Posted by: cochinblogger | November 22, 2010

True Tales of Indian Life: Lady’s Fingers and Sanitary Towels

My father was a PhD student in the U.S. in the 1950s, a time when there were few Indians in that country. In the following anecdotes from my father, his fellow Indian students are the protagonists.

An Indian student went to a grocery store and asked the young woman at the counter for lady’s fingers. To the astonishment of the student, the woman turned pale and began to back away from the counter. Fortunately for both of them, a more experienced store hand lurking in the background brought the situation under control. The student eventually left the store with the okra he had asked for, leaving the young woman at the counter pensively inspecting her fingers.

Another Indian student shopping for towels at a store was attracted by a package labeled “Sanitary Towels.” He needed just ordinary towels, but why not try these special towels, which from their name apparently promised to clean as well as dry? Such were the wonders of American technology! However, the young woman at the cash counter sensed that something was amiss. She asked the student if he wanted bathing towels, after which the misunderstanding was amicably resolved.


  1. I quite didn’t understand this blog.


      Some people say they can’t understand your writing, even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?


      Read it four times.

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