The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Every dishonest deed has a euphemism, designed to deflate the didactic dimensions of the doer's do. "Tea and biscuits" serves well as the synonym of - a small bribe for the purpose of accommodating a proportionately insignificant trangression of the law. Symbolically, "tea and biscuits" is rooted in the age-old British tradition of entertaining a guest who hasn't been invited to a full-on meal. It is an offer which seems to say, "I am amenable to your invasion of privacy (into my abode of modest morality), but no more than to provide you a sip and a nibble". Nearly 60 years into post-British-Colonial India, the state's independence had done little to shrug off what we elite locals term the "colonial hangover". However, nothing like a stimulating cup of chai and Marie thin biscuits, I thought to myself, when a night-time policemen took a detour of his beat, to knock on my late-night party doors. "Saar, you are makking too much of thee naise. But, I vill allav it if you can giew me some tea and biscuit". Not catching on to his arcaic usage, I hurriedly got my sneakers on and went knocking on the closed doors of nearby grocery shops, in a desperate search of that elusive bag of tea leaves. Alas, my exploration was in vain. I returned empty handed and had to slap the mute button on the music-player and my friends' throats, while the cop retreated into the night, somewhat disappointed. This anachronistic term for a bribe is certainly not my cup of tea! And I guess, the coinless copper would have had to do without his, come the morning!


"Oh you are hawing party, saar? Some friends came over for loughs and some tea and biscuit, aa? Just giew me some tea and biscuit aalso, saar. Everything vill be aalright!"
Added 2013-01-07 by Tino Lobo



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