Lost in Indian English

You may speak English, but probably not Indian English.

My name is Cyriac and I am balding. For the past few months, I have been getting every haircut with my upcoming wedding in mind. I usually shave my head, but the lady and I agreed that I still have just enough hair to justify growing it back for the big day. We were hoping that years from now, we could sit down with the kids and look at pictures of daddy when he had hair.

Earlier today I went down to my local barber. He sits on the side of the road and shows up every day, even when it’s 46 degrees C (115 F) outside. He’s a nice fellow that speaks broken English comparable to my broken Hindi and we get along well.

Months ago, when asked what it is that I do, I had no clue how to say communications consultant in Hindi so I told him I do writing on the computer. Upon my next visit, he called over his friends from the chai stall a few meters away to meet his engineer friend. I protested that I wasn’t an engineer to which he replied “but you said you work with computers”. OK I said, submitting. My mother would have been proud – at least someone thinks her son is an engineer.

I had decided this morning that it was finally time to get rid of the six weeks of scruff I had on my face. I sat down, held my face with both hands and said the only words that mattered – “shave clean”. He ran his fingers through my hair and asked if wanted anything done up top. I said no and that I didn’t have enough time. “No tension. Twenty minutes only. Finishing only”. Once again I submitted, figuring that it wouldn’t take too long if all he was going to do was do the finishing touches on my hair – a basic cleanup I figured.

He tilted my head down and I felt two scrapes across the top of my head. I leaned forward and touched up top to feel the smooth baldness of my scalp. I looked at him with concern and asked “what is finishing?” “Everything gone. All clean” he said. And then I understood why he said it would only take twenty minutes. At that point I had no choice but to finish my finishing.

So a warning to all those visiting India – if a man with a blade asks you if you want finishing, say no, unless you wish to lose all your hair.bald mrcyriac

The question now remains, can I grow enough hair in the next 47 days…

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