6. The hilarious story of Mr. Kittusingam

How to call a chicken to be the lunch


I hail from a small village in a coastal District of Tamil Nadu. I had my education in Tamil and English, and knew no other language. My attempt to learn Hindi was not very successful. I could only manage a few simple words in Hindi.

On being selected for a Central Civil Service, I was sent to a small village in Karnataka for a survey. A peon accompanying me also knew no language other than Tamil. Coming from a Coastal village, rice and fish is my staple diet. I could not expect fish in the village. I thought chicken and rice was an option. I expressed my desire to have chicken for dinner. The locals did not know what a chicken meant, and, my peon and I did not know the Kannada word for chicken.

Therefore, my peon went in search of a fowl (cock or hen) around the village. In a corner, he saw a hen and tried to catch it. But, the hen got frightened and ran all over the village, with my peon chasing it.

Finally, by making gestures with my hands and mouth, I could explain to the villagers that we wanted the bird for our food. This caused hilarious laughter. Promptly, a fowl was slaughtered and cooked for us. I learnt that a fowl is called “KOLI” in Kannada.
My people and I still remember this hilarious episode in the initial stages of my career.


Last modified: Saturday, 4 March 2017, 12:32 AM