Thursday, February 18, 2010

Omana Penne

If you have reached this post looking for the song of this name - wrong destination dude! But read on, it's as (if not more) interesting. ;-)

Sometime back, I was at a queue to buy some tickets. The Indian guy at the counter presented me with two or three options. So I turned around and discussed with my friends which one to choose. My interchange with the counter guy was in English while with my friends I switched to Tamil. When I turned back to the counter, he smiled at me and said, "Oh, Tamila neenga? (Are you a Tamil?)".
I smiled back, "Amam (Yes)".
More smiles from his side, "Neenga Malayalee nu nenaichen (Thought you were a Malayalee)".
I was curious, "En? (Why?)".
An apolegetic smile from him, "No, you looked good that's why".
Wait. Do I take that as a compliment or an insult to the Tamil girls worldwide?
I, of course, was stung and told him off as politely as I could for being so presumptious!

Another day, another time, I was standing in yet another queue for airline check-in (Funny how these things always happen at queues). A lady stood behind me and I smiled at her, since we were to travel the same flight. She smiled back and asked after an instant, "Malayalee yaanu? (Are you a Malayalee?)"
I shook my head smilingly, "No".
She gave me a pitying smile (!) and turned away her head.
I could've told her that even though I may not be a Malayalee, I would still make a delightful travel companion. But, I didn't know how to say that in Malayalam.