Making An Offer No One Could Refuse

, , , , | Working | September 25, 2020

Around fifteen years ago, I am traveling around India with a friend of mine from graduate school. He is Japanese and I’m a white male from the US. It is the last call at the bar, and it is time to head back to our hotel. We summon a taxi and are on our way.

I am a little nervous because the ride is taking longer than I anticipated; something about the driver seems shady. My suspicions are confirmed when, halfway through the trip, the driver asks if we want to meet some girls.

Prostitution is not a slap-on-the-wrist crime in India. But since we are foreigners staying at a very fancy hotel — the kind with security out front — he knows we have money. Also, at the time, Japanese tourists have a reputation for being inexperienced travelers and for not being able to hold their liquor.

I tell the driver no thanks. The driver won’t take a no from me as a final answer, so he directs his question to my friend, who just laughs. The driver asks him again.

Friend: “What?”

He looks confused.

Me: “[Friend], say no.” 

Driver: *Loudly* “Do you want to meet girls?”

Friend: “I don’t understand!”

Me: “[Friend], say no!”

Driver: *Yelling* “Do. You. Want. To. F***. Some. B****es?”

There is a pause.

Friend: “Ohhhhhh! No, thanks!”

He laughs.

The rest of the very circuitous trip is spent in silence. I am on edge, but my friend just seems drunk.

When we get to the hotel, the driver announces the price, which is at least twice what it should be. I am about to go ballistic on the driver when my friend holds up one finger, indicating for me to stop, and speaks, dead sober and with a smile on his face. 

Friend: “You have a choice. You can either take [two-thirds of what the fare should be] and go away, or I’m going to go speak to the police officers over there by the front door, and I will tell them exactly what you offered us.”

The driver took what my friend offered.

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They Get It; Communication Is Key

, , , | Related | September 6, 2020

During our dating days, my husband and I talk a lot. After our parents get introduced and approve of our relationship — yeah, that approval is kind of essential here — we are on the phone almost the entire day.

I have just finished college and my job is not starting for another few months, and my husband is self-employed, managing his father’s construction business. He has a separate business phone, so we do not have a problem being on the phone for the entire day. We take a break only when either of us goes to the bathroom or his business phone rings!

Whenever my mother wants to talk to me, she has to sign to me so that I can pause our talk and then talk to her. She finds it a bit amusing that we talk so much.

One evening, he comes to my place after work just to spend some time with me and my family. One thing leads to another and we start talking about our never-ending phone calls.

Mom: “You both are on a call almost always. I have never seen anyone talk this much.”

Husband: “Yeah, we like to spend time with each other. I can’t see her while at work, so it’s kind of nice being on the phone.”

Mom: “But what exactly do you both talk about? What do you have so much to discuss or share about? I’m not prying; I’m genuinely curious.”

Husband: “Do you watch TV serials?”

Mom is thrown off by this odd question.

Mom: “Yeah, a few of them. Why?”

Husband: “Yeah, can you tell me the story of any one of them?”

Mom: “…?”

Husband: “No, right?! Our talk is like that; it goes on for years, and you know the central plot but can’t really say what the story is all about!”

Starting the next day, my mom stopped attempting to talk to me while I was on calls with him! It has been twelve years since this incident; we still talk a lot. If we are not together, then we call each other at least once an hour and talk for a few minutes at least. Our families make good-natured fun of our phone conversations as the best running TV serial ever!

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23 Crazy Stories About India! – The Not Always Right World Tour!

, | Right | August 15, 2020

Dear readers,

It’s time to continue the Not Always Right world tour! Last time, we visited The Philippines, and before that Brazil! Today, to coincide with Indian independence day, we’re visiting India! (Duh!)

India is a HUGE country, with cultures and sights as diverse as one can expect with a population of 1.3 billion people. The music, the sights, the cuisine, and the film industry (Bollywood, baby!) are well-known and celebrated all over the world, and we challenge anyone to not find one example from that list they don’t like.

We’ve gone through our archives to find 23 stories about India, set in India, or about people who really need to know where India is on a map. We hope our continued world tour helps fight ignorance, celebrate cultures, and give you a great time while you pour some Darjeeling and settle in for a fun read!

 

Don’t Have Beef With Hinduism – “Pandering to locals” is also called… good business.

