Found in Translation

“If you are a criminal, petty thief, or murderer, we request you to reschedule your business activities to a more suitable date and time.

If you are the common man or woman, and have not already forwarded this message without reading it, please read on.

We know you live in a nation that has nothing to be proud of. After all, it has been over a year since a person of Indian origin was appointed as the CEO of a major American company. We know that your daily acts of honesty, integrity, hard work and selflessness in a still-control oriented and touchy to criticism establishment are nothing to be proud of.

Since India is proud to host the 90th Annual General Assembly of Interpol from the 18th to 21st April, you will get an unprecedented opportunity to be proud. For four full days.

This is the first time that citizens will get to participate in a global event of this scale. Rejoice!

There are many ways to participate. Let nobody complain they did not get an opportunity.

You can participate, firstly and foremostly, by staying out of the way. Since the delegates to the Assembly need to travel between their places of stay and Pragati Maidan, JLN Stadium and the Airport, all you need to do is just get out of the way. Because this city and nation belong to you.

Because the Prime Minister cannot, since he needs to have his picture clicked while inaugurating the Assembly. So, you must.

Because the Home Minister cannot, since he needs to address the valedictory function. So, you must.

It is not only you, dear common man and woman, who gets to participate, organizations and corporations can do too. Special arrangements have been made for their active participation as well. The government strives for eliciting participation from each individual and organization, which is why we never bothered to seek their consent while committing to the Assembly.

Organizations and corporations can actively participate by ensuring that their non-essential staff members work from home, since video conferencing services and internet are available to them. Delegates to the Assembly obviously cannot, as such services are unheard of in the rest of the world, so you must.

This is a particularly important pillar of the participation strategy as organizations and corporations thrive by hiring non-essential staff.

You, you, and you (as opposed to we and us) should be prepared to use public transport. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister cannot, so you must. The delegates cannot, so you must. This city and nation belong to you.

Wait, there are more ways for you to actively participate in the Assembly.

Twiddling your thumbs is another way. No past government has ever got you twiddling your thumbs, has it? Please actively participate by postponing avoidable travel and bypassing roads falling in New Delhi district. Instead, sit at home or wherever you are and twiddle your thumbs. Twiddle like there is no tomorrow. Twiddle like we know you can. Be on the lookout for sample videos on yogic twiddling by experts that will also cure your diabetes and unclog your arteries.

The delegates cannot, The Prime Minister cannot. The Home Minister cannot. So, you must. Since the city and nation belong to you.

It is important to reduce traffic volume on roads in New Delhi District. With your participation, we can.

Why is it important to reduce traffic volume on roads in New Delhi District, you ask? Because we have such a high regard for our way of life that we need to stuff the garbage under the carpet and present a filtered view to visitors, since we have invited them here. Since the city and nation belong to you.

We have chosen one of the most crowded cities in the world for this Assembly to demonstrate our total unpreparedness for hosting such events. The objective can only be met if you cooperate and participate actively, as you have always done in the past. Or, have you already forgotten the banging of utensils?

What about pride after the 21st?

Good question. Good things don’t last forever. But you need not worry. Your pride is in good hands. After this event gets over, we will send you a message awarding you as the best common man and woman in the world. That should see your feelings of pride soar.

Who will bestow this award?

The same agency that bestowed the best PM award in the world some time back.”

The foregoing is an English translation of the following advisory issued by the Traffic Police in English: 

I have tried to be as faithful to the original as possible.

What do you think?

27 thoughts on “Found in Translation

  1. Asking the common man and woman to alter their daily schedule is probably feasible. Asking the criminals, petty thieves and murderers will only produce mass unhappiness with such inconveniences. 😀

  2. I’m sure you are going to hear from the Second Story Booster’s Guild for asking criminals to reschedule their activities. Maybe you can give them the name of the city official you quoted. Good fun Ankur.

  3. Interpol, the World’s answer to the infamous FBI, is Interpol as corrupt? Perhaps they should have convened in Las Vegas so they could learn some new dirty tricks from the FBI to add to their repertoire.

    • Las Vegas any day. More in keeping with the references to interpol in India at least, which are usually in connection with entertainment. The only time one hears of interpol is in Bollywood movies trying to build up the credentials of a criminal character. That too often in a blink-and-you-miss sequence showing a western male figure in dark glasses and a pulled-down hat. Hopefully they will get longer roles after this Assembly. Maybe it is being held to protest the inadequacy of their roles in Bollywood movies.

  4. The future of humanity is crowded. I am sorry if it sounds like an insinuation or a conspiracy, and I trust it sounds a bit better than the traffic advisory, but we must evolve to surrender ourselves to total anarchy.

    • Crowded is good if you are Indian. We are used to it.
      In a ‘more developed’ place if, for some reason, the power supply fails, the only people who are cool are the Indians. They are used to it.

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