Part 1: Tongue in cheek retorts

I have always wondered, how in a country of 160 million people cramped into a tiny piece of land, we manage to get by without killing each other constantly. I think I might have found the answer. It seems that we as a nation have  honed the art of sarcasm, essentially defusing tense circumstances. Most retorts in Bangla are hilarious, but the hilarity is lost in translation, without the cultural context that is conveyed in the tone and the specific choice of words.

I have had to learn to curb the urge to retort back in most professional settings, yet sometimes, it’s just too tempting. Like a few days ago, when I had a very interesting interaction with a so-called tech guy. I had called a help desk and conversation went something like this:

“Can you check if the internet connection is working?”

A pause and then I get the following advise:

“Yeah it’s working, all the sites you are trying to reach are down”

The retorts that ran through my head ……

“ALL the sites are down???”

“How do you know which sites I was trying to access?”

“How the hell did you ever qualify for this job?”

So this lead to the following post on my FB:

A shout out to all my people here, I am putting together a blog post on all the things that annoy me and bring out the ‘sarcastic’ me. You know all those tongue in cheek responses to ‘stupidity’ that my usual “diplomatic” self refrains from spitting out.

So I have been putting together this list & I got to thinking I am sure a lot of you can add a lot more to this list of things that makes you groan, roll your eyes, hit yourself in the face, wonder what the hell was going on in the other person’s head..

So wanna share? 😉 if you don’t want to publicly post it, send me a msg and I’ll add yours to the list & keep you anonymous

 

Hence this list of things that bring up the sarcasm … feel free to add on 🙂 (some of the retorts are priceless in Bangla and translation doesn’t do them justice, so I’ll include both)

  • People who jostle you from behind in a queue.
    • ‘Amar ga er upor uthe apni koto duur agaben?’ – if you climb over me, how far are you going to go?
    • ‘please shore daran na hole guard k deke apnar be ijjot korabo’ – please stand apart, before I call the guard to teach you some manners.
  • When I go shop something, say a sweater, I will definitely find just one type in all the shops I hop in. I am particularly pissed off by the copy-cat attitude and lack of creativity in Bangladeshi manufacturers, lack of variety, whatever the product may be
    • “I am not just as good as the rest of the 160 million to have this “substance”, I am the one with a cheesy taste, do you have something for ghetto people like me?”
    • “amar fashion sense eto unnoto na..apnar kase puran kisu ase” I am not a fashionista, so do you have something that’s out of fashion?
  • When Indian call centres make their employees use western names.
    • What, we don’t have Asians here?
  • When someone (repeatedly) asks to borrow money
    • Yeah, I only work hard to earn enough to keep lending you money.
  • With “pachelokekibolbe situations” – With situations, where people say things like “what will other people think/say?”
    • “Ami tar-ta khai, na pori, chudlam na tare!” I don’t give a fuck what they think, they neither feed me nor clothe me.
  • When people have a problem with me,
    • “Its not my problem, its yours.”
  • When some one attempts to provide “unwelcome” advice,
    • “Dure jae mor!”  go far away and die
    • OR “Tui amar maa na baap? Taile tham!”Are you my parents? then stop!
  • When rickshaw or any other vehicle riding through the wrong side of the road and making us move to make his way
    • what kind of education did you get?
    • “eita ki tor baper rasta?” does this road belong to your dad?
  • Random connection requests from people on LinkedIn with messages like “you have the best profile picture here”.
    • If I wanted random hook-ups, I would be on a dating site instead of a professional networking site
    • Are you mistaking LinkedIn for Tinder?

More retorts coming up in the next post 🙂

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Posted on April 15, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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