from the US,” replied Ash, visibly confused.

“You’re from the US, aren’t you?” the friend continued, looking right at me.

“What? Me?” I exclaimed. I struggled to conceal how flattered I was by that misconception. “No, I’m nothing of the sort,” I continued, making the extra effort to Americanise my R’s and and softening the T’s.

“But you have an accent,” she insisted.

“I do not!” I was totally enjoying myself!

“Yes yes, you do. He does, doesn’t he?” she asked the people around.

“Well, only a South Indian one, if at all. 2.5 years in the south has done that to me!”

“No No, you have a distinct accent.”

Making sure to look confused on the outside, I grinned inwardly.


2009 didn’t have a bad start either. We were leaving home yesterday to visit and bid goodbye to throngs of visiting relatives when 2 men caught mom at the gate. She thought they must’ve come to meet someone at home, so she greeted them, before realising that they were actually self-proclaimed clairvoyants, spiritual advisors and the lot. So while mom got caught with one of the two, I stood at a bit of a distance watching her and urging her to hurry.

Meanwhile, the second fellow came up to me and forcefully shook my hand…
“What’s your name,” he began.
“No thank you”, I snapped back and walked away, but he followed.

“What are you doing right now? Studying? Working?” he began. I am my own spiritual counsel and have no need of him or any other, so I did not intend to entertain him for a moment.

“Studying,” I curly replied, before turning to Mom and telling her we were getting late.
“You’ve given your exams?” he persisted.

Unsung: Yes
Him: You’ll come first.
Unsung: My results are already out. I wasn’t first.
Him: Second?
Unsung: No.
Him: Then?
Unsung: It’s a batch of 1500. No one’s jobless enough to find out where who stands.
Him: You’ve come from London?
Unsung: Huh?
Him: You just need to get up earlier in the morning.
Unsung: There’s no need for that. I study enough.
Him: Take god’s name.
Unsung: I don’t believe in it.
Him: You’ve come from London?
Unsung: No, I haven’t.
Him: Well, US then, surely.
Unsung: No.
Him: Well, some country in Europe then!
Unsung: NO!
Him: Nowhere outside?
Unsung: NO!

By this time, I’d lost my patience and told mom to let me know when she was done fooling around, so that we could leave. With that I went outside, leaving one over-confident spiritual advisor feeling quite crummy.

Mom on the other hand was fascinated with the results she got. He’d asked her to write some things on a piece of paper, that he managed to guess quite accurately, without looking at. I thought of every confounded way he could’ve found it out. In hindsight, I suppose the partner had read it over her shoulder and signalled him somehow.

To think of the freaks that roam our streets! Oh well, if nothing else, they do make life for our lot mighty amusing!


4 Responses to “Confusing Origins”

  1. D January 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    But you should advise your mum to stay away from the likes. They can be quite dangerous as well. I’ve heard of women being robbed of all their jewellery and hypnotised into doing weird stuff by such self-proclaimed clairvoyants who are nothing better than thugs!

  2. unsungpsalm January 3, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    Well, they showed up just as we were leaving the house, so it couldn’t be helped.
    But my domestic help was nearby so even if I wasn’t around, he’d take care of her.

    I know it’s risky, very risky, but this element of risk is hard to eliminate.

  3. Nikita January 4, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

    Haha… but which accent do you really have, American or South Indian?? I guess both are way too different to be confused with each other. But it’s fun when someone gets confused about one’s origins.
    Anyway, I have dedicated few lines of poetry to you on my blog (those lines are not mine though 😉 ). Come and have a look.
    And this dedication happens because I really like your blog 🙂

  4. unsungpsalm January 4, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    Thank you Nikita! I saw your post before I saw this comment of yours, though. And I’m flattered by your compliment 😀

    I don’t have an accent at all. A very Indian one, slightly western in comparison with most of north india’s, but too many people have accents stronger than mine, in Delhi.

    Some told me I had a bit of a south India twang, because my best friend is south indian with a very strong local accent, and I have a tendency to pick up things from people around me.

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