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Sunday, 16 September 2007
The Recherch? Innate Quality of Indian English
From a back issue (April 2007) of “India Tribune” --published for the "Desi community" in the United States,  just unearthed from the kitchen table:
On Launching Foreign Satellites:
“India has been known for its vital deeds and surprising actions in Space Research Organization and is ahead of proving it once again with even more greater feat making the world to turn to its side and sigh with a feeling of envy…..This cannot be just deemed as another satellite launch, but a winning of one’s faith and confidence in every term.”
On Power-outages in Maharashtra:
“We don’t deserve second treatment, just because Bombay is a financial capital, Pune is educational and a hub for all IT industry”…
On Indian Heritage:
“Over the millennia, India showed great resilience by absorbing shocks and destruction of repeated aggressions from different ruthless invaders of myriad cultures and religions which is a commendable feat. Beyond merely surviving, the sons and daughters of the soil showed dynamic tolerance compelling the very invaders to adopt the victim country’s traditions and culture time and again….Then why don’t we educate our children and grandchildren growing up in America, India, and elsewhere in the world about this recherché innate quality of their Indian heritage? When eminent self-styled writer activists, so-called professionals vying for cheap popularity and self-serving political figures knocking at the doors of vote banks of their own creation – instead of perfecting their craft in which they are good at – fictionalize and hideously twist the reality…the present youth in India (who are rapidly becoming un-Indians as they dip and drown everyday in the imported cultural waters albeit their stunning advancements in high technology)? One can only hope that the older generation would come out swinging with their reply. The proof is in the pudding and we don’t have to traverse much distance in to the past or wait for some indeterminable future date to taste the Indian cultural pudding.”  
Posted on 09/16/2007 9:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
16 Sep 2007
Send an emailMary Jackson

I'm sure the Indian cultural pudding will rice to the occasion.

16 Sep 2007

Mary Jackson

Indian rice pudding is delicious. If you manage to go to a restaurant (a proper one, not owned by Bangladeshis or Pakistanis), and they have a dish called 'kheer' on the menu, try it. Rice pudding made with cream, pistachio, almonds, and lots of other nice stuff. Although as usual it doesn't taste as nice as the home cooked one. If you have a Sikh friend (as it is primarily a Punjabi dish) ask them to get their Mum to cook it for you to try.

This Indo-English prose that Hugh quotes is recognisable as the standard kind of rhetoric used by Indian Uncles who like to show off their knowledge of the English language in great flourishes and want nothing else than to impress other Indians with their grand eloquence. 


16 Sep 2007
Hugh Fitzgerald

Does ?the word "halal" appear on the menu? Is liquor served? Are there any statues of Ganesha or Rama? Any other hints? Choose wisely.

Veeraswamy's, despite its tourist-trap dismissal, if it still exists,?for a hint of the Old Raj, or rather, of the hobson-jobson Old Raj as cleverly conceived for an audience of locals and tourists in London, some seventy years or more ago. And along with that couleur locale deployed for commercial purposes with artful effect back in Blighty, the implied presence though actual absence of those Brahmin students who, in the generation?after Jawaharlal Nehru and Krishna Menon,?would be reading the latest tracts of Beatrice and Sidney and others of the New Left Book Club, while studying, temporarily,? in that same unhurried and as-yet-uncurried?Blighty.?

See the well-known Betjeman poem "With Vikram And Vijay In The Fellows' Garden."

Chutney Mary's for something more recent, and, let's face it, "authentic."?


16 Sep 2007
Send an emailMary Jackson
Veeraswamy's is still around - it was done up a few years ago - but it's part of Chutney Mary's.

16 Sep 2007

Hugh Fitzgerald

If you ever manage to get hold of a copy, Mulk Raj Anand's 'Conversations in Bloomsbury' is an enjoyable excursion into the Indian writer's life in London amongst the Bloomsbury set, his memoirs of mixing with Virginia Woolf, TS Eliot, Aldous Huxley and all that gang in the 1920's - 1940's.




16 Sep 2007
Hugh Fitzgerald

Mulk Raj Anand is now on my list. Thank you.


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