When I was reading other posts related to the daily prompt and laughing out loud, I remembered two incidents that happened almost a decade before , here in Hyderabad (I think I remembered that now because I am moving out of this place , after a short stint here…bringing back some memories, while making a few more).
Me and my friend were very new to this place (Hyderabad) and the language (Telugu). We could hardly understand what people were saying unless they were talking in Hindi, which I was at-least proficient enough. The place was also very new and every day was an adventure and we were using the local buses to commute to and from the office. One day on our way from the office to our hostel, we almost forgot our stop and suddenly remembered it, when the bus was about to start and then asked the driver to stop. It took us a few seconds more because we had to part the evening crowd and come to the entrance. The driver was really pissed by then and he scolded in Telugu, telling us something that resembled like ‘not paying attention, always talking etc etc…’. The only line we got from his babble (for us, at-least) was ‘buddhi ledha’ ( which means ‘don’t you have a brain’ or in other words ‘don’t you have sense’). My friend , don’t know what came upon her, turned around and asked him in English ‘Why? do you want some?’. I couldn’t control myself seeing her impulsive reaction (she is too famous for that). But the better part was the face of the driver, because he did not understand what she said and he felt that she was scolding him and went away cursing us.
The same friend and myself, one day, got out from the bus and were about to cross the road towards our office, when a guy in a bike came too close for our comfort and said some lewd comments. My friend immediately shouted (thankfully, it was a little early for office goers and there was very very less traffic in the road) ‘koora’ to scold him. The guy went a few yards and then turned back and laughed and went away. Since I wasn’t aware of the language, I asked her if she knew what she said and she was like ‘yeah yeah..I scolded him as a useless-dog’. But something felt off seeing the reaction of this guy who was supposed to have gotten angry for someone who got scolded as ‘dog’. In the evening, when we were back in our hostel, we told this story to her roommate whose mother tongue was Telugu, she went totally ROTFLOL. Seems like my friend, as usual, got the wrong word. Instead of Kokka (meaning dog), she said Koora (meaning Lentils). No wonder the guy thought her weird.