If you live in Delhi and listen to the radio, you can now phone your mum (uncle, boyfriend, guru or boss) to crib about being treated as a duffer child. Unless of course you are indeed a duffer child, in which case you deserve this treatment. If not, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s radio address about the forthcoming round of “Odd Even Scheme” in Delhi (planned between 15 and 30 of April) is like a candied pep talk for class three kids. “Ek khush khabri deni hai,” (I want to give you good news), starts Kejriwal in the charged tone of a kindergarten teacher. He could well be saying: come kids, let me tell you a story about Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. If you listen on, you soon realise that the magic lamp is the Odd-Even car scheme. It may be a good idea as one of the solutions to resolve serious issues of pollution and traffic, but it is hardly something that will make you want to jump in your seat.
“Fir se Dilli khaali ho jayegi”, “fir se pollution kam ho jayega,” (Delhi will become less crowded again; pollution will go down again) goes on the CM earnestly. “Fir se” should be “phir se”, and it doesn’t need a Hindi language scholar to point that out. But Kejri hasn’t got his diction right since the days he would campaign for the Aam Aadmi Party during the Delhi state elections. He would then tell his listeners (also on a radio ad) about his optimistic meeting with a “foolwalla” (flower seller). Sorry “phoolwalla”.
The CM’s poor diction apart, have these lines for radio been ghost-written for him by someone still in school? If they are, why won’t the usually triumphant leader of the common man’s party use his common sense to dump them? He jives between injected earnestness and limp lines as if he is himself unconvinced that the fairy tale he has drummed up for a bunch of kids is not as pretty and perfect as he is making it sound. Little else explains why a Magsayay awardee and the CM of India’s capital should think he can get away by telling citizens that “the whole world is talking about the Odd-Even scheme (now, really?) and that the “world is marvelling at how disciplined Delhiites are!” Oh, please. It’s such an uneven claim, that it is, well, odd.
Faulty pronunciation, lines with juvenile purport and an incorrect retelling. Someone really needs a class.