Thursday, February 21, 2013

Say Pencil

My recent (is it recent if it's been over a year) interest in things Bollywood means that several times I've run into a particular bit of Hindi humor on line.  It goes like this:

Person one: Bolo pencil.
Person two: Pencil.
Person one: Teri shaadi cancel!

I knew shaadi was something related to marriage, because of Band Baaja Baaraat.  Anushka Sharma's wedding planning company in the movie is called something like Shaadi Mubarak.  I threw it into a couple of Hindi/English translators with no success.  Or perfect success, as bolo meant say, pencil meant pencil, and cancel meant cancel.  So:

Person one: Say pencil.
Person two: Pencil.
Person one: Your wedding is canceled!

Which made no more sense in English to me than it did in Hindi.  So I asked a few folks at work, prefacing it with how I wasn't 100% sure I wasn't swearing using some sort of Hindi slang.  Three native speakers later, four if you count the fact that one of them routed it to her father, I still don't get it.  They didn't think it was very funny, and basically it came down to some sort of knock-knock type joke.  Yet the meme is there, at least once mashed up with the meme of The Rock from Escape to Witch Mountain.  It has it's own Facebook page and Twitter account.  It's on the meme generator.

So I'm left wondering whether it's a regional thing, or something that's funny only if you're involved in a potential arranged marriage...

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