Sunday, May 11, 2014

WHY---Here Come a Couple More...


I am tempted to keep writing about words, but this is likely to be the last segment on words for a while, even though a couple of my blog readers have appreciated it. Thank you. 

Sagar and Sapna continue with their origin of more words.


 WHY---Here come a couple more--

Sixteen-year-old, Sagar returned from his party.

Sapana, his twelve-year-old sister said, "So Bhaiya, because of your buttondown shirt, were you in the 'limelight'?

Sagar frowned and threw his shirt on the bed, "Yeah, I was in the limelight. Along with a couple of other guys like me, but the rest of them came in jeans and a tshirt."

The eight-year-old twins walked in. 

Suchi said, "Did somebody say lime something?"

Soori said, "Don't deny it. we heard it, lime or lemon---lime juice? Lemon juice?"

Sapna said, "No girls, it's just a word for someone who's famous."


"I don't know. They can be famous for anything---for asking dumb questions."

Suchi said, "Didi, if you don't know the answer, just say so, no need to call us dumb."

Soori joined her twin, "That's right. We know dumb means not able to speak, and we can speak, talk, sing... all we wanted know was, why a limelight and why not a watermelon light?"

Sapna said, "Well, okay, I do know that. Now listen, a long time ago, they burned a cylinder of lime to produce a bright yellow light in lighthouses, to make it noticeable. People started using the word limelight for actors, to give them attention."


"So there is no lime juice?"

"No, no juice. To be in limelight simply means to be the centre of attention."

"Big deal, limelight." Suchi made a face.

Sapna said, "You asked."

Sagar raised his voice a little, "Enough guys, you are all being silly."

Sapna said, "And so I pass the buck to you, Bhaiya." 

"Huh? Pass the buck?"

"Well, let him explain it now." Sapna smiled at Sagar and left the room.

Sagar said, "By all means. Girls, to pass the buck means give it to someone else."

"Give what?"

Sagar said, "I can see why she wanted to pass the buck, meaning she does not wish to deal with you and now you are my problem."

With a long face the twins asked, "Are we a problem, Bhaiya?"

"No, my dear little sisters, you are no problem. Listen, a long time ago, at card games, players passed an item called a buck from player to player to show whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not want to deal, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player."


Sagar let out a long breath and said, "Passing the buck it to give the responsibility to someone else."

"Got it."

Sapna came in with four glasses of lemon juice, "Let's toast to that."

"We're eating a toast with our lemon juice?"

Sapna scrunched up her face, "Don't you guys ever get anything without an explanation?"

Sagar laughed and clinked his glass of lemon juice gently with the twins' glasses and said, "We toast, we celebrate your understanding of the English language by clinking our glasses."

"The glasses will break."

"Do it gently, Now, a long time ago, in earlier times someone might have wished to poison an enemy to  kill him. To make sure the drink was safe, the guest would pour a small amount of drink into the glass of the host and both men would drink it together. When a guest trusted his host, he clinked his own glass with the host's glass."

One twin said, "Too many words, Bhaiya, we drank up our lemonade."

The other twin said, "Without eating any toast."

They both left for their own room.

"Sagar plopped down on his bed, "At last the why's and what's have left."

Sapna said, "I can see, you are on cloud nine."

Sagar said, "Eeee....nough, no more words."

Sapna said, "The very last one, I have to tell you, I learned that clouds are numbered according to their altitude, cloud nine being the highest. So when you are on cloud nine, you are above all the worries in the world." 

Sagar said, "That I am."

"Good for you, Bhaiya." Sapna also left the room.

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah

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