Quote vote

Rahul da CunhaSo I’ve watched the success of English Vinglish with some interest. I am a first-time filmmaker and have also written a comedy set in an educational institution — except in my school, students can’t leave till they are completely reformed of their speech problems.

So here’s my story. A lady admits herself into the institution. She has a serious speech aberration — a tendency to say the first thing that comes into her head without thinking, like children.

She finds herself in a specialised class called ‘Unsound to Sound Byte’. In this class, students must have one qualification — they must hold a position in higher office. The curriculum — they are taught to watch what they are saying and quote sensibly.

On her first day, she enters the classroom, to find the other students fighting like fisherwomen — textbooks, chairs and desks fly through the air.

Illustration/ Amit Bandre

They stop when she comes in. “What have you joined this class?,” one student asks her “Well I believe that rape happens because of increased interaction between men and women. It has caused much hue and cry, I don’t see what I said wrong,” she says defensively.

Another student pipes up, “Arre Madam, how can you make such a wrong claim, we all know that rape is caused by men eating Chowmein and other fast food. Once again the Chinese have raped us.”

An elderly gent throws a chair out of the window, angrily and shouts, “My remarks have been misconstrued, all I said was that a wife gets unattractive after some years of marriage.” The woman from Kolkata glares at him.

“That’s very rude, has your wife forgiven you?” “I don’t know, she sent me to attend this school.” An elderly gentleman, starts banging on the doors to be let out. “Oh quieten down, uncle, why are you angry?,” the other students ask him.

“I am innocent, I should not be in this class, all I said was that one of my colleagues could not possibly be involved in a tiny Rs 71 lakh scam. It must have been a spelling error. It must be Rs 71 crore, otherwise what’s the point of making such a hullaballoo. My party got so upset with me, they say I always talk out of turn.”

The lady said to him - “You truly must be a serial faux-paxist.” A small boy is hiding at the back of the class. “Come here son, you must have said some pretty amazing stuff, to be so young and be in this class. What did you say?”

The little boy, licking a lollipop, says giggling, “Nothing much, I just remarked innocently that the majority of youngsters from one North Indian state are drug addicts!” “Did you really mean that?”

“No no..I must have meant South India, or Eastern India, who knows? But no problem, my Mummy always bails me out of trouble.” I’m hoping to find a producer for my film — it’s called QUOTE VOTE.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62

The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper. 

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