Monday, 23 July 2007

What to do?

This most celebrated of UAE ‘Hinglish’ phrases is the ultimate in fatalism. It means, ‘You’re so screwed, you might as well just give up and stop breathing now, pal’, but is infinitely more polite as it also involves a degree of 'And it's not my fault, it's out of my hands and in those of our creator'.

It is invariably delivered with an inclination of the head and a smile. Your electricity has been cut off because of a clerical error, it’s Thursday evening and the reconnection team have all gone home for the weekend and you face at least 72 hours in the sweltering heat with no power and water through no fault of your own. You’re raging and the man from the electricity smiles at you and shakes his head, saying: “What to do?”

Pals Dom and Scott and I thought it would be a great Whisky brand for the Indian market and many a boozy evening has consequently descended into brainstorming sessions for the commercials.

Actor is sitting, cross-legged on the compacted earth, in front of the ruins of a Malabari house. There are coconut palms waving gently in the sun behind him. He’s wearing a shirt and lunghi as he addresses the camera.

“House is burning. Insurance not updated. Wife is leaving. Dowry being refundable. I am having nothing left. Even children are going back to grandmother.”

Actor grins broadly, raising glass of whisky with lots of ice cubes in to camera and inclines head in time-honoured fashion.

“What to do?”

The variations on the theme are, of course, awesome.

It was a phrase I was able to use this morning, as young Carrington was heard fuming and fulminating as he tried to struggle with his new home PC. Apparently he was having some issues with something called Windows Vista that was causing his sparkly new slice of integrated technology platform to blow raspberries, generally misbehave, lock up, whistle Dixie and on the whole refuse to come out and play. I waited until he finished his litany of driver issues and errors and then expressed my sympathy appropriately.

“Yes, I understand the severity of the situation. But what to do?”

I shall not record his response for fear it may offend the delicate ears of the genteel reader…


DXBluey said...

"You’re so screwed, you might as well just give up and stop breathing now, pal"


Too true.... and very funny.

What To Do. I may have get some T-Shirts done up with that above a Nike swoosh.

Who's-sane! said...

Absolutely Alex ... "Vut to do?" is such a beautiful phrase, it's a 'Get out of jail free' card!

You're stuck in an awkward situation, you know exactly vut to say "WHAT TO DO!!", and that's about all you need to say!

Makes you wish it was that easy dealing with your clients.

and LMAO @ "Dowry being refundable"!

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