Indian Humour

Time for some humour, and the giggling, silly kind of very Indian humour at that. Who better to turn to than Nissim Ezekiel?

Like a series of photographs he presents an incident. One that you have probably seen play out in markets, in street accidents, in railway stations time and time again.


Some people are not having manners,

this I am always observing,

For example other day I find

I am needing soap

For ordinary washing myself purposes.

So I’m going to one small shop

nearby in my lane and I’m asking

for well-known brand soap.

That shopman he’s giving me soap

but I’m finding it defective version.

So I’m saying very politely — –

though in Hindi I’m saying it,

and my Hindi is not so good as my English,

Please to excuse me

but this is defective version of well-known brand soap.

That shopman is saying

and very rudely he is saying it,

What is wrong with soap?

Still I am keeping my temper

and repeating very smilingly

Please to note this defect in soap,

and still he is denying the truth.

So I’m getting very angry that time

and with loud voice I am saying


Now he is shouting


Come outside and I will show you

Then I am shouting

What you will show me

Which I haven’t got already?

It is vulgar thing to say

but I am saying it.

Now small crowd is collecting

and shopman is much bigger than me,

and I am not caring so much

for small defect in well-known brand soap.

So I’m saying

Alright OK Alright OK

this time I will take

but not next time.

– Nissim Ezekiel, from Very Indian Poems in Indian English


2 thoughts on “Indian Humour

  1. Rish says:

    You are forever introducing me to new writers/poets/artists. Thank you…this is hilarious!

  2. Anita says:

    Lol. This is hilarious! Thanks Suchi (if I may call you that)

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