Tuesday, 23 April 2013

You & Tu

I admire the usage of English word 'You' as form of address for anyone be it senior or junior or your boss or your sub-ordinate.

For example while meeting a GM or CM or PM, you can use the word 'you' freely:
- I request you to please consider this urgently.
And while talking to your kids also you can say:
-‘You’ naughty child!

In Hindi 'you' has three equivalents: Aap, Tum & Tu. Their usage depends on whom you are talking to, a junior or a senior.

For example while meeting GM or CM or PM you got to use Aap & not Tum or Tu. And while talking to a kid or a junior you prefer to use Tu though you may use Aap or Tum if you like.

While I was chatting on this point with my lady colleague Ms Khanna, a customer entered the hall in a hurry. It was 10.05 & he seemed a little restless. He stood at the counter no. 1 manned by Ms Khanna & tapped his cheque on the counter. Ms Khanna without looking up at the cheque or customer said:
-No. 5.

Now as is our practice we do not prefer using such English words as Please, Good Morning, Thanks, Sorry etc. Neither do we prefer to look at the face of the customer, smile & say 'Please go to counter no. 5 sir'.

Counter no. 5 at that point of time was unmanned & the customer came back to say to Ms Khanna:

-There is no one on that seat madam & I am getting late.
-Go to manager, was the curt reply of Ms Khanna without looking at the customer.
He rushed to the manager.
-Please go to counter no. 5. I am sending Mr Rohtagi there within 2-3 minutes.

The customer came back to 5 & started tapping the cheque on the counter while looking at the watch now & then. It was 10.15.
Rohtagi came, unlocked the drawer, arranged his cash, arranged his red & blue pens, rubber stamp, pin box etc on the counter. It was 10.20.

-I am waiting here since 10 for the payment.
-I have been deputed by manager just now.
-You could have come earlier. Why can't you start at 10?
-Arrre, manager has deputed me just now.
-I want payment. It is 10.30 now.
-Arrrre manager has deputed me just now. I am not refusing or delaying. Tu payment le.
-You call me 'tu'? Don't you have manners?

Verbal duel started as Rohtagi sprang from chair & it looked as if fisticuffs would start any moment. More curious people gathered there. Some smiling, some angry, some trying to reconcile. Customers supported customer & staff supported Rohtagi. Manager tried to pacify in vain & took the customer to his cabin. Glasses of water & tea were called for.

From Tu started tu-tu mai-mai & it was escalating. Someone called Com. Loudspeaker Dixit from the other hall. Now Com. Loudspeaker Dixit has a loud booming voice & he has a knack of getting into such gatherings & sorting out the issues. He looked at the customer & said with a smile:

-Bhiyaaji you are a good kushtomer of our branch & kushtomer is our God. In my bhillage Jhumri Talliya we call our Bhagwan as tu - 'tu bada dayalu hai Bhagwan, tu daya karna Bhagwan' - ab tum bhi daya karo kushtomerji. And almost touched the feet of customer.

The tension eased as there appeared smiles & the crowd starting to disperse, some happy that issue got resolved, some not happy as fireworks did not take place.
Customer received cash, a glass of water & a cup of tea.
By that time it was 11.20.

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