Humour therapy

Our bedroom in our modest apartment is simple but comfortable. There are no Hussains or Picassos adorning the walls.  Nor Persian or Turkish carpets on the floor.

But at a vantage point on the wall hangs a colourful poster that cost my wife about a hundred rupees and perhaps an equal amount to frame it. One has to just cast an eye on the poster and that’s enough to tickle your funny bone. It is also the reason why our bedroom is the laughing gas chamber of our home.

The poster is aptly titled ‘Shine Boards’ and is essentially a bright collage of mis-spelt English sign boards found across Bangalore and photographed by the versatile Paul Fernandes who wears many hats.

The funniest are those pertaining to food and hotels.  Sample these for starters.  ‘Matan chappati reddy, pig mutton meals, fish biryani and foul biryani, vag and non-vag mills ready and miltry hotel’. There’s also, bacon, salame and frankfarters!

The beverages signs are equally amusing. ‘Chilled bear cocktails with masala pee nut’ to ‘after whisky, driving risky’ to the more pedestrian ‘Suger can jus — with cold ice, Rs 4; without ice Rs 5’.

English sign boards displayed by street shops tell their own story. From hankeys karchiefs, brief drawer and fanty, cardless phones, mosquito nuts to gold-silver-coper-bras and ‘all ear and nose poking done here, gun shoot’. Or how about ‘Auto Xerox : available in all languages’ and poto plash studio. Or, local coll, pubic call 1 rupee only.
Tailors and barbers too love English. ‘Paint and shirt stitching here, Barber parlour — London japan hairstyle, beauty barler; citizan hair drassas, to name a few.

And if you thought death is a grave matter, don’t laugh at these. A class death coffin undertakers or Ready made death coffins available here.

But the one that takes the cake is the public signboards and graffiti scrawled across the city that has us often in splits. ‘Car no farking, newshance makers will be vekated this place, smoking and spitting acts prohibits, do not toilet please’.

Recently, we were invited to dinner by a friend but my wife lay curled up in bed feeling a bit under the weather. I decided to skip the outing and idled around. At one point my eyes fell on the poster and I murmured ‘leddies and genits tailors’. She tittered. I continued, ‘Chicken and fish grave, finger ships, paw bhaji. She sat up and laughed aloud.

I reeled out some more of those signs when she interrupted to say, “let’s go for dinner, I’m feeling better.”

I couldn’t but agree with that old chestnut, laughter is the best medicine.

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