Having ordered and paid for a caramel pecan cream pie at Baker’s Square last week, I was idly checking out the tattoos on the young man named Brian who was boxing up and bagging my purchase. Suddenly, Brian glanced at me across the counter and asked, “Do you know what sundar means?”
“Sorry, what was that?”
“Sundar. Do you know what it means?”
“It sounds familiar, but I really have no idea. What language is that?”
“It’s Hindi,” he said.
“Oh, well – “
” – I was going to impress you with my Hindi,” he added, smiling. “But I guess it’s not working.”
“I guess not,” I said, smiling back. “I don’t speak Hindi.”
“But your English is great,” he said magnanimously, handing me the bagged pie across the counter. “You don’t even have an accent or anything.”
“Well, I would hope not,” I said, a little annoyed but still smiling politely. “I was born in California.”
“Yeah, it’s perfect.”
“American born and bred, what can I say,” I replied wryly, turning to leave. “Have a beautiful day.”
Later, while cutting the pie in Somayya’s kitchen, I asked, “Hey, what does sundar mean? The dude at Bakers Square was asking me, but I had no idea.”
“I think it means ‘beautiful.’ He was totally hitting on you, Yazzo.”
“You think everyone’s hitting on me. You needa stop with that business.”
“You’re just oblivious all the damn time. And I think sundar really does mean ‘beautiful.’ “
“What a stupid boy, then,” I said derisively. “Telling me how great my English skills are, is not the way to impress me.”
Seriously, people, get with the program. Also, for the Hindi-speaking Blogistanis: what DOES sundar mean?
As an aside, a few of my friends have been teasing me lately about how my “gorgeously drama-free life” was shaken up recently for a day or so. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love my lack of drama, and those few whom I’d confided in took great pleasure in gleefully throwing my drama-free mantra back in my face. Over the phone the other morning, I was updating Somayya on the situation, and explaining why I wasn’t going to take advantage of this opportunity, why I didn’t think it was right for me, and all the off-the-top-of-my-head reasons why it just wouldn’t work.
Somayya overrode my objections with an evisceratingly sharp retort: “Oh, shut up, Yazzo. Just shut UP.”
“I’m just sayin’,” I said lamely.
From the other end of the line came the impatiently blunt, cuttingly clear voice of the one person who knows me best: “All you’re saying is a bunch of BULLSHIT.”
See? I love this kid.