#Such-is-Life #Youth Staff Picks

Mumbai Student Sues for Bad Conversation; Case Rejected


“I’m fed up of people not understanding 42 and Star Wars jokes, and then explaining to me how they never understand anything I say.”
“When I crack a Yoda joke, few can make sense of it. In all modesty, it’s not that the joke isn’t funny. It is they who are not. Hmmm. Idiots, they are!”

Arun Nair was facing a repetitive problem: he could not, try as he might, avoid “bad conversation”. Whether it was with peers or even teachers, the engineering student claimed he could not wheedle his way out of it.

And hence he opted for the most straightforward approach—he decided to sue the concerned people.

“Living in 2012, it’s a big grouse,” said Nair on Monday evening, “This is something you can’t avoid, anywhere in the country.”

So, what exactly is bad conversation? Arun Nair helpfully explained; he said his teacher does not know the capital of Switzerland, and ‘promptly thinks it’s Geneva… Grow up!’ He also stated, “I’m fed up of people not understanding 42 and Star Wars jokes, and then explaining to me how they never understand anything I say.”

Unfortunately, the case was turned down as Nair’s claims were labelled ‘absurd’.

News of this case spread like wildfire, and now an estimated 15% of the total youth population of India (which, coincidentally, is the same as the proportion of smart youngsters in the country) has got together to protest. Among their demands: the government should pass some provision for the prohibition of bad conversation.

Whilst sipping Earl Grey tea, one of the forerunners of the campaign stated, “This is absolute injustice. Bad conversation is like the European Plague, which—as we all know—was almost unavoidable, and led to deaths.”

Another, a friend of Nair’s who refused to be named fearing being ‘labelled gay’, said, “A majority of my classmates get together in a quasi-serious manner, and then begin ‘bird-watching’. Now I’m not condemning the very activity, but there are many subjects to talk about other than female geography.”

A female friend of his also countered, “If I hear another mention of Lady Gaga’s new hairstyle or leading fashion designers’ new collections of clothes—or the lack of them—I think I’ll lose my mind.”

Indeed, both sexes are equally at the receiving end. 20-year-old Palak Thakker elaborated, “The fact that I’m a girl is no invitation for conversations based on homemade lipstick shades or dreadful shopping sprees. Leave aside the activities themselves; even mere mention of them makes me shudder.

“When I crack a Yoda joke, few can make sense of it. In all modesty, it’s not that the joke isn’t funny. It is they who are not. Hmmm. Idiots, they are,” she concluded with a flourish.

The opposition (not the political party, but the accused group in this case) has its own reasons. It stated, “That is only 15% of the youth population we are talking about. It clearly shows something is wrong with them, not with us.”

A fellow classmate of Nair’s—caught rubbing cigarette butts off his sole—countered, “I don’t understand this. Just about last week my mobile phone was confesticated (sic) and I haven’t got any information about this protest.”

Now, that can act as definite proof to plead Nair’s case.

Finally, as Nair himself bluntly quipped: “Life would be better without those miserable half-wits. Enough is enough.” A sentiment most of us would agree with.

This article is by Priyanka Mehta, and has been edited by Nirvaan Baid. Both Priyanka and Nirvaan are interning with NTMN in our 2012 Internship-cum-Training Program.


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Priyanka Mehta

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