Friday, April 10, 2009

55 Flash Fiction Friday #40: Chapter 32 - Anaamika

Some stories are the same in any language.
"Aapki naam kya hai?" he asked, more making conversation than out of any real interest. She almost didn't realize he was speaking to her. The formal "aap" had never been used by anyone in her memory to address her. That anyone would do so now - and in these circumstances -- startled her.

"Anaamika" she replied.

Anaamika: literally "nameless one", Anaamika is ironically a fairly common first name
Aapki naam kya hai?: "What is your name?"
A bit of detail is in order here to fully explain why Anamika was surprised by the wording of the lieutenant's question. The Hindi language employs three variations of the second person.
"aap": The most formal and nearly always used with elders and strangers older than the speaker. In theory it should be used to address anyone you don't know well but social convention allows exceptions to that rule when addressing someone of a lower status or age.
"tum": The familiar form used when addressing peers, friends, relatives (of one's own or younger generations at least).
"tu": reserved mainly for small children, and intimate relations. I like to say, if you wouldn't share a bed with this person, "tu" constructions are probably a bad idea because used in other contexts, this is considered insulting. Which is ironic since "tu" may also be used to properly address God.
That the lieutenant would use aap when addressing a woman, especially one who was probably younger than himself and almost certainly of a lower caste would have surprised her (and probably anyone else within earshot).

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Shadow said...

thanks for the explanation. otherwise i'm not sure i wouldn't understood...

Hootin' Anni said...

A 55 with a thesaurus/dictionary attached. I like that! AND!!! Appreciated the heck out of it too, that helped.

M 55 is posted. You'll need to scroll down below my bunny rabbits to find it.


Mona said...

That was a great name to choose. She needs to remain incognito for some time...

...then...a name is just a Utilitarian necessity...

Akelamalu said...

Thanks for the explanation. Is he playing tricks? I hope she's wary!

Dr.John said...

And the story within a story goes on. Thanks for explaining I'm not very good with English words yet alone Hindi.
My 55 is up.

Eaton Bennett said...

Another Friday come and gone, for me
anyway. I'm glad she's not alone, is she safe...time will tell. Awesome that you included the Hindi translations for us. :))

Eaton Bennett said...

Forgot to leave my link again...55

G-Man said...

Maybe she looked 'Classy'...
Thanks for the annotation Mojo..
Also thanks for humoring me on my 55...Much obliged.
Have a very Happy Easter...G

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Fandango said...

I knew a dragon once spoke Hini. Couldn't understand a word he said.
Enjoyed your 55.
Dragons need to learn too.

ciara said...

great installment, mojo. it's always good when you explain what things mean, because then i 'get it'. but my brain is so far cramped today i don't know if i'd even get 2+2 lol


Mary said...

I'm afraid to trust the lieutenant, but I can't help but like him.

Lil Bit said...

WOW, you really are well-versed in Hindi.
I'm impressed!