A Matter of Interpretation

I hope you will smile or even laugh while reading this collection of funny short stories. If you do that, better it will be for the world we live in. Occasionally we should let laughter and cheerfulness breaks into our life.

Here is one of the funny short stories concerning an ingenious interpreter of old days in India. There was a young man, like many other young men of that period, who got on the wrong side of the law. As to be expected, he found himself one day in a court of law. At the end of the trial, it became too clear to the presiding Magistrate that the young man was an incorrigible bum, who sponged all the time on relatives and friends, both for sustenance and comfort.

So, after passing appropriate sentence on the accused for the offence which brought him to count, the Magistrate asked one of the interpreters (a plain time scale man and not a senior interpreter) to interpret to the young man, in a language which he could understand, this fatherly advice from the Bench” “Please try not to rely too much on your relatives. You must learn to paddle your own canoe.”

Under normal circumstances, it would not take too long for a qualified interpreter to render the translation of this tow very brief sentences. This time, however, his initial “interpretation” appeared to have sparked off a heated argument between interpreter and prisoner. The interpreter, who normally was rather mealy-mouthed, was heard for the first time ever to have raised his voice in anger.

The surprised Magistrate enquired what was amassed. Replied the interpreter: “I am sorry, Sir. I have lost my temper. This prisoner is very stubborn and unco-operative. He says he has not money to pay for a boat and furthermore he does not wish to be a boatman.”

Magistrate: “By the way, what have you told him in the first instance?” Interpreter: “Well, Sir,” I told him: “His Worship, orders you to be a boatman.” The amused Magistrate: “Thank you, Mr. Interpreter, there is no need for you to lose your temper. Just let the matter rest there. Leave him alone to chart his own course in life – whether to be a boatman, a salesman or a highwayman!!”

Two Aliens