Baahar ka taapmaan

Us Third Worlder South Asians are always looking for a hint, an indication, that the rest of the world takes us seriously. It does not matter if it is about Pakistan or India or Bangladesh, the collective pride rises to just under the surface when something is said or done by the West which acknowledges that any one country of South Asia has made it, such as when Bill Clinton visits Bangalore or Swraj Paul is knighted.

And so, South Asians in general must celebrate regardless of caste, creed or national origin when Swiss International Airlines (successor to the late lamented Swissair) provides not only Hindi and Tamil films as part of its inflight entertainment, but the flight information is also provided in chaste sanskritised Hindi. Together with seeing where your plane is on its trajectory from Zurich to Delhi, you can also now know that the baahar ka taapmaan (outside temperature) is – 42 degrees centigrade, while the bhutaal gati (ground speed) is 890 ki mi prati ghanta (yes, kmph), and the gantabya sthan par doori (distance to distance) is 1245 ki mi.

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Himal Southasian