It’s amusing the way he talks and writes!
Sudip is a very good friend of mine. He loved English language from his early days when he was at school. When at home, he would often spend hours in his study room writing in English, be it a letter, essay – anything. He had genuine interest to learn the language well. In his study room there were English books of all sorts including quite a lot of books on English grammar. He would often tell us “Practice makes perfect”.
We encouraged him and appreciated his efforts. Someone, I think it was Rakesh, who said to him bluntly “ You write well but the trouble is you tend to use bombastic words and Phrases and Idioms too often”. Sudip didn’t quite like what was said to him. He looked at me when I told him that what Rakesh said was true. In spite of everyone’s advice he did not try to change his style of writing.
The other day I was going through some of my old papers which I had kept inside a box in the loft and not touched for years. I brought that small box down to look for an important document when suddenly I found a letter which Sudip had written to me years ago and it read as under:-
The news of Oliver’s death, which spread like wildfire, came to me like a bolt from the blue. He died in harness. I am sure you know he was a Benedick. Some one told me that he had a Gretna Green marriage. I miss Oliver, he was a good Samaritan. His wife is a Jezebel, she must have shed crocodile tears!
What about Peter and John ? I sometimes wonder what exactly the bone of contention is between the two. I can remember they used to be at daggars drawn with each other in the past also. I had advised them to bury the hatchet but my efforts went in vain.
Linton is still a chicken hearted fellow but many a cock and bull story you can hear from him. We have to admit he has the gift of the gab.
I don’t know why, for quite sometime, I am in the doldrums.
My cousin, who you know well, had cut a sorry figure in his School Final exam last year but this year he has come off in flying colours. Opportunities are there for him to do well in life but he must make the hay when the Sun shines.
Our Friend, Kaven, is in hot water but he is trying his best to take the bull by the horns.
It’s raining here now cats and dogs.
In a nutshell, things are all the same as before.
Hope you are as fit as a fiddle.
I read the letter again and laughed. Mentioned about the old letter to Sudip over telephone, he laughed too. I asked “ Do you still write your usual letters etc in english everyday ?”
“Well, off and on.”
“Tell me about your son.”
“Oh you haven’t seen him. He is now in school hostel, he is a chip of the old block.”
“ How often do you meet each other”
“ Ever and anon.”
Good God, he has not changed, has he? – I said to myself smilingly. The telephone line got disconnected due to some technical fault. Well I shall phone him tomorrow again. Hearing from him new words, phrases and idioms is quite a fun really.
Meaning of the words and phrases which I didn’t know and had to find from dictionery were :
Benedick : A name for a newly married man.
Gretna Green Marriage : A runaway marriage
Jezebel : A wicked, bold or vicious woman;
To take the bull by the horns : To tackle any difficulty in a bold and direct manner.
Ever and anon : Now and then.