The Name of the Drunkard

I can’t resist narrating a funny, real-life incident to you.

Many years ago, I visited a place in Central India, where prohibition was in force. But liquor permits were available to those from out of state and others who met certain stipulated criteria.

The state authorities being linguistic fanatics, in their zeal wanted English to be replaced by Hindi in all communication. So it was then obvious that the application form would be in Hindi. So far, so good. But when I read the form, my eyes popped out at the first question it asked of me!

Instead of the usual “Name of the Applicant”, it was transliterated from Hindi and read as
“Sharaabi ka Naam” (Name of the Drunkard), with the next being “Sharaabi ke Baap ka Naam” (Name of the Drunkard’s Father)!

Reading this, “mere toh nasha hi ooter gaya!” I lost all my enthusiasm for a drink!

And knowing the government, I’m sure some over-enthusiastic clerk somewhere must have been praised, probably promoted, for his brilliant English drafting skills!


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