Game Of The Century (Old Wording)

, , , , | Friendly | July 24, 2019

I am invited to my friend’s house for a board game night. My friend is from India, as are my parents. Both my friend and I speak Telugu. My friend is from Chennai, and so he also speaks Tamil. 

Before I show up, my friend texts me that one of his Tamilian friends will be there who doesn’t speak Telugu but does speak English, and asks if that is all right. I say that it is, because most of the guests weren’t Telugu anyway. 

I show up a little late, and when I get there, one of the other guests — a loud Kannadiga man — is yelling at the host, “What do you mean, he speaks English?” 

It turns out that the friend of the host had grown up in a poor neighborhood and so hadn’t learnt English in school, but instead learnt it through reading Charles Dickens, P. G. Wodehouse, and C. Rajagopalachari’s translation of the Mahabharata, meaning his English was archaic and full of half-remembered similes and poetic phrases. 

It was a very tough game night.

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