The Indian subcontinent has so many joys, almost too many joys, and is well worth a visit. The various regional cuisines entice, architecture inspires, trains, hill stations, hotels, drinking tea and shattering the cups on the tracks so as not to inadvertently touch lips with an untouchable all set the heart racing but one of the greatest pleasures is the Indian use of English
The language is as much theirs as it is ours, as the English first spread the tongue across the land in 1608, but they have done better things with it.
Can we, as an example, read a passage from the New Indian Express that details a tragic event of father drowning while trying to save his surfer-daughter?
Chennai: Man meets watery grave while trying to rescue drowning surfer daughter.
CHENNAI: A 51-year-old software engineer drowned in the sea off Thiruvanmiyur while he was rescuing his daughter who was pulled by a giant wave while practising surfing on Monday morning.
The deceased was identified as Balaji, an employee of a private software firm in Tidel Park and a resident of Vannandurai in Besant Nagar.
According to police, the incident happened around 7 am at Thiruvanmiyur beach.
Police said that Balaji accompanied his daughter Revathi, 11, a Class 6 student, to surf in the sea.
Quoting on the onlookers, police said that Revathi, who was training with the surfboard, was suddenly sucked in by a giant wave. A shocked Balaji entered into the sea to save his daughter. He drowned as he was unable to swim in the rough sea.
Police said surfers usually do not practise in a rough sea, but the duo reached Thiruvanmiyur claiming that the sea was relatively calm there compared to Besant Nagar.
Extremely tragic but written better than anything in Austro-American surf, save Longtom, in years and years. We other continentals have dispensed with “watery graves” and “Davy Jones’s Locker” and other pirate-adjacent words and have stumbled into pure bore. Drowning, asphyxiated, etc. But we should reclaim the swagger as we are closer to pirate heritage than any, save right-of-center politicians.