November 21, 2008

‘Hardly’ Matters

Posted in Language Tunes at 10:47 am by kailash

Ram is in class 8. He is working hard for his examinations.

Uncle Kishan asked him about his preparation. Ram was sad, “I am working hard but my parents are not happy. They tell me to work harder. After all, I too need some appreciation’’.

“Parents do like to appreciate kids. You should understand their language. Others like me pretend appreciation. You should understand that language too. By the way, are you deep in understanding language?’’ queried Kishan.

“You mean to say that my parents appreciated me but I did not understand?’’ Ram said in an unconvinced tone.

“Yeah! They want you to work harder. That means they admitted that you are working hard,’’ clarified Kishan.

“Okay,” said Ram, “Now you speak your language. I will try to understand’’ 

Kishan said immediately, “Your parents should have told that you are studying hardly.’’

Ram thought it was a compliment, “Thank you uncle! You are very considerate,’’ he said. 

Kishan smiled, “Not just that. Now I understand that your knowledge is superficial,’’ he added. 

“Thanks for the prefix super. I like it,’’ said Ram.

“Then take one more prefix – art. Your good behavior to elders is just artificial.’’

Ram’s joy knew no bounds, “You are great uncle! You hardly take interest in me. Your analysis is superficial. Your appreciation is artificial.”

“It is not fun to hit elders with pun,” Kishan told rather angrily.

Ram was surprised. “I did use pen once to hit my sister Lila. I do not know what is pun. Did you mispronounce pen as pun? If that is so I did not even make an attempt to hit you. Why did you say that?”

Striking his forehead, Kishan said, “Then your parents made a mistake by asking you to work harder. They should have told you to work hard.’’

Ram was disappointed, “You said I am studying hardly. You complimented my knowledge as superficial and behavior artificial. When I returned the compliments you called it pun and suggest that I am not working hard. I do not understand your response.”

“For that you need to understand the language. Go and consult a dictionary to decipher the meanings of the so-called compliments exchanged by you and me.”

“Decipher means what?” was the doubt in Ram’s mind. But he did not dare to ask his uncle as he was asked to consult the dictionary. Ram, however, decided to consult his dear Mom instead.

 Dear and Dearer

Kishan was about to call his mother, “My dear Mom’’. Then he heard his mother’s protesting voice in the other room.

“Why did you call me dear? I hate the word” his Mom was telling Papa.

“What is wrong with the word?’’ Papa was inquisitive but the tone sounded mischievous.

“Yesterday I ironed your shirt like a professional. You did not say dear. I prepared rasogollahs (a sweet popular all over India and is originated in West Bengal, India) to tickle your taste buds. You did not call me dear.  I learnt a classical song for your mother. You did not say dear,’’ there was a very big list from mom.

“You have so many credentials. That’s why you are dear to me,’’ Papa’s explanation is yet to be devoid of mischievous tone. 

“No. You called me dear while I was shopping today. After the shopping you said I am dearer to you. I kept quiet at that time to avoid a scene in public. Now you owe me an explanation/apology for first calling me dear and then dearer,’’ Mom insisted.

“An apology for calling Mom dear?’’ Ram wondered. But he did not dare meet his mother at that inopportune time. 

He added one more word to those to be deciphered through dictionary!

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