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Jokes #23

So What Do You Speak Better: Tamil or Gibberish?

At one point, my oldest aunt was studying to become a doctor in Vellore. (For those of you who are not from South India, Vellore is a city in Tamil Nadu, the state east of Kerala. It's very well-known for its good hospitals.)

So one time, my dad, aunt, and grandmother were going together to drop my aunt off at her hospital in Vellore. And my dad wanted to get there by chariot, so they rode on one.

One of the horses was attracted by my aunt's sari and moved towards her. My dad immediately got scared because he had heard before that horses sometimes bite. He decided that he had to tell the chariot-driver.

But of course, he didn't speak any Tamil, only Malayalam!

So he shouted, "kuthira koNTu pOppaa!" which is just Malayalam for "Remove the horse!" My dad just tried to make it sound like Tamil by adding the -(a)ppaa at the end.

Of course, the driver didn't understand what my dad was trying to say, so he went on. But apparently, my dad realized that perhaps he should tell the driver WHY he wanted him to get rid of the horse!

So, once again, he shouted, "athennE kaTikkumappaa!" ("It'll bite me appaa!").

(This has become one of my aunt's favorite jokes ever since. The version provided here is what my dad told me, but without a doubt, my aunt would've known the story much more clearly!)

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