My mum speaks Tinglish! (Part 1)

“Please heat that in the ‘micro-gate’,” Amala said one fine Sunday morning.

My husband stopped fidgeting with his maze of wires that I think secretly, or maybe not-so-secretly, defines his life. He looked at my mum with a bewildered expression on his face, unsure if he had heard right.

Jan 14“Kha-rey sung-way, Amala,” I asked. (“What did you say, mum?”)

“Micro-gate,” she replied matter-of-factly!

My face returned a blank expression, to which she explained, “Could you heat my tea in garr-garr?”

I burst out laughing, to be joined wholeheartedly in this laughing spree by my husband who had finally understood what my mum was trying to say. We were, in turn, joined by Amala who realized she had spoken in her own Tibetanized version of English or Tinglish, as most like to call it.

So, thus, the great microwave became “micro-gate”, also synonymous with  “garr-garr,” according to my mother, who was very intelligently referring to the sound my microwave makes (clearly, a sign that it is not a very well-functioning one).

Nevertheless, ever since that fine Sunday morning, the microwave in my house has been rechristened “micro-gate,” or more lovingly known as “garr-garr.”

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