Sunday, 21 October 2012

Broadminded girls, Sino-Indian war, new desktop

I was in the Lernu!-chatroom yesterday. There were three of us: me, Patrick from the Philippines and Riano from the United States. Soon the discussion turned to the various ways in which English is used in our respective countries. It was an interesting experience. While Riano and I were shocked to find out 'to salvage' is the Philippines means 'to execute without proof', they couldn't comprehend why Indians use 'broadminded' to refer to an 'easy girl.'

Though the standard forms are virtually similar, there are striking differences in how the language is used colloquially. I bet very few outside India will have ever heard of 'crores' (ten million) and 'lakhs' (hundred thousand) even though these terms are extremely popular here; 'millions' and 'billions' are relatively rare. They couldn't comprehend, why. In my turn, I don't understand what 'badass' means. Even though they tried to explain it to me once.

There were other words too, but they are now hidden somewhere in the deep crevices of my brain where they are unreachable. So more about them later.

In another news, it is the 50th anniversary of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. There are articles everywhere on what led to the war and subsequently, our loss. Here is a short account for those interested: 

Fearing a Chinese attack on India after their occupation of Tibet, the prime minister J Nehru ordered the Indian troops to throw them out [from where?]. The troops were poorly equipped, the leadership was timid, the army received no air support from the IAF (Indian Air Force) and they lost. The Chinese occupied, and then freed, Indian territories and declared a unilateral ceasefire.

The father of my 60-year-old friend was in the IAF. He was the one who flew General Kaul from Tejpur to Calcutta. So he has some fascinating stories to tell. I will talk about them in another post. He is very critical of the government.

Finally, look at my new Desktop: