Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Peter and Thames

Both these are terms used to describe someone who forcibily puts Angrezi into daily routine. In English, such behaviour would be called pseudness. In Tamil, about which I have almost as much idea as the Royal Challengers have about scoring over 130 in T20, such a person is called Peter. B Schools are full of people of this sort. The guys who wear T shirt with Che (not the Kem Che Gujarati one, mind you), wear floaters with socks, call eating food “getting some grub in”, call sutta “smokes” and call a film a “flick”. Some of them call each other “mate”, some of them don’t mean it literally.

In Kannada, which I know as well as Venky P knows leg-spin, such a person is called Thames. How can you call a person Thames?! It is the name of a river, not a person. The Digas must be mad – you would think. But then again, we name every third girl child born in state as Kaveri, and therefore find it prudent to pick up slangs/cool names from rivers based in other countries.

I like the simplicity my fellow South Indian friends from the neighbouring state maintain. Peter, presumably, was the most common firang name at the time the slang was invented. So when the thambis saw one of their peers talking too much English which they didn’t follow, they called him Peter. Maintianing the simplicity of things, and the literary beauty by bringing in alliteration, if such a Peter was found putting “kadalai” in English; they probably called him Peanut Peter. Sounds very fair to me.

The origin of Thames, has a lot more history to it, and surprisingly enough, has almost nothing to do with the Kaveri. May have something to do with Tavrekere, but nothing with Kaveri.

Supposedly, a man from the land of Dr. Raj’s worshippers is capable of speaking too much English if and only if he went to England, and washed his rear in the Thames post doing most of the pre rear washing activities along the bed of Thames. Operative words in the above statement is “too much”. “If you come today….” is clearly not “too much” English, and therefore Dr. Raj does not qualify to be a “Thames”.

My only problem with our theory is this – I don’t think anyone does those things by the Thames anymore. It may seem alright next to Tavrekere in Tavrekere, if you know what I mean. But in alongside Thames, I don’t think that’s a popular early morning pastime.

Also, like SK (an expert on the subject) said, “I think they use toilet paper there”.


Unknown said...

Damn Digas. Stop stealing from rivers that dont belong to you!


Roofy said...

*Dam* Digas did you say? Ya, we know :-)

Anonymous said...

ok i'd asked you to link to my blog so that this post could give me a little footage. you clearly haven't done that, so let me do it.

my blog can be found at

and no - for two years i've been planning to do a piece on shit. unfortunately i'm yet to do it.


Anonymous said...

haw haw haw.... my vote too goes to peter! sounds polished i say

kal said...

A pox on that horrid memory of yours!

I find north-Indians far more simple-minded in their nicknames for this particular ailment. The words "angrez" or "firang" have been loosely used for yours truly. However, in desperate times, when a slightly stronger slight is required, Delhi-ites jump into hyperspace with "The Queen of England"... go figure.

Heh... ever played the word-verification game?

tijoyogn: A hybrid of Indian meditation techniques and far-eastern martial arts. Essentially, a way to beat the crap out of your inner demons.

Murthy said...

The Thames bit (as I understand it) is meant to suggest that the Kaveri (or Tavrekere, allright!) is not classy enough for your arse. And it is always pronounced Th-aims (as opposed to 'Temmes').

Shucks, I just came off looking like a Peter Thames, didn't I?

Roofy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kal said...

and it seems like you thoroughly enjoyed it, mamu!