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