Yeah, But Our Delhis Come With Salami – Some Americans don’t necessarily claim New Jersey…

It’s Okay, That Character Was Tone Deaf Anyway – Music doesn’t make a film “family-friendly.” Have they seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

(more…)

Not Really Knocking ‘Em Dead There, Friend

, , , | Working | July 16, 2020

I’m actually the idiot here. I am new to my job as a bank officer. This happens at a time when various welfare government pensions are being disbursed. However, some people know only that some pension has to be credited, but not which. As back employees, we have nothing to do other than tell them whether the same has been credited or not.

A customer comes up and asks me a question, pointing to the woman beside him.

Customer: “My wife’s pension was supposed to be credited to her account. Can you check it?” 

He gives me the account number. I see no credit, but I’m trying to be helpful.

Me: “There is no credit. If you tell me which pension, I may be able to tell you where to enquire about that.”

Customer: “We don’t know what it’s called.”

Me: “Is it any unemployment benefit?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Is it her widow pension?”

They stared at me, wide-eyed. I realized with horror what I had just said. I profusely apologized and quickly directed them to the nearest government office.

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Not Exactly The Soundest Counsel

, , , , , , | Learning | June 27, 2020

It was just before our final exams in school. In my country, you appear for these exams under a certain state or national “Board,” and these marks determine if you clear cutoff for colleges. The higher your marks, the higher your chances of getting into a good college, unless you have to sit for competitive exams.

Our stress was through the roof, all students studying harder than ever to either clear the Board exams or competitive exams because these would determine what our lives would be like. 

It was during this time that I had a severe heartbreak. A guy I used to like rejected me, then went on to have a friends-with-benefits relation with his previous crush who had rejected him. Worse even, this girl was one of my best friends; she had pestered me to share my sadness with her secretly, only to go and spill them all to my crush. They didn’t get into a relationship, which made it worse for me.

Meanwhile, I had to study for my exams and manage school events and ECAs, as I was the Head Girl and the sole one in my position.

Things got worse when my subordinate, the Deputy Head, left his post following some personal reasons. My crush — who was also a great friend until all this — made fun of my appearance and I got extremely lonely. The Friend-With-Benefits even went on to have some action (nonsexual) right in front of me. 

Basically, I was miserable.

So, I went to my school counselor, who also holds an important position in the school authority. We had worked together in organising many events. She also taught us Psychology. She had done many shrewd and outright b**** things, but she was the only one I could share my concerns with.

I wanted to tell you that I’ve been feeling very lonely lately,” I explained. “I’m sitting among my friends, yet I don’t feel like I belong there.”

Mind you, all the people I sat with are great friends even now.

“Now, now, you don’t come to school to talk to friends, do you?” the counselor asked.

“I mean, they are a very important part of my school experience,” I said. “I do look forward to their presence.”

“You are making a mistake,” she insisted. “You come to school to meet your friends. Recently your grades have gone down. You are doing poorly.”

There wasn’t any way she could tell that. We hardly had any tests before we went on study leaves.

“If you want good marks, you have to work hard,” she continued.

Then, she uttered the worst set of words she could come up with.

“If you want to score above 95%, get rid of your friends.”

I was horrified. These friends meant life to me. We did almost everything together, even walking back home together. We even got so late that at first our parents worried. But then, all the parents knew and even chatted amongst each other while waiting for us.

Apart from these friends, I had almost no one. I was already having trouble with two friends thanks to crushes gone wrong. Now, the counselor wanted me to get rid of all of them. I wanted to score well, but not at the cost of my mental health.

Needless to say, I ignored her advice. I could settle for a mere 80% but not lose my mental peace. Later, it turned out that I had anxiety and depressive phases, and my friends actually helped me through it.

Fast forward to the very exciting and nervous result day. I drew up my result, and it turned out, I topped my class, scoring more than 95%, actually, with full marks in two subjects — all this without losing even one friend. By then, I had already made up with my ex-crush and his fling and was seeing another guy. 

We went to collect our results and all the teachers congratulated me. The counselor came up, ignored me for some time, and then looked at me.

“I expected you to do better,” she said before walking off.

We went rolling on the ground hearing what she’d said.


This story is part of our India roundup!

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Read the India roundup!

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