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August 24, 2004 13:48 IST

In my third year in college, I joined the engineering society. One of our meetings finished rather late, so a college mate offered to drop me at the nearest bus stop on his scooter.

Initially, I was hesitant about taking a ride from a person I did not know too well, but it was late so I agreed. He took my books and put it in the scooter's compartment.

After getting down at the bus stop, I stretched my hand and asked for my books.

First, he looked confused. Then, he smiled and shook my hand.

Flabbergasted, I again asked him for my books in a louder voice.

He smiled sheepishly as he handed me my books. Apparently, he had not heard me because of the traffic and thought I wanted to shake his hand and thank him for the ride.

Sowmya Gopal, Germany


The bus was crowded but I was comfortable in the special seat reserved for ladies.

Suddenly, the girl sitting next to me whispered in my ear, "This man is misbehaving with me."

A bit surprised, I whispered back, "Which one?"

She said, "The one standing next to me."

I repeated loudly, "Oh, this man is misbehaving with you," and stared at eve teaser. The embarrassed offender immediately left her in peace. 

Then, the girl turned back to me and said, "Thank you very much, auntie."

Later, as I prepared to get off the bus, she repeated her thanks and cheerfully waved goodbye, "Bye, auntie."

And I realised that, you could be in your late twenties, but if you wear a salwar kameez, a bindi, sindoor and a mangalsutra, you automatically become Auntie!

Tanu Fouzdar, Mumbai

I slow, you go

I had been driving in India for years. But, faced with a driving test in the US, I decided I had better sign up for a practice session.

I was doing rather well until I had to take a left turn. I slowed because another car was coming towards me from the opposite direction.

The next moment, it too slowed and flashed its headlights, the way we do in India when we want to pass another car or warn cars coming from the opposite direction to slow down because we want to cross.

But my instructor told me to turn left. I did, though I was rather annoyed at what I thought was an error on his part. Until, like most Indians who driving for the first time in the US, I was told when a car flashes its lights here, it means he's slowing and you can go.

Aseem Sharma, USA

I don't know

During the English lecture, the teacher asked a classmate, "Tell me what is grammatically correct -- I knows or I know?"

It was an easy question for someone in Class X. But this particular lad did not know the answer.

The whole class kept staring at the teacher, who getting more and more angry, and the student, who was getting more and more terrified.

Finally, after a tense silence that stretched over a minute, the boy replied, "I don't know."

Even the teacher could not control her laughter.

Amit Kumar Gupta, Gurgaon

Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh

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