This happened a few years ago when we went to get a passport for my baby grand-daughter and renew the existing one of her mother.
We reached well in time. Since my grand-daughter was a baby, they allowed an extra person, meaning me, to accompany them into the office.
My daughter-in-law was tired after having stayed up all night with her restless child. As we waited for our turn, the security at the door, asked:
“Where is Paapa?”
My daughter in law, showed her child and said,
“This is the paapa.” (Paapa in Tamil means Baby)
The man balked.
“No. Where is Paapa?”
“This one here is the paapa. We have come to get her passport.”
The man looked at her like he had a lunatic on his hands.
“No. I mean, where is HER Paapa?”
Now it was my daughter-in-law’s turn to balk.
Then it struck me that the Hindi speaking gentleman from North of India was asking for the baby’s father.
In North India, a father is addressed as Paapa, where as in South India, Paapa means a baby.
So much for our cultural differences!
I intervened and set the man’s doubts at rest and explained that the baby’s father was at work and could not take the day off.
One more thing to remember on that day, was a young man who was sitting next to us, while my daughter in law, had gone in to complete some formalities. The man, almost a boy, told me that he had just completed his graduation and was trying to get a job abroad and so the passport application.
My grand-daughter kept trying to pull the bike key from his hands which he was dangling before her and teasing her. I thought there was something unusual about his fingers. They seemed different. I could not figure out what it was.
When we got up to leave, he waved us good bye. Then I noticed it.
He had SIX FINGERS!!
PS: My grandmother, who lived to be a hundred years old, used to say that having six fingers was considered to be very lucky. Hope his desire to work abroad came true.
Image by Solart from Pixabay
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
Image by Amanda Elizabeth from Pixabay