Indian English - The survival kit for tomorrow

Prabodh By Prabodh, 1st Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

Read on to find out why learning Indian English is important...

Indian English - The survival kit for tomorrow

Few weeks back, I had written a blog post/story about my experience in a call center, and how I almost had a nightmarish time surviving there. (Those who missed that story can simply type ‘The most read blog post ever’ in Google, and the search engine shall return the appropriate result).

In that story, I had mentioned how I underwent a training session for a voice-based job intended to serve customers in the USA. My fans across the world were mesmerized by the way I described my nightmarish experience with the call center. Here are some reviews that I received:

“Amazing! Fantabulous! Worth reading a thousand times” – William Shakespeare (via heavenmail)

“Brought tears in my eyes. So emotional” – Bhaaloo, the polar bear (from Antarctica)

“The new bestseller” – The Newer Yorker Times

“So humanly” – E.T., the alien

It’s been more than eight years since I left (rather, ran away from) that call center. Has the situation changed today? Perhaps not. Young boys and girls in Indian metros are still competing with owls and nightjars, and working in office even on festivals like Diwali.

Will the scenario be same 10 years from now? Definitely not. Going by the way American and European economies are digging their own grave, it seems the script would remain the same but the characters would change.

Year: 2021
Location: A call center in Texas, California or New York
Exact place: Training room of the call center
Time: 11.30pm (Of course, American time, not Indian)
Day: Doesn’t matter
Characters: A trainer, and his trainees (and umpteen glasses of hot chocolate to drive away the sleep)

It’s the first day of training. 500 candidates had applied for 20 vacant posts of customer care executives. These 20 shortlisted candidates will have to offer voice-based customer service to customers calling from India. Due to the time difference, the executives would work in night shifts. They would work five days a week (the two-day holiday need not necessarily be on a weekend). They won’t get any other public holiday, be it Independence Day or Christmas. Leaves would be sanctioned, but only in case of a death in the family, or wedding. Rest assured, you will still get a call from your Team Leader during your vacations requesting you to join back early.

In other words, the tables have turned. Outsourcers have now become outsourcees. American companies are earning in rupees. When rupee falls, their revenues go down.

The trainer enters. His name is Harry. But for his Indian clients, he is Hari. After a quick round of introduction, he asks every trainee to adopt an Indian name so that they can fool Indian customers to believe that the call center is in India itself.

So Gary chose to be Gursharan, Jack became Jagan and Senorita was rechristened Sita.

“How would you greet the customer in the morning?” Harry asked.

“Super bat,” Senorita screamed even before others could raise their finger to answer.

“I guess you meant suprabhaat. That’s okay. Remember to say ‘No’ at the end of every sentence?”


“Yup. Every sentence in Indian English ends with no…..You are getting me no? You will pay the charges no? I am here to help you no,” Harry was explaining in an animated manner. “You can put ‘no’ at the end of any sentence in the world.”

“The next important word is ‘only’. It should be pronounced as ‘wonly’ for a certain section of people.” “Use this word to pass the blame or take credit.”

“For example: You only asked me to say that.”

“Next very very important word is yaar,” Harry moved on to the next word of wisdom. “Yaar actually means friend. But you can use it for anyone in any scenario. Joy, anger, frustration, appreciation……yaar has to be there.”

“Come on, yaar” “What yaar?” “Great yaar” “Shit yaar”

“So can anyone use all the words that I taught in a single sentence?” Harry shot a question.

“What yaar, you only asked me disconnect the call no,” Jack aka Jagan replied even before Senorita aka Sita could open her mouth.

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