Enough. You have troubled us enough. Yes, you. Don’t run away. I am talking about you only.

Everytime you are going for dinner with us, you will be nuisance whole time. First you will make sarcastic comments—”Why are you looking in menu card? anyhow you will eat only paneer”. Then you will pounce on our food also. When waiter comes with non-veg food, you will give silly smiles and ask him to serve to you only but when he comes with veg food you will tell him to serve to everyone. Arey baba if you like your non-veg so much eat only non-veg or order more veg na, and quietly. Why should we be hungry because of you? After all your praise for non-veg, you are coming and munching on our Paneer Tikka. Why? And ultimately your food is eating our food only to survive. Now tell me who is superior?

Any discussion on food means you will poke your nose and try to show that we have very less variety. Arey but half of you are just ordering butter chicken every single time you go to restaurant. Then what variety are you tasting you tell me. We will say XYZ restaurant is nice, but you will interrupt and say “No no. Their Fish Kolaveri was very bland”.

You eat non-veg means you are automatically connoisseur kya? In front of veg people, you will make big boss comments like “the smoked flavour is good but it should have been marinaded with pineapple instead of papaya” or “The duck flambé is very delicate but it would have gone better with some white wine” or some other nonsense. As if we veg people are eating grass only. Man, you are eating food or selecting bride for yourself? For that you will ask mom-dad only, I know.

Beech beech mein will you come and show this study and that study and tell us that humans have canine teeth in mouth to bite meat and all that, and make some comparisons with dogs. Uff ho. We also have lots of studies too but we keep quiet. Dogs are also good in that respect.

And what is this egg argument? Arey baba, go read Wikipedia. The hen which is giving the eggs we eat is not having husband only. She is laying them just like that without doing duties of wife. The eggs are not becoming hens even if we are not eating them. Now what’s your problem?

Some veg guy makes some nice dish at home. First thing you are saying—”Man how can lasagna be veg!“. Bhai foreigners make dish means they add some meat always. They are like that only. Arey baba that guy is coming from brahmin family and there is appa and thatha in his house too. How he can make chicken in front of them? Should I go and tell your amma you are going to Sunny bar every weekend to get drunk? No na. Now who’s a scaredy cat? Tell me! But now you are quiet.

You will waste time boasting how you ate this and that and octopus and squid and what all horrible looking things with 4 heads and 20 feet, god only knows. Sometimes you put moving thing also in your mouth. Thooo. For the final time we are telling you baba we are not interested.

We manage our food properly. If we go to foreign country means we carry one 23 kg bag with theplas and phephlas and khakhras and murukkus and everything and do sightseeing while eating food. But you will annoy the guide by asking him direction for steakhouse and spend 2 hours there. arey baba that is your wish only but if you are spending 2 lakh rupees to go to New York, should you spend 2 hours in watching statue of liberty or eating steak at the 43rd on 5th?

And it is not that you don’t eat veg food at all. Mommy’s curd-rice you go and lick nicely. But in front of veg guys only you have to act oversmart. If some guy has saved money to eat in Subway on veg special day and is asking you to come along, you will give him a horrible look and reply like a lord—“huh. I don’t waste money on veg food”. All the delicious vegetables and sauces you are ignoring for some 50 grams of Tuna fish. Go to hell. Now.

We follow religion blindly, you will accuse us. Fine. But at least YOU toh are non-veg na. You should eat everything and at all times right? Then why you are not eating cow? And why you are not eating non-veg on festival days? Suddenly you remember your culture haan? Chicken you are eating without problem. But will you eat pigeon crow rabbit? What about zebra or buffalo? Why this discrimination you tell me first. I have only one point ki boss if you are so enthu about non-veg you should eat any non-veg. I will put you with Chinese people. When they will show you their non-veg, you will do number 1 and 2 out of fear. I know very well that some of you will say ki you have no problem in eating frog kidney also. Disgusting man. Just leave this place. Go.

Final I am saying only this ki boss, you were born in non-veg family, we were born in veg family. You didn’t choose to become non-veg. We didn’t choose to be veg. Let’s just both keep quiet and eat in peace na. What’s the problem yaar!

I have always wondered what it is that makes the writing style in LocalTeaParty hilarious. It feels like a caricature of Indian English, of course, but there are a lot of tiny cultural elements which add to the mix. And I guess there’s the added fact that you know it’s all intentional. A bit like the way the character Hansa used to talk in the TV series Khichdi.

I guess the reason it resonates so well with most Indians who read it is because, at some level, that’s the most natural way we would want to express ourselves. And speaking idiomatic English might, for some people, be a bit like being straitjacketed, just the way speaking Mandarin is due to the tones. For instance, the particle hi, which is very commonly used in Hindi as an intensifer, does translate to _only_ in English, but in many instances where you’d use _hi_ in Hindi, it would be unidiomatic to use _only_ in English. For instance—मैं कल ही वहाँ गया था would be translated by many people as I went there yesterday only, which is rather unidiomatic (I am actually tempted to classify it as ungrammatical, but I will need to check). This particle has counterparts in a lot of Indian languages. In Marathi, it is च [ts]—मी काल तिकडे गेलो होतो, in Gujarati it is જ [dʒ], and so on.

Use of the complementizer _ki_ instead of the English _that_ is another example. Also I feel expressions like “arrey bhai” or “baba” resonate more  than “dude” ever would. Although I am very fluent in English and never really translate from Hindi when talking in English, this kind of writing does feel close to heart. It seems your native language runs too deep within you.

I guess that’s how a lot of us think too. LTP went ahead and put it in writing. If any non-Indian is reading this, I would love to know your comments on whether you find stuff written in this fashion funny, annoying or just plain boring. Please mail me at the domain linguistrix.com, user-name antariksh. 


I eat non-vegetarian food myself, and I agree that both sides have very valid scientific, pragmatic and ethical arguments in their favour. I doubt if the impasse will ever be resolved, but the more I read about it, the more I am convinced of the pointlessness of picking up just one argument and having shallow debates about this. The only thing I seriously mean in the first part of this post is the last paragraph. Peace.