Sunday, December 7, 2008

Aadha Bola Karo, Honey

I have often been asked by various kinds of people if it would be possible for me to be a tad less sarcastic, in my daily dealings.

Now, here's the thing. The phrase 'Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit', cuts me to the quick. I refute this statement passionately - it appears to me to have been the invention of some non-sarcastic person, probably after being at the receiving end of some highly witty sarcastic statement. Think about it. It is highly possible that it came into being in this way:

The year is 1568. Two men, Sarcastic Thomas and Regular Theodore meet.

Sarcastic Thomas: Hello, Theodore. Nice hat.

Theodore: Thanks. Hey, I'm not wearing a hat today.

Thomas: I know. I meant your hair looks strange. I was being sarcastic.

Theodore: Oh, yeah? Yeah?

Thomas: Yeah. See ya!

Theodore goes home, in a foul mood. He's mulling over what he could have said in response to Sarcastic Thomas. He considers - should he have followed up the 'Oh yeah?' with a 'Your mother wears high heels' - or equivalent? Theodore is despondent because he realizes he can never beat Sarcastic Thomas this way - he just doesn't have that kind of sarcasm in him. After many days of ruminating on the subject, Theodore is finally hit by inspiration and leaps out of his bathtub and runs down the street naked, yelling 'Eureka! Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit'. He can't wait to meet Thomas again.

At this juncture, I must give my imagination a break and leave it to you to conjecture what might have transpired next between Thomas and Theodore. I must also say that I haven't had time to do my usual detailed research ( read: two minute Google search) before writing this post, and therefore there is some niggling fear in my mind that some cool dude like Shakespeare might have actually come up with this line. But my point is simply this - we don't have to agree with what random phrases are thrown at us by random people, right?

After all, without sarcasm, what would become of Chandler Bing ? Groucho Marx? Gerald Durrell? Some of my favourite bloggers and friends ( Mahogony, Ganju, Shome, Manav, Tambi - you guys listening?). I even like Snape because of his sarcasm ( and what a piece of casting that Allan Rickman was - but I digress!).

Anyway, my friend Ganju once said I was too sarcastic, back when we were in B-school together. My immediate response was 'Yeah, right'. I said it without even thinking but when he recovered from his paroxyms of laughter, he pointed it out as further evidence to support his claim.

Today, my mother was visiting and I was talking to her.

Y: On Thursday, the day when I was ill...
Ma: 'You never told me you were ill'.
Y: 'Of course I did, on the phone yesterday. It would be nice if you listened, Ma'.

At this point, Vijay looked over and said sweetly 'Honey. Tum aadha bola karo'
Y: (irritated) 'What do you mean?'
Vijay (smiling like a well-fed cat, knowing I can't smack him with my mom around) : 'It's just that - if you speak only half your sentences, your whole personality will change. You could have just said 'I told you on the phone', but you added 'if only you listened, Ma'...Sirf first part bolte to kitna achha lagta... Tum hamesha itne sweet lagte. Bas...Aadha bola karo'.

I decoded this quickly to mean that apparently I follow up quite a lot of my sentences with unnecessary tart statements which are an unappealing combination of sarcasm and nag-asm. I glowered, muttering 'Aadha bolo, what nonsense...'.

However, within the next ten minutes, the following conversations took place:

Conversation 1:

Vijay (calling out to me from another room) : What are you doing, Y?
Y: (dumping an armload of laundry into the washing machine) Putting the clothes in for a wash. You may believe otherwise, but the clothes don't wash themselves around here.
Vijay ( as my mother and sister giggle): See? Aadha bola karo.
Y: (Mutters to self in embarassment)

Conversation 2:

Y: Vijay, please get Peanut's jacket from the cupboard.
Vijay: (after rummaging through the wrong cupboard) - Where? Where is it?
Y: It is in the OTHER cupboard, on the right. You'd know, if only you bothered to be a bit more involved in... ( my voice trails off in horror as my mother and sister laughed at me)

So that's it. I would be a better person if I only said half of what I said.

I asked my sister that evening, in an unrelated conversation, why she was being so quiet.
She said 'I'm always quiet'. I said 'Oh yeah. That's right' and then a thought struck me very hard. I asked 'Is it because I always said twice as much as I was supposed to when we were kids? And didn't let you talk?'.
She seemed to like that theory because she said simply and in a highly convinced manner 'Yes'.

In short, the world is telling me to generally talk less and specifically cut back on the sarcasm. It's going to be tough - a whole new way of life. But since I'm fundamentally a lovely person at heart, I think I should be able to manage.

Yeah, right.


  1. No, not right! Your blog makes excellent reading because of your sarcasm-laced humour. No half measures of that please!

  2. :)

    I get happy when I see a new post from you. Keep writing, Y.

  3. Sarcasm, that sexy thing!

    It is so much fun when you use it on someone who gets 'it'. But it is twice as much fun when you use it on someone who doesn't because that cuts out the guilt as well ;)

    I am not giving it up anytime soon.

  4. :) I was about to say the same thing about Chandler, when I starred reading this post, but you quoted it anyway!
    I love sarcastic humour, it's THE wittiest kind. One of the reasons I keep visiting this place for updates!

  5. :)

    you remember that episode in Friends when they all challenge Chandler to NOT have something funny to say about everything?!

    the poor guy is about the burst! :p

    oh well! you can use the blog for all the sarcasm!! nahi?!



  6. Geez!! How's anyone supposed to survive without sarcasm?! I love that you're sarcastic... I do wish you'd give us readers more opportunity to see that sarcasm though :)

  7. Hmmmm.
    It all depends on whether you like being the sarcastic Y or the aadha bolne waali Y!

    Try the aadha bolna and see how it feels:)

  8. Aap aadha bole ya pura, likhiye to pura hi, aadha nahi....LOL

  9. Good one! And I definitely need to learn this too!!

  10. sarcasm rocks in blogs atleast :) And the aadha bolo was hilarious!

  11. But what if the aadha you choose to bolo is the second half, not the first?

  12. When sarcasm verges on sardonicism, the line of distinction is a fine one, no?

    I love and admire your honesty, Y. But I also agree with some of the other comments. - The blog would not be half as interesting if it were not for your tongue-in-cheek sarcasm!

  13. Reading your blog made me think about how I need to really starting talking aadha at times... will get me into less trouble. :)

  14. Where would the blog be without your sarcasm?

    I like the way they got you, though :).

    I am sure that you *are* "fundamentally very nice and will be able to manage".

    Sarcasm is definitely fun, but it helps sometimes to tone it down, especially if it gets annoying for the people you live with. When they then start missing your sarcasm - you can unleash it on them again!

  15. i'm sorry, but i dont think a life without sarcasm is worth living...

  16. Yes, I too agree with Mummy Jaan - I know that if you are ever at the receiving end, your sense of humour would get you even appreciating the sarcasm. But imagine if it happened a lot more, almost all the time, even with really serious issues. I know you wouldn't like it.

    But hey, if you lay off for a bit, we'll definitely begin to miss the sarcy Y, and then you can give it to us WITH A VENGEANCE!

    And in the meantime, "Aap aadha bole ya pura, likhiye to pura hi, aadha nahi....!"

    Well said, Timepass!

  17. Nevertheless, I have to add, I for one have never found your sarcasm at all offensive.
    Love you!

  18. P.S. See my Poora Bola Karo, Honey! on Mini's blog!

  19. i ve read a couple of your posts and they are interesting, the spice is the sarcasm....

    BPO work from home


Hi there. Go on, say it. Well? WELL?