Serial 'faux pas-er'

Serial 'faux pas-er'


Serial 'faux pas-er'
Yes, that’s who I am. In the first faux-pas series, I wrote how I failed to recognise someone who had been to our home for dinner just a month before; how I was caught red-handed on the false claim that the special saree I had bought in Dacca for my wife, was bought in Kolkata as a delayed action; and how I mistook a young running beau coming closer to me on every round, as a young runner’s infatuation. It was her way to trip me off course and remind me that I was running in the wrong direction on a one-way track.

Cut to the present.

This one happened when I was seated next to a well-known business tycoon during a flight from Mumbai to Bengaluru. And as he finished reading the magazine, I told him this: By the way, your wife, my wife and I had worked together for an NGO for over seven years until my wife and I set up our own NGO. The conversation carried on about the work we did together and its beneficiaries.

His replies were punctuated generously by, ‘that is great’, ‘that is awesome’ and ‘we need many more such organisations’. Before we left the airport, he shook my hand and said, “Just to set the record straight, I might as well tell you that I am not yet married.” I didn’t know where to look, and upon reaching home, I narrated the incident to my wife only to discover that it was not my co-passenger’s wife but his competitor’s wife who had been with us. This news spread like wildfire.

This one happened in pre-mobile phones days. I went to Yelahanka airport with my friend and his son to watch an air show. The car park was quite some distance away but the Air Force Station had installed a PA system. Upon giving the car number, they would hail the driver to bring the car to the station’s gate.

When the announcer asked me my car number, I went blank. I rushed into the security room, sought permission of the officer to use the office phone to ring up my wife to get the car number. No reply, and I was back to square one. The announcer then called for the driver on the loudspeaker. Many cars clogged the gate. Why? Because the name Ranga was not the sole proprietary name of my driver!

I go to a gym and the rule of the establishment is that the shoes you walk in with, must be removed in the change room, and be replaced with a pair of clean running shoes. I followed the rule to the T. On my way back one morning, I was greeted with smiles by many passersby.

On reaching home, I was greeted with a snigger by my wife, who was looking at my feet. It was then I discovered that one foot had the light-blue walking shoe and the other foot had the bright-red running shoe. Soon, she was on the phone telling all and sundry of the incident.

Just as an aside, having studied in an Urdu-zaban madrasa in Pakistan and thereafter in a Hindi-bhasha school in India, I kept pronouncing Faux-paux as Fox Pas until my convent-educated wife made me repeat the correct pronunciation a hundred times.
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