Nanyaar's words - Pendergast, Tamil, Beyonce
Last week it was Tantia Tope. And this morning it is Pendergast. She wakes up with these strange words spinning around in her head. Like trapped pebbles in a shoe. She has no clue how they got in there. Were they part of a longer sentence and like stray lambs, lose their way? And often, she has no clue what the words mean. Take Pendergast for instance. What on earth is that? Sounds like a syrup to ease indigestion. ‘I think I ate too much of that sweet you made’. ‘Have a teaspoon of Pendergast. You’ll be okay in no time’.
What’s worse, Pendergast will remain inside her head getting in the way of all her sentences that day. I’ll call you later, she will tell her husband, I’m busy drafting a little pender…I mean, a letter. And later, on spotting an old friend across the road, Pendergast! she will yell out and immediately wish that the friend had not heard her.
How does she get rid of the word? She tips her head to one side and taps her ear hoping that it will spill out. But the moment her head is up, Pendergast is back in circulation. There is only one thing to do. She resolves to speak in Tamil for the rest of the day. And that plan works until she goes out that evening and orders ‘one plate of Beyonce!’. Biriyani, she later explains.