Miscommunication.

Cheerful Monk’s post on the same topic reminded me of a hilarious incident from the late seventies.

My readers must recall those days of telephone switch boards with telephone operators cum receptionists with hundreds of calls to attend every day. In the office where I worked in Bombay as it was then called, the operator, a veteran of many telephone battles and personal friend to many of our customers who used to visit the office from various towns of Western India could speak very good English but only the street Hindustani of Bombay.

One day there was a great commotion as everyone in the office could hear her shouting repeatedly that there was nobody called Ghatkopar Saheb in the office and asking the caller to correctly mention the name of the person.

Ghatkopar is a suburb of Bombay and quite infamous even in those days. Finally, the top honcho of the office got involved in the matter and found out that the caller was a gentleman with some speech defect and was in fact asking for Rajgopaul Saheb!

For quite some time after that, I had to bear with being called Mr. Ghatkopar by that worthy who apart from being my boss was also a personal friend.

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